General Election Prediction

Current Prediction: Conservative short 3 of majority

Party2015 Votes2015 SeatsPred VotesPred Seats
CON 37.8%331 35.4%323
LAB 31.2%232 29.9%237
LIB 8.1%8 7.4%8
UKIP 12.9%1 16.6%3
Green 3.8%1 4.2%1
SNP 4.9%56 4.9%56
PlaidC 0.6%3 0.6%4
Minor 0.8%0 1.0%0
N.Ire 18 18

Prediction based on opinion polls from 11 Jun 2016 to 26 Jun 2016, sampling 9,348 people.

Probability of possible outcomes

Conservative majority
47%
Con/Nat coalition
26%
Con choice of Lib/Nat
9%
Nat choice of Con/Lab
7%
Lab/Nat coalition
5%
Lab choice of Lib/Nat
2%
Labour majority
2%

The future is never certain. But using our advanced modelling techniques, we can estimate the probability of the various possible outcomes at the next general election. ('Nat' means SNP+PlaidC)

Liberal Leaver Blog: Making the Best of Brexit

Go to Liberal Leaver blog page for more

A majority of voters favours retaining single market membership


The UK was always ‘semidetached’ from the EU. We had opt outs from the Maastricht Treaty including not joining the euro, and from Schengen (thanks to much maligned John Major for that). One of his ‘bastards’, Michael Portillo argues [1] that this meant a referendum was unnecessary – even though he is a sceptic. Clearly it divided the population and Brexiters won 52%−48% over Remainers.

Whilst we voted to leave the EU, and that must be respected, it is less clear what we voted to replace this. “Brexit Means Brexit” tells us nothing. Brexiters voted Leave for a variety of reasons [2] and immigration was only the main reason for a third of Leave voters.

There seems to be two alternatives – an EU-lite version which maintains membership of the Single Market and a more radical option which leaves the Single Market and plans to negotiate individual trade deals.

The first option means being part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and remaining in the Single Market [3]. This had all the economic advantages and security but without political integration or the disastrous Common Agricultural Policy.

Traffic light comparison of EU and EEA status
 UK as EU memberEEA nations
Single market participationYesYes
Financial services accessYesYes
Free/low tariff barriersYesYes
Freedom of movementYesYes
Free movement controlsNoEEA emergency brake
Saving on EU paymentNoCirca 50% per head
Independent veto on global bodiesNoYes
Single market acquis (21% of EU law)12% QMV*Most are global rules
Remaining acquis (79% of EU law)12% QMVExempt
Can agree independent FTAsNoYes
Common external tariffAppliesExempt
EU VAT policyAppliesExempt
Common Agricultural and Fisheries PoliciesAppliesExempt
Common foreign/defence policyMix of unanimity
and 12% QMV
Exempt
Justice and home affairs policySelected opt-ins/
12% QMV
Exempt
European Court of JusticeSubordinateExempt
European CommissionSubordinateExempt
Joint and several liability of EU debtsAppliesExempt
Ever closer union appliesPossiblyExempt
Charter of fundamental rightsAppliesExempt
EU science/education programmesParticipatesParticipates
*QMV = Qualified majority voting
© Roland Smith, Adam Smith Institute. Reproduced with kind permission.

This option comes at a price – free movement of people. Immigration to the UK won’t be reduced significantly. The figures show [4] that net migration to the UK in 2015 was about 330,000 or around the size of Iceland’s population. Further, there were more people coming from outside the EU than within it. The British public were misled – not by the Leave side – but by the former Prime Minister David Cameron and current PM Theresa May who say net migration can be reduced to the tens of thousands – fantasy.

The other option is to have individual trade deals with countries around the World [5]. The problem is it would be time-consuming, uncertain and probably not as advantageous as being within the Single Market. It might lead to greater control of immigration but at the expense of economic stability.

The choice is clear: Single Market (with little control of EU immigration) or individual trade deals which is the reverse – more EU immigration control but less economic stability. The public would appear to favour the former [6].

There has been speculation about retaining Single Market access – with a temporary seven year freeze on migration [7]. This has angered the Tory Right who want out of all things EU – though the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, seems more favourable to this. Expect more division in the Tory party over the years over the reoccurring problem of Europe.

If Parliament is sovereign – as most Leave supporters say it should be – then they have to accept that the vast majority of MPs supported membership of the EU [8]. You can be confident that an even greater number would support continued membership of the Single Market.

At the end of the day, the UK will probably remain semi-detached from the EU [9]. In the Single Market, but out of the political structures. Many Leave supporters will feel betrayed and many Remain supporters relieved that this whole process has produced limited change.

References


Go to Liberal Leaver blog page for more