The turn out for the Euro-elections saw a sharp rebound this week – for the first time in 25 years, more than 50% of Europe voted.
Turnout in the UK was just below 37%. That puts it on course to be the second highest in any European election – second only to 2004 when the turnout was partly inflated by the use of all-postal ballots in some parts of England.
It is strange to think that only a few weeks ago we were being told that these were elections we didn’t want.
Elections we wanted and needed.
The split of the vote suggests that a second reforendum isn’t needed, if anything, this poll was that second referendum.
Unless you can call how the rump of remaining Tory and Labour voters feel about Brexit, the mood of the country now looks more remain than leave .
I originally supposed this to be the other way round (as the story is all about the success of Brexit). The coalition of remainers includes the Libs, the Greens , SNP, Change UK and Plaid Cymru. Collectively this power block amounts to 35% and if Labour swings towards staying in Europe – it’s effectively backs against the wall for the Brexiteers.
The question is no longer – “do we want to leave” – collectively we don’t. The question is “can we leave” and there is no clear answer to that question.
If parliament won’t allow us to leave without a deal and cannot ratify a deal, we are left in the hands of Europe to decide our fate.
Ironically, having had the power to veto us coming into the EEC, Europe will have the opportunity to delay our departure indefinitely – by simply extending the deadline from October 2019 to eternity.
Why these elections count.
Perhaps the people who know how much these elections count – are the people who have most to lose
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says:
“If we go on like this, we will be fired: dismissed from the job of running the country.”
He says the only way to avoid this outcome is to “honour the result of the 2016 referendum and come out of the EU”.
For many , the prospect of staying in the EU and seeing the back of Boris Johnson would be a “win-win”.
The two party political system has been threatened many times and always reverted to mean, but have we ever seen such a crazy situation as this?
It is going to be an interesting summer and October will see some very interesting party conferences.
All over Europe the existing power-blocks are breaking down as people choose to vote along the lines of their personal convictions. It’s not just single issue politics that is changing things, it’s the sense that we need not be passive pawns in the game.