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ACROSS EUROPE LIGHTS ARE GOING ON

By Pete Moore On May 26th, 2019

For once, European Parliament elections might be interesting. Voting closed today so results will be coming in soon. It seems that ignoring voters doesn’t make them content. Projections are that parties on the left and right have benefited while so called centrist and governing parties have done less well.

The UK has bucked the trend. The Lib Dems appear to have done well, but that’s the one national, overtly pro-EU party (as opposed to the Tories and Labour, which try to hide it). But it’s The Brexit Party, just weeks after formation, which has defended the moderate centre ground of British politics. Well done Lord Farage. Extremists will never win, which is why the EU’s imperium is being challenged like never before.

The result for the Tories is the expected and well-deserved disaster. For Labour it’s a slightly more surprising disaster. Politics is fragmenting. Old tribal loyalties have broken under Brexit. It can’t be long before the so called big two parties, the old, inflexible parties, become the ex-big two.

47 Responses to “ACROSS EUROPE LIGHTS ARE GOING ON”

  1. I highly recommend my fellow ATWers watch this video about brexit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDFegpX5gI

  2. The Tories will be humiliated tonight but Labour will also get a well-deserved kicking. While claiming to “respect the referendum result” its Brexit supremo Sir Keir Starmer has done all in his power to frustrate it, mostly by pushing for a “people’s vote” in the form of a second referendum. Starmer claims to represent Labour’s “internationalist” tradition but there has not been a peep from Labour in support of the Gillet Jaunes in France, despite that fact that they are predominantely a leftist movement against Macron.

    Tonight’s result will be seen as a proxy for that second referendum. If the result is as expected you can expect to hear a lot less about a “people’s vote” from the Remainers.

  3. //For once, European Parliament elections might be interesting. //

    It looks like the turnout across the continent will be the highest in 20 years, and might well cross the 50 pc line. In Germany turnout rose from around 48 pc to over 61 pc.

    There’s no question that Brexit increased EU popularity throughout Europe.

    Le Pen’s party in France beat Macron’s group and got the strongest vote in the country.

    In the Netherlands the Labour party did well and came out tops in the country, while Geert Wilders’ party got a thrashing at around 4% of the vote.

    Greens seem to have done very well in several places – second largest party in Germany, joint second in Ireland, third in France.

  4. Pete, your attempts to big up Brexit in a political contest that people treat with the depth and seriousness of Eurovision are comical.

    I really do hope that the BP can carry whatever gains they undoubtedly will get over to a Brit GP. The prospect of a rag tag group of professional politicos, silver spoon establishment rich kids and ‘reformed’ revolutionary communists with their hands on the reins of political power and responsibility in Britain is too good an opportunity to waste.

  5. * attempts to big up Brexit Party

  6. Does anyone know why countries that held the EU election today have already reported the results, while Britain, which voted last Thursday, has still not uttered a word?

    Northern Ireland, which also voted last Thursday, isn’t going to start counting till tomorrow!

  7. Superb video that Dave. Great catch.

  8. Paul –

    The national context here does not make the these elections comical. I suspect that if a pro-EU party had been formed a few weeks ago and then won this election, as The Brexit Party will, your verdict might have been different.

  9. The national context here does not make the these elections comical

    Are you suggesting that this Euro Parliament election is being fought along the Brexit referendum lines Pete?

    The MEP elections are treated as a Mickey Mouse panto by the electorate regardless of individuals or parties standing.

  10. That video was good

  11. The MEP elections are treated as a Mickey Mouse panto…..

    That’s because the ‘European Parliament’ is a Mickey Mouse theatre as it was intended to be.

  12. What are the functions of the EP Allan? With your love of ‘research’ it shouldn’t be a difficult question.

  13. The Lib-Dems have won in London, this is shaping up to be a Tory wipe-out and a Labour disaster:

    “In London, the Lib Dems won the biggest share, gaining three MEPs, Labour have two, The Brexit Party have two and the Green Party has one. The Conservatives came fifth.”

  14. Here is the current scorecard:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/crjeqkdevwvt/the-uks-european-elections-2019

  15. Labour needs to get on board with Brexit if it wants to avoid a disaster in the general election which will likely be later this year. Corbyn should make a start by sacking Starmer and making clear that Labour will respect the referendum by ensuring that a softish May-style Brexit is passed by Parliament. Otherwise it faces a bitter war on two fronts against the Tory – Brexit Party alliance (there will be one if there is a general election with Johnson or Raab as the Tory leader) in its Brexit seats and the Lib Dems in its Remain seats. It could be a bloodbath like 1983.

  16. Interestingly the Brexit Party are currently up 31.7%. The Tories are down 14.9%. UKIP are down 24.1%. That’s -7.3% for pro-Brexit parties.

  17. “Labour needs to get on board with Brexit if it wants to avoid a disaster in the general election which will likely be later this year.”

    I’d argue the opposite. Labour need to openly oppose Brexit and either advocate for the revoking of Article 50 or a second referendum.

  18. Adonis not elected.

    Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

  19. Yes Pete, very sad that 🙂

  20. Paul and Phantom.

    Thanks guys.

  21. Labour need to openly oppose Brexit

    Yes, if it wants to continue morphing into a metropolitan middle-class leftist version of the Lib Dems. It will lose its core working class supporters to the Brexit Party and the Tories, this is already happening.

  22. Based on the votes counted so far, Labour is miles behind the Lib Dems and at risk of coming fourth behind the Greens.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/crjeqkdevwvt/the-uks-european-elections-2019

  23. “Yes, if it wants to continue morphing into a metropolitan middle-class leftist version of the Lib Dems. It will lose its core working class supporters to the Brexit Party and the Tories, this is already happening.”

    The overwhelming majority of Labour’s voters oppose Brexit. Of the 24% of people who intend to vote Labour at the next general election – 30% voted Leave, 70% voted Remain.

    As this election has shown Labour are hemorrhaging votes. Not to the Brexit Party. Only 7% of Labour’s vote in 2017 intends to vote Brexit Party at the next election. 10% are planning on voting Green, 17% to the Liberal Democrats. Labour are hemorrhaging votes to Remain parties, not Leave parties.

  24. The overwhelming majority of Labour’s voters oppose Brexit. Of the 24% of people who intend to vote Labour at the next general election – 30% voted Leave, 70% voted Remain.

    That’s overwhelming? It’s just over two to one, 2.33 to be precise.

    “Overwhelming” in my book would be at least 5:1.

  25. Well if 52% is decisive I’d say 70% is overwhelming.

  26. I have never claimed that 52:48 was decisive. May made a huge mistake by opting for a hard Brexit (leaving the Customs Union) on such a narrow margin. The obvious compromise was to leave the Single Market and put an end to free movement but remain in the Customs Union which would protrect our trade and (mostly) solve the Irish border issue.

    May’s final deal was an ugly version of that compromise, but it was wrecked by an unholy alliance of Tory Brextremists and Labour Remainers.

  27. “The obvious compromise was to leave the Single Market and put an end to free movement but remain in the Customs Union which would protrect our trade and (mostly) solve the Irish border issue.”

    The EU likely would have rejected that. They didn’t want the UK half in half out. And it wouldn’t have allowed the UK to be part of the EU’s Customs Union without the UK accepting the acquis communautaire which includes freedom of movement.

  28. And it wouldn’t have allowed the UK to be part of the EU’s Customs Union without the UK accepting the acquis communautaire which includes freedom of movement.

    No, free movement is part of the Single Market, not the Customs Union. Turkey is in the Customs Union but it most certainly does not have free movement.

  29. “No, free movement is part of the Single Market, not the Customs Union. Turkey is in the Customs Union but it most certainly does not have free movement.”

    And those arrangements were put in place when it was assumed that Turkey would eventually be joining the EU.

    The EU have made it clear that certain countries entered into arrangements with the EU as a precursor to full membership, not as a leaving member. So Turkey isn’t on the table. And Switzerland, for example, isn’t on the table.

    Again it is unlikely that the EU would agree to a Customs Union with the UK without the UK agreeing to accept the acquis communautaire.

    It also, while reducing problems at the border in Ireland, wouldn’t eliminate the problems, and would still require a backstop to be in place should a long term solution not be solvable.

  30. So of the 70 seats in Britain 64 have been declared. The bulk of Scotland has been declared but na h’Eileanan Siar won’t declare until Sunday. Projecting the Scottish seats as 3 SNP, 1 Brexit, 1 Liberal Democrat, and 1 Conservative would put the final totals as:

    Brexit: 29 (+29)
    Liberal Democrat: 16 (+15)
    Labour: 10 (-10)
    Green: 7 +(4)
    Conservative: 4 (-15)
    SNP: 3 (+1)
    Plaid: 1 (nc)
    UKIP: 0 (-24)

  31. So no Labour MEPs in Scotland. Keir Hardie will be turning in his grave, but he will also be turning at the pro-EU stance of his name-sake Keir Starmer.

    Tonight has seen a clear win for Brexit, both the party and the cause. If the current Westminster parliament fails to deliver it in some form very soon there will have to be a general election. My bet is for early October with Johnson leading a Tory-Brexit alliance. And winning, possibly bigly, with echoes of the Coupon Election of 1918.

  32. “Time for Labour to choose: Hampstead or Hartlepool? It cannot shirk the decision any longer.”

    https://twitter.com/PaulEmbery/status/1132772317564669953?s=20

  33. This was recently a “Labour heartland”:

    Kingston upon Hull (Yorkshire & the Humber) result:

    Brex: 44.0% (+44.0)
    Lab: 18.6% (-13.2)
    LDem: 13.4% (+1.6)
    Grn: 9.2% (+2.6)
    UKIP: 6.5% (-29.3)
    Con: 2.9% (-5.3)

  34. Interesting times

  35. The Europarl elections are on a par with that other great big Euro Sham – The Eurovision Song Contest. Only the the MEP’s do more in the line of comedy than sing-a-long.

    The march, irrespective of the results, to a full federal Europe will continue. I just hope we can get out in time.

  36. Dave Alton

    I watched the video. Are you familiar with the concept of, Dog Whistle Politics (see link below) ? Because, and if you watched right to the end like I have, they will give you a clue with a dog barking. In short, you’re being played ! They are using fear and slurs to rubbish people.

    As for all this nonsense about not losing sovereignty I say this. Tell that to the people of British Steel who will be losing their jobs because of EU rules.

    In short. A video for the easily led.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics

  37. Incredible vote. Of course an EU is not a Westminster election, but if this result were projected onto FPTP, the Conservatives (now at 9 %) would not win a single seat in the entire UK. A total collapse for the most successful political party in world history.

    Great day for Nigel Farage. BP and Ukip together now at 35%, but it still looks like there are more Remain than Brexit votes in the result overall.

  38. “Tonight has seen a clear win for Brexit, both the party and the cause. “

    A clear win? The combined Brexit, UKIP, and Conservative vote is 44%. Collectively they lost 7.4% of the vote from 2014. They got 33 seats. That’s down from 43 last time.

    On the flip side the combined Liberal Democrats, Labour, Green, SNP, Change UK and Plaid vote is 54.5%. That’s up 11.1% from 2014. They won collectively 37 seats, up from 27 in 2014.

    So Brexit got a bloody nose, not a romping victory.

  39. //Brexit got a bloody nose, not a romping victory.//

    One thing you’re forgetting, Seamus, (and you’re in good company on this one) is the low turnout factor.

    The turnout across the UK was only 37%. That’s high for an EU election in the UK, but it still bodes ill for Remain.

    After the widespreach frustration, disenchantment and white-hot anger among Brexit supporters at politics in London, it’s almost certain that very many of them decided to ignore an election to a body that they believe their country should have been shut of months ago. Their disenchantment is fresh and will probably have abated by the time of a new GE, and in any case is strongest in relation to the EU. There will no doubt be some potential Remainers ammong the 63% who stayed at home, but they will be nothing compared to the army of Brexiters.

    This is borne out by the records showing that turnout was lowest in 2016 Leave areas, and not so low in former Remain areas.

    If even part of that dormant figure is mobilised in a GE or in a second referendum, it doesn’t look good for Remain at all.

  40. “One thing you’re forgetting, Seamus, (and you’re in good company on this one) is the low turnout factor.”

    Obviously there was some differences in turnout. However the differences in turnout between leave areas and remain areas was still relatively small.

    In the Yougov poll those who were more likely to vote than not (in a European Parliament election) was 37.9% Remain, 37.4% Leave. Now that combines for a total of 75.4% (rounding error) so clearly a lot of people were telling pork pies but the trend is there. Remain voters are more likely to vote than Leave voters.

    However the same question for a general election produces a similar result. The same group of people (who say they are more likely to vote than not) produces a result of 42.7% Remain, and 42.6% Leave.

  41. You would think that those with strong opinion would be exceptionally motivated to turn out.

    63% non-participation would seem to indicate a great apathy in the larger population, as we enter the end game

  42. Turnout is always low in UK European elections (and European elections in general). It is worth pointing out that, while turnout is still low, it is up on 2014. In fact outside of 2004 (where there was a substantial increase in turnout due to a trial of postal-only ballots) it is the largest turnout in a European election that the UK has ever had.

  43. One thing you’re forgetting, Seamus, (and you’re in good company on this one) is the low turnout factor.

    I think that runs contrary to your Incredible vote, Great day for Nigel Farage comments Noel?

    The Nige’s party underperformed very slightly to what was predicted and if what Pete seemed to be suggesting above is true and this election was fought along pro / anti Brexit lines then the British electorate is narrowly anti Brexit.

  44. An interesting development is that the staunchly anti Brexit Alliance Party seem very much on course to take the third seat in the state of NI from the UUP.

    DUP 1

    SF 1

    Alliance Party 1

  45. //63% non-participation would seem to indicate a great apathy in the larger population, as we enter the end game.//

    Normally it would. But after the absolute chaos, lies and farce in Whitehall over the past year, but especially in the last few months, it could well indicate also a great anger and protest. A lot of Leavers aren’t as committed political junkies like we lot are; they were just pissed off big time, but not ideological enough to come out to vote BP.

    //I think that runs contrary to your Incredible vote, Great day for Nigel Farage comments Noel?//

    Not at all, Paul.

    I was hoping he’d crash, but you have to hand it to him, he got an incredible share of the votes cast. Leading even in Wales. His BP, just a few weeks old, received a higher percentage of votes than the government parties in the UK, France, Germany……..

    The turnout percentage is a different thing. I still believe, on reflection, that most of those absentees are either the indifferent who will never vote or angry Brexiteers, who, if they had turned out, would have given Farage the kind of result that Orban got in Hungary.

  46. “The turnout percentage is a different thing. I still believe, on reflection, that most of those absentees are either the indifferent who will never vote or angry Brexiteers, who, if they had turned out, would have given Farage the kind of result that Orban got in Hungary.”

    Truth be told that is ridiculous. Hungary is broadly a one party state. I believe that the recent polls are broadly accurate and that the Brexit Party were probably in the mid/high thirties and were brought down a bit by lower turnout. They were never going to get half the vote, not least as UKIP were always going to get a couple of percent of the Leave vote, the Tories were always going to get some of the Leave vote, and Labour were always going to get some of the Leave vote.

  47. He got an incredible share of the votes cast

    They underperformed slightly less than was predicted but yes, he done well as expected. What I don’t understand is how you downplay a majority vote for remain parties because of low turnout and then wax lyrical about an incredible vote and a great day for the Nige on the same turnout?

    He received a higher percentage of votes than the government parties in the UK, France, Germany……..

    A Government in absolute turmoil in an incredibley chaotic political situation and two cother countries where such a situation doesn’t exist? I’d saw the comparisons were deeply flawed.

    The turnout percentage is a different thing. I still believe, on reflection, that most of those absentees are either the indifferent who will never vote or angry Brexiteers

    I disagree with your specualtion here Noel. I would suggest that those who stayed at home are largely indifferent, maybe Brexited out and that angry Brexiteers would have been straight out of the traps to combat what they see as their Brexit being frustrated.

    Traditionally the Euro elections are seen as a safe bet to vent your frustrations on disagreements with national government performance without actually letting yyour Euro vote parties get their hands on the reins of national Parliament. I’ll be surprised if the BP gains translate into such success in a Westminster GE, (although I live in hope).

    In other news the electorate in the wee six to the British what to do with their Englishcentric Brexit by by electing two remain and one leave MEP. It looks like the DUP now have the option of backstop or border poll.