Remain voters are only fractionally (and statistically insignificantly) more like to think Tim Farron would be the best Prime Minister than Leave voters, according to new polling from Lord Ashcroft.
Yes, for all the party’s pro-Europeanism, pro- and anti-EU members of the public barely vary in their view of Tim Farron.
9% of Remain voters say Farron would be the best Prime Minister and 7% of Leave voters. Not only are both figures in single digits, but the lack of a clear difference between the two is a reminder of how little attention most voters give to politics most of the time.The public has barely registered the continuing Liberal Democrat support for membership of the EU and a desire in various-not-quite-specified-yet ways not simply to accept the referendum result as the end of the story.
You might have though such a line would appeal to Remain voters and put off Leave voters – but look again at the lack of statistical significance in their views on Tim Farron. That’s because overall they’ve barely given much thought to what he and the Lib Dems are doing and saying on Europe.
Hence too other polling continues to put the proportion of the public who think the Lib Dems have the best policy on Europe in middling single figures, without significant change from before the referendum.
The lesson? Political success for smaller parties comes from relentlessly repeating points until members even have them encroaching on their dreams and nightmares. Because it is only at that point that the public starts to notice, a bit.
It is one reason why I keep on about the party’s changes of messaging – much more consistency and volume is required for the messages to mean anything to the public.