A fresh look after four weeks
There is no doubt that the last two weeks have been a setback for the Leave campaign.
The Cameron slogan about ‘a leap in the dark’ has failed to be countered by Leavers, who have ignored the excellent Flexcit proposals – the Market Solution, on offer from The Leave Alliance – which would neutralise Cameron and also any business objections. Instead, the Leave campaign continues to persevere with the no-exit-plan strategy reminiscent of the South Sea Bubble company formed in 1720 ‘for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage but no-one to know what it is’.
At the same time a great deal of the political shine has been taken off Boris Johnson with a number of clumsy, ill-informed interventions.
However, we need to keep a laser focus on the determining ‘swing’ vote which is the 11 million Conservative voters and, specifically, the 7-8 million of moderate apolitical voters, the ’comfortable’ middle.
It does not seem likely that whatever blunders are made by the Leave campaign, the minority camp of Leavers in Labour, SNP, LibDems and the Greens will be affected as they have already taken up a stance against their leaderships for some time. If you examine the numbers, even a substantial change in the breakdown of Leave or Remain voters in these parties would not make a big difference.
The Conservative voters are in a different position. There are far more of them up for grabs. They are more likely to be from the affluent classes that are likely to turn out, are affected by the daily political news, likely to be subject to group-think and, except for the Thatcherites, likely to be swayed by the Prime Minister’s authority and his PR machine.
‘Cognitive dissonance’ is a term psychologists use to explain how humans hold conflicting opinions simultaneously and try to resolve this problem.
On a mass scale, this condition appears throughout Southern Europe where the eurozone crisis has resulted in mass poverty, unemployment, lower wages, government debt explosions, etc. Yet there is no demand from the voters in Southern Europe to leave the euro, let alone the EU. Indeed, it was very clear during the referendum in Greece that the last thing anyone who had bank holdings or deposits wanted was to exit the euro and float freely with a new currency. Of course, in such a scenario the bank deposits would probably lose half their value overnight but, in the long term, it would be the first step to economic reconstruction. But this sentiment also applies to the Leftist parties who do not have bank deposits.
EU enthusiasts rely on this aversion to taking the first, possibly unpleasant, steps to recovery.
Comfortable Conservative voters exhibit similar characteristics. After all, they are mainly fairly affluent and they seem mesmerised by cheap air fares and other trivia.
However, the Dutch referendum seemed to demonstrate that, while the comfortable voters are unwilling to suffer any short-term disturbance, they are also not so enamoured of the EU that they will support its further accumulation of power and foreign adventurism.
‘Cognitive dissonance’ also explains how little effect the Brussels terrorist murders have had on British opinion. After all, to vote to remain in an institution whose capital is in a state of lockdown, with no public transport, bodies lying in the streets and at airports, police manhunts by special units in balaclavas, and all this being featured nightly on the News seems to exhibit a pattern of unreal behaviour, ‘normalising the abnormal’, a pattern of behaviour much played on by totalitarian regimes.
I have said before that the choice for voters can be reduced to 2 slogans:
‘the leap in the dark’
‘the blank cheque’.
The Leave campaign failed to counter ‘the leap in the dark’ slogan with the sensible Norway Option, also known as the Flexcit Market Solution, so it now has to convince the comfortable conservative voters that, by voting to remain, they are giving a ‘blank cheque’ to British politicians and the EU establishment to further centralise power in Brussels and strip democracy from the nations. Being out of the euro will not make any difference because decisions will be taken by the Eurozone members. The EU will press for more powers as it has in the refugee crisis.
Nothing will be done about immigration.
The point about this democracy ‘thingy’ is that, apart from enhancing the dignity of man and the nation, it is a self-correction mechanism. Without reform and renewal effect, revolution is inevitable and, in this case, the UK will eventually leave the EU with disorder at home and abroad.
Here is an analysis I made some four weeks ago.
PROJECTION OF EU REFERENDUM VOTE
General Election 2015
Electorate 2016: 44,722,000 (General Election 2015: 45,325,000)
Turn out in 2015 election 66%
Total voters in 2015 election: 30,691,500
||2015 Votes for
||Adjustment to 2015 vote
||Making 60% T/O
|Others, mainly Northern Ireland)
|The Breakdown in percentages
||Leave/Remain in ORB polling figures
|Others, mainly Northern Ireland
|Total 85% most likely to vote
|Total 68% extremely likely to vote
Comments: Most assume that the total turnout will be about ten per cent less than in a general election, as in 1975. However, I have allowed for a higher turnout because the electorate has shrunk since 2015 because of individual voter registration and, therefore, some ineligble voters are no longer on the electoral roll.
There is an unequal distributional effect of this. Since benefits are not affected by the Leave-Remain result and there are no real Scottish issues involved, unlike a general election, the lower turnout will be mainly among Labour and SNP voters.
Who will turn out? David Cameron has said turnout is critical to the result but he certainly has not made the best arrangements for his side.
My projection (unlike the ORB poll data) is made after correcting for a lower turnout of a referendum vis-à-vis election. But it is before considering the effects of the 5th May elections in local authorities in Scotland, Wales and London.
To call the electorate back to the polls six weeks later is a substantial ask and, again, in London, Wales and Scotland, there is likely to be a drop off in votes on 23rd June.
Then there is the European football tournament which will be going on most of June. Once again, a depressant on votes.
The ORB polls clearly show that, as the number of voters goes down, so the Leave lead increases.
Poll turnout figures 52 48
Only 85% most likely to vote 54 46
Only 68% extremely likely to vote 58 42
The older demographic voter will turn out because of its sense of civic duty and all polls shows the older demographic is much more likely to vote ‘Leave’. It is quite evident that the key voting block is the 11.3 million Tories, most of whom will vote.
While the 25 percent or so Thatcherite Tories will vote en masse to ‘Leave’, the question arises about the liberal or moderate Conservatives, Home Counties Tories. They will determine the outcome.
It is evident from the figures that, contrary to general elections, it is the Leatherheads, the Henleys, the New Forests, the West Kents, which will decide the outcome. They are the ‘Swing’ votes.
The moderate Tories are being asked to give ANOTHER BLANK CHEQUE to a Tory Leader when the last blank cheque was cashed in, in the form of nine extra Treaties. And I do not think they will make the same mistake again.
Opinion is now solidifying. It is possible there could be a major terrorist atrocity with EU links. (This was written before the Brussels’ attacks) or a major event on the Eurozone. Either are likely to increase the ‘Leave’ vote.
For all these reasons, I am calling the result of the referendum now – a win for ‘Leave’ – by about ten points.
We must remember the referendum is not the end; it is a stage, and what happens afterwards is what matters. The larger the ‘Leave’ vote, the harder it will be for Boris Johnson or another Tory Leader to come in and promise new (and better) negotiations to stay in the EU.
I am pleased to see reports in The Daily Telegraph indicating that the Leave Alliance proposals are being looked at with favour in Whitehall.
It is inevitable that, after a ‘Leave’ win, our proposals must be the only safe, sane way to execute withdrawal.
[Data extracted from March 2016 ORB poll]
Photo by secretlondon123