Azara Blog: 88% of the British public allegedly want a referendum on EU treaty

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Date published: 2008/03/02

The BBC says:

Some 88% of the British public want a referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty, according to private polls for the I Want a Referendum (IWAR) campaign.

The unofficial ballot was conducted by postal vote last month in 10 Labour and Liberal Democrat marginal seats.

A total of 152,520 people voted, with 133,251 backing a referendum. IWAR claims the turnout is higher than that in local council elections.

Higher education minister Bill Rammell dismissed the poll as "flawed".

IWAR sent 420,000 ballot papers to voters on the publicly-available part of the electoral roll, and says turnout was 36.2% of those on the register.

This is pathetically misleading. To start with, you should never trust any survey result which just happens to back the policy being promoted by the organisation doing the survey. Here at least it is quite likely that a majority of British people do want a referendum, because they are constantly told by the media that they should want a referendum. But it is extremely unlikely that 88% want a referendum. Needless to say, those who do want a referendum are far more likely to have responded to this "ballot" than those who do not. You can also guarantee that the vast majority of the 88% who responded do not have a clue about what is and is not in the treaty, they are just responding knee-jerk to the stories in the media about a possible referendum.

This "ballot" is also irrelevant. In Britain we have no great tradition of holding referendums (or even referenda). The people who are pushing for this referendum are not keen on the concept, they just want one here because they don't like the EU, and they know they will lose the vote in Parliament so are trying to bypass Parliament in order to defeat this treaty. Needless to say, the government will ignore this pathetic propaganda from this special interest pressure group.

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