AT 38 per cent, the turnout in the British Isles for the EU elections was still below an average of over 50 per cent for the whole EU. That’s a 4 per cent improvement on 2014 for the UK, and nearer 10 per cent improvement for the whole EU.
The Brexit Party did well in the South East other than London and that’s interesting.
Whose voters stayed home? Whose voters switched parties?
Both answers are important because they provide a good guide to whether the Brexit Party could repeat or even exceed their result in a general election.
Even repeating this result in a first-past-the-post contest would make them the next government. All utterances by Tory Remainers must be filtered with their fear of this outcome in mind.
And believe me, while Hammond trumpets that he will force a vote of confidence in any Leaver Prime Minister, who on earth is going to vote Tory other than his fellow Remainers? The implication in the result is that significant numbers of Tory Remainers are already voting Liberal in London.
Nor does Boris help his campaign by talking about a deal with the EU.
Frankly, both will send even more Conservative voters heading for the Brexit Party. Loyal supporters are fed up with squabbling prima donnas of both genders behaving as though we don’t exist after the results this weekend.
Seen from Bern where, thanks to good work by our small embassy, we have our Leave deals in place with Switzerland – trade and social/people – any bilateral deal with the EU is like building a house on shifting sands. My views are based on what Swiss politicians, officials and business people tell me. Not all, but most say Britain is better out and as one of the dozens of WTO members who trade with the EU in exactly the same way they do with everyone else. The Americans are big, and Swiss I talk to think we’d do better to form a Commonwealth free trade bloc. They might even join – certainly one for finance with London and Singapore.
I continue to believe that the ERG members should come to an arrangement with Nigel Farage that they don’t compete against each other.
Any money on Mrs May trying to stay with Phil as the doorman?