Thursday, 17 December 2009

Is there a public appetite for a referendum on the EU - this graph will help


I am sitting here listening to something so heathen (in these politically correct times) as Christmas Carols from King's College Choir, which undoubtedly will be censored any time soon for being too unicultural (UPDATE: When I wrote this line about carol censorship, I did not actually believe it myself but seems we are not too far off). Moving on, there seems to be a lot of confusion in the EU referendum camp with regards to public attitude a referendum on the European Union. Basically the three dividing camps are:
  • EU withdrawalists who believe that if an in/out referendum were held the people would vote in favour of leaving.
  • Eurosceptics who believe that a public majority would not yet vote in favour of leaving the EU if a vote was given.
  • Eurocrats who believe that if a vote was given then the people would massively vote in favour of staying in the EU.
As you thus see this is a bit of a conundrum which needs addressing, which is why I decided to compile a graph which will be regularly updated on this blog with the name of 'Should we stay or should we go' - a homage to the Clash. The data will be retrieved from here, the Democracy Movement website which lists recent polls where the question was not too fudged to be able to discern a reasonable data set. But basically if the question posed in the poll is appropriate enough is up to my own discretion and if you have complaints as to my data mining methods please contact me, I assure you I wont hide my data from you. Thus as it currently stands there seems to be a bit of a Bellum omnium contra omnes going on concerning EU policy in the Tory Camp (i.e. the next government), simply because the Conservative Party exploits Eurosceptic sentiment, but lacks the courage to deliver on its rhetoric. It may not even be courage, few can decipher the ongoings of Mr. Cameron's mind suffice to say that they are firmly entrenched in the proverbial 'ever closer union' where the orthodoxy of the latter has the country with a vice like grip.

Just so there is no misunderstanding this graph displays responses where there is a clean cut answer of either IN or OUT, no fudges just simple truths. All the polls had multiple options but we only list the ones where the option was given for in/out and in particular those answers.

Data Set Used:

Pollster Stay Leave

ICM Poll for Global Vision, Nov 2007 11-07 24% 23%
ICM Poll for Global Vision, Feb 2008 2-08 21% 24%
YouGov Poll for Open Europe, June 2008 6-08 38% 24%
ITV Tonight Programme, Oct 2008 10-08 35% 54%
YouGov Survey for TPA, Jan 2009 1-09 22% 16%
Channel 4 YouGob Poll June 2009 6-09 38% 61%

Please feel free to use this graph and if you happen to see the chaps over at CRU then please invite them to this blog so that I can give them a demonstration in data mining. Also if you know of other polls which ask the same question please give me the link and I will add them in the above graph. As for the conclusions which can be drawn from the graph, well, I will leave that deduction to the reader.

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