100 days to go until EU Referendum polling days and the campaign hots up
- Credit: PA
Today marks the 100 day countdown to the European referendum. Political editor ANNABELLE DICKSON ask where we are and what we can expect.
With 100 days to go until the referendum, campaigners to leave the European Union have been meeting in a hotel in Norwich.
Grassroots Out – the cross-party campaign to leave – was drawing up plans to appoint bosses in every electoral ward, to mobilise their supporters to hit the streets and knock on doors.
UKIP Euro MP Stuart Agnew – a Norfolk farmer – said he hoped that in most of Norfolk's villages someone would be responsible for mobilising support.
It is a month since David Cameron secured a renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the European Union, which will be the basis of his fight to get the electorate to vote to remain. His party has divided. High-profile colleagues Boris Johnson and Michael Gove both declared they wanted to leave. But most of our MPs are making the case for Britain to remain, with only North-East Cambridgeshire's Stephen Barclay, North-West Norfolk's Sir Henry Bellingham and South Norfolk's Richard Bacon in the leave camp.
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Mr Agnew described the current situation as a 'bit of a phoney period'. The official campaign has not yet begun and the Electoral Commission has not yet decided which group will be awarded public money to boost the campaign. Vote Leave – which is the main group of choice for Conservative MPs is fighting Grassroots Out, the group of many UK Independence Party members for the official designation and the public money that comes with it.
For the in-camp, the main campaign Britain Stronger in Europe is appointing regional field directors and the prime minister has already been to Ipswich with his pitch about the dangers of leaving.
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So who is winning?
Chris Hanretty, reader in politics at the University of East Anglia, said the opinion polls had so far been pretty static.
But he said that, like the Scottish referendum in 2014, there would be a swing to the status quo.
'I am in this position where I expect things to go in the direction of remain, because I think in the end people will go for the devil that they know. Although I am in that position it is a bit strange because we have had lots of campaign events so far which have not moved the polls. Cameron's deal didn't move the polls. Leave's disorganisation hasn't affected polls as more media attention has turned on it.'
With both sides mobilising their supporters and high stakes for both sides, the pressure is only going to get greater.