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A little entertainment

Posted by Richard Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I did actually wonder why we were not getting a flow of opinion poll data from Luxembourg, which goes to the polls this Sunday on the EU constitution. But at least that mystery is solved by The Daily Telegraph which tells us today that opinion polls are banned a month ahead of the vote.

Thus, says the Telegraph, the result is impossible to predict. Voting is compulsory. A "no" vote should be unthinkable - per head Luxembourg receives more EU money than any other country, most of it to fund a half-dozen major institutions housed there. Yet the last national poll showed the "no" vote at 45 per cent and rising fast, despite a threat by the "well-liked" prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, to resign if the "yes" camp did not win.

Actually, Juncker has twice threatened to resign if the vote does not go his way and, according to an article in Le Figaro last month which we reviewed on this blog the "blackmail" has not gone down well. The response was a 13 point fall in support for the constitution, according to an Ilres survey published on 25 May, although – by general standards – it remained high, at 60 percent. Nevertheless, the "no" vote had increased nine points which, as Le Figaro pointed out at the time, "feeds the concerns of the political leaders".

Now, says the Telegraph, sentiment may be different as the Juncker is felt to have handled the European Council well, and its failure is thought to have helped the "yes" camp. That of course, remains to be seen, but the result on Sunday should provide us with a little entertainment.