Archive for the 'BREXIT' Category


With the former Brexit deadline ending at 11pm how the betting’s moved since Johnson came

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

So here we are and a third Brexit deadline is about to be missed in spite of Johnson firm assertions that we would be leaving tonight when he first became PM.

This has been a very active betting market with on Betfair alone £7.2m of bets being matched. The chart of Betfair prices really follows what has been happening.

My own view is that Johnson won’t suffer any real political damage from failing to get the UK out by the due date.

We now have the extension and I just wonder whether January 31st is going to see the UK actually leave the EU or will it be missed again.

A lot depends on the general election outcome.

Mike Smithson


How each of the constituencies voted at the Referendum

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

The projections from Prof Chris Hanretty of Royal Holloway

One thing’s for sure in the coming battle is how individual seats voted in the referendum on June 23rd 2016. Above is the standard reference on this projected by the leading political scientist, Prof Chris Hanretty of Royal Holloway. Most seats are just projections but in a number there are real results coming from councils which issued data down to ward level.

I have the spreadsheet set up so that they are in ascending order by leave vote. You can make your own adjustments.

This is going to be an election without precedent because the UK is on the brink of leaving the EU. I’d expect those seats with the heaviest remain and leave votes to perform in very different ways.

In the strong leave seats expect a battle between Farage’s Brexit party and the Tories while in strong remain seats there’ll be a fight for which party should be the first choice for those opposed to Brexit.

Mike Smithson


New polling finds fewer than 1 in 3 think that Brexit will happen by Jan 31st 2020

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Are we going to see almost perpetual extensions?

The latest extension of the Article 50 process is the third time this has happened and, as the latest YouGov polling shows, just 23% believe that we will be out on by the end of January next year.

It is not as though an extension is unusual. By my counting this is the third time the process has been put back and, who knows, we could see the same happen again.

Of course so much depends on a general election which is looking more likely. Assuming that this goes ahead then everything depends on the outcome. If Johnson gets his desired majority then the chances of Brexit happening will be greater but what if he doesn’t? What if there’s another stalemate?

All the signs are that the Tories will lose seats in Scotland and to the LDs who are now polling at two to three times the level of GE2017. That means that they’ve got to offset the losses in gains from LAB. Where?

There’s also the complication of those MPs who are no longer within the parties that they were part of a GE2017. How many of those are going to be returned at the election? Quite a few, like Dominic Grieve, are going to be helped by the fact that the LDs and Greens are standing aside.

The standard theory that people vote for parties not their individual MP is going to be strongly tested.

Could we be heading for a period when we are neither fully in the EU or fully out of it.

The Tories are very much the party of Brexit which is not as popular as it was in the aftermath of the referendum. The Tories cannot rely on the DUP which feels betrayed by Johnson and really require a clear majority.

Mike Smithson


By two to one the voters think the Brexit referendum should not have been held

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

Hindsight is a wonderful thing

Today’s Observer is reporting that

Twice as many people now think it would have been better never to have held a referendum on Brexit than believe it was a good idea, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.

Asked to consider the difficulties the government has had in reaching an agreement, 57% of UK adults surveyed said that they believed it would have been better not to have had a public vote in June 2016.

This compares with 29% of voters who believe it was right to hold the referendum on whether the UK should stay in or leave the EU.

The findings reflect a growing sense of public weariness about arguments over Brexit, which have paralysed British politics and divided the country. People who voted to remain in the EU are overwhelmingly of the view that the referendum should not have taken place, with 87% agreeing and only 7% saying it was a good idea.

Those who voted to leave, however, still have a majority view – although a decreasing one – that it was right to have put the question to the people; 57% of this group said that they believed it was the correct decision, against 32% who now think the reverse.

This type of polling, coupled with consistent polling from YouGov about Brexit being the wrong decision, makes me think the Brexit fault line will not heal no matter what happens next.

If Boris Johnson’s deal passes in its current form then the cliff edge of No Deal rears its head at the end of 2020 and we’ve still got years worth of negotiations to come regarding the United Kingdom’s long term relationship with the European Union, this fault line will not go away anytime soon.



The LDs propose plan that would give Johnson a December election

Saturday, October 26th, 2019


MPs back the deal but block the timetable

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019


The loss of DUP support means Johnson needs to make 10 more gains from LAB to stay at Number 10

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

The most significant, though, hardly surprising development during Saturday’s special Brexit debate was that the DUP with its ten MPs has totally switched to opposing the government. It is hard to see how that can be changed certainly by the current PM.

This was not a mistake that TMay would have made.

The sense of betrayal coming from hardline unionist communities in Northern Ireland heightens the fact that Johnson’s readiness to ignore and ditch the key element of unionism about its status being exactly the same as the rest of the UK is going to take a long time to heal.

You can now see Arlene’s party being ready to countenance all sorts of possible ways of using her Westminster strength which would have been unthinkable before Johnson reached his agreement in Dublin with the Irish PM

One thing that struck me were the expressions of surprise from Brexit supporting politicians and the media about the DUP being ready to compromise the effort to leave the EU. Their lack of understanding of Irish politics over two centuries was extraordinary.

In general election terms the “loss” of the DUP’s 10 MPs has to be added to the likely Tory losses to the SNP as well as to the LDs in strong remain areas. Finding at least 40-50 current LAB-held seats to take is going to be challenging.

A big problem in all of this is that Tory voters rate Brexit as a much more important issue to them than LAB or DUP ones.

Mike Smithson


Views on Brexit, the deal and the negotiations – latest YouGov polling

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Like parliament voters remain very divided

Mike Smithson