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Voting for Brexit? May 19, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Michael McDowell has an unusually unfocused column in the SBP this weekend. Perhaps his new role as Senator is impinging on his writing time. Anyhow, he attempts to address Brexit in the context of sentiment and fear. He even throws in a not very funny eurosceptic joke about proposals to outlaw devices ‘God knows what the commission has in mind for the Aga cooker’.

But he offers a genuinely curious line about voters in referendums, suggesting that some might game the Brexit referendum in the North and in Scotland. He says:

Look… at Scotland, the SNP is dominant, the Tories are resurgent and Labour is in retreat.

The SNP favours Scotland staying in the EU. it is talking of another referendum to secede from Britain fi the Brexit vote succeeds on June 23.

Will there be SNP voters who, in the privacy of the ballot box, vote ‘Leave’ in the secret hope of Scotland having another referendum to leave Britain. By the same token, will some Scottish Tories vote ‘Stay’ to head off another referendum to break the union’.

Er… no in the first – and I have no idea about the second. In order to solidify a claim by Scotland that the referendum was going against the will of the majority there it would make no sense to increase the Leave side. If SNP voters voted Leave that might reduce the Stay sides majority, might even imperil it.

Has he really thought this through?

Comments»

1. sonofstan - May 19, 2016

I’ve been a bit distracted recently with too much work, but every time I look the polls seem to be saying something else. Anyone here got an explanation for this volatility? Two polls in one day this week had a spread of about 20%. Everyone I talk to, even Brexiters, now thing it’ll be defeated.

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Aonrud ⚘ - May 19, 2016

Weren’t those two polls to do with the discrepancy between the online and telephone methods?

ICM did two concurrently during the week and got different results despite, I believe, trying to match them in terms of adjustment etc. (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/16/phone-poll-finds-10-point-lead-for-remain-but-web-survey-puts-leave-ahead-brexit)

Yougov put some of it down to option framing previously (https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/02/23/commentary-what-explains-difference-between-phone-/), but that doesn’t account for others.

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WorldbyStorm - May 19, 2016

I find UK Polling Report the best most dispassionate site. They say themselves it is bizarre. SOS, sorry, I take it you mean in your last sentence that it will be a REMAIN rather than a LEAVE, is that right? I’d tend to view it will be narrowly that just from the polls. But it is volatile – a case of head and heart warring in the electorate?

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WorldbyStorm - May 19, 2016

+1 Aonrud, they were telephone and online polls.

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sonofstan - May 19, 2016

Yeah, people seem to have concluded that it will be REMAIN, even those who will probably vote leave.

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WorldbyStorm - May 19, 2016

I’d be far from an uncritical supporter of the EU but in some ways this is the worst alignment of forces against it isn’t it?

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sonofstan - May 19, 2016

Yeah – something I get when when I say that most Irish people would be critically supportive of the EU and certainly wouldn’t contemplate leaving is that it’s dictated by economic self- interest – we did well out of it. we did in some respects, but it’s not the whole story by any means

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Joe - May 19, 2016

Well. I would have been one of those ‘critically supportive’ of the EU up to a year or two back. Arguing that it forced dear old Ireland to get modern with stuff like equal pay for women and all the other (usually) progressive things we passed into law because the EU said we had to, down the years.
But I changed my mind when the big old EU knocked poor oul Greece onto the ground, kicked it in the proverbials and then danced on its head. And laughed as it rubbed its bloodied face into the mud.
So if we had a vote today, I’d vote LEAVE.

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sonofstan - May 19, 2016

@Joe, see what you mean, but most Greeks still want to stay, don’t they?

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2. roddy - May 19, 2016

have’nt decided yet.Think we’d be better in but the prospect of the so called “united kingdom” falling apart or the Tories kicking the shite out of other in event of a Brexit intrigues me.

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sonofstan - May 19, 2016

Definitely voting in. Couldn’t be on the same side as Farage and Johnson

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Michael Carley - May 19, 2016

Likewise. There is no positive left-wing argument for the European Union as it stands but if I’m faced with Osborne, Cameron and Johnson in unconstrained control of the UK, Schauble’s EU starts to look attractive.

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WorldbyStorm - May 19, 2016

As it stands is the crucial phrase. It may be unreformable or it may not, but it remains forum and a political space that I think the left should use as much as is humanly possible. Consider if the UK leaves just at the point where the BLP appears to be regaining some of its radical edge. That’s not enough of a reason, but it’s not nothing either.

And there’s a broader point, the UK referendum seems to me to be driven by very specific concepts of British identity etc, but anti-EU sentiment in almost all other states is much much lesser, to put it mildly, as SOS notes even in Greece. There’s only so many fronts in wars that can and should be fought at a given time. Difficult enough to push against the right and capital without having to add to that challenge, particularly in a context where public sentiment clearly sits on the other side of the equation even after all. To me a euro-critical approach while remaining inside and using the space is the best possible way forward given the bulk of public opinion, the residual opportunity to use that space and the need to fight other more immediate challenges.

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Pasionario - May 19, 2016

Brexit would be an emphatic victory for all the worst people in British public life — Johnson, Farage, Gove, and the DUP.

The Left would only be further marginalized and Bojo (who increasingly comes across as Trump-lite) would be PM ten years.

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3. Peter James - May 19, 2016

I’ve seen an opinion poll in which 40% of SNP voters said they’d vote Brexit.

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4. CL - May 19, 2016

“this is a trans-Atlantic phenomenon. Here and there, surfing on this anger, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or Marine Le Pen utter statements that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. By accepting daily verbal assaults on immigrants (“They bring disease”), the European Union (“like Hitler,” it wants to impose one authority over Europe), Islam (not part of Europe; Muslims should not be allowed into the United States), torture (bring it back), we are legitimizing a public discourse that may, one day, translate into political decisions.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/opinion/austrias-election-is-a-warning-to-the-west.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

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5. Jim Monaghan - May 20, 2016

The UK and Ireland are the most unfriendly to migrants. Calais is effectively a UK camp. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911 I fail to see how a Brexit will make things better.

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