Blair holds Key to Referendum Success
The gap between supporters and opponents of UK entry to the single currency would be slashed if the Government took a strong lead in promoting entry, according to a poll published today by the GMB.
The poll, conducted by MORI on behalf of the GMB, shows the gap between potential supporters and opponents of a single currency has fallen from -31 points in July, to -22. But when respondents are asked how they would vote "If the Government were to strongly urge that Britain should be part of a single European currency", the gap narrows even further, to just -12.
According to the survey, 31% of the public currently support British entry into the Euro, whilst 53% are against. This compares to 27% in favour, and 58% against, in a similar poll conducted in July.
However, when respondents are asked how they would vote if the Government were to campaign strongly for entry, 37% say they would vote in favour if a subsequent referendum, with 49% against, a net deficit of -12. In contrast, a similar poll in July recorded net opposition of -22, with 32% of respondents saying they would support a Government led campaign in favour, and 54% against.
The poll indicates that a strong endorsement from the Prime Minister and the Government would in itself produce a 5% swing in support for entry.
The survey was conducted in the wake of press reports that Government Ministers and Union leaders were preparing to step up the campaign to spell out the benefits of the single currency.
Commenting, John Edmonds said, "This poll shows that the supertanker of British public opinion is gradually starting to turn".
"But what it also reveals is the extent to which success or failure in a referendum campaign lies squarely in the hands of the Prime Minister. If Tony Blair and his Ministers retain the courage of their convictions and 'go for it' then it's clear that the British people are ready to be won over."
- A representative quota sample of 1,979 adults aged 15+ in 160 sampling points throughout Great Britain.
- In-home, face-to-face interviewing took place 10-13 September 1999
- Data are weighted to known profile of Great Britain
- Results are based on total sample of 1,979 adults unless stated otherwise
- Where percentages do not add up to 100%, due to computer rounding
- An asterisk (*) indicates a figure below one half of a per cent
Q1 If there were a referendum now on whether Britain should be part of a Single European Currency, how would you vote?
Q2 Why you are in favour of Britain joining the Single European Currency? Any other reasons? Base: All in favour at Q1 (601)
|Bring Europe closer together||33%|
|Risks of not joining/Britain will be left behind||21%|
|No need to change money when going abroad/no commission||20%|
|Increased business competitiveness||15%|
|British companies expand into Europe||15%|
|Increase Britain's influence in Europe||15%|
|End to currency speculation||9%|
|More jobs/reduce unemployment||6%|
|Lower interest rates||4%|
|Euro has been a success so far||4%|
|None of these||*%|
Q3 Why are you against Britain joining the Single European Currency? Any other reasons? Base: All against at Q1 (1066)
|Britain losing overall control over its economy||28%|
|Britain should not be part of Europe at all/don't feel European||25%|
|The pound is part of our heritage/history||21%|
|Loss of Britain's sovereignty||20%|
|British economy not compatible with rest of Europe||10%|
|Prefer strong pound to weak Euro||9%|
|Don't trust European Union/they are corrupt||7%|
|Loss of control over exchange rates||6%|
|Euro has been a failure so far||6%|
|Loss of control over interest rates||5%|
|Not enough information||2%|
|Currency change confusing/confusing for old people||1%|
|Higher pension costs||1%|
|None of these||1%|
Q4 Why are you undecided about whether Britain should join? Any other reasons? Base: All who don't know at Q1 (312)
|Don't know enough about the issue||43%|
|Don't understand economics/don't know whether it will be good or bad for British economy||17%|
|Too early to judge whether it will be a success||13%|
|Cannot decide as politicians and economists are split on this issue||6%|
|Need to wait to see if British economy comes closer into line with countries that have adopted single European currency||2%|
|Don't think this is important||2%|
|None of these||2%|
Q5 If the government were to strongly urge that Britain should be part a Single European Currency, how would you vote?
Q6 Whose opinions would you trust most on whether Britain should join the Single European currency? Q7 And whose opinions would you trust least on this issue?
|Q6 Trust most||Q7 Trust least|
|The newspaper I read||9%||33%|
|Representatives of large businesses||17%||8%|
|Representatives of small businesses||1%||5%|
|Trade union leaders||9%||14%|
|None of these||20%||9%|
Double-digit lead for SNP but a majority of the public think Michael Matheson should resign
6 in 10 people in Scotland think Michael Matheson should resign as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care over the issue of his data roaming bill, according to the latest Ipsos Scottish Political Monitor in partnership with STV News.