Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Core Vote Will Win It For Brexit

If the opinion polls stay as they are, a vote to leave the EU seems inevitable. Every few days, one poll puts Remain slightly ahead, and the Pound recovers some value, then a few days later, another poll puts Leave level pegging or even ahead, and the Pound takes another dive. But, unless Remain is at least 20 points ahead in the polls, the actual vote will go to Leave.

At the start of the campaign, the official “Leave” group sought to distance themselves from Farage, and the band of other loonies around him. They feared that Farage's focus on immigration, would tarnish their image, and appeal to the soft centre of British politics. But, it didn't take long, after the Leave group effectively lost the argument over the economy, for them to realise what Farage has realised all along. That is that there is a big cross over between those who oppose the EU, and those who oppose immigration. Truth be told, few people are that bothered about the EU, and those that want out, want out largely because they really just don't like foreigners, and would prefer that they didn't come here. Some would, if they could, try to repatriate those foreigners who are already here, particularly those with darker skins. 

So, now the official Leave campaign have joined Farage and co. in the gutter, with their scare stories over immigration. That is why they came out with the blatant lie about Turkey joining the EU, and 80 million Turks already getting their bags packed ready to come here. But, Farage knew from past elections that, outside a General Election, a core vote strategy is enough to win it. Outside a General Election, when the turnout is, on average, around 65-70%, the core vote is more than enough. That is why, the BNP in the past could do well in local polls, it is why UKIP has done well in by-elections and European elections, but why they all flop in a General Election.

About 5%, of the electorate are fascists or hard core racists. An additional 25% are bigots, and people who have a deluded view of British imperial greatness. They are the kind of people who hold the view of one person interviewed, in the street, recently, who commented “They don't call us Great Britain for nothing.” Its why, the Leave campaign have focussed on the deluded nonsense about Britain being the fifth largest economy in the world, and how once freed from Brussels, the world would beat a path to its door in search of trade and investment.

There probably is not much hope of convincing that 30% of the electorate. Their views have been formed over a lifetime, which is why there is a preponderance of Leave supporters amongst the elderly, who still have memories of listening to “Two Way Family Favourites”, on BBC radio, every Sunday morning, when messages and favourite tunes were sent out to British troops still stationed in garrisons spread across the Great British Empire. The fact is that many of those in the official Remain camp, both Blairites and Tories, who might want to win them over, in the few weeks and months of the Referendum, have only themselves to blame, because they have done nothing, over the last thirty years, to challenge those nationalistic delusions, or to provide British people with a positive, progressive vision of Europe.

The Tories, for decades, have been happy to represent the interests of their base, and to use immigration and the EU as convenient scapegoats for their own failures, and the failures of a declining British capitalism. Blairite Home Secretaries like David Blunkett, John Reed, and Charles Clarke seemed to relish vying with their Tory counterparts for who could be toughest on immigration. They all framed their approach on the basis of what was in the parochial interests of Britain, rather than in the interests of Europe of which Britain was an integral part. They all acquiesced in the European democratic deficit, by being happy to go along with a bureaucratic resolution of issues, that rode roughshod over European electorates, rather than an open confrontation of the issues, to deal with reactionary and nationalistic tendencies that contradict the development of the EU. Now they are left trying to fatten the pig on market day.

Cameron no doubt thought he would get away with the same thing, expecting to have had the Liberals once more as his excuse for not holding the promised referendum. He must now both regret making the promise, or at least wished that he had applied the same principle he has applied to trade union ballots, that there should be a majority of the entire electorate, and not just of those voting. No doubt Bojo, who was keen to apply that principle to trade union ballots of workers in London, will be quite happy to win merely a majority of those voting, in order to inflict such a serious decision on the rest of us.

If the 30% core vote for Leave turns out, and all experience suggests it will, then Leave have won, because the polls suggest that the Remain vote is soft. It relies on younger votes who have a lower turnout record. Unless the turnout is at least 60%, and it would probably need to be higher, because Leave might always pick up a few more votes from outside their core, then the decision will be to Leave. Even the Remain camp seem to have recognised that. Remain MP's are already saying that they will insist on Britain remaining in the single market, even if it leaves the EU. There are also reports that the civil service are drawing up plans that would effectively delay, and neuter any vote to to leave.

Of course, there is a couple of weeks to go yet, and as I have said before, that leaves plenty of time for a big event to arise that will cause Remain voters to turn out. Tory Leave campaigner, Andrea Ledsom, has repeated the idea, in interviews recently, that the falls in the Pound are nothing more than the financial markets following the principle of “Buy on the rumour sell on the fact.” Well, if the markets are buying the Pound at the moment, and its sinking, and will sell on the fact, everyone should look out below if a vote to Leave does happen! The likelihood is that a vote to Leave will result in a run on the Pound, sharp rises in UK interest rates, a crash in UK property, share and bond markets, followed shortly after by rushed negotiations to try to stay in the EU. Britain would do so then as a supplicant, only able to obtain much worse conditions, and having to sign up to the Euro and other aspects of what a functioning EU state actually requires.

No comments: