The Corner

National Security & Defense

Brexit Vote Represented Will of the British People

I often peruse the website “Conservative Home” for analysis of what is happening in Great Britain; it’s a Conservative Party website, and therefore partisan, but also quite thoughtful.

There was a recent article on the website analyzing the vote for Brexit. NR readers interested in the subject will find it enlightening. The writer’s point was that – contrary to the narrative of many in Britain and in this country – the Leave vote was widely distributed across all parties and age groups, except for a) Scotland, and b) very young voters, with the latter group constituting only a quite small percentage of the total electorate.

I found particularly interesting the analysis regarding the size and comprehensiveness of the Brexit win. Yes, Brexit got only 52 percent of the total vote, but the author cites a study showing that had Leave and Remain been political parties contesting a general election in Great Britain, Leave would have won 421 seats in the House of Commons – almost two thirds of all the seats. (There are 650 Members of Parliament).  It turns out that it was the Remain side that did not broadly represent the will of the British people; its support was heavily concentrated in only two areas: Scotland and London.

If “Vote Leave” had been a political party it would probably have won 421 seats, a landslide representing 65 per cent of all seats (including Scotland) and 73 percent of seats in England and Wales. If higher turnout in London and Scotland had tipped Remain over 50 per cent nationally, the result would have lacked a mandate in three-quarters of seats in England and Wales, leading to an historic democratic disaster.

The whole article is well worth a read.

Jim Talent is a former U.S. senator for Missouri and a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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