Leave Wins (Almost Certainly)

brexit-vote-predictionUnless there is a truly stunning reversal soon, a victory for Remain is increasingly looking to be mathematically impossible.

England outside London is voting 60% Leave. The two biggest Remain hotspots, London and Scotland, do not have the numbers to make up for it.

Meanwhile, Wales and Northern Ireland are too evenly divided and too low in numbers to make a big difference anyway.

As of the time of me writing this sentence, Leave is on 53% and that is despite the fact that thrice as big a share of the votes have been counted from Scotland as from England.

The Independent has a list of regions (see full map right) to watch as bellweathers of the referendum result which are predicted to get 50/50 in the event of a split vote. In the event, these bellweathers seem to be consistently voting around 55% in favor of Leave.

(1) This looks like it is turning out to be yet another disaster for British polling.

Whereas it was predicted that in the last days British voters tend to shift to the status quo, drawing on the experience of the Scottish referendum, it appears that the true underweighing was with regards to conservative positions. This was demonstrated during the UK 2015 general elections, which pollsters predicted would be a close run thing but in reality saw a decisive Conservative win. In other words, their tendency to underweigh conservative voters – the “Shy Tory” factor first identified in 1992 – remains as prevalent as ever.

Also contrary to conventional wisdom prior to this referendum, online polls have turned out to be more accurate (or rather less wrong) than telephone polls.

(2) It appears that Thomas Mair’s murder of Jo Cox did not impact on the Leave campaign as many people – myself included – anticipated it would.

eu-doesnt-take-no-for-answer(3) What comes next? Well, again assuming no stunning reversals, this is going to be a long, drawn out process.

First, as many referendums and dank memes attest, the EU doesn’t like to take no for an answer. This will be a long and drawn out process. The Guardian, the voice of the British neoliberal Left, is already beginning a discussion on whether the EU referendum is legally binding.

Alexander Mercouris argues the effects either way won’t be big because he no longer sees the UK as an influential Power. There is merit to that interpretation but I think he overdoes it. The EU is a fragile construction and once a big member leaves there might well be a tipping point, especially since the remaining rich members will have to foot more of the bill for Eastern Europe’s “convergence” funds and bailing out Greece every other year.

I think the effect on the British economy will be modest. All the economists forecasting doom belong predominantly to a London/Brussels/Frankfurt centered class that tends to have overly inflated ideas of the importance of the finance sector and free trade to economic growth (which Brexit is going to impact far more modestly and gradually than they project anyway). This is not to say I agree with Eamonn Fingleton that protectionism is some sort of panacea either (that particular honor belongs to human capital). But being outside the EU is not some kind of economic death sentence. It’s not like Switzerland is a byword for poverty and isolation.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. German_reader says

    Stunning. I’m somewhat torn about this, mostly for personal reasons, but on the other hand it seems like this will turn out to be a victory for British (or maybe just English, though Wales seems also to be in favour of leave going on present results) patriotism, which I regard as a good thing. I hope it won’t be a Pyrrhic one. But in any case, 2016 is the first time in my life when there seems to be a least a chance the progressive pseudo-consensus in the West might be broken up. Exciting times.

  2. Not my country, but: go England. It’s time someone pooped on the globaloney. You have millenia of history and culture to protect.

  3. jimmyriddle says

    Dawn is breaking here in London.

    Today is Midsummer’s Day and it’s looking like it will be Independence Day.

  4. Anatoly Karlin says

    All that major British media organizations including the BBC have called it. Leave wins with 52% of the vote.

    Now let’s go for the full trifecta and elect Trump and Le Pen as God-Emperor and God-Empress of the US and France. (Though the concept of a God-Empress is probably heresy. So make that a Queen instead.)

  5. The cult of the telephone poll was always a crock, on par with the “unskewed polls” mania of 2012 in the US. They did worse than online polls already in last year’s general election.
    Underweighing conservative (more specifically, older) voters is different from the mythical shy Tory factor, it’s about bad sampling not insincere answers.
    I think I may well celebrate with some alcoholic beverages today.

  6. Also, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned here about the idiocy and uselessness of prediction markets and bookies’ odds as a guide to the future.

  7. Anatoly Karlin says

    But they are right 90% of the time all the time.

  8. Mitleser says

    That is impossible.
    The EU camp got even a martyr in the last days.

  9. Anatoly Karlin says

    There’s now a lot of noise about a second Scottish referendum from the usual suspects.


    FTR, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.

  10. Go Britain! I didn’t think you had it in you to stand up to the massive fear campaign like that. It’s a bright day.

    As for the attempts to somehow ignore the results and find a work around, this time is different. The EU’s democracy deficit has now grown too large to ignore. Let’s hope this is just the first break in the dam and the whole thing comes crashing down now.

  11. The wisdom of crowds seems more like a crowded trade.

  12. Anatoly Karlin says
  13. Cameron has just resigned, said that article 50 (the process to actually leave) won’t be triggered until there’s a new prime minister in three months time. This could come after a general election where all credible parties promise to remain after all, possibility after a period of Greek style economic turmoil. Plenty of scope/wriggle room to ignore the result, whilst claiming democracy had been respected in that scenario.

  14. Anonymous says

    a victory for British (or maybe just English, though Wales seems also to be in favour of leave going on present results)

    About 25% of Wales were born in England. Many others were born in Wales, but to English parents.

  15. Parsifal says

    About the “Shy Tory” factor…America has it’s counterpart in the so-called “Bradley effect”. I’m surprised not even the alternative media is talking about that particular elephant in the room, especially considering the unprecedented demonization Trump is facing from the media.

  16. Nope. There’s not going to be any election, and no politician has suggested welshing (if that word is appropriate). Like stealing the nomination from Trump at the convention, it’s a fantasy that dissipates in the cold light of day.

  17. Hey ….. The EU grew from the European Coal and Steel Community.

    Part of it is/was keeping the French and Germans from starting another war.

    I don’t know the mind of a Russian, but the idea of Germany being in a wimpy, bureaucratic ‘union’ seems pretty good. Like, hell yes.

    And then NATO … sets these wimpy 2% GDP ‘targets’ which don’t get met. So you have the Germans and the rest of them, effectively disarmed and in a political bloc that is just another pain in the ass bureaucracy — like Russia and most of the rest of the world.

    I can see Putin getting tired of taking a lot of shit from Americans. But really — they don’t care that much and definitely won’t fight for Germany.

    So, Brexit … not so good for the EU. The EU falling apart? Not so good for Russia. But as long as NATO demands 2% GDP military budgets and no one pays up, Russia has nothing to fear.

    Without the EU? And hell … Donald Trump is ready to trade anything — and maybe either walk away from NATO or suggest that Germany pay for it.

  18. I dunno. The Scottish referendum vote was close, and it seems Scots by a large majority want to stay within the EU.

    Northern Ireland voted to remain. The vote was split, with Catholics choosing to remain and Protestants choosing to leave. Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (and ex-senior IRA member) Martin McGuinness said if Britain leaves the EU, Northern Ireland should get its own vote on union with the Republic of Ireland:


    Interesting times.

  19. The vote is basically a split along ethnic lines. The English (and largely Anglicized Welsh) want out, the non-English want to stay. We’ll see if the English manage to drag the Scots and the Irish Catholics out of the EU against their will.

  20. How did Scotland become so cucked? Pathetic

  21. Mitleser says

    The continent is the natural partner of the Scots against English domination.

  22. But they have disproportionate influence in the UK if anything…

  23. This is not the time to cry over the exit of Britain. They were mostly spoiled whiners anyway, asking for ever increasing privileges compared to the rest of the EU members. What the EU had just experienced is comparable to an organ failure. So, perhaps this is the best time for some new and healthy organ to be transplanted.

    The potential “donors”? Why, Turkey and Ukraine, of course? They have been the most enthusiastic EU wannabe members for some time now. Ukraine even went so far as to declare war on its own population in the hope of winning the imperial sympathies of EU, US, NATO.

    Ukraine might be a good potential candidate, but Turkey is the absolute favorite. With a territory 3 times that of Great Britain, almost time and the half the population of Britain, and roughly one quarter the size of GB’s economy, Turkey can replace Britain as an EU member faster than you can say jihad.

    The only downside to this arrangement might be that the newly amalgamated EU body will probably need anti-rejection drugs for the rest of its existence due to the potential incompatibility of the newly transplanted “organ”.

  24. Mitleser says

    They do not want influence in UK, they want FREEDOM.

  25. “in the hope of winning the imperial sympathies of EU, US, NATO.”

    An iSteve commenter whose nick I now forget used to call (as well as tell) the Empire EUSUK. If the UK and the EU really do become mutually exclusive entities in the near future, that moniker will acquire a rigorousness it has heretofore lacked.

  26. Apparently not based on the last two referenda. They’re more free than the English anyway

  27. georgesdelatour says

    When the UK leaves the EU, the powers transferred to Brussels in 1973 automatically return to Westminster. If the next UK Prime Minister is smart, s/he will immediately pledge to devolve as many of those powers as possible to Scottish control. For instance, allowing Scottish local authorities to issue fishing licences; they could choose to reserve fishing purely for their local fishing communities, or issue licences to outsiders but spend the money raised locally.

    The point is to create forms of Scottish self-government which would have to be ceded back to Brussels if Scotland votes to rejoin the EU. An argument for ceding those powers might still be persuasive, but it would be difficult for a Scottish Nationalist politician to make it.

    I think it’s inevitable the UK Chancellor will have to cut Corporate Tax, in order to prevent too many foreign firms relocating to EU countries. This is important. Although the SNP presents itself as a Keir Hardy socialist party for cultural reasons, the logic of its arguments is surprisingly Friedmanite / Chicago School when studied in detail. They’ve often argued they could persuade firms to relocate from England to Scotland with the promise of lower corporate taxes and a lower minimum wage. Scots might have to choose between a UK with low corporate taxes and a cheap currency, or an EU fiscally converging on higher taxes and a relatively expensive currency. So again, it’s tricky.

  28. Anatoly Karlin says

    Even so 38% of Scots voted to Leave. That’s still a really big number.

    (OTOH, admittedly some of the Scottish Leavers will have done so because they are Scottish nationalists first and foremost and Leaving would increase the chances of a second referendum).

    On the upside this England & Wales flag would be pretty sweet:


  29. They feel that distant Brussels will dominate them less than will England. It’s why small eastern European countries also like the EU – better being part of some huge fairly loose organization than being tightly bound to a much larger, more powerful neighbor.

  30. That’s the problem, the Scots DON’T want independence. They’re looking fo the biggest teat to suck on.

  31. It appears that Thomas Mair’s murder of Jo Cox did not impact on the

    I think it did but not enough, maybe a 2% drop in the actual leave vote (and a larger drop in stated vote in the polls hence the shock result).

    (There was a poll of “are you happy with the result” and IIRC 3% of remain voters were happy.)

  32. reiner Tor says

    The Austrian presidential elections will need to be repeated because of “irregularities”… We live in interesting times. I’d be happier if the elites didn’t go mad and there would be no need for all this.

  33. “The potential “donors”? Why, Turkey and Ukraine, of course? They have been the most enthusiastic EU wannabe members for some time now. ”

    Aren’t you overlooking the fact that the UK was a net donor to the recipient EU countries, and that Ukraine definitely and Turkey probably would be additional recipient countries in the EU. So who’s going to pick up the tab that the UK left on the table and the additional tab represented by Ukraine and Turkey?

  34. How is Brexit going down in Hungary? I can guess goodwhites are horrified by it, but what about most Hungarians? Sorry to lose a putative ally inside the EU, or glad at the potential uncucking?

  35. German_reader says

    In normal times I’d dislike the FPÖ…but given the way things have developed over the last few years, I hope Hofer uses his second chance well and wins.
    Don’t know if there was intentional voting fraud in the original election (may just have been Austrian inefficiency and messiness)…though nowadays one can’t exclude anything. There have been real cases of voting fraud in Britain (involving postal votes and certain Asian communities…), and irregularities at elections in Germany as well (to the detriment of the right-wing AfD).

  36. Detecting wit is not your strong point.

  37. Stay away from those street demonstrations, AK. We don’t want you to get a knife into the kidney.

  38. reiner Tor says

    Many people (even many nationalistic types) think along the “how dumb they are” lines. Some people are afraid about all Hungarian guest-workers being sent back from the UK.

    But a lot of nationalistic types see this as yet another slap in the face of the globalists. So many people are actually happy about it. I think Orbán and most of his supporters are at least not totally unhappy about this result.

    So I think among non-goodwhites the potential for uncucking line is the dominant.