Saturday, December 1, 2018

How the dice could be loaded in favour of Brexit in a "People's Vote"

There's been a lot of talk over the last few days about the increasing possibility of the ludicrously-dubbed "People's Vote" actually taking place, partly because Sam Gyimah has resigned to support it, and partly because John McDonnell has been making unusually positive noises on behalf of Labour.  I still don't think it will happen, because there would inevitably be a substantial Labour rebellion against it, and even if it got to the point where it looked like the arithmetic was there, the Prime Minister would then come under Tory pressure to preempt the issue with a snap general election.

If by any chance it does go ahead, though, everything would hinge upon the format.  McDonnell seemed to be hinting at a multi-option referendum, which presumably would include the May deal, remaining in the EU, and no-deal.  But how would a three-option vote actually work?  Nobody would ever seriously contemplate a first-past-the-post rule, because that would be like settling the constitutional future of the UK on a lottery (although of course that does beg the question of why we routinely choose governments that way).  A bit more plausible would be a preferential voting system or a French-style run-off, which I suspect would be Remain's best realistic hope.  But my guess is that we might instead end up with a two question format - the first question would ask whether the May deal should be approved, and the second question would give a straight choice between no-deal and Remain if the answer to the first question is "No".  (The result on the second question would be voided if there was a majority 'Yes' on the first question.)

If you think it through, the dice would be loaded in favour of Brexit on that format.  There would be extensive polling on both questions, and if the second question polling showed a clear majority for Remain (as you'd intuitively expect it to), Brexiteers would have every incentive to make a tactical switch in favour of campaigning for a Yes vote on the question about the May deal.  With government, media, and Brexiteer support, the deal would in all likelihood be approved, and Britain would leave the EU as a result.

Incidentally, it's impossible to know whether there is already a natural majority in favour of the May deal without that sort of tactical switch.  A Survation poll the other day showed a narrow majority in favour of the deal for the first time, but a new YouGov poll conducted at roughly the same time continues to show a massive majority against.  That sort of difference can't be explained by the standard margin of error - either one firm is getting it completely wrong, or they both are.  The YouGov poll also continues to show that Scotland is less supportive of the deal than any other part of Great Britain...

Support for the Brexit deal by region:

London: 22%
Rest of South: 29%
Midlands & Wales: 27%
North of England: 23%
Scotland: 20%

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35 comments:

  1. Wish you a very 26 January Happy Republic Day 2019 to all of you. January 26 is our Republic Day. We celebrate this day every year. In 1950, our India became a sovereign democratic republic and it had its own constitution.
    Source: https://www.26januaryhappyrepublicday.in/

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  2. In the multi-question format isn't a different order of questions more plausible?

    1). Do you agree with the decision taken in the referendum of June 2016 to leave the European Union (Yes/No).

    2). If you answered Yes to the first question, should the UK leave on the terms of the deal negotiated by the goverment or without a deal?

    That would follow the pattern of the last multi-question referendum, the Scottish Devolution referendum of 1998, in which the first question settled the broad principle at stake, devo yes or no, and the second question about tax powers asked about the details of its implementation.

    Has there ever been another multi-question referendum anywhere in the UK?

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  3. Dae ye want tae leave the EU, NAW . ARE ye sure, Mibbie but I am a thick Jock and need clever people tae guid me. The clever people want to remain. Does that mean I am not clever! Well yes if you do not do what the clever people tell you you are stupid because us clever people know what is best for you and you should be grateful, innat.

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    1. GWC AKA The Hon. Cordelia Bracely-Dubois of the 77th (Manky Shirt, Self Funded) Auxiliaries and its ever-obedient British nationalism.
      Poor, tormented, xenophobic Cordelia.
      So much impotent rage.
      So willing to accept whatever its Tory overlords tell it to think.

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  4. The demise of the UK economically, socially and constitutionally is quite something to watch.

    If people want to understand what's going on right now, I suggest the German film 'Downfall'. Hitler was as delusional as May is by the end, holed up in the bunker still moving imaginary armies around while the Russians were at the end of the street. This is where the UK's at with brexit.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/

    The UK is really, really screwed. I thought everyone understood this, but I'm starting to wonder now.

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    1. It is a good idea that pretending to be screwed and not being screwed although you may being screwed is a good policy. Inatt.

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    2. Luckily for us the UK has a good history of self preservation. We will either have the softest of possible or no Brexit. Of course this means that the Scottish nationalist movement will be screwed, left planing for an imaginary referendum that will never happen, whilst all around them people get on with their lives never wanting to go through the trials and tribulations of breaking up a union.

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    3. Cordelia really needs to stop arguing with itself.

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    4. Does she want to be Jacob Mogg's bit of skirt again?

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    5. Attention Ladies! GWC2 is known as a gusset hawk.

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  5. Och lol. Was out most of the day and another one has fled the bunker.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46407249

    Brexit: Sam Gyimah resigns over Theresa May's 'naive' deal

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    So. Utterly. Screwed.

    The world is looking on in utter astonishment unsure what to say or do as the UK rolls about drunk in just a pair of union jack underpants arguing with itself and shouting obscenities anyone foreign looking.

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  6. I was at the post office yesterday mirmorn and the women behind the counter called Theresa May "a blinking ninny". The police refused to arrest her but I have reported her to the big Post Office in Worcester for hate speech. I want to see that woman sacked and forced to live in a tent eating free food or else she can go back home where she belongs and dance around all day listening to her beloved Giles Brandreth. Gleary old bag.

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    1. NOBODY'S LISTENING TO ME!

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  7. https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2018/12/how-dice-could-be-loaded-in-favour-of.html?showComment=1543705674498#c5493482712555663454

    If the SNP stood in the next UKGE on a 'vote for us and we'll open negotiations on ending the UK' a simple majority of MPs would suffice. Ask e.g. Margaret Thatcher.

    This would be perfectly legal. I mean if it went to court, you'd have to argue that a simple majority of MPs in Britain and/or England represented the will of the people but the same in Scotland somehow it didn't. That's going to be tough, especially in a court sitting under Scots law. You'd have to basically put forward some sort of racist proposal that Scots were second class or something.

    The whole 'but a independence is different from a GE as you can't reverse it!' doesn't wash legally at all. You can reverse independence / negotiations just as you can oust a government. There is no intrinsic difference. If both the rUK and Scotland were happy to just call the whole thing off or reverse it down the line, they could.

    I suppose you could argue that FPTP doesn't ever represent the will of the people, either rUK-wide or in Scotland. If so, that would mean the most recent election result in the whole UK would have to be cancelled and PR introduced. Then there's the house of Lords. That would need to go. You can't argue FPTP isn't the will of the people but unelected lawmakers are.

    So, yes, the SNP can legitimately stand in a new GE on an end the UK ticket and a court would most likely find in their favour. They'd not attempt this if they didn't have legal advice to this effect. In the court case they could even quote Thatcher in support of their argument.

    Seems to be a perfectly legit approach if a UK government cancels democracy and refuses a section 30 request from the people of Scotland.

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    1. Times story:

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/snp-plot-to-end-union-without-referendum-vjklf998l?shareToken=89f335430fc98355ce9bfe39cb8ec1c9

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    2. Or they could just hold a referendum, they can do that now. Get a majority of the electorate saying yes and the international community would except it. The whole GE method only works if you get the majority of the electorate. Go to the international community and say we are indipendant but the majority did not vote for a party that supported Independence and the international community will tell you to come back and come back with a majority. Certainly the EU would not touch you with a barge poll, can you really imagine Spain accepting Independence without a majority, I mean if your lucky you might end up like Northern Cyprus and a couple of countries recognizing you.

      But its imaterial, been made perfectly clear that without a section 30 order there will be no referendum. If the SNP/Sturgeon want call a referendum without an order (which is in her remit) there is certainly not going to be a majority in GE = Independence policy.

      Certainly going to be fun to watch English/Scottish nationalist break down as reality dawns.

      Anyhow, time will tell, for now it is time to enjoy the remainder of the weekend :)

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    3. Having already got just shy of 50% that's not as impossible as it sounds. Especially if there's been repeated attempts at getting an S30

      Obviously there would be exit polls so questions would be asked if the result was too far from those. Might actually be worth doing it that way.

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    4. I get your point, but...

      "The whole GE method only works if you get the majority of the electorate".

      If so, all UKGE results are illegitimate, as are all votes in the HoC that are not backed by MPs representing 50%+1 of the electorte. So, we need to cancel brexit as May didn't have the backing of the electorate to open negotiations. We need to wait until a party gets 50%+1; only then do they have legitimacy in terms of the brexit they plan to negotiate.

      That is how a court would decide on the matter. FPTP is either a legitimate expression of the will of the electorate or it's not. It can't be legitimate for some matters and not for others. All democratic decisions are the same, there is not some international law defines which government bills must be backed by PR and which are fine for FPTP.

      So, yes, you could argue that the Scottish government don't have the backing for indy on a simple majority of MPs, but then May's brexit must be cancelled too and we need PR for Westminster.

      That would be the point of law which would be argued and likely won.

      Spain/the EU would accept a legal ruling to this effect if it found in favour of FPTP as legit for the purpose. It's hoping to sign an independence deal with a UK govenment potentially on the back of FPTP without 50%+1 support from the UK electorate. That's exactly what a court would see.

      What's good for the UK must be good for Scotland or it's not good at all and no FPTP result are legit. That's your problem.

      Finally, if SNP MPs withdraw from Westminster and Scotland does not have at least 50% of constituences represented, Westminster can't legitimately rule Scotland. Democracy requires representation. Sinn Fein know this fine well; if they get enough MPs, British rule ends in effect this way. Of course we can argue 'But they didn't get 50%+1', but to argue this, we need to have a UK government which did get that, otherwise its also illegitimate.

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    5. I agree. There's just going to be a another referendum with a section 30 order. The UK is after all a democracy right(?).

      The main reason No won last time was because people were freely able to choose. The UK is completely finished if Scots believe they don't have that free choice. David Cameron was British enough to understand that.

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    6. If so, all UKGE results are illegitimate, as are all votes in the HoC that are not backed by MPs representing 50%+1 of the electorte. So, we need to cancel brexit as May didn't have the backing of the electorate to open negotiations. We need to wait until a party gets 50%+1; only then do they have legitimacy in terms of the brexit they plan to negotiate.

      Whit? Brexit did get over 50%.

      All this dancing on the heads of constitutional pins and wheeling out that Thatcher quote is pointless. We can't go for independence if it's opposed by more than half the electorate, that should go without saying.

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  8. This will be the clearly expressed will of the people backed by 8/10 of the electorate.

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-46414889

    MSPs draw up motion rejecting Brexit deal

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    Good to see Scotland continues to be so united against Westminster rule (devo power grab being the other thing).

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  9. Westminster voted earlier this year confirming that the Scottish people are soveriegn, they had to as the treaty of union states that all laws passed before the treaty could not be altered by the British Government. This also applies to England.therefore Henry 8th laws could not be applied to Great Britian.

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    1. William purves but I don't. I never have and I never will. Purving is sinister.

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    2. You Nat si piece of shit stop your impersonating an sae yer piece in yer own name or you will get it up yer bahokey.

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    3. Right. Everybody stop everything. And you stop impersonating me, you pile of coconut droppings.

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    4. Jocknatsist impersonators get ur own name and Bill stop fucking perving.

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    5. He insists you natsists are insonsistent. But he's incontinent and shits like a cow in heat.

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    6. Time you got your giblets trimmed, bud.

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    7. I'd like to see you trying to live in an upside-down house you f*cking walloper.

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  10. It's really quite fascinating to observe the BBC flailing around as the UK all comes tumbling down.

    The other day we had a front page of everyone from the BoE to the chancellor saying the UK was basically fkd either way if brexit goes ahead. On the 'regional' jockbread site however, it was a headline promo of 'Dear Leader' May telling us yokel kiltwearers how her plan was great for the bonnie banks. We were just to ignore stories of our fisheries being flogged away while devo was quietly cancelled to allow that.

    Today we have a UK front page describing a brexit constitutional crisis in Westminster, the likes of which we've never seen, but up in the land of haggis and Scotch people, dear super rich Tory Granddad Sir Ian is advising us May's plan will see him, sorry us, right, so toddle on. Personally, I'm glad I listened to him last time; hell we'd be out of the EU facing an economic and constitutional crisis by now if we hadn't lol.

    Back in 2014, the jock headlines could match the fine English gentlemen front pages nae bother. Everything clean and tidy. A consistent story to push day in day out all across the empire. It's utterly impossible now; BBC London is desperately trying to convince England to come back from the brink at the same time as pacific quay is furiously polishing the gigantic brexit turd for the benefit of the jocks.

    Loving it. Truly glorious. The end is near.

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    1. Where were you in 2014 Scottish Skier!? It was exactly the same then and before then. One message to Scots and another for rUK. Whither on Pensions, Oil, or any other benefit to the UK/blackhole to the Scottish economy.
      braco

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    2. Och aye, I know what you mean, but it's reaching peak now. You could almost get away with it in the past on the issues you say, but it's now:

      "England - Don't jump! Noooooo, Don't jump! FGS don't jump!"

      "Scotland - take my hand and over we go. Will all be fine!"

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    3. skier sounds like one of those religious nutters with a placard on Argyle Street. WOO thrice Woo the end is near. Kill the English/Scots Unionists and save the Irish/Scots Papist diasoira.

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    4. Quo Vadis, Archbishop Makarios? I think we have the write to know.

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  11. Agree things coming to the end game.

    Meaningful vote gets voted down
    Confidence motion does not pass
    At the December EU summit EU state that there will be no renegotiation but either officially or through back channels that they are open to extending A50 for the purpose of a second Brexit referendum

    Series of votes in commons that leads to a second referndum

    EU elections in May

    Second Brexit referendum in June/July.

    If that comes out as leaving with no deal / hard Brexit Indiref2 spring 2020. If comes out as soft Brexit or remain then Indiref2 kicked into the grass with SNP saying they will seek another mandate in the next Scottish Parliament (there current one expires when this parliment ends)

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