Leave, and Leave Again

William Davies

It is received wisdom about referendums that ‘yes’ has an advantage over ‘no’. Alex Salmond didn’t get the wording he wanted for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum – the Electoral Commission considered ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’ too much of a leading question – but he did at least make sure that his side would be fighting for a ‘yes’. The campaign to legalise abortion in Ireland, which won with a thumping ‘yes’ vote in last year’s referendum, was a masterclass in positivity.

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[*] Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (Polity, 140 pp., £12.99, September 2018, 978 1 5095 3057 1).