It may not be necessary for the UK to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights in order for the Government’s small boats policy to be effected.
As Henry Hill explained on this site last week, the point can be argued either way. Nonetheless, the possibility that leaving it might be required for that purpose will undoubtedly have informed this survey finding.
However, Conservative activists would doubtless be hostile to both the Court and the Convention in any event.
Many of them will take the same view set out by Michael Howard on this site today – namely, that unelected judges sometimes take upon themselves the role of elected MPs.
Some will blame Tony Blair’s Human Rights Act; others, the workings of the Court; others still will think that Parliament won’t truly be sovereign until Britain leaves the Convention itself.
And three Party members in ten believe the last if our survey is correct.
I’ve suspected for some time that Rishi Sunak may be propelled into promising a changed relationship with the Court during the run-up to the next election.
But even if he doesn’t, the scale of refugee movement in a globalised world, let alone that of illegal immigration, is likely to move European centre-right parties in that direction during the years and decades ahead.