UK Election: what to do if you hoped for a Brexit referendum?
As a resident in the UK, the whole Brexit soap opera is ubiquitous in my life. Now, up until recently, many Britons were hoping and campaigning for a second referendum (e.g., the now internally conflicted People's Vote movement). But when the Tory prime minister was about to ram through his deal with the help of a few loose cannon Labour members, and after another Brexit extension was granted, the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats decided to offer support for holding a general election.
Re-rolling the dice for free
Both parties came to the realization that Brexit was imminent, and it was going to be pushed by a prime minister who received 80,000 votes to secure his position, and a witheringly dithering leader of the opposition, whose party appears to hold a randomly generated view towards Brexit in every other news article. So they rolled the dice.
The move makes sense from their perspective, but we do now have the issue that:
- >1 million people hit the streets multiple time demanding a Brexit referendum.
- We get to choose parties, not Brexit choices.
Is this election about Brexit?
It's a good question, and the answer lies in the newspapers. Just look at the coverage from the major newspapers in the past month, and you'll see that Brexit dominates the headlines. This is because it has a huge effect on the UK economy, on the security and stability of the country, of the freedom of movement of its people, and a huge number of other things involving food security, science and trade, for instance.
So any party claiming the election is not about Brexit is lying. But one could argue that the election should be not only about Brexit.
Now, in this blog post, I am assuming that the election is only about Brexit.
So assuming that, how should we vote?
Well, first figure out your Brexit preference, and then consult the table below:
Now this diagram does not include the parties in Northern Ireland (where Sinn Fein and UUP are Remain, and DUP is Leave), nor does it contain some of the smaller parties like UKIP. But I'm happy to make a separate one for NI if people would like me to.
But for Scotland, Wales and England, there are 4 options that are clearly in favor of revoking article 50. Tactical voting should be easy there, as the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems have allied up, and will provide a combined candidate in many crucial places. As for Scotland, I suppose Lib Dems or SNP would be your party of choice.
For all other option, the choice should be clear I think :).
One more thing: it could be that some parties shift position during the campaign in the coming weeks. If that is the case, then I'll be sure to update this diagram.
So what will happen during the election?
The campaign has only just started, so any forecasts at this time are likely to be extremely inaccurate. However, I do expect there to be major poll shifts during the campaign, as the stakes are high and gaffes are commonplace these days.
So, if you plan to vote tactically, you may want to stall your tactical decision for a while until the balance of power becomes a bit clearer.
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