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No, “Remain” did NOT win the European Elections

Kit Knightly

There’s an argument doing the rounds that, although the Brexit Party got the most seats and the most votes, actually the European Election results show Remain is more popular.

It is a contrived argument, a meme propagated by low-level influencers on Twitter that clawed its way into the mainstream mainly due to their desperate need to find some kind of twisted argument to support their position.

The “Remain Won” Argument…

The basic fact of the elections is this: Five months ago the Brexit Party did not exist. Two days ago they destroyed the competition in the European elections. That is a statement. That is the reality.

The twist on this reality is that, when you combine votes for different parties, the remain parties won more votes.

Business Insider had ridiculously slanted take on it, headlining:

Remain surge: Liberal Democrats and Greens make big gains in European elections

You have to read significantly more than half of that article before you realise that the Brexit party, unequivocally, had the best of the results.

Polly Toynbee went even more ludicrous with it in her article in today’s Guardian:

Remainers won these elections – and they’d win a second Brexit referendum

So how are the remain side supporting this odd position?

Well, the argument is that ALL “Remain parties” combined got more votes than all the “Leave parties”. To support this argument, you have to do some vote math. Some fairly contrived vote math. They have graphs:

In this first graph, they have decided to totally discount all the Labour and Conservative votes (and subsequently 25% of the total votes).

…and in this graph, they have arbitrally decided to include Labour as a Remain party, and the Conservatives as a Leave party, despite this being obviously a massive over-generalisation.

Why it doesn’t make sense

There are several huge holes in this line of reason, all fairly simple, all pretty obvious.

Firstly, and most obviously, there’s the simple fact that you don’t just combine votes from different parties with vaguely similar positions on one single issue. That has never been done before, because it’s just plain silly. It’s not how voting works, it’s not how complex issues work, it’s not how life works.

Even the people making the argument don’t truly believe it, not really.

Imagine if the Lib Dems, the hardest of hard remainers, had swept to victory as the Brexit party did. Imagine a Remain party had won the vast majority of the seats and votes, whilst Nigel Farage was making arguments that they should combine votes for the Tories, UKIP and Brexit parties.

Would the media be agreeing with him?

No, they’d be mocking him. And rightly so: That sort of equivocation is absurd.

Secondly, there’s the question of who actually voted. The fact is that EU nationals, living in the UK, can vote in European elections, but would not be eligible to vote in either national referenda, or general elections. So these results include many thousands of people who would not be able to vote in a second referendum and didn’t vote in the last one.

Third, there’s the fact these graphs conflate voting for a particular party with their position on Brexit. The idea that people voted entirely based on Brexit, and nothing else. That is clearly a massive oversimplification – clearly indicated by the BBC’s listing of Labour as a “Remain” party, and the Tories as “Leave”.

The reality is obviously much more complicated. It’s perfectly possible to vote Green because you’re an environmentalist but disagree with them about the EU.

Surveys show that, although Brexit was the main reason people voted for the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party (shocking), it didn’t crack the top three in Labour or Conservative votes, and was behind other issues in SNP and Green party votes.

People vote for more than one reason.

Fourth, there’s the turnout issue – the total turnout in the European elections was 17.2 million people, about 36%. Just about half the turnout for the Brexit referendum (72%). Extrapolating that we are a “remain nation”, as Toynbee argued, and as Vince Cable said on Channel 4 news, from 1/3 of the population is absurd.

What’s next?

None of the arguments that “Remain won!” hold together at all. So why are they being made?

Well, mainly, because they need a reason to carry on pushing for a second referendum, a “People’s Vote”. By depicting these results as a “Remain surge”, they add fuel to that fire.

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say they are successful. That the People’s Vote campaign secures their referendum:

Well, one question I have been asking for months (and have been unable to get a straight answer to) is what happens if Leave wins the second vote as well?

Well, this whole situation shows us a little snapshot of how the establishment will guarantee that does not happen: They will split the vote.

The argument being made for the graphs splitting the vote into Brexit/Remain/Tories+Labour is that it separates the Hard Brexit parties from the Soft Brexit parties. The No Deals, from the Deals. THAT is the template for next ballot. A three-prong choice – Remain, No Deal Brexit and Deal Brexit.

With this construction of the choice, Remain only needs to win 33% of the vote to win, and – just like this week – somehow parlay an actual minority into a victory.

This has been the point of the People’s Vote campaign since the beginning.

Conclusion

The truly funny thing in all of this is, even by their own contrived metric, the remainers’ argument makes no sense. Both the Tory party and Labour have promised to respect the referendum result, so assuming people did vote based solely on Brexit then the Tories and Labour ARE “Leave” parties.

That means Leave won 58% of the vote, and Remain got 40%.

So if the Remainers really want to argue it that way they can: The People’s Vote campaign wanted a second vote on Brexit, well they got one.

Brexit won. Again.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: Brexit, featured, latest, UK, UK domestic politics

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Boing
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Boing

One of the pictures is experiencing an error, it’s displaying very large and cutting off some information.

M. Le Docteur R
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M. Le Docteur R

The comments by Donald Trump and US ambassador Woody Johnson have finally confirmed what was clear from the beginning, Brexit has always been a US project designed to pry open the European market and weaken the EU. Brexit will not result in the British Empire 2.0, nor a back to the 70s wave of nationalisation, but the conversion of Britain into a glorified Puerto Rico, without the advantage of free movement to New York when the economy tanks.

The supporters of Brexit are either the manipulators (the few) or the manipulated (the many). If you are part of the many you need to start figuring out how you got conned by the Americans into supporting this fantasy.

For the right, the few are the usual candidates from Boris Johnson, Rupert Murdoch and Lord Rothermere to their cheerleaders at the BBC and the today programme in particular. If you are on the left, the servants of the few are not so obvious and were they simply America’s useful idiots or have they been bought.

Admin
Moderator
Admin

It’s pretty clear the neoliberals would prefer the UK to remain in the EU – they sent Obama and others here to campaign for Remain in 2016. It’s also clear they will make sure to profit by Brexit if it happens.

M. Le Docteur R
Reader
M. Le Docteur R

Officially the Nobel Peace Prize winner (otherwise known as the President for General Dynamics given his relationship with the Crown family) was opposed to the Libya intervention. Just ask Gaddafi how that worked out for him. So for those not yet aware of it Americans speak with forked tongue.

There is no scenario where Britain exiting the EU does not play into US hands and result in Britain forming an ever closer prison bitch relationship with the exceptional country.

The EU’s neo-liberalism is not internally generated, it comes from the anglo-saxons. Just look at a few of the things supposedly imposed by the neo-liberal EU on the UK:
EU free movement – not an issue in France given a minimum wage that is enforced and strong unions,
EU imposed electricity privatisation – EDF is still a state-owned company,
EU imposed privatisation of the railways – SNCF is still a state-owned company,
EU imposed post office privatization – La Poste is still a state-owned company.

The neo-liberal problem is in London and Washington, where these mad “market-orientated” crony capitalism ideas are generated.

Wolfe tone
Reader

Only an idiot or a liar would suggest brexit didn’t win the poll. However the Brit public should be cautious of the brexit party and its intentions I.e if Farage really wanted to take on the establishment he shouldn’t be leading voters into future general elections; he should be declaring that there will be a boycott of all future polls until democracy(referendum) is honoured. He should threaten civil disobedience. This would frighten the state. All these polls are/will be used against the leavers in one way or another in order to get them to accept a lesser vision of brexit. Why urge the public to partake in these elections when it would be easier to point out that ‘voting is useless as the state won’t honour the result anyway’?
If Farage urged his voters to boycott the TV tax for example it would a far more effective way of making the state honour referendum result, because they don’t like it when the peasants don’t play ball.

escamotage
Reader
escamotage

proof of fools – as whatever the angle – was the E.U that received the entirety of the votes.

pathetic drivel it all.

Barovsky
Reader

A three-prong choice – Remain, No Deal Brexit and Deal Brexit.

That’s assuming this would be the choices in any hypothetical 2nd referendum.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

The triangulation goes on …

The reason hard brexit didn’t happen on the 29th was because of the Meaningful Vote, won by the hard work of Labour.

The reason Labour were able to get the MV was because the Tories had lost their majority at the last election (which btw is not supposed to happen until next year!)

The reason the Tories had a general election was??? – i suggest , to get rid of the Corbynites because the PLP/MSM/DS had failed to persuade ‘him’ or the membership to give the ball back to the blairites.

The two parties (and LibDems) had been set up as alternatives to keep the FPTP parliamentry dinosaur alive, but they serve the same masters at the top tables – it is a show of democractic change, without any change.

Brexit ref win was achieved with mass manipulation of the population – by a political imposition of Austerity; and by targeted voter manipulation using sophisticated advertising and button- puhing, SCL led CA/AIQ/FB using secret overseas funds and backers.
Now calling themselves IoS/II.

Why? The 5-eyes and their Money owners have taken on the EU political and Economic unity as the enemy.
Along with the Russians, Chinese, various oil states, South Americans…these Anglo imperialists can start a fight with their own reflection, they are psychopaths with superiority complexes, always have been,

Farage has been kept in the public eye and ear daily over the last year as the DS aims to retrieve the main opposition party back from its membership and force theough the hard brexit which they never advertised on any of their buses (there wasn’t just one).

Just because the heavy handedness is being deployed doesnt mean it hasn’t always been there! Its just that the velvet gloves are being forced off.

The fight for world wide human rights isn’t in far away places, where brown and black skinned people get daily murdered, enslaved, robbed blind – the fight is right here, right now – the establishment cannot afford to lose at home to the current Labour and expect to carry on pillaging at will across the planet.

They are playing dangerously, they are risking more than burnt fingers, they have it all to lose and they will, if WE stick to the primary aim of restoring the post war social democratic covenant.

lundiel
Reader
lundiel

Why is the same old stuff being chewed over btl? The establishment isn’t pro-Brexit. The Queen isn’t, if she wants to keep her kingdom united. Business isn’t, at least the majority of the big globalist hitters aren’t. The media isn’t. Print media is split TV claims to be neutral while Ch4 is blatantly pro remain. The civil service is pro remain. Politicians are by a majority, pro remain. The only ‘bad apples’ are the people who lived under EU management for 45 years and didn’t move an inch, up or down, their economic position remained roughly the same, it’s like they were put on ice.
This isn’t about the evil Mr Murdoch conning idiots into voting against their own best interest.
How many times do you people need to be told?

andyoldlabour
Reader
andyoldlabour

Yes, I agree, I happen to be one of the “bad apples”, made redundant three times, only to be replaced by cheaper, younger resources form Eastern Europe. My wife suffered the same fate two years ago.
She now works with staff earning around £15K a year, who have science degrees, she has a masters and is on just over £20K. I am earning £10K less than I was back in 2008. If you are between 40 and 65, then you are in the “employment danger zone”, where the availability of infinite numbers of staff, means that you can fall off the playing field at any time.

andyoldlabour
Reader
andyoldlabour

If we look at the map, and see where the Brexit party clearly won, it is clear that it is Labour heartland in the Midlands, Wales, North West and North East, and Conservative strongholds elsewhere in England. Like many people I spoke to who had voted to leave the EU back in 2016, we didn’t bother to vote for an MEP this time, why would we?
My view is that many people who voted to leave the EU didn’t bother to vote in the EU elections.
If the Brexit Party managed to field more candidates, then I would be interested to see what would happen in a general election.

Barovsky
Reader

The Brexit Party will go nowhere in a general election. It was a pissed off vote.

mark
Reader
mark

I’m not so sure of that. There’s a by election coming up at Peterborough worth watching.

Stephen
Reader

The whole Brexit debate seems to me like people fighting over which ruling class/banking dynasty do we want to get screwed over by. Do we prefer the Anglo-American-Zionist ruling class (which tends to be more conservative and capitalist, with American corporations already salivating at the prospect of the profits and exploitation that will be possible after the deregulation of workers rights, of environment protection legislation, food standards, animal welfare, agricultural safeguards and so on; and with Zionist interests trying to push the UK away from the European sphere and more towards the American-Zionist sphere)
.

Or do we prefer the European ruling class/banking dynasty (which is just as much about control as the Anglo-American-Zionist ruling class, but tends to do so with a more liberal slant). 



The whole thing is a struggle for control between ruling factions, and we seem to be happy to go along with their schemes, cheering for one faction of the ruling class or the other. 


There’s an excellent in-depth documentary that I saw recently that goes in great detail into those power dynamics among the elite (to the detriment of all of us). It’s called ‘history is marching’ 



Also very worth reading (to understand what is really behind the brexit struggle) is the basics of supranational politics by ‘the institue for the study of globalization and covert politics’ (isgp-studies). 


anon
Reader
anon

Exactly. Personally, I am mildly pro-EU because I think Brussels slightly less bad than Westminster & Washington.

But I want a referendum on NATO membership — leaving NATO would really make a difference, in that it would liberate that 2%+ of GDP from being earmarked for weapons of mass murder and all the “defence” fireworks. If we left NATO, we could strike a decisive blow to the military-industrial complex that saps the world of its wealth and stability. But alas, none of the major parties even discusses this possibility.

Jim
Reader
Jim

“…Well, mainly, because they need a reason to carry on pushing for a second referendum, …“

Exactly, more than exactly! When some are at the power, why not use it? That’s what happens now for months.

Manipulation happens! Every second, the “cookies”, so well named, are for the ones who hold the power. The “cookies” are not a present to us, the ignorants! Yes we are the ignorants, litterally, the hexadecimal numbers of the cookies, are opaque, more than opaque, for the majority, the very big majority, and even that`s not enough to express that in fact that the whole world is out of the “game”. If we consider the world as a “game”. What about the rules? It is not topic for this post now, maybe later, but Brexit is.

The etablishment, no doubt had afterthoughts! The UK is bargaining with the EU to change the rules in its favour. Meanwhile the etablishment takes also the opportunity to crush Mr. Corbyn, who can force the society to have a better sharing.

The etablishment never uses the parlement but the EU leaders. It is convenient, they do not form one block. The etablishment can take the opportunity to bargain with each of them separatedly. The UK has the City and they take advantage of it. So at the end because of money and secret tractations, that even the press do not know, decisions are taken, until it fits the etablishment.

That is, what I seem to experience now? Brexit has been voted, no doubt about it, but the etablishment makes us doubt now. Instead of making it normal and simple, they make it literally impossible. They have many tools as “The Guardian”, it seems, which is every day against Mr. Trump, but now also against Brexit. Brexit has not been realized, as Mrs May, very astonishingly, did not leave, as it should be. She is still , very astonishingly again, Prime Minister.

I know we have democracy, or is it not the etablishment who makes us believe that we have it?

I am very upset by the power of those in power. The second referendum can come, but than like for the aptly named game “Monopoly” it will be start over again if the Brexit is voted…

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

I fear that another referendum would be grossly manipulated, for the simple reason, as with Scottish independence, that the Establishment cannot conceive of seeing its feeble grip on European power further weakened.
The Scottish thing looked genuine enough, until one or two clever people in the media actually raised such questions as, “But what could the Queen do if Scotland actually voted for independence?”
To which the answer is, “Absolutely nothing”, and that result would be such a royal embarrassment that it could not possibly be allowed to happen.
And when things cannot possibly be allowed to happen, I think we are beginning to understand why they DON’T happen.
The Establishment likes certainty, and the Brexit referendum caused so much UNcertainty that they would see a second referendum as their only hope of getting some of that certainty back.
Which means election fixing.
Don’t let anybody tell you that if G.W. Bush’s brother and his Diebold voting machines had the potential to corrupt a U.S. election, somehow OUR vested political interests could not do the same.

davemass
Reader
davemass

If ref 2 goes Leave, they’ll want a 3rd.!
We were never going to be allowed to leave…

Barovsky
Reader

Remember Ireland!

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

That would certainly match Theresa May’s endless negotiation-rerun agenda.
And there was I, seriously imagining for a while that she actually wanted Brexit…
All she wants now is a comfy retirement, and that is what she’ll get.

Refraktor
Reader
Refraktor

The Electoral Calculus prediction for a general election based on this result is most interesting. It suggests a huge Brexit Party majority and Nigel Farage as PM.

This idea should prove so terrifying to the Tories that they will be obliged to withdraw from the European Union post haste. Short of introducing martial law it’s hard to see how they can now avoid this.

Great summary by the way. I now see why MSM is kicking up a fuss about EU Nationals being denied a vote. It would be interesting to know how many of them in fact did vote in this election.

Grafter
Reader
Grafter

Scotland REMAINS and LEAVES England.

Mark M
Reader
Mark M

I wouldn’t bet on that – SNP’s support is dwindling. Less than 20% of the potential electorate voted for her lot in the Euro elections.

Grafter
Reader
Grafter

“Results from 31 of the 32 councils across Scotland showed the SNP, who fought the election campaign on a strong pro-European platform, had polled 37.7%
The party’s previous best Euro election result was 32.6% in 1994.”

Tne only thing “dwindling” here in Scotland is the Labour party support. The Tories are an irrelevance. Your “lot” whoever that might be are history.

Mark M
Reader
Mark M

Yeah, but to get independence, you need more than 50%. The SNP is getting nowhere near that, and the SNP are doing nothing to attract voters from other parties – quite the opposite. And, as for Europe, a significant number of SNP voters want to leave the EU as well. Even they can see the stupidity of Sturgeon screaming about leaving Britain yet wanting to hand over more controls to the EU, and her constant demand for more immigration (mainly to pay for the huge deficit we we will have) seems to make Scotland becoming its “own” country even more pointless.

Grafter
Reader
Grafter

Sorry don’t have time to debate Scotland’s forthcoming independence with a Britnat Unionist. Have a nice day.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

‘Extrapolating that we are a “remain nation”, as Toynbee argued, and as Vince Cable said on Channel 4 news…’

Listen more carefully. Vince didn’t imply he/we was/were a joiner – he said he was collaborateur. Non?

David P
Reader
David P

I wouldn’t say this idea clawed it’s way into the mainstream. I was watching the BBC as the results came in. They were pushing the Lib Dems all the way and had the graphs lumping all the parties bar Brexit together as “remain” well before the end of the programme. They concluded it was a tie!

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

‘…a reason to carry on pushing for a second referendum, a “People’s Vote”.’

Easy. Grass? Greener.

Any resemblance between Remainers und sheep must be entirely coincidental.

Tom
Reader
Tom

Labour is not a Leave party. The vast majority of members voted Remain, including me who voted for them in the EU elections.
As a Remainer, I was surprised and relieved that Farage couldn’t even manage a third of the vote in an election on the single issue of the EU – and that among a low turnout of committed voters. At a time when the country is supposed to be baying for Brexit having been “betrayed”, to only score 31% of the country’s more committed voters isn’t that good. In fact, with the collapse of the Tory vote, you could argue Brexit did worse than in 2014.
I suspect the slippage in support is why there is so much panic from the media at any suggestion Remain did well and why they’re desperate to get Brexit “done” before public opinion turns even further.

lundiel
Reader
lundiel

I suspect the slippage in support is why there is so much panic from the media at any suggestion Remain did well and why they’re desperate to get Brexit “done” before public opinion turns even further.

Given the money that’s been thrown at remain, it would be surprising if public opinion were unaffected.
“The media” aren’t generally pro Brexit. You could hardly be more remain than Ch4 News. How Labour members voted isn’t reflected in how Labour voters voted.
In the 2017 election manifesto, there was unambiguous support for exiting the EU as voted for by the majority in the referendum.

mark
Reader
mark

Labour’s position seems to be,

“We want a second referendum, er ….. possibly, probably, maybe,but for God’s sake don’t mention it to all those deplorable folk north of Watford who used to vote for us once upon a time. And yes, we do want to honour the referendum result and leave the EU, but only if we can get the right sort of deal. One where we stay in the customs union and single market, do everything that Brussels tells us, give them all the money they want, and where we get free beer and free ice creams and free unicorns. Everybody clear on that? Quite simple, isn’t it?”

ZigZagWanderer
Reader
ZigZagWanderer

Why couldn’t the millions of Remainers be bothered to get off their arses and vote ?

Simply put …. they don’t really give a f*ck.

Barovsky
Reader

Why vote for a European parliament that has no real power? The European Commission (plus some banks) runs the EU.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Vote for what? Its EU parliamentry elections – which has NOTHING to do with how UK parliamentry MPs do!

The only way the millions will have a chance of confirming a type of brexit or none is via the legitimate channels of a general plebiscite – by endorsing a party that promises that.

Why aren’t we being asked?

lundiel
Reader
lundiel

Didn’t you read the article? We can’t ask Remain, Leave with no deal or leave with a deal, it would split the vote.
Any vote has to be a repeat in/out vote. Which would return a similar split as the previous vote?

You can’t change the question to get the answer you want.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

“As a Remainer, I was surprised and relieved that Farage couldn’t even manage a third of the vote in an election on the single issue of the EU.”

One of the troubles with Farage is he fucks around wasting time too much. Brexit Party formally up and running since way back in mid-January and all Farage can do, a full third of a whole year later, is barely a third on the vote of a turnout of well over a third of the eligible electorate. Phhhhhhhht.

lundiel
Reader
lundiel

That says more about EU elections than it does Farage. The electorate of this country are sick to death of Brexit only fanatical remainers and leavers voted LibDem and Brexit party. The rest of us didn’t bother to vote in the EU elections like we always don’t.

Frank Poster
Reader
Frank Poster

Kit, this one is REALLY simple:
No Deal = 34.9% (Brexit Party + UKIP)
Deal OR Remain = 65.1%
Nigel and the Lemmings are not the tune that most Brits are singing along to. Get over it. Let’s move on.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

An6 relation to Bill Stickers?

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

‘Edit’ all gone. Hmmmm. My guess: not an editorial decision. Ah, technology, mmmm. Anyway:

“An6” in Fumbledigits is “any” in English.

WhatKindOfWorld
Reader

How about a cascading vote (for lack of a better term), with each decision in the primary question leading to a series of secondary questions until the exact most popular outcome is arrived at. 


For example, first primary question is remain or leave. 

If remain gets the most votes then that’s that. If leave gets the most votes then the next question is leave with deal or no deal. 

If no deal gets the most votes then that’s that. If leave with deal gets the most votes then that will lead to a series of other cascading questions (about the nature of the deal, customs union or not etc) and so on. 

 


I think this form of cascading vote will be the most accurate snapshot of what people favour the most at this moment in time..

lundiel
Reader
lundiel

Or how about we just leave, like we voted to do.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Dear Mr WhatKindOfWorld,

I regret to inform you that your application for the Questionnaire Design Officer we recently advertised has been unsuccessful.

Yours faithfully,

Brenda Remainer
Human Resources Manager

crank
Reader
crank

I had this thought too.
It seems pretty obvious that the original referendum and the increasingly likely upcoming one, could easily be designed to get either the genuine opinion of the voting public or skewed to get the result that the powerful interests at the heart of politics want.
If voting changed anything…