People are deserting UK Labour to support pro-Remain parties in the European Elections
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time looking at the Leave and Remain ecosystems. My biggest fear, well, call it a nightmare, is that Remain absolutely blow it somewhere between now and the finish line due to our inability to think and work as a group. Remainers give Leavers a lot of grief for their inability to reason, but it isn’t reserved for Leavers by any stretch of the imagination. The UK produces nearly the least numerate group in the developed world and while our side are less likely to contain dumbasses, sadly a tonne get through the door and they are prevalent in anything to do with politics. /rant
The upcoming European Elections should be an opportunity to take a pro-EU stand and send a message. Instead, they are proving to be a pivotal moment where Remain could well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!
It is all because of the toxicity of party politics. People are segmenting along party lines and it’s looking like we are about to lose big in the European elections because we can’t step away and look at the bigger picture and it’ll be our fault!
After I dropped the thread on twitter this weekend, I got lots of questions asking for more clarity on individual regional strategies.
The one strategy that’s universal cross the board is to increase turnout. That’s a foundation of any of the strategies that must be employed.
The key things to note:
1. D’Hondt voting favours larger parties
2. UKIP are the largest party, followed by Labour, then Tories, but only just
3. Green and LibDem have never polled high in the European elections
4. We desperately need turnout! The UK never votes anywhere near the EU average
5. 30% to 60% of Labour supporters don’t move, despite what they say
6. The introduction of The Independent Group dilutes pro-Remain turnout
7. Each region has a different strategy
8. In multiparty PR voting, you cannot just simplify it to Leave v Remain.
9. It’s our ignorance of European elections and PR that makes us blow 8.
10. Crucially, with all of above dynamics, voting for Remain parties mostly leads to Leave seats, because of that dilution
11. We are then reliant on the Brexit Party’s introduction diluting their side of the vote enough to try to retain the existing seat balance.
12. Most regions have several strategies and some strategies change when the Brexit Party is present in their region. So it’s better to have two.
I suspect this will fall on deaf ears, as we, as a society, aren’t very good at thinking logically nor maths frankly. So my best case prediction for the European Elections at this stage, ghost of Christmas future (so you can change it) is:
- Labour get more votes than last time, but less share overall
- Pro-Brexit parties as a whole (inc Tory, Lab, UKIP) gain more seats at the European Parliamentary elections.
- Some regions will get more hard Brexit (inc Tory) parties coming into power
- One LibDem seats will be gained in the whole country
- Green gains no seats
Almost all of that will happen because of Remain votes going to parties like LibDem or Green, who have negligible European representation because their regular turnout is extremely low and The Brexit Party existing to split the Leave vote. If they didn’t split the Leave vote, we’d lose by a bigger margin, with UKIP taking an extra seat in almost every region bar Scotland.
What-if: Model Breakdown
There are two questions that can be asked of the assumptions of the strategy to remove Labour votes.
- Can we kick out UKIP?
- Can we increase the share of the pro-Remain vote?
The answers are totally counter intuitive!
1. Kicking UKIP: By ditching Labour for LibDem and/or Greens?
The first strategy we need, regardless is to increase turnout. 30% at least if we can.
Then if we take 40% of Labour’s EXTENDED TURNOUT (itself 30% across all parties) and redistribute it to the two Remain parties (Green and LIbDem) 50:50. We can ask two questions.
- The first is my question of whether it improves the situation by impacting UKIP or Tory seats negatively if we vote away form Labour.
This only works in Only in Scotland and the South west.
In this situation, which is already a big ask, we turn away Labour votes and increase both the seating arrangements and the share of Labour votes. The end result being a wash of purple and blue.
2 Ditching Labour to Enhancing Remain Vote Share
This comes from the assumption that backing Remain parties sends a signal to Labour that we want Remain. With many people citing the Government’s claim that 80% of voters voted for parties committed to respecting the result of the EU referendum in 2016.
I cover this elsewhere, but that is just rhetoric. After all, there is no majority in Parliament. So no one Brexit, Labour or Conservative, managed to obtain a majority for their version of Brexit. he electorate has fallen for a covariate there, which I cover elsewhere.
Unfortunately, this also result in pro-EU seats being lost. Indeed, Green suffer really badly in the elections under this model, as they lose a seat despite having more of the vote share, while LibDems are brutally hammered!
Why does this happen? It is because moving away from Labour shrinks the smaller parties relative to the UKIP and Conservative votes. But it’s still not enough to dislodge Labour in full. As splitting LibDem and Green votes, each receiving 30 percentage points of Labour’s lost 60%, is not enough to counteract Labour’s remaining 40% which, with the large increase in turnout assumed, means Labour effectively get greater vote share, from the total, taking it from LibDems while Tory and UKIP gain substantially more form the shift.
I may as well pack my bags now!
(Disclaimer. I’m totally apolitical, and take the view that the field only exists due to incompetence. Heart resents Labour for uselessness in opposition and liability to their own manifesto and society more widely. When I use politics, I do it to beat other parties with, not as a sign of approval. They are very different games)