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Why my 10-1 bet on the UK leaving the EU is doomed

January 14th, 2013

Voters might dislike the EU but “full withdrawal” is a step too far

With Cameron’s big EU speech only a week or do away there’s been a fair amount of media attention and, of course, more polling.

Still when people are asked how they would vote in an “In/Out” referendum the polls suggest an exit – yet the gap is narrowing. As YouGov’s Peter Kellner writes today:-

    “..As recently as last May, a majority of almost two-to-one wanted Britain out of the EU. 51% said they would vote to leave, while just 28% want to stay in. Immediately after the new year, the margin was narrower but still large: 46% said leave while 31% said stay. Now the gap has narrowed to just six points: 42% leave, 36% stay.

Everything, of course, depends on the question and if the vote was about “full withdrawal” then a very different picture emerges. The above chart illlustrates data from weekend ComRes survey.

Even a third of those declaring themselves as UKIP supporters did not agree with “full withdrawal”. The splits of other parties is show above.

    It’s hard to see how a “full EU withdrawal” referendum would succeed. Cameron should take the gamble.

In November I had a bet with William Hill at 10/1 that the UK would be out of the EU by 2020. That looks like a loser.

Mike Smithson

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