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The Cameron EU speech: Michael Ashcroft gives his verdict

January 23rd, 2013

Is he right about the dangers for his party?

This is from his blog – Lord Ashcroft polls:-

“..As I found in my research published last month, Europe is not much of a priority even for those who say they might vote UKIP; the EU is just one of the (many) things they are cross about. For that reason, we should not necessarily expect a big fall in the UKIP vote as a result of The Speech. I still expect Nigel Farage’s party to do well in the European elections, as people take an early opportunity to cast what they regard as a cost-free vote against Brussels, register their mid-term disgruntlement, and remind the Tories of their promise.

For most voters, including those who will need to vote Conservative for the first time if we are to have any hope of a majority, Europe barely registers on their list of concerns. The principal benefit of our referendum policy is not that it gives our campaign a headline; it is that it allows us to put the issue to rest and move the conversation on to what the voters want to discuss. Europe is important and we have a clear view about it. That does not mean we should allow it to top our agenda, or look as though it does. Few things would please Ed Miliband more.

Tories must remember that we can only get what we want once we win an election. The more we talk about changing our relationship with Europe, the less likely it is to happen.”

Mike Smithson

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