Q&A: My Replies to Your Questions
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Below are my replies to questions and comments raised by some of our thousands of paid supporters. Apologies for the slight delay as I was attending some of the party conferences. And thank you for all the great questions, ideas, and comments. I’ve read and digested them all and picked what I think is a representative sample. Matt
MikeP asked: “Rejoiners are constantly quoting polls suggesting 70% of people support rejoining the EU. With little news about the EU on mainstream media few of them know enough about the EU’s current issues -even Rejoiners seem oblivious - to judge whether giving up on Brexit is a good or bad idea. Similarly, polls claiming majority support for Net Zero … Anyone asked point blank about Net Zero would flinch from saying it’s a bad idea but when armed with the costs on households and businesses they’d likely be against. Thoughts?”
Matt replied: Hi MikeP. Great question. Yes, the polls and commentary about these issues are often misleading. And I say that as a pollster. If you ask voters very broad and sweeping questions such as “do you want to rejoin the EU?” or “do you support Net Zero?” you will often find large majorities saying “yes”. But if you give voters the detail of what these things will actually entail in practice —for example, when it comes to the EU, losing the budget rebate, rejoining the single market, accepting free movement, potentially joining the EU, losing various opt-outs, etc.— then people become much less convinced this is a good idea. Similarly, on Net Zero, as I’ve shown in my own work, once you present voters with the specific policy trade-offs of what is actually involved —as we saw during the ULEZ debate, and the polling after Rishi Sunak’s announcements— many people become much less supportive of the Net Zero agenda. Consistently, large majorities right now say “prioritise tackling the cost of living even if this means doing less for Net Zero”. You can also run these ‘split experiments’ on issues like immigration where, once again, if you present the reality of what is involved, such as how many houses will need to be built, or how much pressure will be put on public services, you will often witness a significant shift in public opinion. These nuances and caveats are routinely ignored in a national conversation which, firstly, doesn’t really understand polling (and certainly is not interested in looking past the headline figures) and, secondly, is skewed toward promoting the values, the interests, the priorities, and the interests of the new elite ruling class.
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