Friday, May 12, 2017

Is A Progressive Alliance Around The 48% A Delusion?


George Eaton, political editor of the New Statesman stirred things up this week with his claim the 48% don't exist, and the progressive alliance is built on a delusion.

The progressive alliance believes that tactical voting by "the 48 per cent" against anti-EU candidates can help provide a stronger opposition to the Tories. 

Eaton argues that the key figure to focus on is not "the 48 per cent" or "the 52 per cent" but the 69 per cent - the number who believe the government has a duty to leave the EU (more than a third of whom voted Remain). 

He points to a number of other findings:
  • The number of people wanting to block or stop Brexit is 21% according to YouGov polling.
  • 55 per cent support May's assertion that "no deal is better than a bad deal"
  • Only 24 per cent believe it is more important to enjoy tariff-free trade with the EU than it is to control immigration
This chimes with previous research showing how vote switching by the 48% is actually beneficial to the Conservatives.

Eaton concludes: 

"as long as Remainers speak as if there is a nascent "progressive majority" 
built on "the 48 per cent", they will repeat the very mistake 
that led to Brexit: misreading the electorate."