Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Johnson Could Swing the EU Vote

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Boris Johnson Could Swing the EU Vote

Article excerpt

THE polls have been unequivocal about the EU referendum in one respect all along: many people will take their lead on the issue from politicians they respect. So, if David Cameron returns from his negotiations with other EU leaders announcing victory and campaigns full-bloodedly for Britain to remain, many voters will follow suit. Now a poll from Ipsos MORI suggests that the Mayor, Boris Johnson, carries similar weight to the PM. If he campaigns for a Brexit, then about one in three voters will take his views into account. He could, accordingly, just about cancel out the influence of the Prime Minister if the two of them campaign on opposite sides. Given that the lead enjoyed by the In campaign amounts to about 15 points, that means Mr Johnson's stance matters a lot.

This is a weighty issue with grave consequences for the UK whichever way the vote goes. There are coherent arguments on both sides. Right now there seems little doubt that the vote will go in favour of remaining in the EU but the real campaigning has not begun; it will only start when the PM returns from Brussels with his deal. …

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