Here’s your thread to comment if you’re following returns, which will be tracked, among other places, at Google (just search “Brexit”), the BBC, and the Torygraph. Will Britain choose independence, sovereignty, and nationalism? Or will it stick it with an unhappy status quo, fealty to Brussels, and whatever exciting new migration policies Europe’s bien-pensants may lurch towards next?
The smart money’s on “unhappy status quo.” Secession votes are always hard. There’s no exit poll today, but YouGov conducted a same-day survey to try to get a sense of which way the vote is leaning. Result: Remain 52, Leave 48. Follow the last link, though, and note how bouncy opinion has been not just over the past month but dating back to April. It really could go either way notwithstanding the backlash potential from the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last week by a neo-Nazi who declared “freedom for Britain” at his arraignment. Nigel Farage, the face of UKIP, conceded within the last few hours that it appears Remain has a small edge, but as of 5:45 ET he’s apparently “un-conceded.”
What’s at stake? See if any of this sounds familiar:
This growing opposition also stems from growing resentment of an unaccountable, and often haughty, bureaucracy that seeks to impose regulation on everything from the borders to the schools, planning, environment policy, and, perhaps most insulting of all, laws that control the production and distribution of such critical European products as alcohol and cheese. Climate change regulations imposed from Brussels also threaten to further weaken the middle class, even making car ownership too expensive for most drivers…
This rebellion against ever increasingly centralized power—what might be called “fashionable fascism”—is just beginning. It does not reside solely on the far right. Many on the left embrace the ideal of localism as a reaction against globalization and domination by large corporations. Grassroots progressives often embrace the idea of purchasing from local merchants and relying on locally produced agricultural products as an environmental win, and a form of resistance to ever-greater centralized big business control.
Of course, prevailing progressive opinion on both sides of the Atlantic embraces central control, often in the form of favor of a “technocracy” determining energy, economic and land use policies. If the technocrats get their way, we can expect policies aimed at limiting the mundane pleasures of the middle class such as affordable electricity, cheap air travel, cars, and single-family housing.
If Leave prevails, major political earthquakes could follow in quick succession. David Cameron might resign; Scotland, seeking to rejoin the EU, might demand independence and crack up the UK; other EU nations might clamor for their own exits, threatening a full-bore EU crack-up; oh, and your 401(k) might get groin-punched. Today could be a big turn for the western world, one way or the other. Stand by.
Last minute Ipsos-Mori poll gives it to Remain:
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) June 23, 2016
Update: Charles Cooke, who was born and raised in the UK, reminds us never to forget the power of fearmongering.
Update: Like I said, it really could go either way.
BBC reports from the counts in Sunderland and Newcastle don't quite seem to tally with these big Remain poll leads…
— Nico Hines (@NicoHines) June 23, 2016
Update: An unexpected result.
POUND PLUNGING AFTER MASSIVE WIN FOR LEAVE IN SUNDERLAND pic.twitter.com/O1LOT8EXBu
— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) June 23, 2016