Ben Lowry: Trump’s success shows why it is hard to predict EU result

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Macomb Community College, Friday, March 4, 2016, in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Macomb Community College, Friday, March 4, 2016, in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The rise of Donald Trump is an illustration of why I would be loathe to predict the EU referendum result.

Electorates in the developed world are now extraordinarily volatile.

Few commentators ever thought that Jeremy Corbyn would be elected Labour leader or that Trump would go so far or indeed Bernie Sanders. Few people thought in 2012 that support for separatism in Scotland would get within 5% of a majority in the 2014 referendum.

I concur with the journalist Max Hastings, who says voters are demanding “kindergarten solutions to fantastically complicated problems”. I am not saying that support for Brexit is such a solution (in fact I find the arguments on both sides finely balanced, as I wrote a fortnight ago) but I do think we cannot as easily assume voters will go for the cautious or known option in major elections as they would have done in the past.

In this case that would be staying in the EU.

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