Swing to Status Quo Scenario

Leavers are optimistic, Brexiteering Tory MPs really do believe they can do it, yet Remainers still think they’ll win. Neck and neck polls are giving both sides hope. Peter Kellner – a Europhile Labour supporting pollster  – has written a piece which tugs at a nagging doubt for Guido. The tendency of referendums in Britain to swing towards the status quo in the final days…

referendum-swings

Kellner explains away the exception, the 1997 Scottish referendum in favour of devolution as a mechanism for ratifying a national consensus, not a means of resolving a major national dispute. Hmmm… 

Kellner doesn’t look at international referendums that have favoured change: gay marriage in Ireland, legalising marijuana in various US states. In these cases he could argue that they were again ratifying a consensus. There is obviously no UK consensus on the merits of the EU. There is however a near national consensus on the need to control immigration…


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