In 2003, just four days before the Swedish referendum on joining the Eurozone, a prominent pro-Euro MP, Anna Lindh, was stabbed to death in a public place. The man later convicted, claimed to have no idea why he had done it, and no political motive was ever suggested for the killing.
Nevertheless many people predicted that the brutal death of a pro-Euro MP, so soon before the vote, would have a massive effect on the results. In the end it did not, and Sweden voted to stay out.
In 2016, just seven days before the UK referendum on leaving the EU, a prominent pro-EU MP, Jo Cox, was shot to death in a public place. The man accused has been described by neighbours as “quiet, bit of a loner, keen gardener”, with no known political opinions, and, according to “records obtained by” the Southern Poverty Law Centre, as a white-supremacist Hitler-supporter with a houseful of Nazi regalia and other incriminating items.
It is too soon to say whether the awful, violent death of Ms Cox will have any bearing on the EU referendum, but if it does not it won’t be for lack of shameful effort on the part of elements in the mainstream media to make political capital out of this still largely unexplained human tragedy.