Update 11:21 PM: ITV’s latest odds for a Leave victory rise to 85%
Update 11:17 PM: With two thirds of areas reporting, Leave has the lead with 51.5% of the vote, or 10,996,500 to 10,363,816
I haven’t had much—anything, actually—to say about the Brexit vote because I never for a moment expected it to do this well. In the end, it still won’t matter much; the actual exit will take decades, if it’s ever even realized at all:
If we assume that the political fallout is limited to the theatrical, the next step is the process of implementing the intent of the referendum. That will most likely take years as neither side will be in much of a hurry to get on with it. Parliament will surely pass some legislation as a stop gap to keep the current arrangements in place until a deal is done. The EU will set off on a long drawn out process of forming a committee to study the process of forming a committee to appoint a board to review Britain’s exit request.
The hope for all concerned is that the English people, having blown off some steam in the referendum, will go back to their affairs and forget all about it. From time to time the public will be notified that negotiations have taken place in the south of France during the winter or in the Alps during August, but otherwise nothing much will happen. There will no doubt be tales told to the British press about the long hours required to address the millions of details involved in actually leaving the EU.
Polling outfits will be surreptitiously dispatched to keep measuring public sentiment regarding the EU and the referendum. The hope being that opinion will swing the other way and Parliament can then pass an act overturning the referendum. The pressure to reverse the results of the referendum will slowly build over time until either the opposition is worn down or some crisis allows the rulers to act. A recession will be blamed on Brexit and it will be quickly “fixed” by overriding the referendum.
This probably seems like cynicism. After all, Britain is a liberal democracy where the will of the people, as expressed at the ballot box, is respected by the politicians.Our rulers invest a lot of time telling us this and then spend even more time getting us to come out and vote. Then there is the bizarre obsession with getting foreigners to vote in their own lands and come to our lands so they can vote in our elections. You can be forgiven for thinking that voting is a big deal and respected by our rulers.
That’s not been the pattern in Europe, or anywhere else in the West, over the last few decades. The voters vote and the political class does whatever it likes, coincidentally in line with the will of their donors and sponsors. The French people voted against the EU Constitution and the rulers promptly ignored them. Other EU countries then cancelled their referenda. The Greeks kept voting for change, only to get more of the same after each election. Despite the rhetoric, voting counts for little.
Yep. As Z says, we’ve seen plenty enough of that right here already. Still and all, hats off to the remaining true Englishmen for standing up and being counted, despite…well, everything. Meanwhile, Fox’s report is hard to make heads or tails of:
The outcome of a historic referendum on whether Great Britain should remain in the European Union was heading for an extraordinarily close finish early Friday.
With 256 of the 382 counting areas declaring their vote totals, the “Leave” camp led by more than four hundred thousand votes out of more than 16 million cast, but was underperforming analysts’ expectations.
The uncertainty rocked the financial markets. The British pound initially soared as polls closed and two opinion surveys put “remain” ahead and two leading supporters of the “leave” campaign said it appeared the pro-EU side had won. But it then suffered its biggest fall in years, plummeting from about $1.50 to $1.38 as results began to show stronger-than-expected support for quitting the bloc.
The first results, from England’s working-class northeast, were a smaller-than-expected “remain” win in Newcastle and a bigger-than-expected “leave” vote in nearby Sunderland. The “leave” side also outperformed expectations in other areas of England, though “remain” was ahead in early Scottish results.
So: Leave was underperforming analysts’ expectations. Except when it showed “stronger-than-expected support.” This, despite a “smaller-than-expected ‘remain’ win, and a “bigger-than-expected ‘leave’ vote.” All in all, expectations on both sides were exceeded, except when they weren’t. This part, however, is clear enough, and inarguable:
“Leave” campaigners claim that only a British exit, informally known as a “Brexit”, can restore power to Parliament and control immigration.
Yep, that’s certainly the case, on both counts. But the whole thing closes with another contradiction:
“One of the deeper headlines from tomorrow, of a narrow victory either way, is that wider Europe has got to learn the lesson about how to re-engage with ordinary publics,” he said.
“Wider Europe” is not even slightly interested in “re-engaging” with ordinary publics. “Wider Europe” would just as soon you ordinary publics shut the hell up and allow yourselves to be properly ruled, like good little serfs. So just bend over, spread ’em, and brace yourselves; Merkel has more Muslim welfare tourists and ISIS sleepers she needs to find new homes for.