Latest EU polling shows no Obama effect

Remain may have powerful friends, but its lead is narrowing


The current favourite tactic of the Remain campaign—tried and tested in schoolyards around the country—is simply to list how many cool friends it has.

In an unprecedented joint op-ed in today’s Guardian, David Cameron and former TUC chief Brendan Barber name-drop the OECD, Nato, the IMF, the Commonwealth, the Bank of England, the Albanian prime minister and, of course, President Barack Obama.

The two will unveil a poster later today, highlighting the disparity between the two sides when it comes to ‘credible expert’ backing.

However, new polling from YouGov for the Times suggests that the interventions of foreign leaders and international organisations have not yet made a great deal of difference.

The poll found 42 per cent support for ‘Leave’ (up three points on a fortnight ago), compared to 41 per cent support for Remain (up one point). Although the number of don’t knows and won’t votes are declining, once they’re removed from the equation, Leave leads 51-49.

Additionally, despite his famous friends, just 20 per cent of the public trust Cameron on Europe, far behind the 32 per cent who trust Boris Johnson, and even lagging behind Nigel Farage, who is trusted by 23 per cent.

However, although the Yougov finding will trouble the Remain campaign, the numbers continue to fluctuate across polls.

Survation data, published yesterday, found that Remain still holds a 45-38 lead, although the margin is narrowing. Excluding undecideds, this suggests a headline result of 55-45 in favour of Remain.

Furthermore, it’s widely believed that the government’s campaign tactics — such as George Osborne’s projection that families would lose £4,300 a year post-Brexit — are not intended to inspire people, but to sow just enough doubt in their minds.

If they’ve judged correctly then it doesn’t matter that the ‘Obama bounce’ hasn’t materialised this week, because it will on 23 June.

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