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The extent to which the Euro elections can be treated as a referendum depends on whether the outcome supports your side

April 17th, 2019

Get ready on the evening of Sunday May 26th, when the euro elections results are announced, for the production of aggregates of the votes of the pro brexit and pro remain parties and and whoever has “won” trying argue that this is a mini referendum.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one or more of the TV results programmes creates live graphics so we can see how it is going as the numbers come in.

Clearly this is a national election and given the fact that those elected will probably only serve for about 4 months a big pointer is what the party vote totals be.

We got a today a YouGov poll on the Euro elections which had parties baking brexit, when aggregated with a small lead over the parties of remain.

For this purpose I am adding up the votes of the Tories, Farage’s Brexit party, UKIP and the DUP and comparing that with the aggregate of Labour, the Lib Dems, Change UK, the SNP, PC and the Greens and the anti-Brexit Northern Irish parties.. The former group will be put in the leave category while the latter group will be put in the remain one.

Quite how valid a measure this is will be very much dependent on what the outcome is and whether it suits people’s particular positions.

We do have other UK elections taking place two weeks tomorrow. These are the English local elections covering most of the country and Northern Ireland. I’ve no doubt that similar calculations will be made once we’ve got the projected national vote shares that are usually issued by Professor John curtice at about 4 a.m. in the morning on the BBC results programme.

The problem with using both sets of elections is that turnouts are likely to be in the mid 30s compared with the near 70% turnout that we had at the referendum on June 23rd 2016.

Whatever it will allow us to get back to the big brexit argument that is so divided the country for nearly half a decade.

Mike Smithson