Polls

Is Britain About to Leave the European Union?

Here's what the polls are saying.

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London skyline
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Is the United Kingdom about to withdraw from the European Union? British voters will make that call during a referendum held this Thursday, and the prognosis looks…cloudy at best.

A little background: The push to depart, colloquially known as the "Leave," "Exit," or "Out" campaign, is the brainchild of so-called "Eurosceptics" who feel the country has relinquished an unacceptable level of its national sovereignty to Brussels (home of many of the E.U.'s most important institutional bodies). The "Stay," "Remain," or "In" campaign, which has the backing of both President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron (head of the U.K.'s Conservatives), argues that a Brexit would throw Europe's economy into tumult and destabilize the British pound.

What do the polls suggest is likely to happen?

For several months it's been painfully close, with Remain for the most part holding on to a slim lead, although for a few days last week Leave seemed to be making a comeback. But then came the assassination on Thursday of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox, an outspoken supporter of remaining in the E.U. Three polls released over the weekend showed public opinion swinging back toward Remain; Ladbrokes, a British gambling platform, currently has the odds at 3–1 against Leave.

The Economist put together an interactive poll tracker you can access here. As of yesterday, it looked like this:

Brexit poll average from The Economist
The Economist

Not very helpful. The latest Financial Times' poll of polls also finds the slimmest of margins, with Remain trailing Leave 44 percent to 45 percent.

On top of the lack of a clear leader, there's another factor to consider: whether the polls that are going into these averages are systematically off. Recall that the U.K. parliamentary election last year turned out dramatically differently (with the Conservative Party cleaning up) than surveys had predicted. And as my feature from the February issue, "Why Polls Don't Work," lays out, there are reasons to be concerned that the public opinion industry as a whole has lost the ability to call elections right.

So what is the most likely outcome on Thursday? Gun to head, my money would be on the U.K. staying in the European Union. But for all the data at our disposal, it really could go either way.

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  1. Gun to head

    Too soon

        1. Perfect.

        2. Kevin Everett ?@kevcol12 14h14 hours ago

          @BenSasse @davereid typically I like what you have to say but the only one of those things that physically kills is guns so not the same !

          An excellent point. Without the right to keep and bear arms we have no way of protecting our other rights. This guy gets it.

          1. Right and how does he think the meat got into his hamburger?

        3. Nice!

        4. Kevin Everett ?@kevcol12 ? 15h15 hours ago ? Birmingham, MI

          @NickMcClane @BenSasse @davereid don’t believe for a moment that the founders meant any individual citizen had a right to own any gun

          RRRRRRETARD.

      1. I’ve got my eye on one of these:

        http://para-usa.com/2013/firea…..combat.php

        1. I’ve got a first-gen Para-Ordnance. Needed a little tuning up to feed flawlessly, but it remains my favorite shooter.

        2. *drools conspicuously*

  2. “And as my feature from the February issue, “Why Polls Don’t Work,” lays out, there are reasons to be concerned that the public opinion industry as a whole has lost the ability to call elections right.”

    Why do we keep getting posts about Johnson’s number then? Well, I reckon he might could smash his numbers too, but I doubt it.

    1. Because his poll numbers control whether he gets into the debates. Doesn’t matter whether the polls reflect November election results or not.

      1. “Because his poll numbers control whether he gets into the debates. Doesn’t matter whether the polls reflect November election results or not.”

        Your perfect answer has ruined my silly comment!

        1. Shit buddy sorry. Meant to shit on nobody. Fuck me, allah, with a boogie beat, eight to the bar and full steam ahead.

      2. This is actually an interesting point. So we’re basically saying that polls are wildly inaccurate now, which seems to be true, yet for some reason outlets are still using these wildly inaccurate polls to determine who gets into debates?

        So, essentially, a news outlet owned by whomever now pretty much decides who the public gets to listen to in debates. And people wonder why some rando billionaire might decide to buy a news outlet that clearly isn’t profitable, and likely never will be profitable. I sense ulterior motives, but I can’t be sure.

  3. They aren’t going anywhere. The media machine is working overtime to instill fear and give any of the fence sitters enough doubt to reluctantly vote to stay.

  4. My money’s on a blowout for Stay, on par perhaps with the Scottish independence vote. I think there’s going to by a huge Shy Tory breakout in favor of the EU.

    1. My money’s on a blowout for Stay, on par perhaps with the Scottish independence vote.

      Another election where I believe the polling was off. If memory serves, it was also a dead heat going in.

      Yeah, people puss out in the voting booth. I would have thought yet another mass killing by Muslim(s) would tip in favor of Brexit, but apparently not. Maybe because it was in the US rather than Europe?

      1. I think the Jo Cox murder tipped the scales in the other direction. If they vote for Brexit, Thomas Mair or whatever the shooter’s name was, would be immediately appointed Prime Minister. It is known.

      2. But one lunatic with a history of mental infirmity killed an MP, so stay they must! Teach that bloodthirsty Out crowd.

      3. I looked back on the numbers after writing my post below; “No” was almost always in the lead 50-45, and the final tally was 55-45. The numbers look as if every single “undecided” vote went No.

        1. And the margin is even more significant this time. If you’re undecided at this point, you’re probably not very involved in the movement, and since the movement is defined by the Leave campaign, you’re probably not voting leave.

          1. But will you show up to vote at all?

  5. If I were voting, I would definitely vote for exit. The remain arguments have devolved to scary projections of economic disaster, isolation, poverty, which are quite obviously nonsense. The biggest argument for remaining is staying within the trading block, which (dipshit to the contrary) is utter nonsense, since Britain can reduce their tariffs any time they want without needing to ask EU permission or get the EU to do the same. As for passports, I doubt the EU is suddenly going to go all East Berlin on Britain unless it’s panic revenge at the start, which would be lifted pretty quickly once the tourist industry starts screaming. The biggest argument for leaving is to get rid of the ridiculous EU bureaucracy so they can get back to their own ridiculous bureaucracy; I doubt there’d be much net difference, although the local variety (if national governments of even small countries like Britain can be called local) will be slightly more accountable.

    For entertainment value, I hope they leave. I’d really like to see all the doom and gloomers be shown up for the panic mongers they are.

    1. Basically all the socialists, communists, ardent redistributionists, and Muslim colonists tend to favor staying in the EU. So there’s that.

      1. Ie brits

      2. So, all of them then?

    2. It might be a little rocky for Britain at the start, but they’ll be fine. Britain is the 5th largest economy in the world by GDP. Even if the can’t work out tariffs with the E.U., plenty of countries will be lining up to sign trade agreements with them.

      EU needs the UK. I don’t think the reverse is true.

  6. Like the Scottish independence vote, once the “Don’t Know” / “Undecided” people get into the voting booth, most will choose the status quo.

    1. This. Leave is based on an abstraction, if a realistic abstraction. Stay is risky only inasmuch as things will get predictably worse, and therefore isn’t much of a risk at all.

  7. “But then came the assassination on Thursday of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox, an outspoken supporter of remaining in the E.U.”

    It is for reasons like these that people make choices.

  8. My instinct says that a lot of people who may want to leave may not want to tell pollsters that given that rocking the boat over there is treated worse than here even.

    1. If it’s truly an honest election, “Leave” will probably win in a mini-landslide, but if their elections are rigged the same way ours are by shitholes like Chicago and Philadelphia, then “Stay” will probably win by the closest squeaker.

      1. Electoral mechanics in Britain are so stupidly complex and intentionally incomprehensible that it makes Chicago’s elections look sane and straightforward. But I don’t think they’ll need to resort to fraud. There are more than enough fucktards here to ensure ‘Leave’ fails.

      2. That’s what postal votes are for. I’m willing to bet $20 (Canadian) that, if the breakdown of postal vote is given, it will be more in favor of “Remain” than overall result.

        1. Eff that. That’s only, like $4.27 in REAL money.

          1. I consider myself a prudent gambler.

          2. Isn’t that like ?3?

            And shouldn’t the bet be in ??

      3. Agree – I think “leave” wins if they run a clean election.

        1. So, you’re saying they won’t run a clean election.

    2. My instinct says that a lot of people who may want to leave may not want to tell pollsters that given that rocking the boat over there is treated worse than here even.

      The Bradley Effect. Which seems to be, sadly, overrated.

  9. There are no effective counter-progressive, anti-authoritarian politicians — or voting blocks to promote any such politicians, for that matter — remaining in Britain. Any advantages the United Kingdom might have secured by leaving the European Union were it a better country, populated by a less retarded people, will be squandered by the government instantly — that is, money saved through secession will be allocated to similarly degenerate purposes, but because the wastage will occur at the behest of local politicians instead of Eurocrats, the moronic electorate won’t care anymore.

  10. Polls don’t work? You’re the one who said that months ago, and you assured all who would listen that Trump would never get the nomination despite polls showing him in the lead. And you cited Election Betting Odds as a better source, which at that time had Trump losing.

    Oops.

    1. Some predictions are proven accurate eventually, and some are shown to have been completely mistaken. Does this surprise anyone?

    2. Jackand Ace makes a brilliant discovery everyone has been saying ad nauseam for months.

      1. The only thing brilliant about Jackass Ass is the incredible shininess of his sloping forehead.

        1. I thought it was his beady little pig eyes.

  11. They’re leaving the European Union, only to join the Islamic Caliphate Union.

    1. “Allahu Akbar!”

      “IT’S A TRAP.”

    2. As I’ve noted elsewhere, there are no winners here.

      Britain’s classical liberal heritage is all but dead. So it’s not like they’ll be leaving because they’re so cool.

  12. I lived for 4 1/2 years in the UK. As an American I have no vote, But here are my thoughts.

    If I were British I would vote leave. IT is an emotional vote to be sure, but mostly in that I would want my life effected by the UK Parliament and the UK Civil Service, not someone in Brussels. Yes you can argue that this is not really the case and that Britain is better off economically in the EU than out, but a nation is an emotional thing. It sometimes transcends economic considerations.

    Looking t it as an outsider though, I think the British are better off in the EU.

    As for what will happen, I agree that if at this point you are undecided after 40 years of discussion on this matter, you will vote for the status quo. There has been a lot of scare tactics here and if you are unsure if the predictions of doom and gloom will happen or not, you will vote for safety.

    In any event the referendum does not mean the UK is out of the EU, it only means the UK has to negotiate its withdrawal. Given what has happened in the past when referendums do not go the EU’s way, there will be a drawn out negotiation and a new proposal that will be put before the British people. And they will vote to stay in at that point. And if they don’t, the negotiations will continue until the British people vote the “correct” way.

    1. What are you politically?

      1. I consider myself a conservative libertarian — or a “conservatarian” I guess. When I am around libertarians, I feel conservative and when around conservatives I feel libertarian.

        1. When I lived in Britain my friends considered me a Whiggish Conservative (sort of like Daniel Hannan)

        2. Yes. I wish there was something in between. I’ve called myself a Conservatarian, too.

    2. the negotiations will continue until the British people vote the “correct” way

      Exactly this. Although I don’t think it will even be necessary. Why they want to be ruled from freaking Belgium is a mystery to me but so many things don’t make sense anymore.

      1. If you don’t want to be run from Belgium, you are racist. Repeat it for forty years, and it’ll stick.

        I’m actually shocked that the numbers are as high for Leave as they are. It makes my Anglophile heart wish for Independent England, a Nation Once Again etc. Get rid of Germanic pretenders, and find some legitimate Germanics instead – surely with DNA tech we can find some descendant of Alfred the Great?

        1. The current royal family thanks to long intermarriage actually claims descent from the Kings of Wessex, including Alfred the Great. They also can claim descent from the Scottish kings including Robert the Bruce and the Celtic Kings of Scotland.

          Henry Tudor (Henry VII) was Welsh and also claimed descent from the ancient Welsh princes, but that was probably only royal propaganda to legitimize his rule (he had a very weak claim to the throne but after the War of the Roses killed off everyone else, he was the last Lancaster standing).

          1. I had to look it up and, while true, it drags through a few female heirs. What is this, France? We go Saelic descent now? (Answer: we go whatever gives us a sliver of legitimacy, as per Henry VII example above)

            Also I presume if England become independent, Windsors will remain Queens/Kings of the rest of UK. Though, I guess newly independent England could use the same Queen (same way Canada or Australia do).

            1. When your reigning monarch is a Queen, can you really contend that female lineages don’t count?

              1. If we are liberating England from the shackles of Norman yoke, you bet!

                1. To get rid of French rule, you have to vote leave.

          2. A Lancaster always pays his debts.

            1. Is that why he changed his name to Tudor? 😛

    3. Looking t it as an outsider though, I think the British are better off in the EU.

      Why? Aren’t there arrangements already for people to continue to participate in the European Common Market without being full EU members, or have those been ashcanned?

      1. There are. That is true. It is just that looking at it as an outsider I think the UK is best off tying its economy to the continent rather than looking at the US or to the Commonwealth (as many in the UK would like to base things). And given how the EU works, I think they will not look to enter into agreements with the UK if the UK votes to leave.

    4. you can argue that this is not really the case and that Britain is better off economically in the EU than out

      If the EU were just a large area without internal trade barriers that might be true, but the Eurocrats have no sense of decency when it comes to imposing crippling rules on businesses located within their vassal states. For the EU to deliver on its promises, it needs to be abolished and replaced with a simple free-trade treaty.

      -jcr

  13. I suspect “Leave” will do better than the polls indicate, but I don’t know if that’s enough to win.

    1. Seeing as it has a one-point gap, it can’t do much better than the polls without actually winning.

      But, if so, we’ll probably see an unending stream of these votes to rejoin the EU, until the eurocrats finally get the result they want.

  14. They’ll likely vote to Stay. Too many Britons have grown up their entire lives only being a member of the EU (or its predecessor) and forging closer ties with the mainland. Even if they don’t like it, they find it comfortable and predictable and they won’t throw that away (though as people point out, it’s not like they’ll just pack up and leave the day after they vote to Leave).

  15. What’s not getting much attention is that this referendum is not legally binding. The UK government has the final say over them leaving the EU, but voting against the will of the people is probably not a good idea.

    1. eh it’s not like they have guns or anything. what the hell are they going to do about it?

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  17. Was it determined that jo Cox was murdered by someone aligned strongly with the Brexit campaign, or would officials not believe his motives, even if he was screaming ‘Allahu Brexit’ while pulling the trigger?

    1. If the killer was screaming “Allahu Akbar”, they’d say it was just a misunderstanding and he was really saying “Britain first”.

  18. Seems to me that the pro-independence voters will be more motivated than those who are content to live under the thumb of the 4th Reich.

    -jcr

  19. Recall that the U.K. parliamentary election last year turned out dramatically differently (with the Conservative Party cleaning up) than surveys had predicted.

    The Left lies.

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