April becomes May, and May just keeps on going...
May 1, 2019 10:08 AM   Subscribe

A month after we were definitely, certainly, no two ways about it leaving the EU, here we still are. Chris Grayling is carrying on in the manner to which he has become accustomed, Ian Dunt sounds ever more exasperated, and the Guardian reminds us that, like any number of horror movie villains, Brexit's not dead yet.

The Conservatives look set to be relieved of their responsibilities for councils all over the country in tomorrow's local elections. Meanwhile in the impending European elections, with 8 million potential voters still unregistered, the various Remain parties seem to be doing a dishearteningly thorough job of splitting the vote, while the Labour Party continue to alienate an increasingly large percentage of the electorate, and Andrew Adonis insists he hasn't been replaced by a pod person. I probably ought to bring up the Brexit Party but I honestly can't bear to. Chris Grey is profoundly unimpressed by the lack of urgency on display, and Marina Hyde continues to skewer all those in need of skewering .

The story continues.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature (242 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Who had Gavin Williamson in the Huawei leaks pool?
posted by Catseye at 10:13 AM on May 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh look, yes, Gavin WIlliamson's been fired. Should have guessed that something would happen while I was composing the post. You look away for five minutes...
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:31 AM on May 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

That's a relief. I was sure for a while that he'd accidentally start a war or something.
posted by pipeski at 10:46 AM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm actually surprised his firing letter makes reference to "compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure", rather than him just being told to "resign to spend more time with his family". I thought leaking from the NSC was a criminal offence, and if it is then the wording of the letter makes it look like a prosecution is coming his way. He has denied that he was "in any way involved".

[In other zany-timestm news Fiona Onasanya MP (Independent, previously Labour) has just lost her seat, with a by-election triggered, after her constituents completed the first ever successful recall petition]
posted by samworm at 11:14 AM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

ConservativeHome LeftWatch: Corbyn has successfully fudged it again:
Tom Watson and others wanted a guarantee of a second referendum, with Remain on the ballot paper, in any circumstance. But this text disappoints them, making only the option of a referendum a mere consideration in a third-place scenario.

That will cause some ructions for the Labour leader. So why has he forced through the decision?

For one thing, the would-be Remain challenge in the European elections is flopping. ‘Change UK – The Independent Group’, AKA ‘Keep The UK The Same – The Forgettable Mouthful’, are currently struggling in the polls so badly that they are even behind the Brexit Party in London. That reduces the perceived need to woo Remainers.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage is openly gunning for Labour voters after chalking up early success among Conservatives. That increases the possible price of pandering to Remainers.

What’s more, Labour believes its strategy of ambiguity to be working – not for the EU, necessarily, which is not its priority, but for itself. It has held together its embattled coalition better than Theresa May, and the polls show that while 42 per cent of voters believe it to be an anti-Brexit party, 25 per cent don’t know its position, 13 per cent believe it to be pro-Brexit and 20 per cent believe it to be neither pro- nor anti-. If Corbyn’s hope is to not talk about Brexit and instead talk about other topics, his strategy appears to be muddying the water sufficiently to allow him to do so.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:38 AM on May 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

The amount of flak I and others here have taken for suggesting that Corbyn is effectively a brexiteer, and yet here we are...
posted by Dysk at 11:44 AM on May 1, 2019 [17 favorites]

The tradition, of course, is for parties to publish their manifesto before the election is held, so that voters can base their decision on what it contains. Not so anymore. Actual policies are a hindrance to electoral success.

Oh. Good. Lord.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:50 AM on May 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

It looks like we are not going to need this ferry contract anymore. Never mind about that silly Brexit.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2019

The chaos and vote-splitting around Remain is disheartening. The word "remain" itself is a weak one: remains aren't the best part. They could have used “Stay”, though: shorter, stronger, with overtones of stopping something unwanted. I mean, Europe's home for most UK folks; why wouldn't they want to stay?
posted by scruss at 1:05 PM on May 1, 2019

I actually cried yesterday when I saw an advert on YouTube from the Portuguese tourism organisation, saying they love us and will always be our friends, whatever happens with Brexit. Yes, I was being advertised at, because they still want us to come and spend money there, but still, I will take almost anything at this point.
posted by skybluepink at 1:12 PM on May 1, 2019 [8 favorites]

Well, I went to Portugal for the first time because of Brexit, so that worked, skybluepink. (I hit up 7 of the 10 EU countries I'd never been to before March 29th, having realised I should do it in late February. I got a lot out of it.)
posted by ambrosen at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2019 [5 favorites]

The Remainers seem to be replaying the Spanish Civil War from the progressive side; squabbling amongst each other as the fascists prepare to blitzkrieg over them.
posted by acb at 3:59 PM on May 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

The Remainers seem to be replaying the Spanish Civil War from the progressive side; squabbling amongst each other as the fascists prepare to blitzkrieg over them.

This has happened often enough in history that I'm pretty sure it's a feature of left-wing politics in general.

Incidentally, this is why the Glorious Communist Revolution will always end in failure, and why I'm suspicious of the explanation that the previous ones failed because of capitalist oppression. Consensus-building is pretty much always slower than an authoritarian.
posted by Merus at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2019 [12 favorites]

I think the curious thing is that while the word Brexit dominates all politics, the political class don't seem to really care about it.

The Tory right see Brexit as a useful route to get to the deregulated, low-tax, free-trade state they wanted. But there isn't really any public support for that: the public were concerned about sovereignty and immigration. If the Tory right aren't going to get a libertarian state through Brexit, they're not interested in delivering Brexit and will vote down Brexit deals.

Since 2015, the Labour centre-left establishment have been obsessed with the goal of getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn. They're interested in opposing Brexit insofar as that drives a wedge between Corbyn and the membership. But they're not interested in cross-party cooperation to stop Brexit as that potentially alienates them from the Labour membership they want to win over.

The Lib Dems, Scottish Nationalists, Greens and Change UK see Remain voters alienated from the main parties as a useful source of votes in their own areas of the political spectrum. But they're not interested in cooperating with other parties in that same area to oppose Brexit. To cooperate in the European Elections for instance would defeat their primary purpose of hoovering up as many Remain voters from their closest rivals as possible.

Jeremy Corbyn rebelled against his own party on many things throughout the years, but not particularly on Europe. In the Seventies and early Eighties when the party was anti-EEC, he followed that line. When he became leader, he was easily talked into supporting Remain (see Tim Shipman's book "All Out War"). When Leave won the referendum, he was willing to go along with it assuming it would happen quickly and the Tories would take the consquences. When the delays looked like splitting the party, his priority has been to prevaricate and try to keep the party together.

I think the big mistake from the ground level is thinking that because you care passionately about Brexit, that politicians must do too. But for the political class the point of Brexit is to leverage it to achieve your existing political goals. They don't really care that much about either delivering Brexit or stopping Brexit, certainly not if that gets in the way of serious stuff like party leadership battles.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:15 AM on May 2, 2019 [13 favorites]

Apparently the main effect of Change UK has been a reinvigoration of the Lib Dem vote. I'm guessing that the nakedly opportunistic collection of centrist careerists that comprises it and, beyond trying to capitalise on anti-Brexit sentiment, its lack of any convictions or ideologies does make the Lib Dems look like a bastion of ideals and integrity by contrast.
posted by acb at 2:45 AM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

But for the political class the point of Brexit is to leverage it to achieve your existing political goals.

For a lot of political goals, that would require it to go either one way or the other. It's why the anti-immigration racists want brexit. Not for Brexit itself, but for the anti-immigrant racism it enables. It's also why Corbyn's position is so ludicrously batshit. You cannot be on the side of good and be happy to shrug and not give a shit either way on the thing that enables the anti-immigrant racism and the thing that enables it.
posted by Dysk at 4:40 AM on May 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

The Lib Dems, Scottish Nationalists, Greens and Change UK see Remain voters alienated from the main parties as a useful source of votes in their own areas of the political spectrum. But they're not interested in cooperating with other parties in that same area to oppose Brexit.
No, they haven't agreed to step aside for each other in European elections, but they are working together in Scotland at least. There are clear disagreements between those parties in Holyrood on various issues, but there is a united front against Brexit.

Looking at the 2014 results for Scotland (and please do correct me, the D'Hondt system is challenging my maths) if the Lib Dems and the Greens had gone on the same ticket in Scotland they could have got an MEP rather than UKIP, so I do accept that there is some loss from not making those sort of coalitions. But it's also worth noting that Britain First, the BNP and No2EU also stood in the 2014 EU elections which lost UKIP (or potentially the Tories) 2% of the vote. As the new existence of the Brexit party shows, splitting is most definitely not just a function of the left.
posted by Vortisaur at 4:48 AM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Remainers seem to be replaying the Spanish Civil War from the progressive side; squabbling amongst each other as the fascists prepare to blitzkrieg over them.

This is both a shitty and inaccurate description of the Spanish Civil War. The "squabbles" were at first a totalitarian foreign communist regime supporting local wannabe totalitarian communists in an attempt to wipe out all local leftist movements that stood in their way. The only way to have resolved this without "squabbles" would have been to let the Soviet-supported communists have everything their way. The NKVD were in the country, torturing and killing in the same way they did in the Soviet union. A sunny, united front, would have been acquiescence to just a different form of murderous totalitarianism. The later "squabbles" were an attempted coup by troops opposed to making a peace deal with Franco.

And it is seriously arguable whether this changed the course of the war. The major communist-anarchist fighting in May 1937 was not exploited by Franco's forces, and a lot of Franco's victories are attributable to German and Italian materiel and air support.

A better lesson for Brexit from the Spanish Civil War is that if your enemy is getting massive financial and materiel support from abroad, you'd better have something at least as good if you want to win.
posted by Vortisaur at 5:18 AM on May 2, 2019 [12 favorites]

Still, the Brexit Party has a commanding lead over the demoralised Tories and the hollowed-out UKIP (who presumably now exist to serve as a distraction; one of their candidates is a chap whose claim to fame is training his dog to do a Nazi salute); if you want to cry havoc and let loose the dogs of No Deal, you know whom to vote for. If, however, you want to stay in the EU, you're faced with a paralysis of choice, with no one option jumping out as the best. With there being no proportional representation, it's easy to squander your vote unless you pick the pro-Remain party that's likely to achieve the highest total.
posted by acb at 5:25 AM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

With there being no proportional representation, it's easy to squander your vote

But there is proportional representation. The EU elections are run using the D'Hondt system in the UK (outside NI), which is a party-list PR system. The concern is that D'Hondt works against minor parties if they're too minor, and that splitting the Remain vote too many ways will mean that all the Remain parties end up underrepresented. If we knew that the Greens and Lib Dems and Change UK would all get a number of MEPs closely reflecting their share of the national vote then the splitting wouldn't matter that much.

One positive is that given how badly the Tories are polling, D'Hondt could end up hammering them too.
posted by rory at 5:48 AM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

I meant to say no preferential voting; IIRC, you get to tick one box, and if you chose an unpopular party rather than an almost-as-palatable party with more support, tough luck.

But yes, the Tories look likely to face annihilation. (See also: today's local council elections.) It'll be interesting to see whether the Conservative Party survives and (eventually) recovers its stature as the natural party of the established order, whether it survives and limps on as the Liberal Party/Lib Dems has, or if it disintegrates, leaving behind a number of splinter parties and perhaps a tiny, irrelevant rump owning the name “Conservative Party”.
posted by acb at 6:24 AM on May 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

@MikeStuchbery_: 'Tommy Robinson' in Warrington today, talking to constituents. [video]

Literally milkshaking nazis is the best milkshaking.
posted by Buntix at 10:06 AM on May 2, 2019 [8 favorites]

I think the curious thing is that while the word Brexit dominates all politics, the political class don't seem to really care about it [..] for the political class the point of Brexit is to leverage it to achieve your existing political goals. They don't really care that much about either delivering Brexit or stopping Brexit, certainly not if that gets in the way of serious stuff like party leadership battles.

It's very easy to affect a knowing cynicism about the motives of the 'political class'. Unfortunately, this plays into the hands of Nigel Farage, who famously announced that 'the time has come to teach the political class a lesson', echoed by Gerard Batten, who announced last month that it was time to 'behead the political class'. Now that the term has been weaponized by the extreme right, the rest of us need to be very careful about how we use it.

In any case, I think your diagnosis is mistaken. You are underestimating the ideological conviction of the Tory Right, who are determined to achieve a hard Brexit even if they have to destroy the Tory party in order to get it. Whatever this is, it's not politics as usual, and if we're going to talk about a 'political class' we need to recognise that that class is deeply fractured.
posted by verstegan at 12:38 PM on May 2, 2019 [11 favorites]

Nigel Farage, who famously announced that 'the time has come to teach the political class a lesson'

Yes let's, starting with sticking two fingers up to career politician Farage by going hard for EU membership.

Like, can neither be nor his followers see how ironic it is that Farage of all people is calling out 'the political class'? He is as firmly in that camp as anyone.
posted by Dysk at 1:33 PM on May 2, 2019 [6 favorites]

Interesting, looks like a Lib Dem revival with some Green gains. The live results currently have Con -189, Lab -38, Lib Dem +135, UKIP 0, Green +27. As I said in the last thread, I think turnout is going to be critical, could it be a sign that Remainers are more likely to show up at the voting booths?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:24 PM on May 2, 2019

Are the Lib Dems finally realising some benefit from being clearly and consistently Remain? (Ukip doesn’t seem to be making significant gains) Or are they just being used as ‘none of the above’? (Independent candidates are also doing well.)
posted by Segundus at 10:44 PM on May 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

The BBC spin on the results is weird.
"Both main parties take a kicking" is the message yet the results aren't exactly equal.
Currently, Tories have lost 14 councils to Labour's 3 and 396 councilors to Labour's 81.
posted by fullerine at 11:01 PM on May 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ours was one of the councils (Wirral) that went from Labour to NOC, but two seats went from Labour to Green, based largely on well-organised local rage over greenbelt destruction planned by our particularly shitty, formerly-Labour, council. There's a Brexit effect, for sure, but with so much brown field ripe for reclamation, just selling off our gorgeous greenbelt to scuzzy developers has the voting locals totally furious.
posted by skybluepink at 11:12 PM on May 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

I’m wary of seeing local elections as simply a proxy for voter feelings on national-level policy, but there’s some interesting stuff going on here with the LibDem revival. Look at the overall vote share for Sunderland: Labour taking a hammering and UKIP up, but both Greens and LibDems showing a bigger increase than UKIP, LibDems considerably so. But the council leader thinks the Labour losses are due to Labour backing another EU referendum and Lab MPs being not Brexity enough? What?
posted by Catseye at 12:58 AM on May 3, 2019

BBC: Local elections: The main parties punished
As expected the Conservatives fell back. They were defending seats that were mostly last up for grabs four years ago, on the same day that David Cameron won the 2015 general election. That, coupled with the party's recent freefall in the polls, seemed to augur significant Conservative losses...

However, Labour also found itself slipping back - on average by one point as compared with its rather poor performance in 2015, and by no less than six points as compared with its rather better performance last year... The party's performance would seem to confirm the message of a number of polls that Labour's support has been slipping in the wake of the Brexit impasse. The party lost ground more heavily in Leave-voting areas than in Remain-voting ones, a pattern that it shared with the Conservatives...

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats, who before they entered into coalition with the Conservatives in 2010 were often a vehicle for protest votes, also appear to have profited from voters' disenchantment with the two largest parties... However, what was missing was any sign of the party performing better in pro-Remain rather than in pro-Leave areas - suggesting that the party's pro-Remain stance on Brexit may not have played that central a role in its advance.

At the same time, the Greens also put in what looks set to be one of their best local election results ever. They posted an average of 11% of the vote in the wards they contested, up four points on its performance where it also stood four years ago. The party may have been helped by the recent protests about climate change.

Fighting just one in six wards, there was little opportunity for UKIP to make much impact on these elections. Where it did stand the party's vote was down by three points on its relative high point of 2015, but up eight points on its poor position last year.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:21 AM on May 3, 2019

Labour's support has been slipping in the wake of the Brexit impasse. The party lost ground more heavily in Leave-voting areas than in Remain-voting ones, a pattern that it shared with the Conservatives
However, what was missing was any sign of the [LibDem] party performing better in pro-Remain rather than in pro-Leave areas - suggesting that the party's pro-Remain stance on Brexit may not have played that central a role in its advance.

So there’s a different kind of shift in the areas we’re considering ‘pro-leave’ compared to ‘pro-remain’, but this is evidence against Brexit being an influence? Wouldn’t a narrative like ‘Remain voters in Leave areas are shifting party allegiances’ fit as well, BBC?

I don’t know how much this is a commentary on Brexit at all (LibDems have always been decent at local politics, etc) but I get the sense the BBC and others don’t have a clear narrative on this either and are heavily hammering their existing one to fit. Same with Laura Kuenssberg still talking about ‘Leave voters in Sunderland’ cf. ‘Remain voters in Bath’ after Sunderland and Bath saw a swing towards LD. Seems much of the media is still viewing Leave voters as something of a different species to Remain voters, voting as a single immovable bloc in ways that would make no sense if applied to somewhere like Bath. “They want to deliver Brexit so badly, they’re prepared to defect to the LibDems to make the point!”
posted by Catseye at 2:39 AM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

I think the results are hard to spin, but the commentators are giving it their best shot anyway.

Pre-Brexit the challenge was to spin every election result as Labour/Conservative. Post-Brexit the challenge is to spin every election as Leave/Remain.

These results are difficult to spin either way. Labour and the Conservatives both did badly.

The Lib Dems did well so you can use that to spin it as "Remain victory".

On the other hand there was no ultra-Brexit party option in most places, and Labour and Conservatives lost worst in Leave areas, so the Labour and Tory establishments are valiantly trying to spin it as "this means deliver Brexit" anyway.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:09 AM on May 3, 2019

The Tories are now saying that the message from the public is that they want Brexit to happen now, rather than dragging on. Leave with no deal, tear up the backstop, tell the frogs and jerries where they can stick their agreements, and march off jauntily whistling the theme from Dambusters.
posted by acb at 3:26 AM on May 3, 2019

Oh god, this is funny. The Greens beat the crap out of Labour in our ward. (See my comment above about greenbelt development being a huge issue in our area.) Like, it wasn't even close; they pounded them by twice as many votes. The Tories? 78 votes total. There are a few things I'll miss about this place when we move, and literally never having seen a Conservative campaign sign in the sixteen years I've been living here is high on the list.
posted by skybluepink at 3:39 AM on May 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

The Tories are now saying that the message from the public is that they want Brexit to happen now


Con/Lab/UKIP (Leave): -598
Green/LibDem (Remain): +367

posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:02 AM on May 3, 2019 [15 favorites]

It is not hard to spin it as pro-Remain results. In fact, that narrative fits very well:

UKIP (ultra brexit) -70%
CON (hard brexit) -25%
LAB (sneaky brexit) -10%
LD (Remain) +110%
GRN (Remain) +550%

The fact that Labour even lost to LD and Greens in pro-Leave areas might perhaps indicate that they are certainly not being punished for not being Brexit enough.
posted by vacapinta at 4:37 AM on May 3, 2019 [9 favorites]

Chaminda Jayanetti - This all feels very unstable
The rise of independents, separatists, None-Of-The-Aboves and the Brexit Party are all signs of a political ecosystem at risk of imminent mass flooding. Neither main party seems able to stitch together anything but reluctant support from a dwindling band of loyalists. Whoever wins the next election looks like they'll do so by losing less badly than their opponents.
posted by Grangousier at 5:11 AM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Tories are now saying that the message from the public is that they want Brexit to happen now, rather than dragging on.

Predictable, innit? This is all May's fault for not presenting a better withdrawal agreement, never mind that her WA was the only one the EU was every going to agree on. Anyway, these results are good news for John McCainBrexit.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:18 AM on May 3, 2019

Well, it's an axiomatic article of faith among the Tories and Labour that Brexit Is The Will Of The People™. As such, if this is a non-negotiable axiom, the only possible explanation for The People voting en masse for Remain parties and caning the Brexit parties is a convoluted one; perhaps it's a form of electoral attention-seeking self-harm, an expression of frustrating that it's 2019 and we still have polski skleps on our high streets.
posted by acb at 6:34 AM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

It is not hard to spin it as pro-Remain results. In fact, that narrative fits very well

From the poll I cited above, 42% of the public think Labour are anti-Brexit and only 13% think Labour is pro-Brexit. So it's not totally clear that the public are punishing Labour for being pro-Brexit when only 13% think that it is.

UKIP were only standing for one in six seats after their organisational collapse and the Brexit Party weren't standing at all. Hopefully the anti-Brexit minor parties soundly beat their pro-Brexit equivalents when they're actually standing, but this election alone doesn't prove that will happen.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:44 AM on May 3, 2019

The Sunderland result is mostly due to local conditions as Stephen Bush points out:
I would strongly urge anyone to avoid drawing any conclusions from the results in a local authority in which a sitting councillor stood down following being convicted on a child abuse charge, and where the local authority has been declared inadequate by Ofsted on...child services.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:46 AM on May 3, 2019

So it's not totally clear that the public are punishing Labour for being pro-Brexit when only 13% think that it is.

Honestly, Greens and Lib Dems made huge gains and that is great news to me, whatever the hidden motivations of the voters were. They are certainly punishing UKIP and Cons and Labour for something. We can call it Factor X.
posted by vacapinta at 6:56 AM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

From the poll I cited above, 42% of the public think Labour are anti-Brexit and only 13% think Labour is pro-Brexit. So it's not totally clear that the public are punishing Labour for being pro-Brexit when only 13% think that it is.
@haveigotnews Labour strongly denies stance on Brexit cost them in the local elections, as they don’t have one.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:24 AM on May 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

Results from NI starting to come in now. Good Twitter thread from Siobhán Fenton on what to look for and what to maybe expect here.
posted by Catseye at 8:04 AM on May 3, 2019

Honestly, Greens and Lib Dems made huge gains and that is great news to me

Hopefully it will mean that they both look like more viable contenders, meaning they could pick up more votes in the EU election rather than being seen as a wasted 3rd party vote in the Lab/Con dichotomy.

Tories are now down over 1000 councillors, or about a quarter, and 35 councils, about a third.

BBC Results Page.
posted by Buntix at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2019 [5 favorites]

Corbyn confirms he's a brexiteer:

"Speaking in Greater Manchester, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he "wanted to do better" and conceded voters who disagreed with its backing for Brexit had deserted the party."
posted by Dysk at 9:12 AM on May 3, 2019 [10 favorites]

The headline for the election results on Danish TV news was refreshingly straightforward and honest compared to a lot of the UK coverage I've seen: they simply called it "a proper beating for the Conservatives".
posted by Dysk at 1:59 PM on May 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

A nail-biter in Brighton where Labour took seats off the Conservatives, and Greens took seats off Labour and Conservatives, ending with Labour on 20 seats (+1), Greens on 19 (+8), and Conservatives (-7). Best bit was Withdean ward going from 3 Con seats to 3 Green.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:34 PM on May 3, 2019 [6 favorites]

 Literally milkshaking nazis is the best milkshaking.

I guess Yaxley-Lennon didn't hear the "Milkshake, duck!"
posted by scruss at 6:21 PM on May 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just to demonstrate how wonderful and democratic this whole exercise is, here are the results for my town council. For reference the WRA are ridiculously conservative and racist. Their election material lists how local they are before and in much greater detail than their qualifications or achievements (most of which are successfully opposing new housing, traveller sites, and all kinds of other good initiatives).
posted by Dysk at 12:15 AM on May 4, 2019

I haven't opened it but I got a Brexit Party leaflet for the Euro elections through the door today. First leaflet from any party. This is a Lib Dem / Conservative marginal and it's usually them blizzarding us.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:56 AM on May 4, 2019

here are the results for my town council

"UKIP, stop trying to make Brexit happen. It's not going to happen."
posted by tobascodagama at 5:57 AM on May 4, 2019

"UKIP, stop trying to make Brexit happen. It's not going to happen."

Boy do I hope you're right.

I also wish that the local Lib Dems and Labour (or even Greens!) would actually contest my council seats. I know that both the LDs and Labour have more potential and willing candidates than they put up in the town that mine is in the orbit of (and attached to in a way that you would never know that my town isn't just another suburb except for the big signs loudly pointing it out) so I don't see why they let the League of Gentleman Party (this is a Local Town for Local People!) run effectively unopposed.

At least I get an actual meaningful vote in the EU elections at least once more. It's the only election I can actually participate in where my options aren't limited to a box-ticking exercise in favour of fascists or spoiling the ballot.
posted by Dysk at 7:51 AM on May 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

There is apparently a web site named RemainVoter(.)com, which promises to “make your vote in the European elections count”. Though it won't give you any information unless you submit information about yourself to it. Colour me paranoid, but gathering a list of motivated Remain voters in this post-Cambridge Analytica age does strike me as slightly ominous.
posted by acb at 4:29 AM on May 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Northern Ireland’s local election results: a bad night for the Unionists:
The Unionist parties lost 32 seats: DUP 8, UUP 13, TUV 7, PUP 1 and UKIP 3. They had a bad night (and a very bad night for the UUP and TUV). There was little change in the Nationalist parties, losing one seat overall with the SDLP losing 7 seats but the PBP gaining 5 and Aintú 1. The big winner was the Alliance Party gaining 21 seats and the Greens doubling their seats from 4 to 8.

Again people vote on a range of issues, but the swing was largely from the Unionist parties to Alliance. Alliance is cross-community and hence have the ability to mop up votes from both sides. The UUP, which tends to represent more middle class and centrist Unionists had the greatest losses. Similarly, the SDLP, the more middle-class centrist party on the Nationalist side, lost seats.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:24 AM on May 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

It is interesting to think about what will happen with Brexit, over the coming months, in terms of energy. Anything that could resolve the issue one way or another requires a lot of political force: pushing through a no-deal Brexit, rescinding A50, getting an agreed deal through parliament with cross party agreement, pushing for a confirmatory referendum.

Brexit started out with a load of energy in 2016: an outsider idea which had managed to tip a referendum in its favour against all odds. It was a dog of an idea with many serious flaws from the beginning - but with skilful handling - it had enough momentum to have been pushed through to its conclusion (or at least to the point where it was irrevocable) by now. Brexit had "critical mass". But skilful handling is something that it has not had and the whole concept is like a slowly deflating bouncy castle: leaking air because of its exposed flaws and because those who supported it are slinking away surreptitiously - as we all do when we realise we have been taken in.

So now it lacks sufficient energy to push it to its conclusion: Conservative and Labour party advocates - whether they be voters, MPs or party members - don't have the numbers or the arguments. The biggest motivator in their favour: the spectre of "Brexit deal or no deal by March 29th" is no longer looming. The Tories might change their leader and Farage's party may accumulate MEPs - but that does not change the overall calculus. There is, in truth, going to be no in rush of people newly supporting Brexit because it suddenly makes sense to them or because they want the government to "just get on with it".

Deflating bouncy castles still command attention - but there comes a time when people noticing that they are taking up too much space and that it is time to clear them away. There is logically a need, and expectation for an injection of energy from the remain side (and from the many former leavers who realise they were conned) that provides the impetus to away the mess, open the political agenda for other business, heal divisions and gets on with fixing issues which are actually relevant. But where will that impetus come from politically? Both the main parties where too captured and divided by Brexit to be much of use for channelling this energy. The smaller parties that backed remain are in a better position in terms of their aims: but are completely hobbled by a FPTP voting system. Remain does not yet have critical mass to move things forward either.

So, I think we are in for a long recovery.
posted by rongorongo at 2:18 AM on May 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

A no-deal Brexit doesn't need to be pushed through.
It is still the default.

May jettisoned -> Tory Implosion -> General Election -> Labour/LD/Green coalition I think is the most likely path to remaining.
Not very likely, just most likely.
posted by fullerine at 3:22 AM on May 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Labour/LD/Green coalition with SNP on confidence and supply in return for independence ref 2. Labour is not going to win Scotland absent divine intervention.
posted by jaduncan at 4:14 AM on May 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

Such a scenario would probably depend on Labour replacing Corbyn with Starmer or Watson or someone. Given how Corbyn's radical charisma saved Labour from the doldrums of post-Blairite irrelevance, that would require quite a shift in its attitudes, though the perception of Corbyn having mishandled this crisis may do it, along with the challenger having a perception of competence and credibility (rather than the default not-Corbyn Labour image, of being a Blairite careerist keen on governing by focus group and public-private partnership).

Or perhaps it won't matter; perhaps after perma-austerity, Hostile Environment, the threat of No Deal and a bonfire of rights and protections, the public would be happy to have some Blairite centrist managerialism instead of the promised socialist revolution, if it means they get to keep the NHS.
posted by acb at 5:20 AM on May 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

The emerging Labour-Tory compromise on Brexit is all a mirage by Daniel Boffey seems on the money.

To be fair there's a reasonable amount of energy behind "Brexit" (e.g. the eponymous party) but the totality of the movement's plan is: "Hulk smash!". Anything requiring skill, knowledge, diplomacy, attention to detail... is beyond it. As long as MPs continue to vote against No Deal, "Brexit" will remain at arms length.

As Boffey points out, assuming that an election (in 2 years time?) will provide a resolution is crazy: the main parties will ask voters to choose between different flavours of keeping the benefits of EU membership without the commitments. Who wouldn't vote for that? The approach neutralises the issue of Brexit so the parties can wallop each other with comforting slogans from their back catalogue, rather than addressing the hard problem. And yes, climate change and austerity are the hard problems, but unless you fix Brexit you don't get to address them with energy and vigour and more than a fraction of your attention and budget.

I understand why some people of good faith think a second referendum would be a bad idea. But it's also the least worst bad idea in a world where there are only bad ideas. (Nothing would please me more personally than to revoke A50, but anything you can say against a 2nd ref applies several orders of magnitude more strongly to a revocation which is not mandated by a public vote).

So I tend to agree with other commenters that we have invented a Brexit perpetual motion machine where we endlessly circle the drain, but never drop. In theory an EU country could give us a push, but I think that would be disastrous from a PR and practical perspective, and is therefore unlikely (though not impossible if we continue to behave like asses).
posted by dudleian at 7:42 AM on May 6, 2019 [6 favorites]

I just heard this Lexiteer Brexit Party candidate on the radio. The amount of stupid was impressive, mainly, it's like his brain stopped functioning when he was 25 or something like that. (Come to think of it, that's a lot like Corbyn isn't it?)
The interviewer kept asking him what he was going to actually do in the EP, and most of the time he evaded. But in the end he said it like it is: we (Brexit Party candidates) can't have a policy. We don't agree about anything except Brexit, and that Westminister is full of idiots.
posted by mumimor at 8:53 AM on May 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

A no-deal Brexit doesn't need to be pushed through.
It is still the default.

I don't wish to appear at all blasé about the threat of a no deal Brexit. But, while it may technically still be the default option, I don't think it is one that anybody would be able to follow without considerable challenges. IN theory the EU could force "no deal" on the UK - but this would be strategically daft for them and their members. So the imitative would have to come from a British leader. The first challenge would be getting a PM in place who supported no deal option. That is unlikely to be Theresa May - so there would need to be a Conservative leadership challenge to put Borris or some other Borris-like Brexiter in charge. But that would have to be done without a GE - or without the government losing a vote of no-confidence. The next task would be getting the proposal past a parliamentary vote. MPs have been feeble in indicating that they do want - but they have been explicit in indicating that they do not want "no deal". So they would need to be persuaded somehow. Finally, of course, any leader who was able to push through "no deal" would have themselves and their party very clearly in the firing line for blame for the years of chaos, short-order break up of the UK and do on.
posted by rongorongo at 3:09 AM on May 7, 2019

The alternative would be the EU being infinitely patient and continuing to cut the UK plenty of slack, even as the UK sends troupes of shit-flinging primates as its MEPs, drunkenly belts out football-terrace chants about German bombers and generally farts in the EU's general direction. At some point, even the most sympathetic EU diplomats' patience will run out, and they will cut the UK adrift, to sink or swim on WTO terms.
posted by acb at 5:29 AM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The trope / blanket generalisation is wrong and not conducive to constructive debate, but sadly it is not difficult to find high profile, popular (albeit popular with a minority) exemplars of the trope.

Farage did not express himself scatalogically, but he and Rees Mogg made it clear that they support filling EU institutions with intentionally obstructive representatives. I don't believe Johnson has been caught on camera singing "two world wars and one world cup" but he has form for similar behaviour as long as your arm.

The people doing this stuff are not obscure nobodies: over the past 3 years there's been a disorderly queue of cabinet members from the PM down (queue jumpers, citizens of nowhere etc) ready to make inflammatory statements, including comparing the EU with the USSR and Nazi Germany.

I totally agree "not-all-UK-people", but the leadership of our country is not behaving in an acceptable manner (I am from the UK).
posted by dudleian at 6:14 AM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm from the UK and I don't do any of those things, acb. I don't know who I'm going to vote for at the European elections, but it won't be a Brexit Party or similar. I don't sing songs about German bombers.

This sort of "people from the UK = horrible" trope is unhelpful at best.

Ish. It should however be noted that it's quite possible that almost all the people (and especially MEPs) prepared to act like that will be British. UKIP have already shown they are willing to call the German MEPs Nazis (and, and, and).
posted by jaduncan at 6:17 AM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don't know why but these last local elections give me a bit of hope:

Forest of Dean election result, vote share:

Grn: 27.4% (+13.0)
Con: 26.6% (-3.3)
Lab: 16.4% (-5.4)
LDem: 4.0% (+0.7)
UKIP: 0.7% (-16.5)

I lived near the FoD and if you are not familiar with it, it is the butt of jokes and, well, of course, Con and UKIP have scored strongly there. But looking at these results, well...its clear there were voters who went straight from UKIP to Green. I'd love it if Greens became the new protest party and that even Leavers might be persuaded to vote for them on the principle that, forget Brexit, the environment is the most important issue right now.
posted by vacapinta at 6:48 AM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm a British citizen and most (nay, all) of the British citizens I know are not like that, and don't deserve to be kicked out of the EU. Though there remains a strong likelihood that the offensively obstructionist Brexit Party will constitute a plurality of the MEPs returned in the upcoming European elections (partly due to the D'Hondt voting system penalising fragmented sides and three or four parties squabbling for the Remain votes, with the Brexit Party having a clear run for the Leave vote). So it does look like Britain's official representatives in Brussels will be the ugliest of the ugliest.

I don't think this is reason enough to throw the UK to the wolves of No Deal, though the EU negotiators' patience will eventually run out. If you marry the love of your life and they turn into an abusive drunkard, sooner or later you'll cut your losses.
posted by acb at 7:19 AM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm from the UK and I don't do any of those things, acb. I don't know who I'm going to vote for at the European elections, but it won't be a Brexit Party or similar. I don't sing songs about German bombers.

No, but others do. And some of those people represent the UK in an official capacity in EU political institutions, while you don't. So that is indeed the image the UK projects in Europe to a large degree, and how (some of) its official representatives behave. Wish that it weren't and that the sane Brits were better represented, but we are where we are.
posted by Dysk at 7:41 AM on May 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

Brexit: The conditions are ripe for the biggest backlash imaginable

Happy happy joy joy.

I think he's probably right, not to be a downer or anything. I saw a retweet this morning which suggests the Communist Party (Marxist/Leninist) has come out in favour of the Brexit Party, too.

(Of course we're cynical - all the current players have worked hard to earn our cynicism - but Farage's mob isn't a response to political fecklessness and corruption, it's a distillation of it.)

Labour don't lack a position, by the way. They're for Brexit and opposed to a second referendum. I mean, most of the membership hold opposing views, but their opinion is irrelevant to what the party believes, which is dictated from the centre.
posted by Grangousier at 2:34 AM on May 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

It has to be Green really.
Problem is persuading all the other remain leaning voters to do the same.

It's all so damned idiotic.
posted by fullerine at 3:05 AM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

My strategy: if the Greens are in with a chance where you vote, vote for them, otherwise hold your nose and vote Lib Dems. Change UK and Labour are both cynical grabs for a supposedly captive, desperate Remain vote. Labour attempting to spin themselves as the one choice for Remain voters puts their spin of the Blair/Campbell years into the shade.

For what it's worth, I'll be voting in London. Still not sure whether to vote Green or Lib Dem.
posted by acb at 3:26 AM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's worth noting that there's 3 Green MEPs and 1 Lib Dem representing the UK in the European Parliament right now, so going for what you believe in could well turn out OK.

Easy for me to say where my (barring an exceptional performance by someone else at the hustings I'm going to tonight) Green vote will very likely go to a Green MEP, though.
posted by ambrosen at 3:32 AM on May 8, 2019

But looking at these results, well...its clear there were voters who went straight from UKIP to Green.

I doubt that there were many - Leave supporters were more likely to question science, climate change and evolution, so it's hard to believe too many Kippers have suddenly turned green. I suspect what you've seen is Kippers voting Con or Lab, which has prevented those parties from losing even more vote share than they have, and former Con or Lab voters voting Green.

Winterhill, if you're stuck then I'd say follow your gut and vote Green. The more people who do, the better their chances of securing an MEP. It's got to be better than not voting for any of them.

Brexit: The conditions are ripe for the biggest backlash imaginable ... Happy happy joy joy.

Maybe. Or Goodall could be a case of someone who's trapped in a journalist bubble and not able to see beyond it. Brexit supporters might be noisy online and willing to turn out in their hundreds for Farage, but we've seen many head-to-head examples of popular shows of support for Remain and Leave this year, and they didn't suggest that there are hordes of angry fascists waiting to storm Westminster. Theresa May's take on the local elections of their being a sign that the electorate wanted Brexit was so obviously wrong that it was laughable: those results should give Remainers strength, not concern.

It's true that Farage's branding of his new party will give a bad impression on the night of the EU results when he gets 27% of the vote, but it won't change the underlying reasons for the paralysis at Westminster. If anything, it will show that support for No Deal, which will gravitate to Farage, is way less than the 52% that they've been pretending.

I suspect that nothing much is going to happen over the summer and we're going to end up with a repeat of March in October, except that the wind is going out of the sails of No Deal. By then it will be well over three years since the referendum. You can already feel the collective sense of burnout: since Easter everyone has been keen to talk about anything except Brexit, and the gradual reintroduction of it into the current affairs programmes feels reluctant and different in tone from the frenzy of December-April.

I don't want to take anything for granted, but I don't want to be prematurely defeatist, either: I was at the beginning of the year, and it didn't help.
posted by rory at 3:51 AM on May 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've clearly taken my eye off the ball with the MEPs down here in the SW. We voted in 2 Tories, 2 UKIP, 1 Labour and 1 Green in 2014. Apparently we now have 1 Tory, 1 Change UK, 1 Labour, 1 Brexit, 1 independent and 1 Green. which is quite a change. I hadn't clocked that we now had sitting Change and Brexit MEPs.
posted by biffa at 5:40 AM on May 8, 2019

I wonder if any would resign?

And lose that juicy paycheck/pension they get for doing fuck-all work? If anything they would spin "wasting the EU's time and money" as a victory for their cause.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:47 AM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't bring myself to hold my nose and vote for the Liberal Democrats. They're the Lib Dems, as soon as it's politically expedient for them to do so, they'll ditch their values for a shot at power.

If you're against brexit, the LD power-grab tendency might actually be a good thing in an MEP context. If their main seat of influence is the EP, they're not likely to want to the UK to leave that institution for anything.

(I'll be voting Green myself, but if I were in an area where that looked like more of a wasted vote than one for the LDs, MEP elections are the one situation where I'd be willing to vote LD because of the above.)
posted by Dysk at 5:47 AM on May 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

My strategy: if the Greens are in with a chance where you vote, vote for them, otherwise hold your nose and vote Lib Dems.

Edwin Hayward has done some analysis of sensible voting strategies for remainers according to where they live. The most effective strategy under the D'Hondt system used for the EU elections - is not always the most intuitive one. For maximum success it is necessary to look at which remain party is likely to garner the most votes in a particular seat and then add your votes to their tally. This depends on using a recent poll which is accurate for a given area. Here are his most recent suggestions by EU constituency. I'd like to see more digestible versions of this posted shortly before the election.
posted by rongorongo at 6:35 AM on May 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

re.: parties, it's also worth looking at their group in the EP. I would never vote for any of our two liberal parties here in Denmark, but in the EP, I can see they are doing good work. So are the Greens. IMO the Socialist group is a bit of a machine, and I don't feel safe that they will stick to the important issues, regardless of what they promise.

The UK already has UKIPpers and Conservatives in the EP who just waste everyones' time and are embarrassing with their rude public school / Westminister manners. The Brexit party won't be much of a difference.
posted by mumimor at 6:38 AM on May 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

From the Edwin Hayward Twitter thread it also looks like there's not going to be any significant increase in wasteman MEPs as mostly it appears to be a bunch of them changing their name from UKIP to the Brexit Party.
2019 MEPs (Change on 2014)
UKIP: 0 (-24)
Conservative: 9 (-10)
Labour: 19 (-1)
*Green: 5 (+2)
*Liberal Democrat: 2 (+1)
Brexit Party: 27 (+27)
*Change UK TIG: 4 (+4)
*SNP: 4 (+2)
*Plaid Cymru: 0 (-1)

2014 Pro-Remain: 7
2019 Pro-Remain: 15
By those figures the BP will make up about 3.6% of all (751) MEPs, and 39% of the UKs. So while they probably won't have much impact on EU policy, they will reduce the UK's power and influence, which if anything will probably make the EU parliament more progressive.
posted by Buntix at 7:39 AM on May 8, 2019 [5 favorites]

Really helpful thread from Edwin Hayward there, rongorongo - thanks for sharing it.
posted by rory at 8:13 AM on May 8, 2019

Buntix: An increase in MEP numbers for the Brexit party (from the current 14!) will strengthen the numbers of the 'Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy' group within the Parliament, which will allow them a greater reach in terms of running committees of the EP, which means they will have more influence over policy.
posted by biffa at 9:29 AM on May 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Incidentally, although this isn't Brexit-related as such (though, presumably at some point these threads will be gathered together into a book covering the final end of the UK so it can count as a historical marker), Twitter is trying to convince me that the Royals have just called a baby Archie Harrison. Given the right pattern of tragic accidents, we could have a King Archie Harrison.

Just to prove that Brexit isn't localised weirdness.
posted by Grangousier at 9:52 AM on May 8, 2019

"King Archie Harrison"
I'd like to think it's just extra insurance by the proud parents that that horrible possibility will never happen.
posted by aleph at 10:55 AM on May 8, 2019

Regnal names don't have to match personal names though. Prince Charles has said previously he won't be King Charles III.

Post brexit he will probably be in line to get properly into game of thrones type shit once we sink back into the dark ages so he is in with a chance of a throne.
posted by biffa at 11:32 AM on May 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I livetweeted from the hustings I went to. Present: Labour MEP Clare Moody, Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, Lib Dem candidate (and former journalist) Caroline Voaden, Change UK candidate (and former local Labour parliamentary candidate) Ollie Middleton.

It was mostly very positive, and they are broadly together on what's important for the EU: peace, climate regulation, fighting back against corporate power and properly regulating and taxing the internet giants.

But it did get a little catty at the end when whether or not we should vote tactically was discussed, especially whether or not Labour could be seen as a remain vote. It was a shame, because Clare Moody (Labour) is clearly a very good MEP, albeit not as wonkish on fixing taxation as Molly Scott Cato (Green) is. I would honestly be happy with any of the Labour, Green or Lib Dems being MEPs and Ollie Middleton is an impressive candidate, but he's 3rd on the Change UK list, and the party itself is shitty.
posted by ambrosen at 1:56 PM on May 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Can the Green Party continue its recent success in the European elections?
When Rob Ford and Matt Goodwin analysed Ukip and Nigel Farage’s media appearances, they found that electoral success was followed by media attention, not the other way around, though that is evidently not the case for Farage’s new venture, the Brexit Party...

But what they also found was that when you looked at the Green Party’s electoral successes, media attention did not follow... There wasn’t a flurry of media attention for the Green Party after Caroline Lucas entered Parliament in 2010 and there hasn’t yet been one following their triumphant results last week.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:18 AM on May 9, 2019 [8 favorites]

There was a hustings where I live / work last night, down in Cornwall. They refused to invite a Green candidate even though they have an elected MEP in the region and one of the Green list is based in Cornwall. Change and Brexit got invited even though all their MEPs were elected under other banners and jumped ship.
posted by biffa at 5:34 AM on May 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

The over exposure of Farage and UKIP (and now the Brexit Party) on the BBC, when the Greens had almost as much electoral support as them and not nearly as much media attention should probably be the subject of some kind of inquiry.

No doubt it would end up looking rather awkward for Robbie Gibb - current No. 10 spin doctor, previously the head of BBC Westminister (i.e. in charge of a big chunk of their political programming) and Brexit diehard.
posted by PenDevil at 7:02 AM on May 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

The over exposure of Farage and UKIP (and now the Brexit Party) on the BBC

Farage is making his 37th (I think) appearance on Question Time later today. Nobody from the Greens or the SNP, or even the Lib Dems.
posted by Buntix at 7:16 AM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Molly Scott Cato is a Green MEP for the SouthWest. She is electable because she is already there and people love her. And yet, Remain alliances like Gina Miller's are not endorsing the Greens. I'm not sure why. Something smells rotten.
posted by vacapinta at 7:19 AM on May 9, 2019 [8 favorites]

@haveigotnews Labour strongly denies stance on Brexit cost them in the local elections, as they don’t have one.

"Jeremy Corbyn urges voters to discard labels of leave and remain" lol
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:57 AM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh I agree with Corbyn that Climate change, Inequality are far more important than Brexit. That is why I have always voted Green.
posted by vacapinta at 9:23 AM on May 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

You know this thing about how the British public has never really had a handle on what the European Parliament does or what our MEPs' roles are? Based on the two election communications I've had today, I'm not sure our political parties do either. The Brexit Party wants to leave the EU (and send a message to the Government). The Labour Party wants to invest in our economy and put 10,000 bobbies back on the beat (and send a message to the Tories). Sure, one of those sounds much more constructive to me than the other - but neither one seems to have much to do with the election I'm actually being invited to vote in.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:33 AM on May 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

10 PRINT "Lib Dem"
20 GOTO 10

The Miller stuff seems to be at odds with the link from a day or two ago, also based on current voting intentions from polls, which suggested that SW remainders should vote green to cement the current MEP or lib dem for a possible shot at getting one in against Brexit Party domination. I will def be voting Green.
posted by biffa at 1:22 PM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I hope Cato gets back in; she has been consistently good.

If Magid can get in, that just may be a game-changer; he's a sort of anti-Farage, a media-savvy larger-than-life character (he was the chap in the "DONALD TRUMP IS A WASTEMAN" T-shirt, for example), only on the progressive side. Perhaps then the media will stop writing the Greens off as too boring and/or worthy to give time to whilst giving the spotlight to reactionary headbangers at the slightest opportunity.
posted by acb at 2:33 AM on May 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

Conservative officials fear the party could come sixth in the European elections:
The fears of a dismal performance have been stoked by the fact that the party plans to spend no money on candidate campaigning, will not publish a manifesto and is refusing to hold a launch...

"The thinking is that if we make no effort then we will have an excuse for having done so badly" ...said one MEP.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:05 AM on May 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

Good news everybody, the economy is up! Thanks to stockpiling, companies rushing to deliver orders before the end of March, and people panic buying gold.
posted by lucidium at 4:32 AM on May 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Opinium/Observer poll on the European elections has:
The Brexit party 34 (+6)
Labour 21 (-7)
Liberal Democrat 12 (+5)
Conservative 11 (-3)
Green 8 (+2)
Ukip 4 (+1)
SNP 4 (-1)
Change UK – The Independent Group 3 (-4)
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:23 PM on May 11, 2019

This beautiful video is something you’d hope to see from

But it’s not Labour.

It’s @MagicMagid standing for @TheGreenParty in the European elections.

A lot of red votes could go green this month.
[video in tweet]
posted by Buntix at 12:27 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

Buntix, that brought tears to my eyes, and I have taken my allergy pills.
posted by mumimor at 12:54 PM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Dunno that it means much absent there actually being a general election, but still...

Bombshell poll in tomorrow's Sunday @Telegraph:
@brexitparty_uk overtakes the @Conservatives in Westminster survey for the first time, with Nigel Farage predicted to win 49 seats

Andrew Hawkins of @ComRes describes it as a “disaster” for the Tories

posted by Buntix at 1:22 PM on May 11, 2019

Jonathan Freeland, writing in the Guardian: The secret to stopping Brexit: keep it simple—As polls show a sustained lead for remain, the Lib Dems have schooled Change UK with their direct, unambiguous message
Still, and despite the fragmentation of the remain camp, there are signs that the cause itself is gaining ground. […] More unexpectedly, the very success of the Brexit party could end up boosting the pro-European camp. Analyst Sunder Katwala coined the term “the Farage paradox” several years ago, noting that when Farage was riding high, boosting Ukip’s vote share, the cause of leaving Europe declined in popularity. Farage was good at mobilising his base, but he repelled moderate voters in the process.[…]

The ground might just be shifting on Brexit. The polls are saying it, with a steady and sustained lead for remain over leave. The cause of remain was counted out, but if there’s one thing this week has shown – when it comes to a high-stakes fight for staying in Europe, even the most dramatic comebacks are possible.
After seeing those dismal polling results, I could use an optimistic interpretation of the state of play.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:23 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

@brexitparty_uk overtakes the @Conservatives in Westminster survey for the first time, with Nigel Farage predicted to win 49 seats

Voters don't seem to like it when politicians try to cleverly not-actually-deny what their policy is. And Farage isn't just a Brexiteer; his statements make me believe he's an antisemitic conspiracy theorist, and too close to Russia by half.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:56 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Brexiteers are like Hydra.
Cut off one head and, umm, well it doesn't reaally do anything. Seriously we've cut off its head like eight times now and it's still there. It doesn't even grow back! It just carries on like nothing's happened.
posted by fullerine at 11:44 PM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Opinium also asked about GE voting intentions and got Labour 28%, Tories 22%, Brexit party on 21%. ComRes for the Telegraph has similar numbers. That looks dreadful for both main parties, but the Labour party will probably be secretly happy. The inanities of FPTP will give Labour 137 seats more than the Cons, who will score three and a half times more seats than the Brexit Party, despite getting the same votes. Labour would have two fewer seats than the Cons do now, but could have a majority with SNP support, and would be in a much stronger position than the Cons are now because the split in the right wing vote will mean that FPTP declaws the opposition: a Con + Brexit coalition would still be 90 votes short of Labour on its own. They'd be so pulverized that Labour might decide to try to govern as a minority and not bother with a coalition—it's not as if the Cons and Brexit Party are not naturally fissiparous.

I still don't see how this would help the country out of its mess, and the FPTP "stitch up" would rightly infuriate many voters.

Still, we're days? weeks? months? years? away from a GE and a lot can and will change...
posted by dudleian at 1:17 AM on May 12, 2019

tactical.vote, a more comprehensive-looking tactical voting site than Gina Miller's 10 PRINT "VOTE LIB DEM": 20 GOTO 10.

It's telling me (voting in London) that I should vote Labour, as they're most likely to be knocked out and the candidate likely to be knocked out is a Remainer. Scotland and Wales are SNP and Plaid. Elsewhere, it's a potpourri of Greens and Lib Dems. (It does look like Molly Scott Cato may be in trouble, being only 5,100 votes away from losing a seat.)
posted by acb at 8:02 AM on May 12, 2019 [5 favorites]

The problem with things like tactical.vote is that they're giving advice on how to vote to a very slim subset of the voting population. Most people are not going to vote tactically, especially in the current emotional climate, and if those who do aren't getting a coherent message about which tactical vote will be most effective, any effect may well be swamped by noise.

Ultimately, I suspect that commentators will mostly be looking at voting numbers rather than numbers of MEPs as a way of gauging public sentiment. By that metric, a positive showing by the Greens and LibDems might well strengthen the case for a public shift of opinion toward Remain.
posted by pipeski at 3:55 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

The first map had WM marked "Change UK (or Green)", and tactical.vote has it as Lib Dem. I appreciate the information that my Lab MEPs aren't committed. And of course I'm going to vote. But I'll be pleasantly surprised if I manage to pick a winner! (Lib Dem seems like it makes most sense).

And it sounds like in some regions, the "correct" tactical vote might be to pick randomly (or at least match your first preference, not the most popular): https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/05/10/when-a-tactical-vote-may-not-work-the-complex-choice-facing-remainers-in-the-ep-elections/
posted by sourcejedi at 4:50 AM on May 13, 2019

Correction: I suck at reading, my 2 incumbent Labour MEPs are committed. Yay and apologies for the slander. I think tactical.vote doesn't have evidence for the additional Labour MEP candidates, and it thinks shifting "excess" votes towards other Remain candidates is more likely to help. My head hurts.
posted by sourcejedi at 6:27 AM on May 13, 2019

Becky Snowden, founder of the tactical voting site Tactical2017.com: Why I won't be advising people to vote tactically in the European elections. (Basically, too complicated and the parties in play have changed too much).
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:22 AM on May 13, 2019 [4 favorites]

I posted earlier that I'd only got a Brexit Party leaflet so far: since then I've had a Labour one through the door, and been handed one by the Greens canvassing on the street. No Lib Dem one so far though usually they're very active.

I think there's a kind of West Wingery idea that campaigning is all about complicated and subtle strategies and psychology, but a lot of success is down to basic organisation. The Brexit Party have got their leaflets out, they've got their candidates selected: if your opponents struggle with that, then that's like a superpower.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've still only had leaflets from Labour and the Brexit Party down here in Kent. Stark contrast with the local elections the other week, when I was bombarded with Lib Dem and Conservative ones - and particularly odd given that my Lib Dem town councillor is candidate #2 in the Lib Dem list for the South East.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 1:21 AM on May 14, 2019

No leaflets or campaign material of any kind from any parties here in the West Midlands.
posted by Dysk at 1:30 AM on May 14, 2019

We got the full gamut of election leaflets through the mail slot yesterday (Berkshire).

Most entertaining was the Brexit Party leaflet, which appears to have been stretched horizontally to fit the paper. (random image example. Or is Farage's face always so looong?)
posted by Gordafarin at 1:32 AM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Scratch my last, postie just turned up with a brexit party leaflet. Addressed to me personally. I am very much not a UK citizen. Nothing for my partner, who is.

I know it's probably just shitty organisation, but it just feels like an intentional insult or taunt.
posted by Dysk at 2:50 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

My other half got a named and address Brexit leaflet, I have no idea where they got the details from. Neither of us are on the public electoral roll. They also got a Lib Dem one despite not being a member. We've had unaddressed Green and Labour leaflets but those aren't surprising (we're in Brighton).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:24 AM on May 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

In Oxford I've had a named and addressed leaflet from the Brexit Party, and nothing from anyone else (so far). Dunno where they got my details from. Given that Farage is talking up his support amongst remainers, maybe it was Change UK...
posted by dudleian at 3:58 AM on May 14, 2019

My other half got a named and address Brexit leaflet, I have no idea where they got the details from. Neither of us are on the public electoral roll.

Same here. Turns out political parties have access to the full electoral roll, not just the public one, and I guess the Brexit Party counts as a political party in this context despite being a bit unorthodox in various respects.

In other news, I've had an unaddressed Lib Dem flyer through the door now. They want me to vote for them in the upcoming elections in order to stop Brexit, and - like the Labour and Brexit Parties - don't have a lot to say in the leaflet about what they aim to achieve as MEPs if elected. I know this election is going to be used as a proxy for a referendum/general election, but I don't feel great about treating it *only* as that. I mean, if we do wind up revoking Article 50, the people we elect will be representing us for five years (and they'll have a lot of reputational damage to deal with while they're at it). Are my expectations off? Is this what European election leaflets are like elsewhere in Europe? - more about national politics and whether or not being in the EU is a good thing than about the actual business of European government?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:55 AM on May 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

My other half got a named and address Brexit leaflet, I have no idea where they got the details from. Neither of us are on the public electoral roll.

There are a bunch of people sending in DP requests,

1. Received one of these Brexit Party pamphlets through the post?

Wanna know how they got your personal details & what they're going to do with them?

Well, it's easy to find out. You just need to write them a letter and pop it in the post.

Here's a template to cut and paste...
If nothing else it'll cost them time and money (someone on twitter was suggesting £80 each time, but that seems unlikely) responding, and get them on record if they lie about how they're using it.

Allowing political parties full access to the electoral roll seems really fscking dodgy when you have the UKIP/Brexit parties getting it. I have less than zero confidence that they aren't quite happily sharing those records with their overseas cyber-propaganda teams, anyone who'll give them a few quid for it, and the sort of far-right extremists who can use them for doxxing or the sort of harassment targeted at Mike Stuchberry...
posted by Buntix at 5:25 AM on May 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Allowing political parties full access to the electoral roll seems really fscking dodgy

The mailing lists are all compiled within Royal Mail software called ElectionSort, which allows you to get your one free mailing per elector, and decide which elector gets which free mailing. They can link up with election management software for targeting, but I guess the full personal data stays within the Royal Mail software.
posted by ambrosen at 10:03 AM on May 14, 2019 [6 favorites]

ConservativeHome: May kicks the can towards the edge of the cliff:
...the Bill will be introduced, at long last, when the Commons returns in June after the Whitsun recess. This plan serves two main purposes.

First, the timing is intended to put maximum pressure on Labour, not to mention Conservative MPs, after both the main parties get a mauling from the Brexit Party in next week’s elections, and perhaps in the Peterborough by-election on June 6 too.

Second (and more urgently) the announcement is also crafted to stave off the 1922 Committee’s Executive, which meets with her tomorrow to demand a clear timetable for her exit from Downing Street.
The hope seems to be that the Brexit Party will be successful enough to scare a sufficient number of Labour MPs into supporting the rules.

I wonder if that's part of the logic in the Conservative Party not really campaigning in the Euro elections: they want a Brexit Party success to scare both Labour backbenchers and their own into supporting the deal.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:02 AM on May 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I wonder if that's part of the logic in the Conservative Party not really campaigning in the Euro elections:

May probably also all believes that we'll be out of the EU like any second now, so why waste time and money on getting elected to seats that can't be taken up anyway, because her fantastic deal will have passed and we'll be out before EU parliament actually sits.
posted by Dysk at 4:33 AM on May 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

On the subject of EU pamphlet fuck-ups, I proudly submit the Labour Party in Scotland - who were thoughtful enough to provide voters in the highlands with a dual language version of their leaflet - but who made the second language Welsh rather than Gaelic.

Meanwhile Ian Dunt muses over May's strategy of going 4th time lucky on putting her deal before parliament. As ever, it is hard to deduce a rationale for this - but the idea of waiting until both main parties have suffered heavily at the hands of the EU elections so as to scare them into support - looks like the most plausible. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by rongorongo at 5:40 AM on May 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

Labour have refused to rule out abstaining on the first reading of the WAB. If they did abstain the bill would get a bye through to the next round. The spokesman did not rule out voting against the bill at the death (3rd reading) even if they abstained on the first vote. That seems a risky strategy. Unless you are confident that you have copper bottomed reasons for voting against the bill on 3rd reading but not on first, and that you have the ability to sell these to the electorate, you could be hoist by your own petard.

I really don't understand the strategy. Or are they just messing with everyone for the lulz?
posted by dudleian at 6:54 AM on May 15, 2019

It's a clear result of all the concessions the government has made in its talks with Labour.
posted by daveje at 7:35 AM on May 15, 2019

I really don't understand the strategy. Or are they just messing with everyone for the lulz?

I think the theory is that they could abstain on the first reading, then amend it how they like: e.g. add a clause making it conditional on a second referendum. If they win on the amendments, they can vote it up on the final reading, if they lose they can still vote it down.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:57 AM on May 15, 2019

By anecdotal accounts, the Green Party seem to be doing well, picking up lots of Labour voters and a few Brexit Party voters for whom it wasn't really about the EU. Perhaps it's time to not vote tactically for the Lib Dems over them?
posted by acb at 1:10 PM on May 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

"Stephen Barclay says PM's deal is 'dead' if..."

How is it possible to start a sentence like this at this stage in the game, unless it finishes with 'the Night King doesn't get better so he can order it to rise'?
posted by biffa at 2:47 PM on May 15, 2019

The Brexit Party logo:
(Graphic designer Ben) Terrett described this as "a very clever piece of graphic design", even though he said he hates both Brexit and Farage.

"I just voted in the Euro elections (postal) and here's a thing: it's a massive arrow pointing at the box where you mark your X with the word BREXIT written in big font"
posted by TheophileEscargot at 2:13 AM on May 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

The polls are clear - Labour’s Brexit tactics are failing spectacularly: "its policy is specifically haemorrhaging remain votes without enhancing its appeal to leave voters."
posted by rory at 5:58 AM on May 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

It seems Boris Johnson is trying for Conservative leadership (not really a surprise). It made me so sad I didn't click the link, so you'll have to see for yourselves. Meanwhile, there's this: The political landscapes of Brexit Britain and Weimar Germany are scarily similar
posted by mumimor at 7:19 AM on May 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

As some further anecdata so far of one of my London chat groups, 100% of us (6 people) have received an ad from the Brexit Party. Half have received something from Labour. Not one of us have received anything from any other party. We're scattered around East & South London FWIW.

I look forward to the eventual inquest into overspending and campaign negligence from Farage that will lead to a nominal fine after the election is over and the country is even deeper in this hole.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:15 AM on May 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm at 4 leaflets now in Kent: Brexit, Labour, Lib Dem, Green. No local visibility of Change UK at all - I find I'm thinking of them as a London-only party, as I only read about them in the Guardian - and nothing from the Conservatives, but then that's not a great surprise.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:11 AM on May 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

I went straight from zero to four leaflets today. A personally addressed one from UKIP, then others from the greens, Change and some guy called Neville Seed. I think they all came together, so I assume from the postman. So at least the post office is doing ok from these elections.
posted by biffa at 12:55 PM on May 16, 2019

Here in Edinburgh, two days ago I had leaflets through the door from UKIP and the Brexit Party. Today came Labour, the Conservatives, the Greens, Change UK, the SNP and (personally addressed) the Lib Dems.
posted by rory at 1:04 PM on May 16, 2019

I put together a Google sheet that does the D'Hondt method based on a composite of survey data, and produces a bunch of colourful figures, most interestingly to me the margin on the last seat; that is, how far back is each party from getting the final seat (the swingiest one).

Here's the link, if you're interested. I think people can make a copy and play around with the values (start with the magenta, which weights four different surveys and has adjustments to the national vote).

There are a number of assumptions you could make, but were I voting, based on the most recent polling, I'd definitely vote Green in the Northwest, Lib Dem in the Midlands (either E or W), and Labour in the Northeast.* The East, Southwest and Wales all seem to be places where tactical voting doesn't matter, and I'd vote my conscience. It's less clear elsewhere; I'd probably vote Lib Dem in Scotland or Yorkshire, Green in London and either Lib Dem or Change UK / The Independent Group in the Southeast.

* In the NE, there are three seats, Labour and Brexit are both polling in the low 30s and nobody else is much above 10%; it's clear that Labour and Brexit each have a seat sewn up and the only competition is which of the two gets the third.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:21 PM on May 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

> Ian Dunt: A complete and utter waste of seven weeks.

When I feel bleak despair at the slow-motion collapse underway in the US, I head over here to read articles like this. This has maybe not been a winning strategy for my mental health.
That is the entire extension completely wasted. All of it gone. And for what? For nothing. For cross-party talks that were doomed from the beginning and in which people proposed ideas with no discernible meaning. For a leadership contest in which MPs will compete to look tough on Brexit while vandalising our own national position.

And then at the end, nothing will have changed. The parliamentary arithmetic will be the same. The deal on offer from the EU will be the same. The deadline will be the same. We'll be exactly where we were before. This will all have been for nothing.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:13 AM on May 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

This will all have been for nothing.

It won't. Its worse. The hard brexit nutters will be that much closer to getting what they want. It's only the people on the side of good that have squandered this. Those on the side of evil have used it very effectively.
posted by Dysk at 9:56 AM on May 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

Scotland won't be independent within EU, says Farage
A crowd of around 400 people whooped as Farage told them that the political establishment in Scotland was treating leave voters “with utter contempt” and was “terrified” by the latest polling that predicted his Brexit party could win two of the country’s six MEPs. The audience booed mentions of Barnier, Juncker and Tusk, along with references to the mainstream media, the BBC, Andrew Marr and Sturgeon – although they did not boo the mention of independence.

One of those in the crowd, Catherine Barnsley described Farage’s presentation as “absolutely fantastic”. She said: “[Leavers] have no party in Scotland that has stuck up for us. [Scottish Tory leader] Ruth Davidson is a remainer, so is [Scottish Labour leader] Richard Leonard. Nigel’s come along and given us a voice and we will be heard. He’s incredible and he’s got a lot of support.”

Farage pledged that he would prepare candidates for the upcoming Holyrood elections in 2021 and dismissed the “howling mob outside” as “considerably smaller than it was a few years ago”. In 2013, he was finally whisked away in a police riot van under a tirade of abuse from a crowd of about 50 young demonstrators. On Friday night, police estimated that around 200 demonstrators had gathered outside the Corn Exchange.
posted by mumimor at 4:57 AM on May 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Last time I looked at the polling I believe there was a significant minority of supporters of Scottish independence who also wanted Brexit—for the reasons that Farage outlined: it's a logically coherent position. Farage is odious, but unfortunately not stupid. I think he's got too long a history of disdain for Scotland for him to gain much traction there, but the fact that he took time out to campaign suggests he feels he has the heartland vote tied up, and can go after more marginal gains.
posted by dudleian at 5:26 AM on May 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

British Far Right Extremism Manipulating Ireland
This story covers the evidence of ongoing British far right groups trying to influence Irish people towards an Irish exit from the EU. These people do not have Irish people’s interests at heart. It is about pushing their own personal Anti-EU, right-wing messaging, while pretending the genesis of that project originated within Ireland.

We have also evidence of individuals from Ireland willing to ignore our country’s interests, in order to benefit from this foreign far right influence. They are doing so in order to spread their own anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-gay beliefs. In the case of the ring leaders, some of this is about financial reward.
Another mysteriously well funded (with connections to Farage, obvs) neo-nazi group trying to make Irexit a thing...
posted by Buntix at 4:32 AM on May 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

Jonathan Lis in Prospect: Brexit and the schoolboy fantasy that we can rule the world without really trying.
How do we fathom the obsessive denial of reality, the endless dishonesty, the puffed-out machismo? The schoolboy fantasy we can rule the world without really trying? Why do we assume we will get what we want just because we call for it frequently and loudly? After three years it is almost impossible to remember what grown-up politics looks like. Perhaps Brexit is a cry for help. Perhaps we secretly yearn to be rescued. Perhaps, at its core, it just reflects a country that has been taken over by spoilt brats.
This piece is spot on about what's wrong, but I wish I had the faintest idea what we can do about it.
posted by automatronic at 5:38 AM on May 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

Here is Edwin Hayward ‘s final EU election guide for remainers . His advice: turn up to vote, cajole your friends into turning up, and then vote for a party with a proper remain policy written into its manifesto - whichever one is most likely to win in your area on current polling and trajectory . He explains which those are for each region.
posted by rongorongo at 12:19 PM on May 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

More seriously dodgy goings on with Brexit party financing.

@carolecadwalla "So I think I’ve got this: law bans impermissible donations, ie non-British.But! Electoral Commission say anything below £500 is NOT a ‘donation’. Brexit Party set up to take *only* not-‘donations’ of < £500 & does no ID checks. So £$€ can be from anyone, anywhere in any multiples"

Quoting her previous tweet: "NEW: here’s *actual* evidence that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is accepting foreign donations via PayPal. Dollars, yuan, Swiss francs, roubles..you name it, they’ll take it. Laundered by PayPal into British £. This *cannot* be legal, surely?? Electoral Commission MUST investigate"

The upshot seems to be that anyone anywhere in the world can finance the BP by as much as they want, as long as they launder it through the website £499 at a time.

This as Farage is being investigated by the EU for failing to disclose that he'd received £450,000 from Arron Banks in the year after the referendum. From the same article:
Mr Farage is currently touring the country to campaign for his new Brexit Party ahead of next week's European elections.

The party received £750,000 of funding in its first 10 days, and donations are reported to have now topped £2m, with one donor - former Tory backer businessman Jeremy Hosking - saying he had pledged £200,000.

But the sources of all its funding do not legally need to be declared until after the European elections.
posted by Buntix at 4:23 PM on May 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

The upshot seems to be that anyone anywhere in the world can finance the BP by as much as they want

I would question why this doesn't constitute money laundering/structuring. At the very least the regulator should investigate the transaction logs for repeated transactions from the same sources.
posted by jaduncan at 1:43 AM on May 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

Guardian, Deutsche Welle on the implications of the Austrian far-right scandal.

Luuk van Middlaar: What the EU has learned from Brexit.

Thomas Piketty: Europe and the class cleavage.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:06 AM on May 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I would question why this doesn't constitute money laundering/structuring.

It is looking like they may have both overplayed their use of the loophole by setting up their site so that it could only accept dodgy donations, and taken it further than legally allowed, or just misinterpreted the law altogether:

@carolecadwalla: "Whoah. Legal academic’s thread on underlying law not Electoral Comm advice - which he says is wrong. Up to a year in jail for donations of > £50 if party doesnt give info about donor. Note: the Brexit Party doesn’t *have* info about any of its donors. Because it doesn’t ask them"

> quoting @ewanmcg: "RPA 1983 Sch 2A paras 6 and 11 also make it an offence - up to 1 year jail - for the donor to not give information for donations over £50: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1983/2/schedule/2A"

Who ends his longish, detailed, thread with
There's plenty more here: these rules are not easy to read. But on a quick look it's clear any £500 is bogus - an offence is committed by making foreign donations without record - and a party that aids and abets this commits the same offence.

The party could also be sued for punitive or exemplary damages - as well as potential crime, this procures a statutory tort. Rookes v Barnard [1964] UKHL 1, says any tort "calculated to make a profit", precisely what is happening. That is - damages to punish the party.

Substantial violations of the law could also render the election void: Morgan v Simpson [1975] QB 151 - if "the election was conducted so badly that it was not substantially in accordance with the law as to elections". Ends.
It also turns out that the guy handling BP fundraising has been convicted for running a literal money laundering organisation (and apparently getting a mates rates sentence for it):
The warnings come at a time of more questions about the Brexit party’s links to a disgraced former aide to Farage who was imprisoned in the US after being caught offering money laundering services to undercover federal agents. George Cottrell was with Farage when he was arrested at Chicago O’Hare airport in July 2016. He had been working in Farage’s office and claimed on his LinkedIn account to have co-directed Ukip’s EU referendum campaign fundraising.

He was charged with 21 counts including money laundering, wire fraud, blackmail and extortion. He would later plead guilty to participating in a scheme to “advertise money laundering services on a Tor network black market website” and served eight months in prison.

After the arrest, Farage called Cottrell a “22-year-old unpaid volunteer and party supporter” and said he knew nothing of the allegations.

The Guardian understands that Cottrell has told friends that he is now overseeing the Brexit party’s fundraising operation.
- From Brexit party's funding must be investigated, says Gordon Brown [Guardian]

Be nice if this does finally get Farage/Banks et al in trouble (and off the BBC for a month or two), possibly even Boris as well,

@peterjukes: "This is very very odd. It appears that Farage met both Boris Johnson and George Cottrell in London in November. Since it has many of the same donors and Bannon as adviser, I'm pretty sure the Boris and Brexit Party campaign are in cahoots. But a convicted money launderer?"

but guessing it will just be an investigation ending way past when the damage is done and a slap-on-the-wrist fine that will probably be lower than the PayPal charges incurred running the scam.
posted by Buntix at 3:23 AM on May 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

but guessing it will just be an investigation ending way past when the damage is done and a slap-on-the-wrist fine that will probably be lower than the PayPal charges incurred running the scam.

Electoral law, and particularly the enforcement of electoral law, is not fit for purpose.
posted by Dysk at 3:59 AM on May 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

@seddonnews: "Chaotic scenes in Newcastle city centre as Nigel Farage hit by a milkshake. He’s been whisked away by his security. This is the aftermath." [video in tweet]

Worth unmuting as the sounds of people laughing out of shot is really the *chef's kiss*
posted by Buntix at 5:23 AM on May 20, 2019 [9 favorites]

Link to Gordon Brown’s speech on BP funding. He is nicely succinct here. How exactly the Electoral Commission would go about confirming any illegality and then acting to prevent it from being used to game Thursday’s election, is another question.
posted by rongorongo at 6:32 AM on May 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm still not convinced the Led by Donkeys guys are doing the right thing. Here's a recent poster. It increases exposure for the Brexit party, targets their voters and may possibly get them votes. I'm not sure who this is playing to.
posted by vacapinta at 3:50 AM on May 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Led by Donkeys is good entertainment but I agree with you. As the FT says “the forces of remain have some major lessons to learn if they are to have any chance of winning the second referendum for which they are so actively agitating. The stakes may also be higher. Until recently, advocates of a second vote did not expect a no-deal Brexit to be one of the options. It is now hard to imagine how it cannot be.”

I agree. If they don’t get their act together PDQ, the referendites are in severe danger of being hoist by their own petard (i could care less except they take us with them). Remain have many excellent and decent politicians, but no one with the voter impact of Farage and Johnson. Blair is toxic and Corbyn is only a brilliant campaigner if he wholeheartedly believes in the cause...
posted by dudleian at 4:54 AM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Humiliating people in that way because you disagree with their politics isn't a thing we do in civilised society

I had an essay ready to go here, but I saw it put more succinctly on Twitter: ridicule is a weapon of debate. And yes, it wins, because people only follow Farage because he makes them feel powerful. And there he is, looking powerless. And unlike Ed Miliband, he doesn't just shrug it off and carry on, he aborts his walkaround. Because he's just posturing, and when the posturing's burst, he's nothing.

I think people do see that. And I agree that all the debate about whether something that is an emotional truth like "Farage looks stupid" is actually good or true is a bad thing. People pontificating about emotional truths is why we end up with the emotional truth of "you've been let down" become something that only the Brexit party (who are lying about facts, of course) communicate well.

Maybe I undermined myself by writing too much there. But everything about the milkshaking and Farage's reaction and the crowd's reaction feels like it communicated more about who and what he is than all the debate in the world could.
posted by ambrosen at 6:49 AM on May 21, 2019 [9 favorites]

I agree with everyone that Led By Donkeys are insufferably smug, though.
posted by ambrosen at 6:50 AM on May 21, 2019

I don't think anybody opposes throwing milkshakes because it's ridicule. People oppose it because it is physically interfering with somebody else's body. That is not generally considered part of debate.
posted by yankeefog at 7:53 AM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

What's the take on this second referendum gambit of May's?
posted by Chrysostom at 12:25 PM on May 21, 2019

Two of my UK friends have been passing this link around on Facebook:

"This is everything I discovered about >all< of The Brexit Party MEP candidates."
Some of you might not have the time to investigate what kind of people you’re voting for, and what views they have, something made harder by their often suspicious levels of secrecy and stonewalling. Put simply, you might not know who you are voting to give power and influence to.

Which is why I took the time to do the reading for you.

I read up on every single listed Brexit Party MEP candidate, and some staff members, to find out what kind of people they are. And it was an epic, revealing slog.

PLOT SPOILERS: Many of them are really, really into things like conversion therapy for gay people, many support and are beaming friends to actual fascists, and a number have campaigned for a paedophile’s right to access child porn or groom children. Heck, that’s just for starters.

A vast amount have a history of tax avoidance / using tax havens, or are minted enough for Brexit to present a massive green light for such practices...

...Some describe themselves as journalists or authors. Which also sounds nice, until you realise they write incessantly on dubious websites about how great colonialism was, how climate change is a lie, and how welfare and the NHS should be abolished, and much more. Far too many write slavishly for neo-Nazi websites like Breitbart, and infamously inaccurate papers, while several churn out bile on very murky websites like Spiked Magazine.

A lot of them aren’t ‘bad boys of Brexit’; they’re just shit human beings.
I imagine a lot of this isn't new information to many here, but perhaps it's a convenient link to pass around to others needing to brush up on who to vote for.
posted by dnash at 2:17 PM on May 21, 2019 [16 favorites]

> Humiliating people in that way because you disagree with their politics isn't a thing we do in civilised society.

I agree, but it's getting very difficult to with the constant parade of people gleefully flaunting the laws of civilised society and helping to tear it apart from the inside for profit.
posted by lucidium at 3:06 PM on May 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Theresa May tries to buy MPs with counterfeit money:
May also chucked in a if-you-don’t-look-at-it-closely-then-it-looks-like-a-promise that MPs will be given an opportunity to vote for another referendum if they pass the withdrawal agreement bill at second reading. There is nothing to stop any MP attaching an amendment to the withdrawal agreement bill to introduce a stipulation that the deal be subject to a second referendum anyway: this is akin to your boss telling you that if you take a pay cut you will have the opportunity to take the bus to work: it’s conceding a power you already had in order to get you to do something you don’t want to do.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:50 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

We probably ought to include this just for the record:

Brexiter David Davies harangued as he gives BBC interview on abuse of MPs
a.k.a. "Why are there all these rabid monkeys everywhere? asks man who campaigned to open all the rabid monkey cages".
posted by Grangousier at 7:34 AM on May 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

"Could this be curtains for May?" asks an overexcited press, following her lacklustre showing in the House of Commons today.

Lots of live updates, ministerial bluster, and behind-closed-doors meetings.

Nothing actually happening.
posted by ZipRibbons at 8:18 AM on May 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

[Chief political correspondent, Sky News] @joncraig: "Very senior MP tells me the word from the Cabinet corridor in the HoC is that the PM will resign tonight, Andrea Leadsom is poised to resign to launch a leadership bid, others may also resign & David Lidington will take over as acting PM. Unconfirmed!"

This would seem an insane thing to do the day before an election.

So, probably true, then...
posted by Buntix at 8:44 AM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'd have thought they'd wait another week and a half until the...
( •_•)>⌐■-■
... end of May.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:20 AM on May 22, 2019 [30 favorites]

Trying to quantify how quickly things are perceived to be moving: A few hours ago when the first rumours started, Paddypower had the odds May as the month where May ceases to be PM at 5/1. An hour or so ago, it was at 4/1.

And when I checked again just now, it had went to 6/4. So the implied probability went from 17% to 40% in just a few hours. Perhaps I should have bet more than 5 quid.
posted by erdferkel at 9:22 AM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Andrea Leadsom, mother and Leader of the House of Commons, has resigned.
posted by AillilUpATree at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

It's like when Thatcher fell, except instead of falling, May just hangs there in mid-air. And we're staring up at her going "What? What? Why has gravity stopped working?" And she just glares down to us, reciting her grim mantras.
posted by Grangousier at 12:39 PM on May 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Why do the GB Euro elections use D'Hondt instead of STV? Anyone know?
posted by Tapioca at 12:57 PM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

May just hangs there in mid-air

She hangs in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:23 PM on May 22, 2019 [12 favorites]

GB use D'Hondt because EU law requires that each country use some form of Proportional Representation and D'Hondt is one of the forms which grants the greatest advantage to large parties. I tend to think it's a good thing when used with greater than six seaters.
posted by DoveBrown at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

European elections: how does the voting system work?
Another thing a lot of Europeans should have known ages ago.
posted by mumimor at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Polling station in London this morning seemed fairly busy, much like a General Election.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:00 AM on May 23, 2019

D'Hondt is also used in the Scottish. Welsh and Northern Irish assembly/parliamentary elections - plus for some seats in the London Assembly. In these cases, I believe that rationale for its selection is that it is a good method for electing a parliament which is expected to have many parties who will be expected to work together in coalitions -as with the EU parliament.

Parties with sufficiently large vote shares can achieve overall domination under D'Hondt (as the SNP have done in Scotland since 2011) - but, unlike FPTP, it does not seem to be system which makes such dominance easy to reach or sustain.
posted by rongorongo at 1:51 AM on May 23, 2019

Polling station in London this morning seemed fairly busy, much like a General Election.

Out in commuterland, I had to queue behind two other people at my polling station at 8:15 this morning. I think this is my fifth visit there in the last three years (we had a town by-election as well as the referendum, the 2017 general election and the local election just the other week), and that's the first time there's been more than one person in front of me at the desk.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:34 AM on May 23, 2019

I received a Labour leaflet with barely a mention of a second referendum (it was inside, in small print), and with lots of stuff about bobbies on the beat and NHS funding.

I got that one too - and yes, also in a Leave constituency. It reads like a rebadged GE leaflet. I was really puzzled to see people online talking about the other one.

The Green leaflet is the only one of the five I received to say anything about the European Parliament and what they have done / plan to do there. It swung the balance for me between Lib Dems and Green.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:04 AM on May 23, 2019 [6 favorites]

UK Polling Report: European Election Polls:
Panelbase (14th-21st May) – BREX 30%, LAB 25%, LDEM 15%, CON 12%, GRN 7%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 3%
Kantar (14th-21st May) – BREX 27%, LAB 24%, LDEM 15%, CON 13%, GRN 8%, ChUK 5%, UKIP 4%
Opinium (17th-20th May) – BREX 38%, LAB 17%, LDEM 15%, CON 12%, GRN 7%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 2%
YouGov (19th-21st May) – BREX 37%, LAB 13%, LDEM 19%, CON 7%, GRN 12%, ChUK 4%, UKIP 3%
BMG (20th-22nd May) – BREX 35%, LAB 18%, LDEM 17%, CON 12%, GRN 8%, ChUK 4%, UKIP 2%

...The bottom line however is that this is a tricky election. Firstly, turnout for European elections is normally low (and one of the problems with polls in recent years is getting too many of the sort of people who vote, and not enough of those who don’t bother). Secondly, most polling companies rely on some degree to weighting by past general election vote to make sure their samples are representative, as how people voted at previous elections normally correlates pretty well with their current vote. An election like this, when an awful lot of people are not voting for the party that they voted for at the last election, will make those techniques less effective.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:23 AM on May 23, 2019

Not at all representative but in updates from friends (mainly in and around Cambridge) I am seeing (a) a lot of awareness of RemainVoter as a source of advice on how to vote tactically for Remain and (b) a huge switch from Labour to Green (not necessarily because of (a) - there's a lot of things going on)
posted by crocomancer at 6:49 AM on May 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

May will announce the timetable for the Conservative party leadership contest tomorrow, according to Robert Peston on Twitter:
I expect the PM @theresa_may tomorrow to agree with Tory MPs' shop steward Sir Graham Brady that the contest to select a new leader will start on 10 June - to preserve her dignity during Trump's state visit.
posted by ZipRibbons at 10:35 AM on May 23, 2019

to preserve her dignity during Trump's state visit.

as if that was even possible at this point, or during that occasion
posted by murphy slaw at 12:11 PM on May 23, 2019 [10 favorites]

Could be. There's a Brexit-related thread on the front page at the moment, but it's not really a catch-all thread.
posted by rory at 2:11 AM on May 24, 2019

Deeply racist and unimaginably stubborn politician makes speech about tolerance and compromise.
posted by fullerine at 2:18 AM on May 24, 2019 [7 favorites]

I would love to think that all the stuff about the importance of compromise was an admission of her own fault there and the Important Lessons She’s Learned, but... no.

I can’t even cheer her leaving because it means we’ll get Johnson as PM. Christ what a mess.
posted by Catseye at 2:22 AM on May 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

I had to peace out of politics threads for a while, because of the toll it was taking on my mental and emotional health at a pretty challenging time for me. I'm glad I took the time off when I did, because this summer is going to be a total political hellscape. I wish I had at least a fraction of Theresa May's stubbornness while I am trying to scrape decades of sealant off my bath. This is literally the kindest thing I can think of to say about her.
posted by skybluepink at 2:30 AM on May 24, 2019

On the morning after the referendum, as David Cameron gave his resignation speech, I found myself surprisingly sad to see him go; for all that I loathed his policies, he was competent and dignified as PM, and I could see the shitshow brewing of what was to follow in that vacuum of power.

I pondered for a moment just now whether we will come to feel the same about May, once the Brexiteers have fully taken over what's left of the Conservative party and accelerated into the abyss.

But I find it hard to disagree with Ian Dunt just now:
There will now be a lot of attempts to try to provide a sympathetic assessment of her time in office, because it goes against the grain. They're wrong. She was truly terrible.
posted by automatronic at 2:36 AM on May 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

David Cameron ... was competent ... as PM

He was in charge of the austerity policies that have destroyed the lives of many thousands of people throughout the country, causing a deep resentment that, when mis-directed towards the EU, has manifested in a form that looks set to destroy not only his government and party but possibly the country itself. I think the very least that that can be characterised as is incompetence.
posted by Grangousier at 2:48 AM on May 24, 2019 [11 favorites]

He was doing it deliberately though. His delivery of terrible things was very competent.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:49 AM on May 24, 2019 [7 favorites]

could it be time for a new thread?

Well, the title of this one doesn't seem so accurate any more...
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:01 AM on May 24, 2019 [6 favorites]

Yeah, I think it is time for a timeout on political news. The encomiums from leadership hopefuls (who have been badmouthing May for months, hopping from one foot to the other as they waited for the opportunity to trample over her to get to the prize) praising her brilliance as a leader (a leader they were unwilling to follow) are sickening.

As is the "what parallel universe have you just popped in from?" commentary from the likes of Ruth Davidson—“The Prime Minister has always put country before party..." What? What??? There are things that could be said in her favour (despite her damning record) but you lead with that?

OK, De mortuis nil nisi bonum, but at least stick to reality. It's a (calculated?) insult to praise a person for traits they don't have.
posted by dudleian at 3:02 AM on May 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

“The Prime Minister has always put country before party..."

Perhaps what she meant was "Theresa May would rather listen to Patsy Cline records than go out for a few drinks and a laugh". Which is probably only marginally true, but is at least plausible.

It's certainly the case that she has diligently served the country, it's just not clear who she's ultimately served the country to - Trump or Putin.
posted by Grangousier at 3:07 AM on May 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

He was in charge of the austerity policies that have destroyed the lives of many thousands of people throughout the country, causing a deep resentment that, when mis-directed towards the EU, has manifested in a form that looks set to destroy not only his government and party but possibly the country itself. I think the very least that that can be characterised as is incompetence.

There are a great many adjectives I could use to describe Cameron's delivery of austerity, but incompetent is not one of them - it happened, and whilst it did, Parliament and government continued to function on a day to day level.

Theresa May's flagship policy was far worse, and she not only completely failed to execute it, but also completely ground to a halt the normal functioning of Parliament, government and most of the civil service for years - whilst refusing to even acknowledge her failure and the political reality around her.

Cameron at least had the decency to step down.
posted by automatronic at 4:04 AM on May 24, 2019

He didn't so much as step down as scarper. Just like the Bullingdon Club prat he was, he left a huge mess for somebody else to clean up. That May was arrogant and stupid enough to think she could do the job is her failure, but he made the fucking mess.
posted by skybluepink at 4:18 AM on May 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

A prime minister that resigned after losing a referendum that he wanted to win, that he was forced to call despite not wanting to hold, which was promised only to appease those in his party that were transparently unappeasable, is surely, by every definition of the word, incompetent as fuck.
posted by dng at 4:25 AM on May 24, 2019 [8 favorites]

The parlour game of the day seems to be arguing whether May was the worst or the second worst prime minister since 1782. I feel my Dad instincts coming on: "Now, now. You can both be the worst."

Meanwhile, in all the talk today of the Conservative party and members deciding whether or not we get stuck with Boris Johnson, I haven't heard anyone considering the DUP's role in all of this. They've made it clear they won't countenance a hard border, and have came close to saying that they'd rather have no Brexit that a no-deal Brexit. If the Tories choose a no-dealer as their next leader, surely they'll face an immediate vote of no confidence in Parliament.
posted by rory at 4:31 AM on May 24, 2019 [5 favorites]

Everything that's happened over the last three years is the inevitable unravelling of Cameron's failure - it's all his fault, though it's been greatly exacerbated by people who didn't so much fail to understand the extent of it as they believed they could profit hugely from it as long as they weren't standing under it when it collapsed. The Tory strategy (though in this case it also goes for the Labour leadership) is fuck everything up, or allow everything to fuck up and then find a patsy to blame it on. The unusual thing in this case is that the patsy is a Tory prime minister - someone I was talking to referred to it as The Glass Cliff, finding a woman to take charge when things are inevitably going to go tits-up so she can be conveniently kicked off onto the rocks.

But no sympathy. She fucked everything up, and made it even worse than it needed to be. She's earned her scapegoat status.

It's incompetence and evil all the way down.
posted by Grangousier at 4:43 AM on May 24, 2019 [7 favorites]

The sun is shining here, the weekend is coming up and May is a gonner; finally! Sometimes survival in our political climate is about appreciating the present.
posted by rongorongo at 4:53 AM on May 24, 2019

May's speech was... wow. Self-serving as anything. And full of typical Maybot contradictions that I just can't understand can be said in earnest by anyone. "The referendum was not just about leaving the EU, it was also a cry for a Britain that works for everyone." Yeah, a Britain that works for everyone. That's why the country voted to kick to foreigners out. Because they wanted Britain to be for everyone. Whitewashing racism.
posted by Dysk at 5:35 AM on May 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

holy shit, the very idea that she quoted the organiser of a scheme for child refugees considering her track record both as home secretary and prime minister. "There is only one discernible consistency in May’s ideology – and that is bashing migrants" is spot on.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 5:39 AM on May 24, 2019 [5 favorites]

I've just read her speech. "I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our N.H.S. long-term plan." Just as well, really.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:36 AM on May 24, 2019

Owen Jones on BBC (via Twitter): I feel less than no sympathy. I think of the people that she has cruelly treated.

(Not familiar with him, but I sure appreciated this.)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:17 AM on May 24, 2019 [9 favorites]

Brexit: Endgame - The Hidden Money, with Stephen Fry
Sorry if we already had this.
posted by mumimor at 11:27 AM on May 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Journalist Natalia Antelava "“Theresa May has resigned” announced George Galloway. “Let me give you a hug,” Steve Bannon replied. I pulled a camera out just as they let go of tight embrace but here is the far right and far left very much on the same page in Almaty #Kazakhstan" (w/photo)
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:44 AM on May 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

The parlour game of the day seems to be arguing whether May was the worst or the second worst prime minister since 1782.

Somewhere, Anthony Eden is feeling relieved.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:45 PM on May 24, 2019 [5 favorites]

Least surprising reveal in quite some time.
posted by skybluepink at 4:31 AM on May 25, 2019

Only Boris Can Bury Brexit - Matthew Paris’ article may have been written back in the prehistoric past of last Wednesday- but I think he could be on the money here. Hope so anyway. Having gone 3 years with a PM who shielded the truth about Brexit from the electorate - the next Prime Minister is going to be the one who both promises a Brexit dream - and then, in very short order, explains why it will not be happening.
posted by rongorongo at 4:39 AM on May 25, 2019

Nice to see that Stoke Newington's tradition of dissent is still alive, even in the age of gentrification.
posted by acb at 6:31 AM on May 25, 2019

Only Boris Can Bury Brexit
I'm not convinced, but I have been thinking all along that it would have been smarter to force the Brexiteers to negotiate the deal. Obviously May tried, for a bit, but she is so incompetent at politics (and obsessed with her anti-immigrant agenda) she couldn't pull it through.
posted by mumimor at 7:23 AM on May 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Wasn't that the original plan by putting David Davis (Brexiter) in charge of the negotiations with the EU and Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox (Brexiter) in charge of international trade negotiations?
Absolutely, but May let them get off far too easily. That's where she is bad at politics
posted by mumimor at 8:22 AM on May 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

That sounds to me like special pleading, along the lines of “May will never trigger Article 50, as she knows it'd be a national catastrophe”. I'm not convinced that Johnson would not force a no-deal exit, rationalising away the human toll as easily as, say, the officer who ordered the charge of the Light Brigade did.

One life skill one learns at Eton and in the right circles at Oxbridge, surely, is not to let the messy deaths of the little people shake one's self-confidence; see also: Johnson on how Libya could be the next Dubai once they “get rid of the bodies”.
posted by acb at 3:35 PM on May 25, 2019 [9 favorites]

Sorry if crass, but what's Good Old Boris's stance on historical child abuse again? Really looking forward to his Prime Ministerial delusions being spaffed up the wall at the first recorded/televised encounter with someone with a voice.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:35 PM on May 25, 2019

Oh joy, a night of LauraK on the BBC bleating that Labour are the big losers and ignoring the Tories getting single-digit vote share in a national election.
posted by fullerine at 2:15 PM on May 26, 2019

For those of use north of the wall @BallotBoxScot is a handy feed to follow.

So far the SNP are winning most local authorities quite nicely (with increased margins), with the Brexit part in second place (hoovering up the previous UKIP voters and a bit more). The Tories and Labour are pretty much day-flattened roadkill, with the Greens and Lib Dems up a smidge, but presumably there's a lot like me who would like to have voted Green (or Tory collaborator), but the SNP is just the safest Remain bet up here.
posted by Buntix at 3:13 PM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Looks like Magid made it per @TheGreenParty.

And Tommy Robinson lost, very lost :D
Labour Party 40,191
Lib Dems 21,041
Greens 19,966
Brexit Party 15,069
Tories 3,423
UKIP 2,626
UK 2,381
Tommy Robinson 2,171
Other 1,257
posted by Buntix at 3:55 PM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Looks like Corbyn is picking a side at last.
posted by fullerine at 6:48 PM on May 26, 2019

Results so far have the minor parties balanced pretty evenly between Leave and Remain. Brexit + UKIP on 36.8%, Lib Dem + Green + Change UK on 37%.

That doesn't look like a change of policy by Jeremy Corbyn, he's saying referendum or general election which has always been part of the policy agreed at conference. The results aren't that terrifying for Labour as they still came ahead of the Conservatives: if they can lose less to the minor Remain parties than the Conservatives lose to the minor Brexit parties, they can still come out ahead in a general election.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:40 PM on May 26, 2019

Deutsche Welle: Wake-up call for centrists amid euroskepticism, climate inaction:
Europeans have mobilized to vote in numbers not seen for decades. Major parties have seen their power shrink, and with populists and Greens making gains alliances will be crucial...

Janis Emmanouilidis, a political analyst at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre, points out that pro-EU parties still hold about 80% of the seats. "As a group, the right-wing populists are altogether not as strong as some had previously warned. We already knew that they wouldn't have a majority, but they are perhaps weaker than we had thought."
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:03 PM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

The results aren't that terrifying for Labour as they still came ahead of the Conservatives: if they can lose less to the minor Remain parties than the Conservatives lose to the minor Brexit parties, they can still come out ahead in a general election.

Only because they have the FPTP voting system as a bulwark. That makes them vulnerable in electorates where the minor parties don't split the vote. Also, if the minor party vote is creeping up, they're inevitably going to overtake the major parties at some point, at least in an election with a large protest vote. At that point the impact of losing all those electorate offices and their staff may be so great as to permanently change the political landscape. It's happened before and will happen again.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:02 PM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Labour policy will remain ambiguous so long as the most influential voices in the party (Corbyn, Milne, McCluskey and to a lesser extent McDonnell) are pro leave, and there is no clear cut evidence that this would cost them enough votes to imperil them at a FPTP election. It looks likely the Cons have already dropped below that threshold. So long as Labour keeps its head above water, and the right wing vote splits hard, the right could rack up 50% of the vote and Labour would still be by far the largest party in parliament. Yes they’d be a minority, but it would take an impossibly broad coalition to vote them down.

On the other side, the Cons are hoping a new leader will somehow bind up the right wing vote, and thereby force a split of the Labour vote to the Lib Dems and Greens, putting Labour in the same place as the Cons are now.

It’s deeply unedifying. Party above country every time.
posted by dudleian at 12:22 AM on May 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it was the worst performance for the Conservatives as a party since 1832.

1832 is when records began, so presumably this translates as “ever”.
posted by acb at 1:20 AM on May 27, 2019

In more positive news, the Greens have done well, more than doubling their MEPs from 3 to 7. Cato's safe, and Magid Magid got up in Yorkshire.

It's good to know that we're sending something other than shitgibbons to Strasbourg.
posted by acb at 1:30 AM on May 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

Looks like the Lexit dream is dead
posted by fullerine at 2:25 AM on May 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

Looks like the Lexit dream is dead

Are you sure? Have they destroyed the brain, and buried the remains under a crossroads with a stake through the heart?
posted by acb at 2:31 AM on May 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

More seriously, with the tabloids (and, largely, the BBC) trumpeting the Nigel Farage Party LLC's result as a popular mandate for immediate No Deal, perhaps whatever vested interests are pushing for Brexit no longer need useful idiots on the Left pushing for it, and are happy to jettison them, confident that they can get over the line with just the angry reactionaries who draw up execution lists.
posted by acb at 2:41 AM on May 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

There are lexiteers in the Brexit party.
posted by mumimor at 3:08 AM on May 27, 2019

The ruling party got a single-digit vote share in a National Election.
That's insane.

If my prediction of "May jettisoned -> Tory Implosion -> General Election -> Labour/LD/Green coalition" from earlier in the thread is to hold I think Labour going all-in on people's vote forcing Boris/Gove/Raab to go No Deal is the biggest chance for a No Confidence vote and GE.

Peeling off a few Tory remainers and forcing the DUP to abstain could win it.

Tactical voting in an FPTP election could see the Tories soundly defeated or even overtaken as the opposition by the post-election irrelevance* of the Brexit party.

*"We demand Brexit!!"

posted by fullerine at 3:18 AM on May 27, 2019

Looks like the Lexit dream is dead

Corbyn is always here to disappoint you: "What this party does is support an agreement with the European Union to prevent crashing out... Supports putting that proposal, when agreed, to a public vote"

Labour is still the party of "sensible Brexit".
posted by grahamparks at 3:32 AM on May 27, 2019 [5 favorites]

I wonder what McDonnell thinks of that considering his statement this morning.
Probably the same as the rest of us, "Oh FFS Jeremy"
posted by fullerine at 3:59 AM on May 27, 2019

Ian Dunt's analysis of the EU election results.

How many times must Remainers show their commitment before the political class stops pretending they do not exist? They march through London, polite but firm, in their hundreds of thousands. They sign petitions in such tidal waves that they outnumber small countries. They turn local election results on their head. And every time, the same startled surprise from the news channels: that this thing they thought dead still lives and breathes and demands representation.
posted by rory at 5:03 AM on May 27, 2019 [6 favorites]

This is an old James O'Brian but I'm posting it now, because it is even more relevant and convincing after the EU election: Businessman Explains to James O'Brien How Government's Brexit Approach Will Ruin UK Service Sector
posted by mumimor at 12:32 PM on May 27, 2019

With so much media focus on assorted Brexit loons, I have seen nothing about the results in Northern Ireland. Which seems to be unwise given their central role in whatever is to come. So here goes: Northern Ireland has 3 MEP seats. Support for remain/pro-backstop parties has risen to 57% meaning that Sinn Fein held their seat and the Alliance Party have gained one. The DUP retain the only pro-brexit seat with about 22% of the vote. Northern Ireland's 3 MEPs are all women. The Conservative Party did stand in the N.I elections; they got 0.1% of the vote.
posted by rongorongo at 1:01 AM on May 28, 2019 [8 favorites]

Worth noting that Northern Ireland doesn't use D'Hondt in European elections, it uses a single transferable vote to select three MEPs for its single constituency.
posted by rory at 1:24 AM on May 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


Today we have launched a formal investigation to determine whether The Labour Party has unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.

Read our full statement: [direct link]

posted by Joe in Australia at 3:54 AM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yes, it has been coming for a while, but now it's here, together with its terms of reference.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:08 AM on May 28, 2019

In other news, Blair-era communications director excommunicated from the Labour Party for publicly admitting to having voted for the Lib Dems and/or being a Blairite/remainer.
posted by acb at 5:11 AM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Lord Ashcroft has some results on ConservativeHome with colourful graphs of a poll of 10,000 European election voters:
More than half (53 per cent) of 2017 Conservative voters who took part in the European elections voted for the Brexit Party. Only just over one in five (21 per cent) stayed with the Tories. Around one in eight (12 per cent) switched to the Liberal Democrats. Labour voters from 2017 were more likely to stay with their party, but only a minority (38 per cent) did so. More than one in five (22 per cent) went to the Lib Dems, 17 per cent switched to the Greens, and 13 per cent went to the Brexit Party...

Overall, 89 per cent of Euro-election voters who voted Leave still want Brexit to happen – 55 per cent of them with no deal – and seven per cent now say they want to remain. Meanwhile, 81 per cent of Remainers who voted last week say they still want to remain, with 15 per cent now saying the best outcome would be to leave. Among all those voting in the European elections, 50 per cent said they had voted to Remain in the referendum and 45 per cent to Leave; now, 50 per cent said they wanted to leave, 46 per cent said they wanted to remain, and 4 per cent didn’t know.
Bear in mind this is a poll only of the people who chose to vote in these elections, so it's definitely not a representative sample of people who would vote in a general election or second referendum.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:54 AM on May 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

What's the equivalent of milk and cookies for these threads? Chips and a pint?

posted by RedOrGreen at 9:32 AM on May 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

Cuppa and a biscuit, I would've thought. Easy to understand wanting sobering stronger, though.
posted by Dysk at 11:38 AM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

Something stronger. Just missed the edit window.
posted by Dysk at 11:44 AM on May 28, 2019

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