As Jeremy Corbyn formally announces his support for Remain, will he swing the EU referendum?

Jeremy Corbyn Speaks In Favour Of Remaining In The EU
Corbyn is a long-time eurosceptic – but has nevertheless come out for Remain (Source: Getty)

Olivia Bailey, research director at the Fabian Society, says Yes.

The scale on which Labour supporters turn out to vote could be decisive in the EU referendum. On current voting intentions, just under two thirds of Labour’s 2015 voters support Remain, an electorally significant 6m people. But new research from the Fabian Society and polling company GQRR warns that many of those voters are unlikely to turn out on the day. Our poll shows that just 56 per cent of Labour supporters are very likely to vote on 23 June. Jeremy Corbyn has a crucial role in motivating these voters to go to the polls. Our research shows he is comfortably the most trusted figure in this debate for Labour voters, significantly ahead of Alan Johnson. He also has the power to ensure Labour’s electoral machine is at full-throttle, and runs an effective operation to turn out the vote. More days like yesterday from Labour Remain campaigners could make the difference between a vote to remain and one to leave.

Chris Rumfitt, founder and chief executive of Field Consulting, says No.

Finally, nearly two months after the referendum was called, Jeremy Corbyn has waded into the debate on the side of Remain. But it’s a heavily caveated position befitting a man noted more for his scepticism towards Europe, rather than this enthusiasm, over his 33 years in Parliament. He has decided that he’s fighting enough internal party battles already, so on this one, he is going with the mainstream opinion within the party. Typically for him, however, he has described it as the “socialist case for Remain”. And herein lies the risk. Most of those to whom that will appeal are already on the Remain side. With Labour, Lib Dem and SNP supporters all set to vote clearly for Remain, this referendum will be won or lost among the supporters of the Conservative Party. And whatever Corbyn says won’t swing them one way or the other. If anything, his socialist case could even edge floating Tories into the Leave camp.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.