Ukip’s polarising effect – support for staying in the EU hits 23-year high

A new poll by Ipsos MORI finds that 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the EU – the highest level of support since 1991 by Alberto Nardelli theguardian.com, Wednesday 22 October 2014 15.40 BST

A new poll from Ipsos MORI shows 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the European Union in a referendum – the highest support for British EU membership since 1991.

The most likely explanation for this surge in support to stay in the EU is that the rise of Ukip in the polls has polarised the debate around EU membership.

Public opinion remains though divided on the specifics of Britain’s relationship with the EU. 34% would like Britain to be a part of an economic community without political links, while only 29% would like the relationship to stay broadly the same as it is now. 14% would like closer political and economic integration, and 17% would prefer to leave the EU altogether.

A YouGov poll released earlier this morning also found diverging opinions when it comes to the nature of the UK’s relationship with Europe

A low salience implies that opinion on EU membership could shift quite rapidly as the debate intensifies, and should the importance of Europe as an issue rise in the list of voters’ concerns.

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For now, Nigel Farage’s spike in popularity seems to have bought voters closer to Europe than they have been for twenty years – evidence maybe that an out campaign, as Michael Fabricant put it, would need to balance issues of the heart with tangible arguments, if it is to ever win a referendum.

Original Article

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