Published On: Sat, May 25th, 2019

May fired for not delivering Fake Brexit; related to low EU election turnout figures?

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On Friday 24th May, the day after the EU Election was held in Britain and Northern Ireland, the Daily Mirror and Daily Express reported that voter turnout had risen on figures for 2014: the Express called it a “shocking” outcome, given that voters were supposed to have been suffering from election fatigue and apathy on account of Brexit chaos. Quoting a sprinkling of the early turnout figures, the Express asserted that:

European election polling stations across the country have reported that turnout for the EU elections was up after millions of Britons visited the polls to vote on Thursday.

While one inaccuracy in the extract is glaring – EU citizens are also allowed to vote in these elections – another looks like it is going to emerge in due course over the following days and nights. Indeed, from turnout information that is already available, it is apparent that the Express (with the Mirror actually parroting it – word for word [at least as far as could be seen with a very brief inspection]) was very selective with the examples that it chose to publicise. One would be justified in suspecting that the objective was to promote a sense of weighty percentage increases from the same election when it was held in 2014 to the contemporary one, and to create an impression of a good rate of engagement: for, other results were omitted that told of a different story.  Results that the Express had not cared to detail spoke of weak turnout increases, reduced turnouts, and numbers in the 20-30% range.

For instance, the Express’ exemplar in Wales, Cardiff (from 31.7% to 41.6%), was arguably representative of the overall turnout performance in Wales, where it rose from 31.5% in 2014 to 37.3%. However, in the North East, where the Northern Echo published official turnout figures for the region of 32.7% (up from 30.9% in 2014), the Express picked out Durham as an exemplar. Durham’s turnout was 32.9% compared with 27.6% in 2014. Some not so impressive results – and therefore not featuring – from the same region was Hartlepool and Middlesborough, which recorded figures of 25.5% and 25.6% respectively. Sunderland – the place where in 2016 the Brexit shot was heard around the world – saw a turnout of just 31.7%. At this time, the author can only confirm that there has been an increase of turnout in Middlesborough: a measly 1.4%.

Of course, the North East region voted by 58% to leave the EU (a region-by-region breakdown can be found here), and so its turnout figure of 32.7% does not suggest that there will be any spectacular recovery of voter engagement in any area in the north† or the Midlands – where voting to leave was at its most robust at the referendum in 2016. Indeed, Derby reported that it saw turnout drop from 35.6% to 31.8%, while Nottingham saw a measly rise from 29.6% to 30.8%. If turnout results like this are repeated across the Midlands (East and West) – where 59% of people voted to Leave in 2016 (the highest rate of all in the country) – then it could indicate that the Government’s Judas goat operation to encourage participation in the elections, the Brexit Party (explained here), has failed miserably [and we might now see it die off quietly].

A further, if not definitive bad omen  for anyone who might have had hopes for a high national turnout came from Northern Ireland where 6.8% less people participated this time than they did in 2014. Northern Ireland was one of only three EU regions of the UK that voted to remain in the EU in 2016. The turnout on Thursday seems to indicate that the Northern Irish aren’t as interested in having a European government as they once might have been.

Returning to the Express’ figures with a rounder perspective gained from looking further afield, one actually understands that what they actually do is reinforce a reality of poor turnout performance. Eight examples are given, and half of these involve increases of only 3 whole percentage points or less. A reader might therefore come to the conclusion that any increase in engagement in the EU elections cannot possibly have been as sensational as the Express has attempted to portray it.

With Cardiff and Durham accounted for, the two remaining examples given by the Express are in the south west‡: Wiltshire (44% from 37%), and Cheltenham (43.3% from 38.2%). The Cheltenham turnout is part of a set for Gloucestershire that is already available on the internet and which might have an interesting story to tell.

If the turnout figures for each district of Gloucestershire are compared with how each voted in the referendum, an interesting pattern is to be observed. The following table (of sorts) shows 2019 Turnout versus percentage that elected to leave or remain (source):

Cheltenham: 43.3% versus 56%, remain
Cotswolds: 43.2% versus 51%, remain
Stroud: 46.3% versus 55%, remain

Forest of Dean: 37.9% versus 59%, leave
Gloucester City: 35.3% versus 58%, leave
Tewkesbury: 38% versus 53%, leave

The implication seems to be that voters who may have been looking to make an impact on election day in the name of remaining in the EU weren’t able to muster numbers in order to create a significant kind of turnout number (the nature of which is about to be explained). It could be indicative of a wider situation whereby a desire for Britain to remain in the EU has eroded to a hard core, dare we say extremist point of view. On the other hand, in the leave areas, turnout cannot muster past a 40% limit, once again perhaps indicating that Farage’s best efforts could not provoke a reaction. And Wiltshire, which voted by 52% to leave the EU, could be evidence that motivation to vote to send a message about Brexit one way or another (in reaction to the provocation from either side) has not been great enough to drive people to the polling booths in the significant way that the Government must have hoped for.

If the turnout at these EU Elections had been at least 50%, it is entirely feasible that scope could have arisen for Government to act, based on how Britons had participated in contract forming activity with the EU, so as to exploit said activity to otherwise or additionally bind Britain to the continent beyond or in conjunction with the Article 50 treaty – at least, this is a theory held by the author, who has been warning FBEL readership of the dangers of any participation in EU elections when there should never have been any. Moreover, Theresa May’s resigning as Prime Minister could be directly related to the EU elections and how the fruits from them have not been borne as desired. In support of what might at first appear to be a surprising idea, let us return to something written in a recent FBEL article:

Indeed, we should hazard a guess that, such is the concern about the statement that Britons are about to make by the scale of the rejection of the European elections, the UK Government is perhaps preparing to scrap its long-held plan to try to engineer public approval of its Article 50 treaty with the EU… There is talk that the Tory executive and Labour opposition parts of Government are about to collaborate to produce a “compromise”, and a variation of the Article 50 treaty that Parliament can agree to.

The gist of the article from whence the extract came involved the setting out of a scenario where Government had two options about how to proceed in its project to get Leave-voting Britons to accept a terrible set of circumstances in relation to the EU in the name of Brexit. These would be: 1) a deception involving the then upcoming elections, or 2) a deal with Labour to be sold as a necessary sacrifice.

Now, here at FBEL it was also pointed out that to make that deal with Labour would be for Government to go “along an avenue down which it would rather not venture – a road that can only lead to more trouble and strife, and ultimately more complete rejection.”

The article in question ended like this:

It’s like the Egyptians killing their own firstborns because they detest Moses and won’t do as he commands them. Obviously, the UK Government has already lost.

While it was believed that the local council elections might have made the Government reluctantly opt for the Tory-Labour compromise, as we now know, the Government chose against that course, which according to our calculations left the other option: the one related to the EU elections.

What do we think, dear reader? Come the day of the vote, and a turnout too unsatisfactory for purpose, and all of a sudden, after months if not years of deflecting apparent efforts to have her depart from her post, Theresa May resigns. Or in fact was sacked by the City-Military (intelligence) amalgam that actually rules the country. Sacked for not being able to deliver Fake Brexit. Sacked by the same people who selected her specifically for the task.

Let me put it to you, reader, that the real rulers of Britain, having found themselves confounded by the people they hate (enough of whom have at last defied the traditional manipulation), have realised the need for a new broom, and a different complexion to the visible part of Government: a new leader of the Tory party, and a new Prime Minister: a rebranding, and nothing more, in order to convince those they hate that a new dawn is upon them. Cue reports in the newspapers that a no-deal Brexit is now inevitable – well, we’ve seen that before, haven’t we? The truth is that underneath the gleaming new wrapper will be the same brick of stinking crap. We know this because only a few weeks ago, the best that so-called Tory Brexiteers could come up with was the Malthouse Compromise – or as FBEL called it at the time, “further tricks to engineer acceptance of the Article 50 deal”.

 

† Perhaps with the one exception: the North West, where 53.5% voted to Leave.

Update, date as published; 19:00: Turnout for the South West was 40.5% – up from 37% in 2014 (source). Wiltshire, then, for what it is worth (in all its mutual-message-cancellation meaningless), actually represented a better than average increase. At the other end of the scale, and actually not many percentage points behind, Plymouth recorded the lowest turnout of the entire region with 34.9%. Whether or not this came about as an increase in turnout is not reported at the source.

Update 26/05/2019:

Today the Daily Mail publishes what it appears to claim is the national turnout figure – and is giving what is in fact a dismal number a rather idiotically positive spin (clearly, the whole  of the UK is not interested in it):

The whole of the UK is eagerly awaiting the European Union election results as it has been revealed that the turnout was up 38 per cent, an increase of 2 per cent from 2014.

The turnout in many areas had especially increased in those places that had voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum vote…

Estimates from Number Cruncher Politics UK revealed that national turnout was up by around 38 per cent.

Some of the strongest increases were where the Green Party did best in 2014, however it also appeared that  turnout in Labour held areas had been worse.

The analysis from Number Cruncher Politics shows where people are turning up to vote and also revealed that turnout was weakest in areas where UKIP was strongest in 2014.

While the primary purpose of the Mail article appears to be to promote the concept of predicted success for the Brexit Party and Farage translating into some kind of ability to affect the Government’s handling of Brexit (which is a fantasy, but nevertheless serves as necessary crumbs of comfort for those who are feeling smug about imperilling Britain’s future independence by taking part in an exercise to empower a foreign government), another story emerges in the detail: it is remain support that has maintained – and barely so – the turnout from 2014. This might suggest that the Brexit Party is not going to win as clearly as opinion polls predicted (which would be no surprise, given that they were for egging people to participate, and had nothing to do with science). As stated in the body of this article, the turnout alone would suggest that support for remaining in the EU is in a somewhat concentrated minority.

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