Today the British Election Study published its face-to-face data for the 2017 election. The BES has two main elements: one is a large online panel element, using the same respondents in multiple waves so that they can track change at an individual level. The other part is a smaller face-to-face element, using a genuine random sample to try and get the best sample possible. The face-to-face element is also cross-referenced with the marked electoral register (that is, the copy of the register in polling stations where people’s names are crossed off as they vote) so that they can verify after the election whether people genuinely did or did not vote.

This means the face-to-face data is by far the best data we have on actual turnout levels and on turnout levels among different demographic groups. When discussing turnout I’m often asked about the official figures for turnout among men and women, young and old, and have to explain that these figures do not exist. While there are official figures of the numbers of votes cast in each constituency and the number of people on the electoral register (a different figure, note, to the number of people who are actually eligible to vote, where there is an absence of official data), there are no actual figures for turnout among demographic sub-groups of the population. We know how many people voted, but not details of their age, gender, class or other demographics.

Up until now there has been a widespread narrative that in 2018 Labour managed to engage young people who do not normally vote and substantially increase youth turnout at the general election (referred to by the rather irriating neologism “youthquake”). This was never based on particularly strong evidence. The narrative had begun to take hold during the campaign itself because of the difference between polls (a simple explanation of the polls during the 2017 campaign was that companies showing a large Tory lead were doing so because they weighting down younger respondents based on their past unlikelihood to vote and companies showing smaller Tory leads were basing turnout more on self-reporting and, therefore, often showing higher youth turnout). A common and not unreasonable assumption before the general election was, therefore, that if youth turnout did increase those polls showing a smaller Tory lead would be right, if youth turnout stayed low the Tories would win comfortably. Another common discussion during the campaign were the enthusiastic crowds of young people that were attracted to Jeremy Corbyn’s events. People sensibly cautioned that what mattered was whether those crowds actually suggested normally uninterested young people would vote, or just represented the more politically engaged young people.

By election day, there was a narrative that if all those enthusiastic young people actually came out to vote Labour would do well, and if it was just a mirage the Tories would win. Therefore when the Conservatives did do less well than most people expected the most easily available explanation to reach for was that young people had indeed been enthused to go out and vote Labour. In the immediate aftermath of the election an implausible claim that youth turnout was 72% was widely reported, without any apparent source. Shortly after that polling evidence from various companies emerged that did support a higher level of youth turnout. Given that the problem with polling accuracy in 2015 was that poll samples had too many of the sort of people who vote, particularly among young people, this evidence was rather dicey. It could have been that youth turnout had risen… or it could have been that polls still contained too many of the sort of young people who vote. The final bit of evidence was that seats that contained a larger proportion of young people did see their turnout rise more at the election… though as Chris Prosser and the rest of the BES team ably explain in their paper, this is not necessarily the strong evidence you might think: seats with more young people tend to be urban and more diverse, so it’s equally possible that urban areas in general saw a larger increase in turnout.

In fact the BES data released today – using a random sample and checked against the electoral register – does not find evidence of any increase in turnout among under 25s, thought does find some evidence of an increase in turnout among those between 25 and 44. The boost in youth turnout that people have been using to explain the 2017 election may not actually exist at all (or if it does, it was among relatively young voters, rather than the youngest voters). That’s not to say that young voters were not still important in explaining the election result – age was still an important divide on how people voted, young people did still heavily vote for Labour so it is still fair to say Labour managed to enthuse young people more, it’s just that the level of turnout among under 25s does not appear to have risen; Labour just took a greater share of support among younger voters.

This does raise some other questions about the polls at the 2017 election. Until now the most obvious explanation for why some polls got the figures very wrong and others got them right is that, by basing turnout patterns on what happened in 2015 some polls missed out on a genuine surge in youth turnout, therefore understating Labour support, and that polls showing higher youth turnout were closer to the actual result. However, if youth turnout didn’t actually rise then this explanation seems far less convincing. My own view is that the way turnout models were done was probably still a major factor in the error, but it may be more a case of how they were done rather than the principle (besides, there were some approaches, like the YouGov MRP model, that used demographics in their turnout modelling and did well). More on that issue another time.

In the meantime, there’s a summary of the BES findings on youth turnout here and their full paper is here.


562 Responses to “Some thoughts on the BES turnout data and the absent “youthquake””

1 9 10 11 12
  1. JAMESB

    Maybe not, but to get a humanoid robot to walk into a shop, pick up a carving knife and walk to the checkout would be highly unusual and probably worth watching to see how people would react to that.

  2. @ CARFREW – The BoE reports on QE are full of assumptions that ignore other factors. it would be very easy to argue the only significant GDP benefit from QE was to reflate the housing market and that the gains in the housing market then inspired their reuse as piggy banks to fund consumption (consumer confidence being a key catalyst). Please take a look at Japan that has been on the crack of effective QE since the mid 1990s – is it a good long-term policy? What happens if/when the debt is never repaid and we find we are “pushing on string”? Debt deflation perhaps?? This has nothing to do with Brexit IMHO but if we want to revisit QE then I’d be very happy to discuss the very bad side effects on equality and non-sustainable growth.

    We’ve discussed QE before. Are you happy with a policy that had the unintended (let’s hope unintended) consequence of seeing older people move from gilts into buy-to-let property, pricing out genuine house buyers?

    I’m not keen on this pursuit of questionable GDP gain with disregard to the consequences (intended or otherwise) – are you?

    @ HIRETON – glass houses and all that… :)

    @ ANDREW111 – democracy is a serious of moments, our elected representatives in the HoC have them on a daily basis. We get them occasionally (min every 5yrs of course):
    Major recent highlights:
    23 June 16 – UK voted to Leave EU
    1 Feb17 – Parliament voted to trigger Article50 (leave EU, in full knowledge of PM’s plans as laid out in Lancaster House speech and related White Paper)
    8 Jun17 – GE with the two parties that won 85% of the vote both supporting leaving EU (Corbyn and May both continue to clarify that means SM and the current version of CU)

    For sure if our elected representatives want to hold another referendum then let’s have one when we know the terms of leaving – if voters had wanted to do that on 8Jun17 they should have voted LDEM, if they still hold that as a key priority why are LDEM at 8%ish in the polls?

    Once we have left then if a party wants to fight a future GE on the basis of rejoining EU via Article49 then of course they should do that. Umunna ought to start a new party and start that campaign now.

    So could you please clarify which part of out current democratic process you don’t like?
    IMHO the LAB leader not respecting the wishes of his voters is an issue but I didn’t vote for Corbyn – that is an issue for those that did or might do so in the future.

  3. Danny – I think I agree with what you are saying?

    Where Labour to adopt a straight ‘remain’ second ref position they would lose their ability to shift the Brexit position from Hard to Soft.

    It took HMG 18 months or so to get to more or less Stamers position due to internal Tory Party politics and ‘an ignore the referendum result’ would have made this impossible as no HOC majority for soft Brexit would exist, strengthening the hand of the hard Brexit Tories right.

    Moreover, as Pete W has broken down with numbers around 1/3 of Labour 2017 voters are leave supporters. The general view in Labour is that these are soft leavers as hard leavers would have voted UKIP or Cons at the GE.

    This 1/3 is more at risk if Labour seem to be ignoring the ref result than the 2/3rd remain element. Partly as some of that 2/3rds say ‘wrong decision but decision made’ but mainly imo as remain has no-where to go in most E&W seats so voting for the least hard Brexit party is the best use of their vote.

  4. @ DANNY – “As a remainer, I think the models need the decimal place moved one digit right. (ie 0.5% growth loss in fact 5% growth loss”

    So your saying in 2016 and 2017 if Remain had won we’d have had GDP of 5%, 6.8% or 7.3%

    (adding 5% to the recession prediction of 0, the actual GDP of 1.8% or the trend GDP of say 2.3% (1.8+0.5))

    It seems you have looked into the Irish model but don’t be cheeky now, you have to abide by ceteris paribus if you want to make comparisons, no cherry picking parts of Brexit Plan B and adding those in to a Remain scenario :-) :-)

  5. “Just wait till the robots come and demand the vote!”
    @Alan February 1st, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Progress in the low end of robotics is hotting up. I don’t see robots as stealing our jobs, more as providing new ways to do new things. I recently went into a local lighting store that has opened at my local retail park. There were lots of interesting products in there that have been made using 3D-capabile machines. I would guess that these products would be created using quite a few designers, but the actual physical construction would need only a handful of staff to support the machines (not actually use them).

    For hobbyists this video lists “The 7 Best Robotic Arm for 2017”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIzmUVRrZrg

    What will happen is many people will get access to them, and start to create businesses around them. The education side of this is what’s important. I think they will create a sizable number of jobs, it’s just that you need to be quite skilled to use them.

    The required skills change all the time. When I was at school I had to use log books. No one (= very few) of the younger generations will know what a logarithm is. Our teaching staff need to keep up with the changes as well as the kids.

    The days of mass employment for physically demanding but not very cognitively challenging jobs are over. If you lack skills you will lack employment.

  6. @Trevor W

    Regarding Japan, yes they have serious deflationary pressures which you can argue QE and other measures has helped to keep from getting a lot worse. But I wasn’t promoting the use of QE. It’s just that since you were on about it I just provided some research into the impact of QE which you casually dismissed without any detail, in the way you complain others do when you try and cite some evidence!

    You’re also ignoring how QE helped the banks – cherry-picking again! – and helped the government sell some debt. Then there is how it was part of a somewhat co-ordinated international effort in which we benefitted from US QE etc.

    QE is too far-reaching to be so casually dismissed.

  7. JIMJAM

    Good idea, I will be 80 by the time of the next election assuming the government remains in power until at least spring 2020.

    :-)

  8. Al Urqa

    I see this as very much the ways things will go

    It’s likely to be a 1 skilled worker + robot = 10 workers than a complete replacement (or other numbers depending on the industry, even doctors will gain a lot of benefit from having “robot” assistance.

    I’m actually less into robotics and more into machine learning and AI (logarithms are still a very useful thing, although slide rules and log tables are a bit out of date).

    Fortunately for those who need new skills, it’s more possible than ever to learn new skills, particularly in machine learning and AI where there are very good resources available. I’ve reskilled during a period of chronic ill health so it is possible.

  9. Excellent piece on the damage of blunt implementation of QE here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/08/whats-holding-back-world-economy-joseph-e-stiglitz

    The brief summary with my 2c:
    – CBs used blunt Keynesian tools that helped the rich and probably increased inequality (cutting interest rates and ensuring targeted increase in money supply to fund high multiplier investments would have been much better. Personally I wouldn’t have bailed out bank deposits by 100% either, anyone with over 85k in a bank account should have taken a haircut – minimal impact on consumption and would have reduced the scale of increase in public debt)
    – Govts over-used austerity (too much for too long) to contain the increase in public debt caused by the Great Recession (they should have used the better part of Keynesian policy with a short sharp boost in high multiplier investments, certainly not cutting VAT!)

    In defense of Merv, Darling then Osborne it was a genuine crisis and hindsight is a wonderful thing. However, 10years on it should be clear the medicine didn’t work as intended and the side effects have become an issue.

    I understand why rich CON or ne0liberals like(d) QE and I understand why the irresponsible “left” want the QE piggy bank for their projects but for socially minded responsible folks the ongoing use of QE is IMHO doing more harm than good – “morphine” should be used quickly and then withdrawn, otherwise the patient (UK economy) develops bad side effects and will really struggle with future withdrawal.

  10. @Carfrew

    “For a start, Scotland does have a cricket team you know”

    It’s not bad as Associate Nations go either. Put up a decent show against Ireland (now Full Members, of course) and the UAE (probably now the strongest Associate along with the Netherland) in the tri-nations tournament in Dubai last week.

    National pride folks, national pride.

  11. @John B

    “or the Northern Irish.”

    The Ireland cricket team, newly Full Members and with a first class domestic competition, represents all of Ireland.

    They play at Stormont and at the Bready Cricket Club in County Tyrone (check it out on Google Earth) as well as at Clontarf and Malahide.

  12. “Just wait till the robots come and demand the vote!”

    We’ve got plenty of online bots influencing politics already, thanks very much.

  13. @ CARFREW – see the Stiglitz piece above. Other work by him has shown QE crowds out private sector investment (the high multiplier stuff).

    I don’t do the 0.1% hard proof as that is a mugs game. If I had a time machine and portals into parallel universes to check counterfactuals I’d gladly provide hard evidence.

    It’s impossible to dissect a single factor. If we didn’t do QE then £ would have strengthened and that would have hurt our economy. The World ideally needs to come off QE together – gentle tapering (weening off) good place to start though.

    If you don’t like Stilgitz then read “The End of Alchemy” by Mervyn King. The man has clearly had an epiphany and often forgets who was in charge at the time but otherwise does highlight that QE was meant to work quickly, failed to work as intended (similar conclusions to Stilgitz and others) and hence that a rethink is required.

    Otherwise please spend a few mins on google using something like “problems with QE” as search term. Folks hate long posts and bias but the web is full of info!

  14. CHRIS RILEY
    We’ve got plenty of online bots influencing politics already, thanks very much.

    Yes but when we take back control we will have our own red, white ad blue British bots doing it, none of the Russian rubbish:-)

  15. Also they will be strong and stable bots

  16. Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Aussie, NZ, South Africa, the Caribbean – the “interest in cricket” voting test would encompass all of them!

  17. …but probably exclude a lot of white working (and probably other) class women from voting, like my wife and daughters.

  18. Has anyone read this? http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-customs-union-peter-kellner-norway-canada-melilla-a8181281.html

    If Peter Kellner is correct about the legalities (I have not had time to look this up) then it would appear there is no purpose to a transitional arrangement as it will not provide the certainty that is being sought by business. On the face of it the only two choices left are hard brexit on 30 March 2019 or no brexit. I believ this because negotiating 80 trade deals alongside convincing each of the 27 to agree an amendment seems impossible in the time frame.
    I am now convinced that we are about to drive off a cliff and firmly believe that within ten years the UK will probably no longer exist (because Scotland and Northern Ireland will see a better future elsewhere) and England and Wales will be well outside the G20 nations. I am sorry that I don’t have the optimism of the Brexiteers on this site, but I saw the destruction of the South wales economy during the early 1980’s a fate from which it has never recovered.

  19. House prices and GDP. Rather than long post see the internet. Good start point:
    https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/21636/housing/how-the-housing-market-affects-the-economy/

    Lots of empirical analysis (dare I say evidence?) for those that accept that method of comparison.

    I’ll go as far as saying house price increases indirectly boost GDP and house price crashes damage GDP, consumer confidence is a key catalyst but a huge number of other factors are important and no way I’m going to put a Y=a+bX formula on the impact (although for those that think correlation = causation then the web is your oyster for finding the a and b values)

    So how to deflate the housing bubble and make houses more affordable without causing those actions to hurt the economy?
    I think we’ve discussed this before but happy for a do-over on that one as its clearly important for future UK.

  20. @Trevor Warne – I admire the way you’ve pitched into the ‘QE – Right or Wrong’ debate, although in truth, you haven’t pitched in as more invented it. For what it’s worth, if I understand your views expressed here, I would agree with much of what you say as it mirrors posts I made back around the financial crisis and since.

    However, this was completely irrellevant to yesterday’s discussions – a classic diversion. We weren’t interested about whether QE was right or wrong, how it worked in Japan, or what the long-term consequences are. We were exclusively wondering how much the £75bn of post referendum QE might have affected the official GDP measurement. As I said yesterday – I really don’t have an answer to that.

    From what you say, you don’t think it has had very much effect, which I wouldn’t feel able to argue against as I don’t have the knowledge or data to make a judgement. I’ll neither accept or reject your hypothesis.

    A more relevant issue I feel is the additional current borrowing that the government released specifically because of the leave vote. This equates to an annual boost of around 0.65% of total GDP, run at this rate for a projected 5 years (further extended in the 2017 budget). This is quite a large economic boost, and one which I would imagine you could agree has more immediate and direct economic impacts than the somewhat similar aggregate amount released by the additional QE.

    I would argue that this rather undercuts your assertions that the government actions have had only a tiny effect on GDP, and flowing from this, it would also then follow that the initial impact forecasts of a leave vote were not so dramatically wrong as you suggest. In fact, I expect that over time we will come to appreciate that the lesser scenario of a 3.6% hit to GDP between June 23rd and whenever we actually fully leave (all else being the same) will prove to be really rather accurate. [They did incorrectly forecast a recession, because they were too pessimistic on the baseline ‘steady as she goes’ forecast, but this doesn’t mean that the 3.6% reduction from a remain scenario is necessarily wrong].

    [Anecdote Alert: One often ignored aspect of the government’s intervention to stabilised the economy post referendum was Hammond’s underwriting of EU spending come what may to 2020. There was a great deal of uncertainty around all EU funding streams, but this removed that. In my own case, this enabled a major consortium project to proceed, and meant I was able to shelve plans to wind up one of my companies and lay off 3.5 staff. This would have been a direct and immediate Brexit effect. Their jobs are now secure until at least March 2020.

    I’m not going to argue about the decimal point in terms of the impact that my own experience has directly had on UK GDP, but this was another intervention that helped mitigate the immediate impact of the leave vote.]

  21. @Nick P

    Yes, an interest in cricket is a necessary but insufficient requirement on its own. However, there are plenty of women who like cricket, from assorted classes. Have you taken them to any matches, immersed them in TMS, bought them Wisden for Xmas, the usual stuff? One needs to properly prepare for a life of voting (even if you don’t vote, like me).

    Besides, cricket is a statistician’s delight, thus appropriate to,the site ethos etc.

  22. Those whom they wish to destroy the Gods first make mad!

    Quiz

    Steve Baker, a Minister of State, misled the house of commons and undermined the integrity of his own civil servants.

    Dr Philip Lee, a Minister of State, wrote a tweet which stated that if the evidence was that a particular form of brexit was harmful then the evidence should be followed not dogma.

    Which of these was reprimanded by the Chief Whip?

  23. carfrew

    Thing is, I would suggest a majority of women have no interest in cricket, therefore making your voting test illegal.

  24. Come to think of it – age based discrimination is illegal too, ain’t it?

  25. @Nick P

    Yes it is but unlike the other characteristics protected by The Equality Act 2010 direct discrimination on the grounds of age can be defended on the basis of justification, that means that detrimental treatment will not amount to discrimination if the employer can show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
    When determining whether a discriminatory practice is objectively justified, a court or tribunal is required to make a judgment as to whether, on a fair and detailed analysis of the working practices, and the business (or if government social and policy) considerations involved, the unfavourable treatment was reasonably necessary. The range of aims which can justify discrimination on any ground is not limited to social policy or other objectives derived from the EU Directive but can encompass a real need on the part of the employer’s business and in terms of Government policy actions are considered with a wider “margin of appreciation”. It is not enough that a reasonable person might think the criterion justified what must be weighed is the real needs of the undertaking or government against the discriminatory effects of measure.
    Although the Equality Act refers only to a “proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”, this should be read in the light of the Directive which it implements. To be proportionate, a measure has to be both an appropriate means of achieving the legitimate aim and (reasonably) necessary in order to do so”.
    Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Weber Von Hartz [1986] IRLR 317 relates to a claim for equal pay and therefore makes reference to article 119, however it is instructive on the approach to be taken to justification generally. The head-note reads:
    “Under article 119 an employer may justify the adoption of a policy excluding part time workers irrespective of their sex from its occupational pension scheme on the ground that it seeks to employ as few part time workers as possible where it is found that the means chosen for achieving that objective serve a real need on the part of the undertaking, are appropriate with a view to achieving that objective in question and are necessary to that end. It is for the National Court to determine whether and to what extent the grounds put forward by an employer explain the adoption of a pay practice which applies independently of a workers sex but in fact effects more women than men, it may be regarded as objectively justified on economic grounds”.
    So it would be possible currently for a sixteen or seventeen year old to argue that setting the voting age at 18 was in breach of the Directive (and statute) and would certainly be able to prove detrimental difference in treatment, but the Government, within the wide “margin of appreciation” would also almost certainly be able to say that this treatment is justified. The legitimate aim would be restricting the vote to those who are able to properly assess the decisions they are making, and the government would argue that any age between fourteen and twenty one could be chosen but that a cut off must be made to achieve the aim and that it is proportionate to choose eighteen.

  26. Interesting to see the settling reaction to Trump’s budget tax cuts. This looks in many ways eerily like Reagan’s ‘biggest tax cut in history’ from 1981. The impact on federal budgets was catastrophic, so much so that Reagan was then responsible for the biggest tax rises in peacetime history in 1982. Economically it was a complete disaster, and really should have been the end of the ‘Reaganomics’ so fondly remembered by many UK and US conservatives, but the US electorate has a unique ability to ignore the evidence and the ship sailed on.

    This time, bond markets are rapidly adjusting to the expectation that the US deficit is going to hit levels never before seen outside war or major recession. It looks like coming in at just under 6%, despite high employment and robust growth. That’s incredible.

    The US can get away with high borrowing levels probably more than most other countries, but the economic illiteracy of these tax cuts and the impact they are going to have on the federal budget and ultimately wider economy are starting to look serious.

    The only plus side is that Trump has handed the Democrats an electoral weapon to use when they want to campaign on higher spending programme. Usually they would face the question of how to afford this, but a simple promise to reverse all the highly unpopular tax cuts for the very wealthy gives them an immediate escape clause – so long as the federal budget isn’t so trashed by then that all options are curtailed by reality.

  27. @ ALEC – “We were exclusively wondering how much the £75bn of post referendum QE might have affected the official GDP measurement. As I said yesterday – I really don’t have an answer to that.”

    oh but you did try to answer it, feel free to recheck what your wrote!

    I’m glad you now accept it is impossible to put a number on that, would you go as far as believing QE might have unintended consequences (e.g. house prices +3.2% last year when ideally we need a prolonged period of 0% absolute growth and -ve real growth)? Of course not, GDP is all that counts right? :)

    “A more relevant issue I feel is the additional current borrowing that the government released specifically because of the leave vote.”

    Specifically? Evidence please.

    The OBR revised their forecasts due to productivity.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/23/hammond-borrow-extra-90m-lower-productivity-forecast-obr

    I’ve mentioned the “rear-view” mirror issues there and several people have mentioned the review that is under way about under reporting of service sector productivity.

    If you want claim the borrowing is due to Brexit then please provide a link or supporting evidence. I seem to remember Project Fear had threat of a “punishment budget” but did anyone really believe that?

    “In fact, I expect that…”
    oh dear, for one always demanding evidence you really need to stop falling back to n=1 “I believe” or “I expect” with no supporting evidence what so ever.

    I’m glad you pick an example of HMG intervention. So simple question:

    Q: Do you think HMG would adopt ceteris paribus policy responses to an EEA+CU outcome versus a WTO outcome?
    Yes/No.

  28. WB

    I’d love to see 16 years able to vote – my younger daughter is desperate to vote (she’s 15).

    Guess who she won’t be voting for?

  29. Trevor Warne: If I had a time machine and portals into parallel universes to check counterfactuals I’d gladly provide hard evidence.

    Eh? No portals into parallel universes? There I was thinking that was how you got your inspiration.

  30. @Trevor Warne – perhaps you try to analyse other’s posts a little more carefully? Maybe be a bit more open to accepting different thoughts and ideas?

    If you look back, I did say in several places that I don’t know what the effect of that additional QE was. I thought I was being somewhat open minded there, but think whatever you like on that one.

    In terms of the additional borrowing, you are a year out of date. The 2016 autumn statement went for an additional £122bn borrowing over 5 years, around £60bn of this thought to be a direct consequence of the referendum, and this latter amount equates to around 0.65% of annual GDP per year. Now, I’m struggling to go further with this in terms of the ‘evidence’ you demand. This is what happened, I showed you the proportion of GDP that it represents, and government spending has therefore risen and this will have had an impact on GDP. I don’t think I can really go any further on this.

    As to your question, the answer is no. I think this is what you are looking for? Indeed, we are agreed on this. To slightly flip your question, I could asked:
    “Q: Do you think HMG would adopt ceteris paribus policy responses to a leave vote versus a remain vote?
    Yes/No.”

    the answer is of course ‘no’, which indeed is what happened, as I have pointed out. Again, you are arguing against yourself here, which you may in due course realise.

    Or perhaps not.

  31. @ WB – I tend to avoid Indy, Express, D.Wail etc but even Hammond accepted that transition is worth less as time goes by without knowing the final deal (Oct’17):
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/11/philip-hammond-wants-rapid-eu-response-to-pms-transition-deal-offer

    The staring contest is basically:
    UK won’t sign the divorce cheque without knowing the final deal
    EU won’t agree a final deal until we sign the divorce cheque

    If May tries to blink then ERGs 80+ MPs will try to kick her out and put someone like SMogg in (although Gove is apparently back in the running!)
    I don’t see EU blinking but their best strategy is to drag talks on as long as possible, keep us on “pay as you go” terms, offer us a very restrictive transition deal, get past Mar’19 then keep us in the political purgatory of EEA+CU status “regulation without representation”

    ERG will not allow May to dither forever. I hope this highlights the risk of crashing out on WTO terms – something I think the vast majority of both Remain and Leave would prefer to avoid.

    At some point May is going to have to take a position and IMHO, based on the numbers within her party, that will be full Brexit but in the unlikely event EU stop over playing their hand maybe not?

    Timing? March perhaps but I thought it should have happened in October so who knows!

    Corbyn reaction? Does he want to grasp the poisoned chalice if it is offered or would he play handmaiden to Brexit? My guess is he doesn’t want power until after Brexit but if the chalice is handed to him on a plate he’ll risk outrage amongst his voters if he fails to take it.

    (FWIW I doubt Soubs, Clarke would vote down CON in a confidence vote (see 1990s Major) but at some point the NI situation might be an majority issue and this is possibly a the route to a ref on the terms – assuming we know them! CON will try to cling to power and IMHO would rather a new ref than a GE – just IMHO and lot of stacked contingency to get to that point)

  32. Trevor Warne,
    ” GE with the two parties that won 85% of the vote both supporting leaving EU (Corbyn and May both continue to clarify that means SM and the current version of CU)”

    Please do go and read the labour manifesto before quoting it. It said their priority is to safeguard the economy. As far as that is compatible with the referednum, they intend to respect the will of the people.

    So two gaping problems with your interpretation. Labour said they will not do anything which harms the economy, which might well including leaving the EU. They said they will respect the will of the people as far as they are able, but as opinion changes that might also mean remaining.

    As to what they are saying now, i presume they are sensing the will of the people and bending with it, as far as safeguarding the economy permits.

    Jim Jam,
    “It took HMG 18 months or so to get to more or less Stamers position due to internal Tory Party politic”

    Thats quite amusing, really. Talk about stealing labour policies!

    ” around 1/3 of Labour 2017 voters are leave supporters”

    I posted a piece about this, with polling results to brighten it up. By argument is that while it might be true 1/3 of labour are leave supporters, it is also true they prefer labour to tory and would vote labour despite it being a remain party. Its a quesion of which issues are decisive.

    The referendum was cross party. Had the result been tied to which party took over as the local MP, I think labour/remain would have done better and might indeed have won.

  33. very telling that in amongst all the shrieking from all the self-appointed economic ‘experts’ that the UKPR Brexiteers imagine themselves to be, not a one has even considered the question ‘what if the people recruited at great time and expense by DEUX and the Treasury for their knowledge and expertise are right, and we, a motley group of Internet randoms who this time last year were confidently predicting 100 seat Tory majorities and the effective death of Labour, are wrong (as we usually are)?

    It is as if the idea that Brexit might not be as they hope is so literally unthinkable that not only can they not contemplate it, but nor may anyone else, and we absolutely must NOT, under any circumstances, consider planning for anything other than the best outcomes.

  34. @TW

    Regarding house prices and GDP, my understanding is that they are directly included the
    growth calculation because a portion of it is based upon rent and imputed rent (the rent that homeowners would be paying if they were renting their properties). I don’t know that much about it, and I’d very much like to see an analysis of just how much of our growth in the last 20 years can be attributed to those components of the GDP calculation, but I’ve never had much luck finding anything.

  35. WB: Has anyone read this? http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-customs-union-peter-kellner-norway-canada-melilla-a8181281.html

    If Peter Kellner is correct about the legalities (I have not had time to look this up) then it would appear there is no purpose to a transitional arrangement as it will not provide the certainty that is being sought by business. On the face of it the only two choices left are hard brexit on 30 March 2019 or no brexit. I believ this because negotiating 80 trade deals alongside convincing each of the 27 to agree an amendment seems impossible in the time frame.

    An interesting read. I was thinking that if such a problem were internal to UK + EU, it would remain moot as long as no one took it to the ECJ. But as it is external, I imagine it would be the WTO who would have to deal with it. And I don’t think it would go the UK’s way unless we put in a lot of sweeteners by way of advance concession to the people who who we will be doing the global trade deals with.

    I am now convinced that we are about to drive off a cliff and firmly believe that within ten years the UK will probably no longer exist (because Scotland and Northern Ireland will see a better future elsewhere) and England and Wales will be well outside the G20 nations. I am sorry that I don’t have the optimism of the Brexiteers on this site, but I saw the destruction of the South wales economy during the early 1980’s a fate from which it has never recovered.

    I am moving to Scotland precisely because I believe it will see a better future elsewhere. Overall, I think that brexit has already unleashed tectonic movements which make the break up of the union highly desirable if not inevitable, with E&W having a substantially different outlook to S and NI. The saddest thing is Wales, where the vote for brexit was understandable as a means of kicking Cameron and Osborne, but I think perverse for leaving Wales more at the mercy of the tories.

  36. @Nick P

    “Thing is, I would suggest a majority of women have no interest in cricket, therefore making your voting test illegal.”

    ————

    Oh you dont have to be interested in it, or even like it. You can see it more as a duty, an ordeal even, like the last Ashes.*

    * Obviously our Scots brethren suffered with us and didn’t laugh at all…

  37. WB,
    “Which of these was reprimanded by the Chief Whip”
    You misunderstand the purpose of a whip, it is not to ensure the probity of MPs or ministers.

    The Kellner piece is quite remarkable. if it is true, its another enormous Brexit snafu.

  38. @Trevor W

    Thanks for the homework in place of a proper step-by-step argument, but like I said, I wasn’t arguing for or against QE. I was simply providing some data as to the impact on GDP and Inflation that you mentioned.

    Which reminds me of another example of just ignoring stuff you might not care for, was when you said we had tried full-blown Keynesianism in the Seventies. I pointed out to you that we hadn’t. First of all, the commodity buffers had been sold off leaving us vulnerable to oil price hikes. Secondly, Heath had pursued a neo1ib policy of deregulating the banks leading to the secondary banking crash, followed by an inflationary response, all of which Labour inherited.* Thirdly, we didn’t use a classic Keynesian stimulus as that would have added to our inflationary woes, so Labour used a monetarist response to bring down inflation: wage restraint.

    But you repeated the assertion anyway, regardless! But it just isn’t the case. Also, it isn’t the case that Thatch’s monetarism solved the problem. If you look at the data it failed to bring down inflation much (unlike Labour’s approach) and the policy was quietly ditched after a couple of years. What brought inflation down was the collapse in oil prices that ushered in the world boom in the mid-eighties.

    * They also inherited the aftermath of Heath’s miners strikes, exacerbating the energy crisis.

    All that said, it’s useful to consider the overall impact of QE, and things like whether QE crowded out the private sector** but as I say, don’t ignore the benefits of QE in terms of banks, government debt etc.

    ** here at any rate once the cuts kicked in private sector investment fell, along with growth, so you might argue that cuts were the reason, not QE, and QE helped compensate a bit.

  39. @ GARJ – house prices and GDP is IMHO mostly an indirect link that comes via the catalyst of consumer confidence and impossible to put a number on other than a +ve bias. Rent and imputed rent do indeed both go into GDP calculations (and RPI) – good point!.

    The info I have read about it in the past is far from definitive hence the very lose view that I’d rather not crash house prices to fix the housing issue but would seek to withdraw policies that are reflating a bubble and adopt more supply side policies to create affordable housing. As I’m sure you know some changes on buy-to-let have occurred and in a mixed economy increasing taxes for societal benefits is an objective. IMHO it is impossible to forsee all the unintended consequences of policy but as time goes by HMG should adjust policies to correct the unintended “bad” side effects – affecting the future weather with knowledge of the past. Increasing taxes (upfront: stamp tax; ongoing: offset of wear+tear and interest costs; and exit: higher CGT on 2nd homes) all good policies IMHO.

  40. @ Danny

    You are right about the whip, but I think in the current state of public life the disparate treatment demonstrates that all that matters is keeping the Brexit faith and probity can “go whistle2 as I understand one of our senior cabinet members is fond of saying.

    It is interesting that you use the American WWII acronym SNAFU: you will be aware it stands for situation normal all f^*”*d up: one might also us FUBAR for the state of politics in the UK

  41. sorry for the random number 2 it was mean to be inverted commas

  42. @ ALEC – still no evidence to support any of your claims I see! One last effort from my side – could you support:
    “around £60bn of this thought to be a direct consequence of the referendum”

    Thought by who? OBR and a host of other credible sources break this kind of thing down so awaiting a link to check that claim otherwise we’ll have to assume that is another of your “I believe” claims.

    I know you now accept HMG would respond to different Brexit outcomes – sorry to push but I wanted you to confirm you now believe that is true in the future as well as the past. Do decimal places in 15yr projections still feel important??

    A vast amount of Brexit analysis was done before 22Jun16 and I took my view then and as a nation we voted on it. The “new” analysis we’ve seen is not new, it is the same old guff, full of the same assumptions that have failed on the only tests mortals on this plane of existence can check.

    I’m keen to see if the “revised” Treasury numbers have a per capita element (as we know Khan’s analysis included that and i suspect that is why Remain hushed it up pretty quick). Things I very much doubt we’ll see:
    1/ gravity model adjusted for comparative advantage
    2/ assumption that markets are not perfect (ie monopolistic pricing can occur and hence tariff pass through can not be washed out in inflation)

    You’re yet to provide any genuine evidence that voting Leave has been or will be “bad” other than jumping on any model that supports your view and grabbing some numbers that you then try to directly link to GDP. Even on these grabbed numbers I’m still waiting on evidence that they were directly due to Brexit and the decimal point direct causal effect on 2016-17 GDP.

    @ CARFREW – OK, in the interest of coughing up to false claims “full Keynesian” was an exaggeration of UK policy in the 60-70s. The great thing with Keynes is there is always more you can do (eg helicopter money).

    Inflationary woes and wage restraint though? Come on now, if you break-down the formula for productivity then it is either an hours worked or a pay issue that made us uncompetitive – or a bit of both mixed with a bit of underinvestment (but since we went bust in 1976 we were out of money on that front!)
    Peer comparisons of how other developed nations managed the 1970s better than UK?

    As for “What brought inflation down was the collapse in oil prices that ushered in the world boom in the mid-eighties.”
    Single handedly? Come on CARFREW your better than this. Collapse of communism and flood of cheap labour and goods onto the market economy as a huge disinflationary force was what, irrelevant? Globalisation, technology, etc, etc? Possibly the interaction of many factors IMHO – lower oil prices but one of those factors but give it 100% credit if you want as its in the past.

    If I’ve either stated 100% direct causality on anything regarding the economy (past, present or future) then please accept my unconditional apologies.

  43. TCR

    I don’t follow your logic that moving to Scotland will somehow cushion you from any adverse effects of brexit given that nearly 80% of Scottish trade is with the rest of the U.K. any downturn will impact on the Scottish economy regardless if they were a independent country still in the EU.
    Surely moving to Scotland should be based not on comments from pro remain reporting in the Independent and more on the many other attributes of Scotland.

  44. @ CARFREW – I’ll happily agree Volcker+co. were “lucky” with their timing (right place x right time – over zealous policy = net success) and the days of targetting money supply on its own are rightly consigned to the history books. We live and (hopefully) learn!

    FWIW I’d like BoE to have the current FED twin policy on full employment plus inflation but it seems clear from Carney’s approach he is pretty flexible on interpreting his mandate. IMHO he’d make a great CoE, I wish him luck back in Canada in a few years time :)

  45. @Trevor W

    “CARFREW – OK, in the interest of coughing up to false claims “full Keynesian” was an exaggeration of UK policy in the 60-70s. The great thing with Keynes is there is always more you can do (eg helicopter money).
    Inflationary woes and wage restraint though? Come on now, if you break-down the formula for productivity then it is either an hours worked or a pay issue that made us uncompetitive – or a bit of both mixed with a bit of underinvestment (but since we went bust in 1976 we were out of money on that front!)
    Peer comparisons of how other developed nations managed the 1970s better than UK?”

    ——–

    You’re not really thinking things through, or paying full attention and giving yourself a proper chance, as shown by the speed of your response.

    Firstly, the point in the Seventies was that you couldn’t use Keynesian helicopter money, because of the inflation caused by the oil price hike. More money would just make inflation worse.

    So you had to take money out the economy, in monetarist fashion. Thatch did it with cuts, Labour did it with wage restraint. Both increased interest rates but Thatch had them higher.

    Wage restraint was preferable, because it decreased the burdens on business in the process, while hiking interest rates and cuts increased them. Thus Labour’s policy got inflation down to 8 percent and limited the hit to unemployment, and the economy was back to growth by 1978.

    Then the second hike hit, with pay packets getting hammered by inflation the unions broke ranks on wage restraint and we had the strikes, the Achilles heel of the policy.

    I’ve cited peer data in the past, check it out for yourself. Lots of countries took a hammering on the inflation front due to oil AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. Both times.

    But some countries were more exposed than others, depending on dependence on oil. Italy and Japan also took a bigger hit, the U.S. with its own oil faired better, but still went into recession with the second oil spike.

    We took a big hit because of Heath’s miners strike which exacerbated the energy problem.

    A classic peer comparison is Italy, who suffered 18% inflation. We were above them in GDP terms at the start of the Seventies and still above them when Labour left power in ’79. we went behind them under Thatch and didn’t get above them again until under Major.

    Regarding productivity, you’re changing to something else again, I wasn’t making a case for the overall economic performance in the Seventies, but as I said, for how it wasn’t full blown Keynes, and how Thatch’s version of monetarism wasn’t the panacea you claimed. I’m sure we could come up with ways things could have been improved…

  46. Turk

    I agree, I think Germany will offer much better protection than Scotland from the negative effects of Brexit.

  47. @Trevor W

    “Single handedly? Come on CARFREW your better than this. Collapse of communism and flood of cheap labour and goods onto the market economy as a huge disinflationary force was what, irrelevant? Globalisation, technology, etc, etc? Possibly the interaction of many factors IMHO – lower oil prices but one of those factors but give it 100% credit if you want as its in the past.”

    ——-

    Take your time a bit Trev? I said the MID-EIGHTIES, not the fall of communism and globalisation of the nineties!!

    Yes, oil prices collapsed to a quarter of what they were and unsurprisingly we had a world boom at the same time.

    Following the oil crisis, many countries moved to reduce their dependence on oil, we went for gas, Japan for nuclear, so oil prices don’t have quite the same power nowadays, but back then they were massive.

    Look at the data. First oil spike, numerous countries suffer economic difficulties. The kind you would expect. Inflation and lowered growth or recession. The more exposed to oil, the worse it is. Second oil price spike, same again. The price collapses, world boom. Quelle surprise…

  48. Alan

    Well at least If you live in Germany your not going to be bothered by any other EU country having a say in your business one flash of the country’s metaphoric wallet is enough to silence any criticism.

  49. @ CARFREW – since your fixated on oil, what do you think about the North Sea oil timing and its impact on UK economy (sshhh, don’t mention this to Scottish readers!)

    Did that help to “usher” in the boom (that started) in the mid-80s?

    Oh and Mao died in 1976 to be followed by Deng who
    “argued that a socialist state could use the market economy without itself being capitalist”

    I’ve never said oil was not A factor in UK’s economic issues of the 1970s, I’ve said it was not THE ONLY factor and other factors such as trade union power and a highly unproductive UK manufacturing economy (e.g. Weds cars) were very important in why UK economy was hit so hard by something that we might have otherwise survived without needing to go to IMF.

    Franky, who cares today. Unlike the 1970s oil crisis we didn’t need the IMF after the financial crisis even though UK economy should have been one of the most highly exposed to that impact. UK economy is, today, highly flexible and resilient to deal with crisis – let’s hope it stays that way!

1 9 10 11 12