“We can live without Europe – there is the rest of the world out there”: Serbia & Switzerland

By Lord Ashcroft

For the concluding round of our Europe-wide research, Lord Ashcroft Polls has ventured outside the EU for two rather different perspectives. First, to Serbia, one of the five current candidate countries hoping to join the union: what are they expecting, and does it matter to them if Britain is still there when they arrive? And finally, Switzerland, whose per capita GDP is higher than that of every EU country except Luxembourg: are they happy outside, and what would they advise British voters to do in June? (more…)

“I get restless talking about the entry of the Turks and the exit of England”: Athens & Madrid

By Lord Ashcroft


For our latest round of research into how the rest of Europe views the EU, Britain and the prospect of Brexit, Lord Ashcroft Polls visited two southern capitals: Athens and Madrid.

Our focus groups in Greece were timely. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras warned that his country was in danger of becoming a “warehouse of souls”, with more than 40,000 migrants unable to move on as neighbouring states close their borders. Not surprisingly, the issue was top of the agenda for our participants: “it is a matter of the survival of the state.” Greece would find it impossible to absorb such vast numbers, let alone integrate them, and the costs could be huge, both financially and in terms of social cohesion.

Yet there was strikingly little resentment in our groups against the migrants themselves (more…)

“If they leave, it’s the beginning of the end”: Stockholm & Riga

By Lord Ashcroft

Our latest view of how the prospect of Brexit looks elsewhere in Europe comes from the North and East: Sweden, which is struggling to maintain its social model in the face of unprecedented migration (as well as being, according to my recent survey, the most popular country in the EU); and Latvia, a former Soviet republic now two years into membership of the euro.