EU ref, it's not over yet

Today saw the defection of Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston from the Leave side of the EU referendum campaign to Remain, over claims about the NHS she felt were misleading.  Wollaston has always been an outsider and rebel in the party, but today she will have earned some Brownie points with the Prime Minister.  The headlines will be short lives however, owing to the appearance on TV this evening of former London Mayor Boris Johnson and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to make their respective cases.  Both are popular and articulate politicians (Sturgeon is popular outside Scotland as well as in it) so tonight should prove – for those watching – to be one of the first instances where household names who the public want to hear will be debating. 

Meanwhile the Government is set to use emergency legislation to extend the voter registration period by 2 days owing to the overload of the online system 90 minutes before the 12am deadline on Tuesday.  The demographics of those seeking to register were largely younger voters, and some on the Leave side have seen the Government’s decision to extend as part of their attempt to do all they can to keep Britain in the EU, with some noting that the Government may not have moved on this had it not been clear these were mostly younger – and therefore more pro-EU – voters.  Younger voters are less likely to vote, and many of those who attempted to registered late will have already been on the register, but such a surge so late on suggests a higher turnout than usual for national polls, and a higher turnout is thought to favour the Remain camp.

Michael Stott

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search