A survey published today found that 70% of the British public had not fully decided how they would vote in David Cameron's in/out referendum. With just 16% saying they are 'definitely in' and 12% 'definitely out'.
Since his re-election, Cameron has been touring European capitals to try and win support for a looser relationship between London and Brussels. He has promised to put that new settlement to a public vote by the end of 2017. And reports today suggest it could be held as soon as May next year.
The shape and leadership of both the 'in' and 'out' campaigns have yet to be decided, but senior political figures are likely to take on the top roles.
Blair, an ardent pro-European, could be expected to take a lead in the 'in' campaign. But a Survation poll for the British Future think-tank found the former prime minister is the "least-trusted politician" in the EU debate. And he is distrusted by the public whether they are 'in' or 'out', 'decided' or 'undecided' alike.The survey found:
"Nearly six in ten (59%) people distrust the former prime minister when he talks about whether Britain should remain in the EU, with just 28% saying they trust him on the issue, according to the poll. Mr Blair is even distrusted by those whose views on Britain’s EU membership align closely with his own: only 42% of those who say they are definitely voting ‘in’ trust the ex-Labour PM, compared to 46% who say they distrust him."
Nigel Farage, who will be a key figure in the 'out' campaign, is not much more popular than Blair. Of those asked, 54% said they did not trust him on the EU - while 36% said they did.
The Ukip leader is trusted by 74% of those definitely voting to leave the EU. But some senior Ukip figures worry their leader is so polarising it will make it harder for the 'out' campaign to convince undecideds to vote to leave.