Since Monday’s post a number of readers have been in contact to ask where I got my figures on new voters from, so this post is by way of explanation.
My assumption was that approximately 700k new voters join the electoral register each year, so, in March 2019, when the UK leaves the EU and three years since the 2016 Referendum, that’s about 2.1m. I also assumed that the 75/25 pro-remain split would apply again. I am not the only one doing the calculation. My attention has been drawn to Peter Kellner’s article in last week’s Independent showing that the UK actually becomes a pro-EU country, in regard to the electorate, even given no changing of minds since 2016, next January. I had not seen this article when I wrote my last post – I was far away from thoughts of Brexit for a while, as readers know – but its maths, which are conservative, and arguments are persuasive.
It is all in the service of the Indie’s campaign for another vote. One of the most disappointing aspects of the 2016 result for me was the huge disparity between the voting choices of old and young, with the young’s choice for their own futures being out-weighed by the choice of those who, speaking bluntly, wouldn’t be around to face the consequence of their choice ( and one which it was clear from the campaign, was at least in part rooted in nostalgia for the past ). I recall a conversation about this with a Leaver, whose response was ‘The young don’t know any better, they’ve nothing to compare it with, they don’t know what it was like before.’ I hesitated to point out that using the pre-1975 world as a benchmark wasn’t, perhaps the most effective way of judging what life outside the EU might be like in 2016 ( I wanted a decent haircut ) but this was the reasoning.
Nonetheless the self-interested destroyers still attempt to influence matters – witness yesterday’s IEA Press Conference in front of a banner stating Plan A+. The Brexiteers promised to provide a plan – they provided a document a few weeks ago, which was swiftly ripped to shreds and then binned – so now they come up with a report from the IEA. See Chris Cook’s immediate demolition of said report on the BBC News web-site. Its maths just doesn’t work. So when are the mainstream media going to stop treating the IEA like a respectable organisation, when, in fact, it’s intellectually bankrupt, a lobbying organisation based on certain vested interests which fund it and its funding is far from transparent ( for more on this see previous post Grey Eminences )?
Almost as predictable as the latest Brexiteer adherence to The Demagogue’s Handbook Item Four was the reluctance of the current Labour party leadership to actually debate what its members want debated – the inclusion in Labour’s next GE manifesto of a commitment to another referendum with remaining in the EU one option. These politician’s are of that generation which voted to Leave and, like plenty of Labour party leadership groups in the past, want democracy in the party only to the degree that it doesn’t conflict with their own views and beliefs. This hypocrisy has always been at Labour’s heart, whichever wing has held sway at the top, it’s unavoidable in a ‘broad church’ party, but the latest exemplars are being particularly cynical I think, in that it is the young who have fuelled the latest left-wing movement which has supported them and it is the young whose future – the future they choose for themselves – is being destroyed. A standing ovation for Keir Starmer there may have been but the commitment is still not there.