Was this really a good week for Eurosceptics?

I do wonder. Consider the following.

Eurosceptics have secured a Conservative promise for a referendum on the question that is the most extreme – and also therefore the question that they are least likely to win on. (And remember that the experience of referendums around the democratic world over the years is that the status quo option usually gains in support as polling day nears.)

They’ve also done so in a way that will result in the leader of their own party campaigning against them, along with all of the Cabinet (if the Tories are in power, but of course if they’re not then this week’s ‘victory’ becomes irrelevant).

A triumph? Or a result that, if it comes to be, will see their own party split and fighting their corner on the least favourable grounds? Most people would call that a blunder, not a success.

Richard Nicholas Morris
Richard Nicholas Morris

Less a good week for Eurosceptics, more a lull in the internal war in the Conservative Party. If there's a winner in this politically - I'ts probably the Lib Dems. UKIP will presumably drop a little in support now (hence their aggressive response to and dismissal of the development) and that makes it a tighter race between the Tories and Labour - in turn making a coalition the more likely result in 2015.

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