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. @Colin

    “If my representative may not be subject to the laws he/she enacts on my behalf , solely because of his/her being a minor at law then I cannot accept his/her role as my representative when he/she votes them into force.”

    ——-

    But pensioners are able to vote on things that don’t apply to them. Following your logic should they then be barred from voting? At least on those things?

  2. @WB

    “Apparently Liam Fox has told the Conservatives they must end their obsession with Europe!

    I really don’t know what to say.”

    To be fair it’s both right and about the only useful and constructive thing he’s said in living memory.

  3. Survation also asked the referendum questions. Headline figures were (changes since early December poll in brackets)

    Indyref2 : Yes 46 : No 54 (no change)

    Euref2 : Remain 66 (-3) : Leave 34 (+3)

    The changes from recalled vote for those who voted in ref1 are perhaps of more interest. As one would expect, most have not changed their minds, but those less committed to a particu-lar stance are the ones who might bring about a different result in round 2.

    Percentage of each camp changing sides (or now unsure)

    Indyref : Yes to No 9% (7%) : No to Yes 9% (5%)

    Euref : Remain to Leave 5% ( 4%) : Leave to Remain 11% (3%)

    Positions on ref questions by party vote in 2017 GE

    Indyref2
    SNP : Yes 84 No 10 : Unsure 5
    SCon : Yes 6 No 92 : Unsure 3
    SLab : Yes 28 No 63 : Unsure 9

    EUref2
    SNP : Remain 69 Leave 27 : Unsure 4
    SCon : Remain 45 Leave 49 : Unsure 6
    SLab : Remain 69 Leave 27 : Unsure 4

  4. @ Colin

    “Minors can void “contracts” at will.”

    Not strictly true, a minor who enters into a contract for “necessaries” will enter into an enforceable contract, necessaries has a much broader definition than might first be thought. The meaning of “necessaries” is an extended one for this purpose, by no means being confined to “necessities” in the ordinary sense. Things as such as his necessary food, drink, clothing, lodging and medicine, are clearly necessaries but the term is not confined to things that are positively essential to subsistence or support; it also denotes items purchased for real use so long as they are not merely ornamental, or are for comfort or convenience only. Necessaries is also a relative term where the courts have reference to the minor’s “age and station in life” which means that necessaries for a Billionaires child will include a broader range of items than would the child of a pauper see Peters v Flemming (1840) 6 M. & W. 42 Ryder v Wombwell (1869) L.R. 4

    The Sale of Goods Act 1979 provides that where necessaries are sold and delivered to a minor he must pay a reasonable price for them. “Necessaries” are defined by s.3(3) as goods suitable to the condition in life of the minor and to his actual requirements at the time of the sale and delivery. This has not yet been tested in the courts to my knowledge.

  5. “@PRINCESS RACHEL

    Fortunately for the rest of us, our Security Services don’t take any notice of your views, and keep on doing their incredible work.”
    @Colin February 1st, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Yes, but how do you know? I take your point, but we can only take someone’s word. If this story is typical of how the security services work can you trust their bigger tales?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-42790629

    I tell my boss I’m doing incredible things — he doesn’t believe me.[1]

    [1] Maybe I should tell him I’m doing credible things! :-)

  6. Re Voting and the Burke model, the separating of age from many other things that means laws/regulations may or may not apply seems a little arbitrary to me.

    There are a number of other things that may not apply to the MP when he or she is setting laws that do apply to those the law impacts. e.g. Mental disorders, disabilities, race, gender orientation etc, male/female and even day to day choices such as how you get from a to b. For example, a car driver is subject to different laws with regard to use of the road than someone cycling is, or walking, an elected representative may not do all of those.

    Everyone over 18 was 16-17 at one point, and most will have children or relatives with children.

  7. @Garj – the dynamics of the transition are interesting, but I wouldn’t agree that the EU is fudging this. Remember that the UK asked for a transition when it could effectively retain full access to the SM, but with a series of dispensations. The EU is saying no, if you want to have full access, that means full access along with all the requirements. This isn’t about staying – it’s about the transition, and how we fit into the SM, so the EU is perfectly entitled to say that we need to adopt everything that the EU requires even though we aren’t members of the EU.

    Frankly, this could well be the crumbling point. If in the next month it becomes clear that May sticks to her guns on this, then the idea of a transition period falls away and all hell breaks loose in business and industry. I’d suggest that could be the effective collapse of Brexit.

    If on the other hand May capitulates on this, then I don’t really see how the Tory civil war can be restrained any longer.

    The strange thing is that this issue is that once again it is, in democratic terms, a complete non issue. There is no mandate whatsoever for May to say that anything has to happen on March 29th next year – the only thing the voters were asked about was whether we want to leave the EU, nothing about timescales, nothing about process, nothing about how we transition from being in to being out.

    Indeed, had there been some magical mandate to leave completely by March 2019, we would have to ask why the date wasn’t set for June 24th 2018 – we’ve already had a lengthy delay in triggering A50, so why isn’t that seen as betraying the referendum result, while maintaining full citizens rights for a bit longer in the transition somehow is?

    The whole thing is logically barking mad, but I do think May has created a huge rod for her own back now. The sensible thing would have been to show some guts and simply state that the transition is just that, we accept the full spread of EU terms and are working towards the eventual exit in honour of the referendum result. We didn’t set a date, so why should she?

  8. @Hireton

    The Road Haulage Bill you highlight is, on the quiet, of huge significance.

  9. Interesting voting age for the UK is 18, but youngest member was Mhairi Black of the SNP who was 20 years and 237 days old when elected.

    I believe the average age of M.P.s was 50, in the House of Lords around 69

  10. WB
    my post was in response to Sam on the specific issue I referenced-contracting for Apprenticeships.

    My link was to cautionary legal advice on that issue.

  11. @Chris Riley

    “To be fair it’s both right and about the only useful and constructive thing he’s said in living memory.”

    ——-

    So you wouldn’t include when he announced his resignation then?…

  12. @Carfrew

    “So you wouldn’t include when he announced his resignation then?…”

    Gosh, that’s an appalling oversight on my part.

    He ought to do it again to drive home how foolish I have been.

  13. @ Colin

    Sorry didn’t pick that up.

    The lawyer in me has a tendency to react to simplistic phrases about what the law is.
    As I spend a great deal of my time listening to whether a particular law should be interpreted as X or Y that simplicity evades me!

  14. The arguments for and against reducing voting age now are very similar to the ones I heard in the 1960s about lowering the voting age to 18.

    Back then, my parents said that that debate reminded them of those deployed prior to the 1928 Act that allowed my Mum to cast both of her votes in the 1931 election.

  15. Alec

    Absolutely spot on! Nothing that Theresa says or does about Brexit has anything to do with what voters want other than leaving at some point.

    What we are hearing is all about the shifting sands of Tory MPs, Tory members, the DUP and the Daily Mail

    And of course about Corbyn refusing to offer any alternatives.

  16. @Oldnat

    One wonders whether those that advance those arguments are merely “reactionary” in the true political sense or instead are remembering their own abilities (or lack of) at that age and are projecting that onto all youth of today?

  17. @Garj

    “Fudge and cake everywhere, I think.”

    Mmmmm, fudge cake

  18. The more Brexit goes on like it is, I am very confident we will see another referendum before the end.

    There is no sense of any direction (that is realisitic), or an alternative by the Oppposition. I think it will get so sticky MPs will bottle it and go back to the public.

    Given it started with a referendum, it’s probably right ir will finish with one.

  19. Garj,
    ” Hammond seems intent on persisting with the most business as usual risk-averse approach to the finances you could possibly conceive of.”

    This would be perfectly sensible an approach if you believe the effects of Brexit would be truly awful. So you need to conserve resoures now to use after Brexit actually happens.

    Technicolouroctober,
    “Look where he is now.”
    Enjoying his retirement and much happier for it?

  20. I find most 16-17 year olds more switched on and aware than I was at that age (1980s).

    I think they are a smart bunch mostly, and no less smart than any other demographic I deal with.

  21. Seems strange to me that the same folk that don’t trust the establishment Brexit studies are not equally sceptical of the establishment security reports

  22. ALEC

    I think you’re kind of ignoring my point. To put it to you again: are EU citizens’ rights after we’ve left part of the status quo? If the UK lost its involvement in EU lawmaking, would that be the status quo? Both sides make demands that suit them, it’s just naive to think that everything the EU asks for is neutral and unobjectionable.

    As for a collapse in talks resulting in us remaining, sorry, that just sounds like clutching at straws. You certainly have a point about what was on the ballot paper, but you can’t really ignore what was included in both parties’ manifestos, in an election where between them they won the highest share of the vote in something like 50 years. A collapse in talks would likely just see us crashing out or doing a last minute minimal deal.

    As for whether what May is doing now represents the will of the people, I reckon it probably does as much as anything can do. Most voters would like an end to freedom of movement, few of them give much of a stuff about the customs union one way or another, a fairly large proportion dislike what they see as dictating of terms by the EU and want us to stand up for ourselves in negotiations. There will be people at both extremes who would be unhappy with that kind of middle of the road arrangement, but it’s as close to a centrist Brexit position as you’re likely to get.

  23. WB

    @”One wonders whether those that advance those arguments are merely “reactionary” in the true political sense or instead are remembering their own abilities (or lack of) at that age and are projecting that onto all youth of today?”

    Some may simply be asking why the debate isn’t about changing the age of adulthood-which is the logical thing to do.

    One wonders whether those who aren’t advocating a reduction to 16 of the current UK legal age of adulthood , whilst also advocating that 16 years olds may vote have more of an interest in how they think those 16 year olds would vote , than in a logical argument for giving them that right.

  24. @ Danny

    ” “Look where he is now.” [Cameroon]
    Enjoying his retirement and much happier for it?”

    I might also like to visit Davos when I retire, but I’d prefer my skiing not to be interrupted by world leaders. Does anyone know WHY Cameron was there?

  25. “One wonders whether those that advance those arguments are merely “reactionary” in the true political sense or instead are remembering their own abilities (or lack of) at that age and are projecting that onto all youth of today?”

    ——–

    Well we have lots more people in HE these days and the Flynn effect shows IQ rising with each new cohort.

    I sense we can already see the effects of this because you can gave discussions about stuff like MMT and Blockchain and all that with younger people that are much less common with the older.

    They also tend not to be as easily fooled by some of the misdirections that seem to trouble some older voters.

    And when you factor in potential advances in education using AI, even brain augmentation, then in the future our discussions might seem rather trite to the average sixteen year old.

  26. @ Colin

    “One wonders whether those who aren’t advocating a reduction to 16 of the current UK legal age of adulthood , whilst also advocating that 16 years olds may vote have more of an interest in how they think those 16 year olds would vote , than in a logical argument for giving them that right.”

    and Mutatis Mutandis

  27. AL URQA

    @”Yes, but how do you know?”

    Why would they be deceiving us?

    What would be their motive?

    Why should I on balance disbelieve, rather than believe them?

  28. I should add that there are other advances currently besides more people in HE of course, including nutrition, the info, on the Internet, and ability to exchange info., more collaborative learning etc.

    And arguably things like smaller family sizes can have an impact…

  29. Andrew/CMJ – you are right about Labour post transition preferences being vague but for transition period they have been very clear that all would be as now. There may have to be technical changes to enable as we leave the EU next March but we would ipso facto be remaining in the CU and SM during that transition period This means accepting free movement as well again with minimal adjustment to acknowledge non-EU membership.

    Check out yesterday DP with Kier Starmer’s no.2 making this clear.

  30. @ WB – just sick of this view that MPs want to remain or want BINO, all the votes show they clearly don’t. If you want one specific on the CU then 20Nov covered that issue specifically.

    Maths: 311 – 76 = 235 (LAB mostly abstained but had rebels on both sides voting against and with CON)

    LAB-Remain hero worshipping Osborne of all people is however quite amusing! Along with Blair, Clegg, Adonis, etc. the “celebrity” list of unelected people that Remain fawn over certainly makes me chuckle.

    @ GARJ – possible for sure, betting odds seem fair. I suspect the maths to get to 48 has been very close for some time. The issue is the large number of the ‘quiet life’ CON MPs and lack of obvious replacement. I suspect the “quiet life” gang will be hard to budge until Brexit is over. My money would be on May using Hammond as an initial scapegoat when the whips knock on her door with 48+ letters. However, if you get rid of May you’d almost certainly also get rid of Hammond and I do like a BOGOF deal :)

    @ ALEC – you need to put an adjective such as “barely” in front of noticeable slowdown. 0.2% is not 2%. Please supply evidence if you consider otherwise. How about unemployment?

    Businesses hate uncertainty and will hence lower planned investment during periods of uncertainty – possibly the only thing we agree on.

    Businesses do however make contingency plans for different scenarios. We tend to see+hear the likes of SMMT lobbying for “soft” Brexit but you can bet your bottom dollar businesses have also been lobbying for Plan B scenarios (see Lancaster House or Ireland’s recent GDP “miracle”). Financial sector for sure! The kind of things they ask for would make Corbynistas toes curl so don’t be expecting to read about that in the Independent!
    I’ve no idea what deal Nissan have but clearly Plan B contingency issues have been discussed.

    The term used for lobby groups tends to be Janus head but importantly the full Brexit face does its talking behind closed doors where as the soft Brexit face talks in the Remain press.

    With 100bn/yr trade deficit in goods with EU and a freely floating exchange rate I’m optimistic we’ll benefit in terms of jobs and economy from a clean/full Brexit but that will in part depend on HMG’s response to ensure we take max advantage of the opportunities and minimise the risks – something a robust model can not include but something that would be very n4ive to pretend wouldn’t happen.

    Consumer response?? Who knows. Remarkably resilient possibly due to such low levels of unemployment, possibly “comfort eating”? Brexit might be the pin that burst consumer debt bubble – doubt it, but certainly it is within range of possible outcomes and why I’m not putting out 15yr predictions into the decimal places.

  31. Trevor,

    That amendment sought to commit to remaining in THE Customs Union a position no Government or opposition with negotiation responsibilities (or potential ones) could endorse; especially as it is not possible after leaving the EU

    Those MPs voting for it know this, I believe, but want to parade their remain credentials.

    Most Labour abstainers support the idea of a CU with the EUs CU as do many Tory MPs.

  32. 2c on voting age. No real interest as think the current situation is OK and it is clearly a very partisan political issue due to the effect it would have.

    However, there is lots of research suggesting the human brain is not fully developed until 25 and the difference is important.

    “Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.”
    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

    Based on the science perhaps we should raise voting age to 25 to ensure voters vote with good judgment and awareness of long-term consequences rather than emotion?

    As for “no taxation without representation”, perhaps someone could provide info on how much tax 16 and 17 olds pay, extend that to those remaining in education after 18 if you like. If your living with or otherwise supported by parents should they vote for you?

    I’m not suggesting any of these things but food for thought as they say :)

  33. Do you place less value on emotional judgement Trevor than rational?

    Interesting in the Brexit context as I don’t join in the Economic arguments often as I accept that for many leave voters Brexit was emotional not economic decision.

    So discounting emotional voters who base their judgements on emotional consideration over to rational leads to a remain result?

    I am not suggesting this of course but neither I am suggesting that 6th formers think too emotionally to vote.

  34. Different topic (sorry if someone has already dealt with this).

    Has anybody done an analysis of the NI Parliamentary boundary Commission’s revised proposals? The previous version was opposed by the DUP since it would have given SF a majority. Consequently, the DUP would have voted down the entire boundary revision for the next general election. SF are now opposing the revised proposals. Does this mean the DUP will now support them and help the government to vote through the changes?

  35. @ JIM JAM – A tad cheeky by me perhaps but can you provide numeric evidence for:
    “Most Labour abstainers support the idea of a CU with the EUs CU as do many Tory MPs.”

    From the Tory side we only have Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry – hardly “many”
    We also know for sure that from the LAB side Kate Hoey, Frank Field, Kelvin Hopkins, Dennis Skinner want a full Brexit. Add in Ronnie Campbell, Graham Stringer, John Mann if you want to take in some other votes where some LAB didn’t understand the maths of simply abstaining or automatically voting against HMG out of principle.

    Certainly a lot of MPs liked the idea of Remain before 22Jun16, they wanted to be on the winning side even if they barely made an effort to campaign for that side. However, what evidence do we have since the EURef campaign that “most” MPs wish UK to stay in the CU with everything that full existing CU status entails?

    If anyone wants to check individual votes, the full list of who voted for/against is here (you can work out abstain from turnout figures – the abstain “tactic” is one I think many of us are aware of but clearly not LAB-Remain VI!)

  36. Trevor

    A classic misunderstanding of scientific evidence, research questions and conclusions.

    These studies DO NOT differentiate between neural maturity of different ages but are evidence of the gradual nature of the process. As a matter of fact, some of the processes don’t conclude until about 45 years of age.

    Here’s probably the most cited article in it.

    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/22/8819.full?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Sowell&fulltext=dorsal%20frontal%20cortex&searchid=1097616526589_8992&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=jneuro

  37. Those Labour MPS who abstained on that vote supported the leadership position which is as I have enunciated.

    As to Tories who want a soft Brexit, many are staying quiet for now I reckon to give Mrs May the chance to deliver but no numbers I’m afraid.

  38. @Trevor Warne – “you need to put an adjective such as “barely” in front of noticeable slowdown. 0.2% is not 2%. Please supply evidence if you consider otherwise. How about unemployment?”

    Thanks, but lets just stick to GDP, which is what the entire conversation has been about. Best not to change horses mid stream.

    I believe the Brexit slowdown is considerably more than 0.2%. We’ve gone from the fastest growing G7 economy to the slowest (the first time we’ve been the slowest since I think the 1990’s) and despite robust and widespread global growth, the UK is now lagging behind other similar nations. We are in a post recession period when we would normally expect growth to be accelerating, but it’s falling back in the UK, although behaving broadly as expected elsewhere.

    We can argue all you like about percentages, but I rather think it’s for you to ‘prove’ Brexit has only cost us 0.2% if that is what you are claiming. You also need to factor in all those additional spending measures we talked about yesterday. I’m assuming you accept that these had a beneficial impact on GDP, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that Brexit had a bigger impact – only that we’ve hidden that impact by spending more taxpayers money. If you’re saying that the visible impact is just 0.2%, then we need to add the impact of the emergency measures to get the true impact.

    Ultimately, assessing an outcome against a hypothetical outcome is never going to give anyone proof, so perhaps it’s best to just let everyone have a view on this, disagreements and all?

  39. Trevor

    Also if you read Abigail Baird’s works, you will see that the adolescents use of the prefrontal cortex is context dependent (what a surprise), and that adults use different segments of their prefrontal cortext to a different degree, so it’s not a single group in that respect Also she didn’t find any difference between adolescents and adults in the use of amygdala.

  40. @ JIM JAM – your 2:26pm. Read the last line of my 2:19pm

    As for “I accept that for many leave voters Brexit was emotional not economic decision.”

    Evidence?

    The ICM poll that others have brought up shows only 12% thought Brexit would have a -ve impact and that question had no time frame (ie possibly a short-term -ve impact for longer-term greater benefit).

    The decision had many factors but very few people voted to “make themselves poorer” no matter how many times LDEM voice say they did. Economics doesn’t cover everything anyway. Lots of Leave don’t like the long-term consequences of uncontrolled immigration, etc and used good judgement accordingly. (I’m on fence re:immigration but it is a major factor for many)

    Anyway to answer your question: “Do you place less value on emotional judgement Trevor than rational?”
    For which movie to see or pizza to buy – no
    For business planning or which govt is going to run the country for the next 5yrs – yes, or tell aye as the say in HoC

    I’m not suggesting we change the age but certainly I hope voters select the next govt on the basis of “good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences” rather than “emotional part.” of their brain

    You might know the saying: “Marry in haste and repent at leisure”. Switch Marry to Vote and maybe the demographic profile of VI makes more sense? Maybe in 2022 we’ll get to find out :<

  41. “Interesting in the Brexit context as I don’t join in the Economic arguments often as I accept that for many leave voters Brexit was emotional not economic decision.”

    ———

    Well they say this, but as others have pointed out, some of them are quite insulated from the economic fallout.

    They suddenly got a lot less emotional and a lot more economic when May announced her policy for funding care in the election campaign though!

  42. @Garj – I do appreciate your point about everyone trying to get their own way, but I think the problem is that in the minds of the EU, the single market is something that has a clear legal, political and emotional definition. The UK has to either be in this or not in it. No one is going to give the UK the right to trade on SM terms unless we adopt the full range of obligations. I accept that the EU isn’t doing this for benign reasons – it’s overriding aim is to protect the integrity of the EU, and so that means protecting citizens rights until we leave.

    “As for a collapse in talks resulting in us remaining, sorry, that just sounds like clutching at straws.”

    Let’s just wait and see. If May really does stick to her guns, then there is no transition and we leave in 13 months time. Just wait and see what the business reaction to that will be before making hard and fast judgements about what follows.

  43. @CHRIS RILEY

    “Gosh, that’s an appalling oversight on my part.
    He ought to do it again to drive home how foolish I have been”

    ———

    Well it could happen again, depending on what the odds are for another error…

  44. VOTES FOR FIVE YEAR OLDS.

    They can do it by looking at photographs of the candidates’ faces and then use coloured bricks or something.

    I vaguely remember reading or hearing that the little rascals can recognise nice faces better when they’re younger, so that’s the research dealt with.

    Once they’re, say, eleven, we can shift to the “apostrophe s” test method. That will have the advantage of reducing voting numbers dramatically – more than making up for the younger cohort having a go – and save money in the process.

  45. @Trevor

    “For business planning or which govt is going to run the country for the next 5yrs – yes, or tell aye as the say in HoC”

    ———

    The problem is that a lot of issues defeat the rational,abilities of many, and this is all the more the case because quite often there isn’t enough info. or time.

    In these circumstances many have little choice but to rely on the emotIonal, which is preferable than trying to be rational and being defeated by the logic or lack of info.

    And often experts become intuitive rather than having to work things through.

  46. @ ALEC – fine, stick with GDP, I teed you up nicely for that reply :)

    Ireland grew there economy by 36% from 2012-2017 (over 6% per annum).

    If you only care about GDP then let’s take the Irish model onto a global stage.

    I see as always you fall back to “I believe” n=1 and expect me to be the only one proving anything.

    OK fine, I did show EU’s cr4p performance on a comparative historical and peer group measure before (EA especially) – I’ll repost it if you missed it or have goldfish issue. Cherry-picking one year, as you have, clearly shows the depth of your analysis – HIRETON would be proud!

    I have no care whether anyone agrees with me, you or the man on the moon. We live in a democracy where n>1. What I do take issue with is the use of highly flawed models taken with no thought to the assumptions or there historical track record. I’ve only ever wanted to discuss the models but Remainers like yourself want to discuss the decimal places in models that they clearly either do not understand or do not wish to question provided they are given an answer they like.

    I’d argue the degree of stimulus and fiscal slippage, etc was tiny (see the response to the financial crisis if you want to see an order of magnitude difference) but believe whatever you want. I’ve repeatedly said it is impossible to dissect GDP to look for individual causal factors – so since you are the one wanting to do that, then I’ll take a leaf out of your book and demand that you be the one that proves so!

    I won’t hold my breathe!

  47. Trevor Warne,
    ” just sick of this view that MPs want to remain or want BINO, all the votes show they clearly don’t.”

    If you listen to what each MP has said about the EU, it is clear most campaigned to remain. I assume they did so because they want to remain. Whether they might vote to leave in view of the referendum result is a different matter, but what they want is surely clearest from what they said when they were free to choose sides.

    “Businesses hate uncertainty”

    No doubt, but what are they uncertain about? Surely, if they were uncertain whether Brexit means no change or a runaway success, they would have increased their investment in the uk. Their uncertainty would be by how much to do so.

    The only reason for halting investment is that the range of uncertainty includes negative outcomes. If they stop investing for fear of such an outcome, then one has to assume that if that negative outcome comes to pass they will not resume investment. Otherwise there would not have been a reason to suspend it to begin with.

    The expectation is pretty clear: a hard brexit will have a negative impact (everyone agrees including yourself, we just argue about how much). A soft Brexit will have less impact, but still generally expected to be negative. But unfortunately, hard brexiteers have quite sensibly pointed out that a soft brexit would leave the UK in a worse position that not leaving the EU at all.

    Thus the problem, that a significant majority oppose hard brexit, but there is consensus that soft Brexit leaves the nation worse off than now.

    By the way, what do you believe will be the mechanism whereby Uk trade would in fact benefit from Brexit? ( Because I dont see any mechanism for this)

  48. Trevor Warne,
    “Ireland grew there economy by 36% from 2012-2017 (over 6% per annum).”

    So you are arguing we should join the EU, like Ireland?

    ” Remainers like yourself want to discuss the decimal places ”
    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). I find the argument convincing that the Uk ought to be doing far better than it is at this point in the economic cycle, and indeed was showing signs of this before the referendum arrived. It is credible that there has already been a pretty huge hit from Brexit, which stretches back to 2015 or earlier when UKIP started to gain ground, and specifically when the tories committed to a referendum. (and is visible in the exchange rate data when the pound started its slide from $1.60)

    In making this argument I am not relying upon fiddling with small amounts in models, but looking at the historic track record. If yesterday your car managed 60 comfortably but today it will not go over 30, something is causing that.

  49. @ CARFREW / LASZLO – I’m aware of such things as heuristics, cognitive consistency, etc that possibly become “tribal loyalty” in due course etc. Let’s be really bad on PC and say old folks have dementia risk, etc. So I’d agree few people really go through the choices of LAB or CON and make a fully rational, long-term consequence decision be they 18 or 88. Maybe the sweet spot for voting is 48 and anyone aged 48 gets to vote twice, or is that reserved to clever students who manage to be on a home and uni electoral register? :)

    A :) at the end of a comment is the social construct acceptance of a comment made in jest (see also 2:19pm final sentence)

    P.S. I was upset May dropped the change to double pension lock and dropped the Robin Hood tax (aka dementia tax) but for sure we can see in seats like Eastbourne that societal based, rational, long-term consequence policies don’t win the selfish rich coffin dodger vote – those kind of people vote LDEM :)

  50. @ DANNY – read the whole post, no skimming, skipping and out of context quote cherry picking please!

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