State of the Realm: Referendum Aftermath

published 2016-07-04 | completion: 100% | what am I reading? | reading time:


The British people voted by a clear majority to leave the European Unionf1. The alignment of age and other constituencies were starker than recent general electionss2.

Highlights from Lord Ashcroft's Pollf3:

  • Age is strongly correlated: those under 45 voted remain
  • University education was a slightly less so, for remain (58%)
  • Self-described Christians voted 58% to leave
  • 30% of Liberal Democrats and 25% of Greens wanted to leave
  • Time of making decision was approximately equal between sides
  • Top reason for remain (43%) was risk to economy, jobs and prices
  • Second (31%) was "access to the EU single market without Schengen or the euro"
  • Main reason for leaving (49%) was national sovereignty
  • Second (33%) was control of immigration
  • 9% of remain voters' main reason was a "strong attachment to the EU and its shared history, culture and traditions"
  • The strongest difference in broad social attitudes is remain voters believing life to be better than 30 years ago, and leave voters the opposite


Following the referendum, both major parties are in a state of upheavals4. The likely Conservative candidates for leader of the party, and therefore Prime Minister, are (as of now) Mrs May with 117 declared backers and Mrs Leadsom on 38, trailed by Mr Gove (26), Mr Crabb (22), and Mr Fox (7)f5. There have been rumours of tactical voting to favour Mr Crabb, in order to present a Remain-Remain choice to the wider Conservative Party members — a worry which is mirrored in the discrepancy between the Parliamentary Labour Party and its member base in support of the current leaderf6. The trinity of PLP, membership and voting public is strongly divided, and even from a completely pragmatic angle, it is unclear how much support Mr Corbyn as leader could hope to bring to the primary party of the Opposition in the event of a General Election.

The two parties have essentially failed to mirror a fundamental division on society into the sides taken on the referendumc7 s2 f6. Will we see a realignment along these lines? Of particular note is the strong (and historic) remain position declared by the Liberal Democrats in the aftermathf8, and the invitation by the Green party leadership to main opposition parties to organize together for this single issuef9.


Following on-the-day volatility, equity indices have returned to their approximate pre-vote valuef10. Sterling remains fairly constant about 11% below its Thursday value against the USDf11. Medium to long term economic impact will depend greatly on the future trading relationship between the UK and Common Market statesc12.


Mrs Sturgeon's quick call for another Scottish independence referendumf13, and visit to Europe for preserving Scotland's economic relationship with the EU are justified by the Scottish peoples clear (62%) desire to remain, however the economic case for independence is considerably weakenedc14 by low oil pricesf15. In post-referendum polls a lead of between 3 and 7 percent said they would vote for independencef16. Henry the Fifth now seems prescientf17:

We do not meane the coursing snatchers onely,
But feare the maine intendment of the Scot,
Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to vs:
For you shall reade, that my great Grandfather
Neuer went with his forces into France,
But that the Scot, on his vnfurnisht Kingdome,
Came pouring like the Tyde into a breach,
With ample and brim fulnesse of his force,
Galling the gleaned Land with hot Assayes,
Girding with grieuous siege, Castles and Townes:
That England being emptie of defence,
Hath shooke and trembled at th' ill neighbourhood

An event that would further impact the national mood s4 c7 f16 would be the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, an event with greater that approximately one-in-four oddsf18 in the two-year horizon.


This is the first article of this format, serving partially as an experiment. There are indefinite plans to refine the format, and to further extend the semantic markup.

fact-1: Lord Ashcroft Polls | How the United Kingdom Voted and Why

fact-3: Lord Ashcroft Polls | How the United Kingdom Voted and Why

fact-5: Conservative Home | MP Tally

fact-6: BBC News | Labour MPs pass no-confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn

fact-8: "For many millions of people, this was not just a vote about Europe. It was a howl of anger at politicians and institutions who they felt they were out of touch and had let them down."

"The British people deserve the chance not to be stuck with the appalling consequences of a Leave campaign that stoked that anger with the lies of Farage, Johnson and Gove."

"The Liberal Democrats will fight the next election on a clear promise to restore British prosperity and role in the world, with the UK in the European Union, not out."

Liberal Democrats | Lib Dems commit to take Britain back into Europe

fact-9: “In a spirit of openness and transparency, we are writing to you as leaders of parties which oppose Brexit, to invite you to a cross-party meeting to explore how we best rise to the challenge posed by last week’s vote to Leave the EU"

Green Party | Call for Progressive Electoral Alliance

fact-10: Financial Times

fact-11: Financial Times

fact-13: BBC News | EU Referendum in Scotland

fact-15: Google Finance | SP Brent Crude

fact-16: Wikipedia | Opinion Polling following EU Referendum

footnote-17: Project Gutenberg | Henry V by Shakespeare

fact-18: (these are very approximate)

Odds of white female surviving till 90 = 26.5%, and till 92 = 19.4%

⇒ Odds of surviving from 90 till 92 = 73.2%

HealthGrove Actuary Tables, calculation