In a three part series Atul Hatwal looks at the state of the two EU referendum campaigns and the likely winners and losers from the vote. For his second post, he reviews the performance of the Brexiteers.
Few would describe the Labour party as a model of electoral success in recent years.
But the two-headed Brexit team of Leave.EU and Vote Leave have contrived to ape Labour’s biggest mistakes over the past six years, combining the worst of Corbyn and Miliband to create a Frankenstein campaign that frequently defies belief.
The Faragists of Leave.EU are the Corbynistas of this campaign.
For Farage its immigration, for Corbyn its austerity, either way their mode of monomania is the same.
Britain’s electoral experience and current polling suggests that the economy matters most to voters.
But the Faragists don’t care about evidence.
Their faith-based approach to argument ignores the niceties of engaging with swing voters’ priorities in favour of shouting the same thing about their pet issue, EU migrants, over and over again, more and more loudly.
The stock response to set-backs or public rejection is to retreat into a nether-sphere of conspiracy theories about media bias, skewed polls and conniving, establishment lizard overlords.
The louder the Faragist tendency shouts, the more the anti-EU cause is seen by mainstream voters as a fringe concern propagated by advocates nearer David Icke than David Cameron on the credibility spectrum.
About the only thing that can be said in defence of the Faragists and Corbynistas, is that their position is at least constant.
In contrast, the Vote Leave campaign, who were meant to be the Brexit adults in the room, seem to have taken Ed Miliband as their model.
Like Miliband, they understood that banging on endlessly about what animates activists is not a route to victory.
They saw the importance of swing voters.
But like Miliband, they haven’t been able to bring themselves to act on voters’ concerns.