The new poll from Ipsos MORI for British Future shows 65% of Liberal Democrat voters want to either leave the European Union or reduce its powers. Relatively speaking, Liberal Democrat voters are more pro-European than the average voter, but – according to this poll – the stress should be very much on the relatively.
I suspect if the ‘reduce its powers’ option was broken out, Liberal Democrat voters would also be happy with much smaller reductions than those that would be needed to satisfy Conservative or UKIP voters who gave the same answer.
It’s also notable how for both Labour and Tory voters, renegotiate is much more popular than leave – which is why I suspect we’ll both end up with a referendum in the next few years and the pro-Europeans side will win it. Rather like electoral reformers and the AV referendum (or Scottish nationalists and their forthcoming referendum, judging by the polls) we’ll have a success for a long-standing campaign for a referendum followed by that side’s defeat.
The smallness of the simple ‘leave the EU’ faction also means the Liberal Democrats are on the popular side by being the ‘party of in’ – as long as it is a reformed in, not an unchanged in.