Friday, 10 June 2016

New opinion poll puts Leave 10% ahead of Project Fear

An opinion poll by ORB for the Independent released this evening puts Leave 10% ahead of Remain with undecided excluded.

This is only one poll so don't go down to the bookies and put your life savings on Brexit just yet but a 10% lead in the polls the day before the referendum would wipe out the polling day swing and put Leave on the front foot.

The Scottish independence referendum is the closest we have to a modern-day precedent for the EU referendum and that saw a massive 11% swing from Yes to No in the final 24 hours. Polling in the days before the Scottish referendum put Yes about 2% ahead of No but when it came to the vote No won by 9%. That was a big swing but there was more at stake in the Scottish referendum than there is in the EU referendum.

A change of citizenship, a national debt, the end of the Barnett Formula subsidy and declining oil prices blowing a hole in the Scottish government's economic plans made Scottish independence a risky economic proposition as well as a big cultural change. We're not culturally European, we're not invested in the EU superstate and the economic case for staying in just isn't credible. Leaving the EU has a lower risk profile and that will probably translate into a smaller swing. My feeling is that the voting day swing will be about 8% so a 10% lead in the polls should deliver a 2% majority for Leave but as I said, this is just one poll so keep the champagne on ice for now.