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Centrist parties miss critical re-framing opportunity ...

The winner of this week's European Parliament elections in the UK will almost certainly be Britain's new Brexit Party. This will be thanks in part to the split pro-EU vote, but also due to the failure of centrist parties to shape the debate over holding another referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.


Brexiteers have successfully framed this debate by asserting that to hold another referendum would be "an anti-democratic betrayal". This has great emotional appeal and our research shows it is winning over most undecideds and it's even demotivating those who lean towards remaining in the EU.


Centrist Pro-EU parties and campaigners in the UK should be re-framing the whole debate by saying, again and again, "the British people have changed their mind about Brexit". It then becomes undemocratic not to hold another referendum. But the UK remain-backing parties have failed to push this message.


This failure will almost certainly help the extremists, like the Brexit party. Centrists throughout the world need work harder to re-frame their national debates, so they are not dragged to the extremes.




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