Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Brexit Tomorrow? Probably Not


Tomorrow the British are voting in a referendum to determine whether or not to leave the E.U. Leaving-- Brexit-- is being pushed by UKIP, the neo-fascist party and by Brits who wished they lived in America so they could vote for Trump. The feeling is mutual. Trump recently told Fox News "I don’t think anybody should listen to me because I haven’t really focused on it very much but my inclination would be to get out." Until one of the wing-nuts stabbed to death Jo Cox, a Labour Member of Parliament, it looked like they were going for Brexit. But the murder took the momentum away from the rightists and reminded the voters of who they were getting into bed with. Since then, the pound has been getting stronger and the U.K. and European stock markets have rallied. More important, the betting houses say Britain isn't exiting and that it's all over but... the voting.

There was a polling swing from 44-42% in favor of leaving to yesterday's 53-45% in favor of not leaving.
Bookies and gamblers are strengthening in their conviction that the U.K. will opt to remain in the European Union, as polls show a swing away from a so-called Brexit.

Ladbrokes Plc said Tuesday that the odds on a “Remain” vote had shortened to a 2/9 chance, indicating an 82 percent probability. Brexit opponents may win with 50 percent to 55 percent of the vote, wagers on the Betfair exchange suggest.

“As far as the money’s concerned, it looks like Brexit is beginning to fall at the final hurdle,” Jessica Bridge, a spokeswoman for Ladbrokes, said in an e-mailed statement. The company said late Monday that some 95 percent of all referendum wagers in the previous 24 hours had been placed on voters rejecting Brexit. “Money talks, and it’s one-way traffic from ‘Remain’ punters.”
The last time the British voted on this-- 1975-- the EU wasn't even called the EU yet, just the Common Market and Brits voted to stay in, 17,378,581 (67.2%) to 8,470,073 (32.8%). The only counties in Britain to vote for exit were the Shetland Islands and the Outer Hebrides. It will be a lot closer tomorrow, xenophobia being popular and the case that EU membership undermines national sovereignty having taken root. Yesterday the NYTimes sniffed around the indicators and came to the same conclusion: Britain's staying in:
A traditionally reliable indicator, lurking in a recent opinion poll, suggests Britain will vote on Thursday to remain in the European Union.

The main question that polling firms typically ask respondents in any contest is how they intend to vote. In the case of the referendum on “Brexit,” as a possible British exit from the E.U. is known, the polls straightforwardly ask people if they want to remain in the union or leave. After a string of polls showing a sizable lead for “leave,” polls released in the last few days effectively show a tie, or a small lead for remaining. This shift away from “leave” prompted a rally in global markets on Monday.

But one of those polls, conducted by Survation, also asked voters which side they expected to win. Asking people to predict a result of an election has, over time, provided more accurate forecasts than asking people their voting intentions, according to a study by Justin Wolfers, a University of Michigan economist and an Upshot contributor, and David Rothschild, of the Microsoft Research and Statistics Center.

When Survation asked, “Regardless of how you plan to vote, what do you think the result will be?” just shy of 40 percent of people said the “remain” camp would win. Only 26 percent said that “leave” would prevail.

The remaining 34 percent said they did not know what the result would be. Mr. Rothschild said the “don’t know” figure is high for this sort of question. But he noted that undecided voters tend to support the status quo, in part because they are more risk-averse and may be less informed.

Also notable: Supporters of the leave camp don’t seem to have a high level of confidence that their side will prevail. Some 35 percent of “leave” supporters said they thought “remain” would win. By contrast, only 14 percent of “remain” supporters predicted that “leave” would win.

Unless they're referring to Rupert Murdoch as the Queen...

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