A new YouGov poll, for the Sunday Times, indicates that voters think that David Cameron will have a tough time negotiating reforms.
Respondents were asked the following question:
“How likely do you think it is that David Cameron will be able to negotiate a new relationship between Britain and the European Union that is better for Britain?”
Just 3% said very likely and 22% said fairly likely, meaning that just one in four respondents think it is likely. On the other hand, a total of 60% said they thought such a new relationship was unlikely, with 41% saying fairly unlikely and 19% saying very unlikely. This indicates a very pessimistic attitude towards David Cameron’s upcoming efforts to renegotiate the country’s relationship with the rest of the EU.
Conservative voters were split on the issue, with 44% saying they thought it was likely and another 44% saying the opposite. Voters from other parties were much more pessimistic, with those who voted UKIP being the most doubtful of a successful deal.
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However, the poll also suggested that a majority of Brits wish to remain in the EU. Asked whether or not the country should remain a member of the European Union 44% said ‘yes’ against the 36% who said ‘no’. A total of 17% said they did not know.
Overall, in regards to the tough task that David Cameron has ahead of him there are two points of view that could be taken. The first is that it’s bad news for the Prime Minister as people, including many in the Prime Minister's own party, are pessimistic about the ability of Mr Cameron securing a better deal for the UK. The second is that whilst in the short term this is damaging, it is arguable that with low expectations if the Prime Minister does well then he and his party will benefit from a good deal.
As for the question of remaining in the EU, whilst the poll is good news for those wishing to remain, the 17% figure shows that many people are undecided and that as a result the referendum’s outcome - still potentially over two years away - is all to play for.
The election is over, but this is certainly an interesting time in British politics.
See the full results of YouGov’s poll here. 1,532 GB adults were interviewed between the 21st and 22nd May.