Across a weekend in which the official IN campaign Britain Stronger in Europe launched under the leadership of Lord (Stuart) Rose, ex-retailer chief of Marks & Spencer, both sides are now on the field of play, although perhaps equally showing an initial lack of certainty about formations. The Out campaign, of course, has three separate players currently vying to be chosen by the Electoral Commission as the main striker, while the spine of the freshly launched BSE team appears to heavily feature some of the faces (and arguments) from the Britain in Europe lobby, which back in the day rather underwhelmingly sought British entry into the Single Currency.
Press coverage of the BSE launch was pretty extensive, and often significant coverage is alone sufficient to provide something of a poll boost, if only as a reminder of the existence of the case/campaign – and if only for a short time. So might it be here. In comparison to the ICM poll last week conducted on behalf of Vote Leave, when 53% opted to Remain In and 47% for Brexit, this week the Outers drop back a couple of points to 45%, with Remain In obviously benefiting in an equal and opposite direction (55%). At this point, most pollsters would remind people about statistical tolerances, which this is movement is inside of, but which does feel intuitively right.
In the digest last week we focussed somewhat on the split among 2015 Conservative voters, who seem to be front and centre swing voters in this contest. This week, they split in favour of Brexit to the tune of 43%, versus 38% opting to Remain In (in contrast to the 1-point Remain In lead amongst Tories last week). Supporters of all other parties break strongly enough for one side or the other to think they are something of a sideshow.
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