Leave wins UK Brexit referendum 52-48


Adrian Beaumont, University of Melbourne

Defying expectations of a solid Remain victory, the UK has voted to Leave the European Union by about a 52-48 margin. Remain won easily in Scotland, London and some other big cities, but otherwise Leave swept. The Labour heartland north of England was expected to be better for Remain, but in fact Leave dominated.

Online polls had the contest neck and neck, while phone polls had Remain well ahead. So the online panel polls did better this time than live phone polls. Perhaps this was caused by shy Leave voters.

This vote was not just the result of anti-immigration sentiment. Many people on the left disliked the European Union because they thought it was too authoritarian.

Conservative British PM David Cameron put his authority on the line to get a Remain result. With Remain defeated, it is likely that Cameron will resign, and that the next PM will be more right wing than Cameron. 13 months after winning a shock majority for the Conservatives, Cameron is effectively toast.

Scotland voted heavily to Remain, and may well have another referendum on leaving the UK, following the failure of the first Independence referendum in 2014. If such a referendum were to succeed, the UK would be much reduced.

This result will also affect the Australian Federal election. The stock markets have crashed following the Leave vote, and economic uncertainty should be good news for the Coalition.

Trump slumps in US general election polls

A month ago, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were tied in the RealClearPolitics polling average, now Clinton leads by 6%. This has not happened because Clinton has gone up, but rather because Trump has gone down.

Not only is Trump trailing in the polls, he is struggling to raise money. He raised just $3.1 million in May, compared to over $28 million for Clinton, and he ended May with only $1.3 million in cash on hand, $41 million behind Clinton. All currencies here are US.

Presidential candidates need to raise huge amounts of money so they can fund ads and pay campaign staff. At the moment, Trump is getting pummelled in the ad wars, and Clinton has a far larger staff.

There has been some recent speculation that Trump could be dumped at the Republican convention by a delegate revolt. The convention rules are set at a pre-convention meeting, and it is possible that the rules meeting could unbind all delegates, or require a 2/3 supermajority on the first ballot, which Trump would be unlikely to meet. Many delegates pledged to Trump in fact support Cruz, so it is possible Trump could lose if delegates were unbound.

If Trump lost in such a Game of Thrones type coup, it would enrage his supporters. Whether establishment Republicans or movement conservatives like it or not, Trump won the nomination by a large margin, and to deny him at the convention would be highly undemocratic.

If there is a delegate revolt, but Trump still wins, as is very probable, the revolt will further damage him in the general election. If he loses, his supporters are unlikely to be reconciled to the eventual nominee.

According to an Essential poll, Australians wanted the UK to stay with the EU by a 38-22 margin, with 40% undecided. Australians preferred Clinton to Trump by a 71-15 margin.

Queensland Newspoll has Labor ahead 51-49

A Queensland Newspoll, taken over May and June from a sample of 1450, has Labor leading by 51-49, a one point gain for the Liberal National Party (LNP) since the October to December poll. Primary votes are 38% for Labor (down 3), 40% for the LNP (up 1) and 8% for the Greens (steady). Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s satisfied rating is 44% (down 6) and her dissatisfied rating is 42% (up 7) for a net approval of +2. In his first Newspoll as opposition leader, Tim Nicholls has a net approval of -5.

Normally the primary vote shifts would have produced a 2 point gain for the LNP after preferences. However, Queensland has changed from optional preferential to compulsory preferential voting, and this change has mitigated the primary vote swing.

The Conversation

Adrian Beaumont, PhD Student, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Australia: Budget 2016


For those yet to see this inspiring piece of economic policy/politics from Australia, or perhaps you just want to see it again (for some reason), here is the Australian 2016 budget being delivered by Scott Morrison.