How hard it is to sell a concept
Apart from Labour whose campaign seems to have been about leaving the European Union untouched (rather than threatening the same phrase with the last word omitted!), the other main parties debating with the voters about Europe seem to have had the options:
IN……OUT…..or…..SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT
This represents the Lib Dem, UKIP and Conservative positions.
I know only too well how difficult it can be to sell a concept rather than an absolute. In versus Out seems to have been a simple choice for the electorate – but NOT a referendum.
The Shake it all About approach advocated by the Conservatives is not a clear choice – and neither does failing to support it necessarily do any harm to the prospect of an IN-OUT referendum in the next Parliament.
The problem for David Cameron’s team will be to make the message clearer when it matters most – at a General Election – and hope that UKIP has not already stolen so much of a march that a majority government becomes unachievable.
My own experience is in trying to garner support for establishing a vision and a master plan for Guildford – not the same as having a vision and a master plan to put to the vote. Guildford Vision Group has realised that we now need to focus on presenting an outline master plan for people to decide whether they approve or not.