Who says European elections don’t count?

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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.

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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.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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6 Responses to Who says European elections don’t count?

  1. How do you conclude that these votes indicate the country is more leave than remain? There are 40% voters definitely remain and 35% voters are definitely leave. Then, as you say, there is the difficult task of deciding the preference of the 25% who voted Labour or Conservative. But it looks more like a vote for remain than leave to me.

  2. Phil Castle says:

    Henry, I voted remain, but it’s funny how presenting data selectively (as you have done as the BBC give breakdowns in more than one way) gives a different and unbalaned view than if you look at it on the first past the post basis (whcih BBC also showed) as if it is first past the post, the Brexit Party (who I didn’t vote for) actually are the majority.

    By focusing on what are deemed pro and anto brexit results and ignoring those unclear such as the Conservatives and Labour both being parties who remain split and even looking at LIbDeb and Greens whose parties say they are pro-remain, it doesn’t actually give a true picture either.

    In the local elections, I voted Green and Labour, whiel at the last general election I voted LibDem, having always voted either Conservative or Labour (there has never been an MP for any other of these two parties in South Thanet during my lifetime and Nigel Farage tried to get in here and failed) simply becuase I believed in the two councillors I voted for more than those they stood against as I couldn’t find a single parties policies (even locall)y I agreed with all off their stated positions. (we have a disused airport and an under utilised harbour and that splist South Thanet by party quite often!)

    If anything therefore the European result in the UK proves we either have to leave by October as per both majority decisions based on first past the post, or have another single issue referendum otherwise the country will become even more polarised.

  3. Phil Castle says:

    The BBC statistcs were balanced, just showing supposed Pro and Anti ignores that our system is first past the post.


  4. Brian G says:

    Can’t tell at all from the results as only 37 per cent turn out. Not conclusive either way.

  5. Brian G says:

    All we can tell from these elections is that a historically significant proportion of each of the two main parties supporters have decided to vote for the other parties.

  6. Dr Robin Rowles says:

    As you say, we don’t know how the rest feel about BREXIT, but if 40% of the 37% who voted, voted for the BREXIT Party, that’s still only 15% of the country/electorate……..

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