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YouGov: UK opposition to EU Constitution growing

May 28th, 2005

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    Will Blair stay longer if France votes NO?

With the people of France voting tomorrow in their crucial referendum on the EU Constitution a YouGov poll UK opinion in today’s Daily Telegraph has NO 46%: YES 21%: when asked whether they “approve” the new Constitution.

When the pollster last asked the question in January opinion was split by 45-25% so the margin has increased by five points since then. There is a sharp difference between supporters of the different parties.

  • Labour supporters are in favour by 33-30%
  • Conservatives would vote for rejection by 76-11%.
  • Lib Dems are, surprisingly opposed by 34-30%
  • But there is support from supporters of all parties for the UK to hold a EU Constitution referendum whatever happens in France tomorrow. YouGov found 42-37% in favour of this going ahead anyway.

      But would Tony Blair go forward with a referendum if it looked as though he would be defeated? And if there’s no UK referendum how does that affect his resignation time-table?

    Until now the official position of the Government is that the UK referendum will go ahead whatever other countries decide. Whether this will hold in the face of a resounding French rejection is a moot point. It will be recalled that Tony Blair’s agreement in April last year to have a British EU Constitution referendum was highly controversial but played a major part in undermining the Conservatives in the run-up to last June’s Euro elections. By agreeing to the vote Tony Blair took away the main Conservative platform in what was the final national election before the General Election. There’s little doubt that this helped deflect some Conservative support to UKIP.

    There’s also been considerable speculation that a succssful UK referendum campaign would provide the opportunity for Tony Blair to stand down because he could go out on a high. But with the polls as they are and the French looking as though they will reject then this could have a big impact on his personal time-table. Is he going to have a referendum which would be seen as him being defeated?

    As well as the French referendum betting market this also affects the Blair resignation timing betting.

    Mike Smithson






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