Nigel Farage: Narrow win for Remain could justify second EU referendum

Posted On: 
17th May 2016

Nigel Farage has said a close victory for Remain in next month’s EU referendum would convince him to campaign for a re-run of the vote.

Nigel Farage is the first major Leave campaigner to open the door to a second referendum
PA Images

Mr Farage told the Daily Mirror a four-point margin in favour of staying in the EU would amount to “unfinished business”.

The Ukip leader’s comments are the first time a senior figure on the Leave side has opened the door to demanding a second referendum if the result is close.

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He said: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”

Polls continue to show a mixed picture about the state of the contest.

An ORB survey for the Telegraph implies a strong lead of 15% for the Remain side, an ICM poll for the Guardian gives an 10% lead for Remain, but a separate online poll suggested Leave ahead by four points.

Mr Farage was bullish about the prospects of a vote to leave, however, saying he expected Brexit supporters to be more likely to turn out.  

He said: “Yes, we’re going to win! What I really think is the unending whine of Cameron negativity is turning people off voting, all this Doomsday stuff.

“This referendum will come down to who has the passion and beliefs to go to the local primary school and put a cross on a piece of paper.”

In an analysis piece accompanying the ORB poll, Conservative strategist Sir Lynton Crosby said the Leave campaign trailed Remain on who had been heard from the most in the referendum debate.

He referred to Vote Leave’s furious response to ITV inviting Mr Farage to be on the same referendum programme as David Cameron as evidence of a lost message.

“It needs to dramatically step up its efforts if it is to reach, retain and motivate its supporters before polling day,” Sir Lynton wrote.

“Perhaps some of those behind the scenes of the Leave campaign should spend less time arguing about whether Nigel Farage should have a TV platform and more time finding and delivering a clearer and simpler message in support of their case. Something which seems missing as they get bogged down in process stories.”