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””

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  1. @Barbazenzero

    “I can only assume that you and most of the leavers who post here are in the 19% of leavers who want out whatever the cost, but you should at least be aware of the 58% of who will not be best pleased to find that the NHS £350m per week was a con and if/when the transition period is over and the economy stalls they will not be happy bunnies, to put it mildly.”

    The 58% (currently) also already know who to blame, and they are not going to be swayed by the inevitable Daily Mail headlines shouting ‘IT WASN’T US, BLAME FOREIGNERS/LABOUR/YOUNG PEOPLE/GRADUATES’.

  2. Davwel

    Your comparisons of the two versions of Rugby as an alternative to esoteric discussions on economic forecasts might be matched by introducing discussion of the endless schisms among 19th century Scots Presbyterians,

    Though I understand that even the schisms between Auld and New Licht Burghers and Anti-Burghers pale into insignificance alongside the schisms between the competing factions within DExEU.

    Indeed its almost as bad as the schism within the SLDs today, as the mainland SLD MSPs voted against their Northern Isles colleagues.

  3. ALEC @ BZ

    there you go again, spoiling @Trevor’s fun!

    Sorry about that. :<}

    CHRIS RILEY @ BZ

    The 58% (currently) also already know who to blame, and they are not going to be swayed by the inevitable Daily Mail headlines shouting ‘IT WASN’T US, BLAME FOREIGNERS/LABOUR/YOUNG PEOPLE/GRADUATES’.

    Agreed. It should be some consolation to watch the leave press trying to recover the confidence of their erstwhile readership. Oscar Wilde on Little Nell will apply, I predict.

  4. @ BZ – The ICM poll doesn’t specify a time frame – I did!

    In the short-term the impact has been/is/will be -ve (versus a base case of Remain having won) – I’d be in the 12%
    In the longer term I’d be in the +ve impact 58%

    From memory polls that ask the +ve/-ve impact question and split the short-term (next few years) versus long-term (10yrs I think is the term they use) have shown this ‘dip’ effect.

    We could also discuss the magnitude of -ve (0.2%ish) or the Project Fear1.0 immediate recession but the Remain goldfish have probably forgotten again already.

    If your recall is of a different scenario on the short-term / long-term split then let me know and if/when I get time I’ll try and find the polls in question (won’t be tonight though)

    I’ll leave the forum for the echo chamber of Remain for the rest of today. I expect we’ll have another groundhog day tomorrow!

  5. JIM JAM

    I didn’t see all of it today.I came in when they were discussing votes for 16 year olds.
    I agree they both count as Grown Ups. They seemed to get on with each other too.

    GARJ

    Thanks

  6. Interesting article in the Indy this afternoon: EU rejects City plan for free trade in financial services, which starts:

    Britain’s finance industry came a step closer to being locked out of European markets by Brexit today after Brussels officials rejected a City plan for a free trade deal in financial services after the UK leaves.

    The plan being pushed by UK financiers proposed that Britain and the EU would continue to allow cross border trade in financial services on the basis that both sides’ regulations would adhere to international standards.

    But European Commission officials have told British financiers in meetings since the start of the year that there would have to be new trade barriers for banks because the UK is leaving the single market, according to the Reuters news agency.

    “They have made it very clear to us that this is unacceptable to them,” one senior British finance executive reportedly present at one of the meetings said.

    “This was our best and frankly only proposal. We don’t have a plan B.”

    Lehrer’s Be Prepared springs to mind.

  7. ON @ 5.54 pm:

    Your message made me wonder if any of these Scottish schisms and subsequent joins produced great men who had benefitted from their experience of the different emphases in these Presbyterian denominations.

    Sadly I have drawn a blank, but you might know a few such.

    What the schisms have done is greatly puzzle many fellow Brits especially the English. I would bet that 99% in England don`t think of the Free Church of Scotland as the progressive church that reduced the power of landowners but favoured the middle classes. And their successor congregations, now back in the main Church of Scotland, have been the ones to liberalise church thinking, for instance in Aberdeen appointing the first practising homosexual minister.

  8. @Barbazenzero

    Indeed, Brexit will finish off the Daily Express (and the Star), and quite possibly the Daily Telegraph (that would have been a loss 5 years ago but now would be a kindness).

    Alas, the Mail will survive as long as people can be convinced to blame others for that which they deem unsatisfactory.

    It will be interesting to see how the Times copes though.

  9. Trevor Warne,

    Barbazenzero just posted another piece of evidence adding to my own belief that the UK will suffer a permanent hit from leaving the EU, and it will grow larger over time. Indeed the worse consequences will be in the long term future (though I fully expect we would rejoin rather sooner than that)

    The problem will be companies leaving the UK because it is no longer beneficial to be based here. None of the economic forecasts allow for this.

    The real government forecast must have a massive section on which industries are most likely to leave and how soon. This is what they do not want to release, not the bit they leaked.

  10. TREVOR WARNE @ BZ

    The ICM poll doesn’t specify a time frame – I did!

    We clearly need one of the quibble monitors to adjudicate here. You provided no definition or time frame of the term fully left and nor did you quantify the size of a small dip in your:

    Leavers accepted we would have a small dip [in the economy] until we fully left.

    In any event, are you expecting HMG to deliver the weekly £350m to the NHS anytime soon? Your response to my post suggests at least a decade before the economy starts to recover which will seem rather a long wait to the poorer leave voters and an infinity to the younger ones.

  11. Garj

    THanks.

    “Government has the power to carry out internal transfers or act to deal with the circumstances that will arise..”

    it is true that they have the power – but not necessarily use it (Liverpool didn’t get the missing money until after the riots (and the “stolen millions” slogan was very effectively used politically). Although nobody has really written about it, but the coalition changed the fund allocations, but only after the riots.

    I can’t find a working paper by some urban geographer that I read. It claims that there are pockets in metropolitan areas (outside London) where the largest factor of the slowing down of the population increase (outward migration) can reduce local government revenue as much as 8.6% (it would be good to find it as I would need to check the methodology and the data source).

  12. If you except that 16 yr olds should be given the vote because they are mature enough at that age to make reasoned political decisions based on a level of maturity as to whom they would like to govern the country.
    Then do you also except that in all other matters they should be treated as adults such as the U.K. criminal system ,at present because the legal system deems that persons under 18 are not fully mature and should not be treated as adults their dealt with in youth courts, given different sentences and in the unlikely event of receiving a custodial sentence are sent to special secure centres for young people not adult prisons.
    In a society where people under 20 are often still regarded as “just kids” when they get into trouble ,apart from a perceived political gain by those putting this idea forward who amongst us think that 16 yr olds should be treated as adults when it comes to the law.
    If you think they should be treated as children in law then why do you think they should be treated as adults when it comes to the serious decision of picking a government.

  13. Davwel

    You may have slightly misconstrued my reference – which was meant to mock the excitement that those with “faith” (whether religious or political) can engage with issues which were important to them at the time but, in a longer view can seem somewhat minor.

    The obsession that so many people, of religious faith, have with sex and who does what with whom, may turn out to be a similar matter; and the fury with which the role of the ECJ is considered by the more fundamentalist sects in the Brexit religion, might be another..

    I accept, however, that whether a scrum should be used to restart a Rugby game after a foul is probably more important.

  14. @Barbazenzero – please define ‘quibble monitor’.

  15. Turk

    “the U.K. criminal system”

    You just invented that! There is no such system, and the procedure you describe doesn’t apply in Scotland.

    I don’t know how the status of “young people” (16-17 year olds) works elsewhere in the UK, but in our legal system they are a distinct category where rights and responsibilities increase during that phase of life, before gaining “adult” status at 18 – though certain benefits, like free HE extend to age 25.

    So, our system assumes a phased transition from childhood to adulthood. Where specific additional rights should come within that time frame is a matter of judgement.

  16. DAVWEL

    You probably know about the reasons behind the Disruption of 1843. Here is a wiki link.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruption_of_1843

    I saw the painting marking the Disruption completed over 23 years by Hill and Adamson when it came to the Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh.

    When I was in Strontian I heard the story of the floating church. Two anchors from the church have been discovered in Loch Sunart. I made a contribution to the raising of money to lift the anchors and hope the promise to tell me of it will be remembered.

    http://www.wicketgate.co.uk/issue85/e85_1.html

    In the Highlands much of the impetus for the Disruption came, I suspect from the Clearances with the Church then favouring the lairds.
    When the Scottish potato famine struck in 1847 the Church of Scotland was prepared to donate free meal to relieve the suffering. The Secretary to the Treasury, the racist Charles Trevelyan, insisted thosesuffering famine had to work for their meal

  17. Alec @Barbazenzero

    Monitor lizards are widely distributed across Asia and Africa.

    A quibble monitor is one who disputes vociferously whether the Sinai is in Asia or Africa.

    A sub group of quibble monitors in Australia spend their time arguing over the rules of crickets (should they be eaten whole, or by biting the head off first?)

  18. What is crazy imo is that young people in the same school year will get the vote or not depending when their birthday is.

    There is evidence from the US that future turnout is greater amongst those who were able to vote at 18 as opposed to their peers whose birthday being later in the school year meant they were not able to.

    Minimum change to me would be to say if 18 anytime in the next year from September 01st (maybe sometime in August to capture Scottish cohorts together).

    Personally, I would do from when secondary school ends capturing 6 formers so the school year in which you become 17.

  19. ALEC

    Stop quibbling!

    I’m sure that there will be one along soon.

  20. Jim Jam

    “What is crazy imo is that young people in the same school year will get the vote or not depending when their birthday is.”

    So, you think it equally crazy that people in the same class can legally enjoy (or otherwise) sexual intercourse on different days, and not indulge in a huge orgy on the last day of term?

  21. Different considerations where health is concerned I think ON.

  22. People who are not mature enough to decide whether they should be allowed to do something shouldn’t, on principle, be considered mature enough to decide whether someone else is mature enough to be allowed to do something.

    I agree with OldNat that the age at which young people gain responsibilities is a staged business, and subject to judgement. I just think that the very last furlong of that journey should be the right to make laws that determine the fate of others.

    However this is old ground so I won’t get back into that debate.

  23. Jim Jam

    You may be one of those religious folk who think that sex is unhealthy. There are some religious folk who think that voting is morally unhealthy!

    In which case, you might be interested in the legal approach here (although I think it is part of UN rules too) on when people could choose their own religious faith

    “A parent with parental responsibilities and rights has the right to choose which religion, if any, a child or young person should follow at home or at school. A child or young person can choose a religion themselves when they have sufficient understanding of the issues. A young person of 16 would normally be thought capable of understanding religious issues and choosing a religion themselves. When someone under 16 chooses a religion that their parents or carers think is doing the child harm, for example, a cult, the parents can try to stop the child taking part by taking court action.”

    Again, the basis is normally one of age. You may also be someone who considers that religion is unhealthy!

    Are all young people to be denied driving licences until the end of their school year? That might be healthy – or simply transfer the inexperienced driver accident rate forward to a somewhat disastrous month for road users!

  24. Neil A was the main subject on the Wednesday event that we don’t discuss.

  25. ON – I would not go for a single transferable solution but where votes are concerned I think 6 formers and those of their age should vote but not secondary school kids.

    Driving can be staged as everyone wanting lessons to start at the same time is impractical.

  26. @Jim Jam,

    Didn’t catch it. They were discussing me? I’m honoured…

  27. @JIM JAM

    Whether you can vote is rather binary – either you can or you can’t. There are always going to be people who fall one day to the wrong side of a cut off date and as a result might not get the chance to vote in a general election until well into their twenties.

  28. You where quoted extensively Neil.

    ON – we already have the principle of a difference once leaving secondary school in chaperone rules for young actors.

    So a 16 year old at secondary school requires a chaperone but a sixth former who could be younger doesn’t.

    Apologies if different in devolved nations.

  29. Thanks Sam for the Warts-and-all-Scotland account of the past treatment of Irish Catholics who moved here.

    It`s a pretty fair assessment as far as I know.

    But it doesn`t deal with recent attitudes in NE Scotland. The anti-Central Belt feeling here quite trumps any sympathy that the mainly Presbyterian NE folk might have for Rangers FC, in the Glasgow and Lanarkshire tribal divide.

    If anything Rangers are more hated than Celtic.

    I was going back to watching that cup-tie at Fraserburgh, but my wife says it`s hopeless now. But right from the start the NE crowd were pretty subdued, the usual NE reticence! – there`ll be much more noise at Warrington tomorrow night.

    Oh, and coming from Lancashire I have strong memories of banks like the Midland having two branches in a town, one for Protestants and one for Catholics.

  30. “NEIL A
    @Jim Jam,

    Didn’t catch it. They were discussing me? I’m honoured…”

    You wouldn’t be if you’d heard what they were saying Neil.

  31. Davwel

    “If anything Rangers are more hated than Celtic.”

    I think you moved into the NE around the same time I moved away.

    It wasn’t any different in the 50s and 60s, when Rangers were, by far, the most disliked team among Dons supporters. Something to do with their arrogance, I suspect, but there was never the same antipathy to Celtic, or even local rivals Dundee Utd.

    In England, was there a similar reaction to the arrogance of Man Utd?

    As to your “coming from Lancashire I have strong memories of banks like the Midland having two branches in a town, one for Protestants and one for Catholics.”, I hadn’t heard of that before. Did it relate to a physical divide of the town into areas where Protestants and Catholics lived (a bit like Airdrie/Coatbridge here)?

  32. Oldnat

    I don’t know what your experience is with young offenders but I sat as a magistrate in Exeter Magistrate’s court from 1993 to 1998 during that time I dealt with a great number of juvenile offenders very few of which showed the maturity of a reasonable adult.
    Quite rightly they were dealt with as minors and the law applied in that context.
    Your childish nit picking is sadly rather typical of some of your posts when you seek to score points rather than address the issue in this case the maturity of 16yr olds to make enformed decisions based on worldly experience.

  33. Turk

    If you want to talk about the English criminal justice system in the 1990s, I have no problem with that.

    When you generalise your limited experience out to the whole of the UK, then that is both silly and ignorant.

    As a senior manager of a Scottish secondary school for 30 years, I have a reasonable experience of the whole range of young people. With specific responsibility with pupils with social and behavioural difficulties, and regular discussions of the best ways forward for the most troubled at our Childrens Panel system, I’d suggest that you might not want to get into a discussion of which of our life experiences is most relevant to viewing the capabilities of the whole range of young people!

    Suffice it to say that your interaction with young people seems to have been only with the most troubled. Mine has been with entire cohorts of people as they moved from childhood, through the status of “young person” into adulthood.

  34. turk

    “I dealt with a great number of juvenile offenders very few of which showed the maturity of a reasonable adult.”

    Isn’t that a statement of the bleedin’ obvious?

    As with adults, I imagine that 16 year olds would only vote if they felt interested enough and enthused enough to do so. It would be hard to see a problem with that in my view.

  35. A graduated system of franchise by age could also be considered.

    It’s certainly true that the younger cohort (16-25) have less life experience, so perhaps their voting strength could be reduced by weighting their vote down by 5% for every year below the age of 25.

    At the same time, the proportion of us oldies who are suffering from a deterioration in the pre-frontal cortex (which determines the ability to measure risk, and hence decision making) increases, so commensurate balancing would reduce the weight of our individual votes by 5% for every year over the age of 65.

    That would concentrate voting power in the most productive (and tax-paying) age groups – so who could complain? (except Tories, Unionists & Brexiteers) :-)

  36. GARJ – agree but I am suggesting peers should get the franchise as a group to avoid half a class voting and the other half not.

    As above research from the US has suggested future participation rates a lower amongst those not able to vote when their same cohort peers could.

    Participation and turnout are key considerations for me.

  37. I see that Buzzfeed has leaked that the DExEU report concludes that reduced immigration will lower GDP. No surprises there. Alas, the story is very thin on numbers, only saying that applying the same rules to EU migrants as the rest of the world would have a ‘far bigger’ impact on GDP than the 0.2% boost from a US trade deal. Again, not a surprise – a reduction in immigration of that scale would result in a population that would be about 2.5% lower by 2030.

  38. New Survation Scottish poll (details via James Kelly)

    Scottish voting intentions for next Westminster election:

    SNP 39% (+1)
    Labour 27% (-2)
    Conservatives 24% (n/c)
    Liberal Democrats 7% (n/c)

    Scottish Parliament constituency ballot:

    SNP 42% (+3)
    Labour 25% (-3)
    Conservatives 25% (+1)
    Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)

    Scottish Parliament regional list ballot:

    SNP 33% (+1)
    Conservatives 23% (+2)
    Labour 23% (-1)
    Greens 9% (-1)
    Liberal Democrats 8% (-2)
    UKIP 3% (n/c)

  39. The Buzzfeed story also has many other interesting matters in its report..

  40. As usual, I’m only commenting on the most recent page of posts, so apologies if anyone made some stupendous point on an earlier page, but life’s too short.

    Chris Riley (5:46pm)
    “The 58% (currently) also already know who to blame, and they are not going to be swayed by the inevitable Daily Mail headlines …”

    Your evidence for this is?
    ————————–
    Chris Riley (6:58pm)
    “Indeed, Brexit will finish off the Daily Express (and the Star), and quite possibly the Daily Telegraph…”

    You do post some guff at times. It’s true that some papers may fail over the next few years because of the march of progress but to say that this will be because of Brexit is just fantasy.
    ————————————–
    Danny (6:59pm)
    “The real government forecast must have a massive section on which industries are most likely to leave and how soon. This is what they do not want to release, not the bit they leaked.”

    So you’re imagining a document and then imagining a reason why it’s not released. Can I play? I confidently assert that the government has a secret dossier about space aliens walking amongst us, but they won’t release it for fear of causing panic.
    ————————————

    BZ(7:03pm)
    “In any event, are you expecting HMG to deliver the weekly £350m to the NHS anytime soon? ”

    I find it interesting that Remainers keep going on about a single slogan on the side of a bus, when the government sent out a lengthy booklet to voters which was full of suppositions and let’s say inaccuracies.
    ——————————————

    I found the discussion on voting age interesting. If it is felt that voting age should be around when children become adults and are able to make thoughtful decisions, what of those who will always be incapable of thoughtful decisions? I know the rules are different for different elections, but in the UK GE rules there is nothing about mental capacity.

    http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/faq/voting-and-registration/who-is-eligible-to-vote-at-a-uk-general-election

    So if mental capacity is not a concern, why shouldn’t children be allowed to vote? If it is a concern, then shouldn’t some adults be excluded? But then who decides the grounds for excluding? I suspect there might be posters here who feeel that a vote for Brexit in itself demonstrates mental incapacity and should therefore not be counted. Others might feel that women shouldn’t have to worry their pretty little heads about such things and should therefore be excluded :-)

    So on balance the simplest thing would seem to be the current system of a fixed birthday as giving you your right to vote.

  41. Pete B,
    “you’re imagining a document and then imagining a reason why it’s not released. Can I play?”

    Well theres two possibilities. Either the government has exhaustively investigated all the potential outcomes of Brexit, or it has failed in its duties to the nation.

    Isnt this document appearing after the commons expressed incredulity that no such analysis existed already? Of course it exists!

  42. I’m not sure about the rights and wrongs of votes at 16, but if we are applying maturity criteria to voting rights the surely daily mail, express and sun readers should be disqualified from voting

  43. I’m not sure about the rights and wrongs of votes at 16, but if we are applying maturity criteria to voting rights the surely daily mail, express and sun readers should be disqualified from voting

  44. Btw, anyone notice that there was a plan to assassinate Corbyn

  45. Don’t want to bang on but my rationale is that up to the end of secondary school young people have no choice but to attend school or get home educated (for the pedants among us).

    Thereafter they can choose 6th form, work, training college, apprenticeship etc and even join the army (but not for combat I think).

    That is why I go with that cut off.

  46. Interesting stuff this morning on the transition deal talks. There is a clear divide, with May stating clearly that she wants migrants to have more limited rights after March next year, while the EU state that if we want single market access, the four freedoms apply up until the end of the transition.

    On the face of it both sides are offering sensible points. The EU can’t see why we should have access to the SM while not meeting the full requirements, while the UK is saying it’s unfair for migrants to arrive, knowing we are leaving, and expect the same long term rights.

    This is a major flashpoint. How this is agreed will define Brexit I suspect. Neither side will just cave in, but I suspect it’s more likely that the UK will bend further on this. We’ll need to offer something in return for not meeting SM rules, and it;s hard to say at this point what the critical path to resolving this will be.

  47. I fancy this will be another test of the sort of brexit the government is aiming for, and that the government will cave. It is possible there might be a compromise, if the EU accepts May is working towards full remain.

    I really dont think the EU intends to compromise on anything, and doesnt see why it should. The EU is a club which has established classes of membership, and countries can opt for one or other. It doesnt do bespoke.

  48. ALEC

    I think the solution ought to lie somewhere in the middle. May isn’t right that newly arriving EU migrants should have to sign up to various restrictions on work and benefits, but on the flip side it would be fair to restrict post-Brexit settlement rights to migrants who arrived before the transition phase.

    OLDNAT

    I’ve seen the story, and there are some interesting bits of information, but it skirts around the actual numbers rather than reporting them head on. Everybody knows that a reduction in immigration will cause a reduction in GDP and a slower rate of repayment of the national debt, the question is just how much. I don’t know if this is a problem with Buzzfeed being a clickbait factory with an agenda of its own, but then it’s not like the mainstream press aren’t guilty of that too. I just want to see the facts and make my own mind up rather than being fed half-information and spin.

    JIM JAM

    “That is why I go with that cut off.”

    And there was me imagining it was because you think 16 year olds are more likely to vote Labour.

    PRINCESS RACHEL

    These things rather go with the territory. The guy seems a bit of an incompetent fantasist really.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/06/security-officials-thwart-terrorist-plot-to-assassinate-theresa-may

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