Did Vote Leave miss a trick when it designed its page in the Electoral Commission’s referendum voting guide? Or does it know something about a dull, impenetrable presentation that everyone else has missed?
Vote Remain pitches in with patriotic colours, punchy headings and big, positive bullets. Not forgetting snaps of happy, smiley people. Who will be..? Stronger! Safer! Better Off!
See? Didn’t even have to read it.
Vote Leave’s page looks like something you’d see wired to a farm gate during a foot and mouth outbreak.
Assuming that many undecided voters will go with their hearts rather than their heads on May 23rd, which of these layouts will leave them with more of a warm, fuzzy feeling if it was the last thing they glanced at before entering the polling booth?
Vote Leave actually has the better-written content, inasmuch as it picks two hot buttons – immigration and the UK’s £350 million weekly contribution to the EU budget – and repeats them. I’m not sure what the UK would do with 660,000 more nurses on top of the 300,000 it’s already got but I get the point they’re making.
Vote Remain blunt their messages in their haste to make a lot of positive points quickly. For example, they flag up the claim that EU membership is worth a net £91 billion a year to the UK economy. But calling it £1,800 million a week would have made it into more of a mind-sized number; much easier for people to sum up as five or six times higher than Vote Leave’s contribution figure.
If this was a contest over substance vs. style, you’d have to award the marks for substance to Vote Leave. But this is one of those situations where style matters a lot.
Vote Leave may have overestimated the importance of being earnest.