Referendum – 16 days to go
FT Poll Tracker: Remain 45% – Leave 43% = Don’t Know 12%
BBC Poll Tracker: Remain 43 – Leave 41 = Don’t Know 14%
William Hill Odds: Remain: 4/11- Leave: 21/10 – Scotland Vote Leave: 10/1
If you are not registered to vote – you must register today or tomorrow 7th June 2016. There are only 2 days left. You can register on line – click here
There are No Poor Bookies
One poll from Opinium suggests that the Remain camp has lost 4 points in the last three weeks as a result of the Gove-Boris Johnson-Farrage tactics. While the popular poll trackers are still pointing ever so slightly towards a “Remain” vote, bookmakers have a more rigorous approach to the setting of odds. So the betting odds are relevant to the prediction of the vote and may even well be more accurate than the poll trackers.
The Referendum Vote will not Decide the Outcome
The UK is a member of the European Union because the United Kingdom acceded to the EU Treaties. The prerogative power to join or to leave a treaty organisation is exercised by the Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister after a vote in Parliament.
Many other countries have written constitutions which provide for binding referenda. A good example is Switzerland where there are frequent referenda at the federal, cantonal and local level. See the Swiss Federal Web Site.
But in UK constitutional theory, while there are legislative provisions about how a referendum is organised, the result is advisory. Members of Parliament should, of course, take the result into account, but what should happen is a matter for a vote in Parliament.
As it happens, a substantial majority of the House of Commons is in favour of the UK remaining in the EU. As of 16th May 2016, 432 (75%) of the 650 Members of Parliament had declared that the UK should Remain in the EU and just 146 (25%) of the Members had declared their support for a vote to leave. 70 MP’s had not yet declared their position. Therefore, even if all those 70 undecided MP’s joined the Leave camp the Remain camp would still be in the majority.
Therefore, while the Government could easily win a vote to Remain on a free vote, 130 of the 146 MP’s who have declared their intention to vote Leave are Conservatives.
So it is unsurprising that the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, James Lansdale, has posted this report on the BBC Web Site: MPs ‘considering using majority’ to keep UK in single market. It is well worth reading.
The Remain Campaign Fights Back
The Daily Telegraph has a quite extraordinary article: David Cameron intensifies Tory civil war by ‘uniting’ with leaders of the Liberal Democrats and Green Party. The article is worth reading if only to confirm that the paper sides with the minority of Brexit supporters within the Conservative Party rather than with the Prime Minister and the majority in Parliament – which is quite revolutionary for a paper which was once commonly referred to as “The Torygraph”.
The Guardian has this: David Cameron: leave vote would be economic ‘bomb’ for UK which includes a video clip of the other party leaders supporting a Remain vote.
But the Guardian also has this: Immigration, holidays and the economy… what Britons really think about the EU. It suggests that the British public has not yet abandoned the Alf Garnett stereotype on immigration:
“Old Enoch’s against it, ain’t ’e, eh? He don’t want no more bloody foreigners over here. We got enough bloody foreigners here as it is. Bloody country’s swarming with Eyeties and Krauts and Froggies and Spagnolleys and Brussels Sprouts. All coming over here and taking our jobs off us, aren’t they?”
That prejudice may well be the deciding factor in the remaining days to the Referendum which Gove, Johnson and Farrage are quite ruthlessly exploiting for their real agenda which was rather nicely epitomised in this Guardian cartoon:-
We can only wait and see whether the Remain campaign will manage to persuade the public to opt for something more positive.
As the Financial Times points out here: Brexit trades: anticipating the markets if Britain votes to leave the consequence of a Leave Vote is likely to be a sharp fall in the value of the pound.
“If Britain votes to leave, a sterling sell-off is a safe bet. Some analysts think the pound could lose as much as a third of its value against the dollar because of worries that leaving the EU will reduce capital inflows, increase the current account deficit and provoke a recession.”
Brexit will be bad for you !