/ Tactical voting for EU parliamentary elections

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Bob Kemp 09 May 2019

Rationale and link for a tactical voting and campaigning website for the European parliamentary elections:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/09/nigel-farage-european-elections-remain-vote-brexit-party-gina-miller

pasbury 09 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

It basically says vote Lib Dem if you live in England,  SNP in Scotland, Plaid Cymru in Wales.

However the numbers should be analysed after the vote, the single issue Brexit Party will do well. PR thresholds will help them but not the fragmented remain/progressive vote.

Post edited at 23:25
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Luke90 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I'm a bit surprised by their predictions. In both their scenarios they say the Greens will win no seats, when they won three last time and I would have thought their support had increased since then.

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jkarran 10 May 2019
In reply to Luke90:

> I'm a bit surprised by their predictions. In both their scenarios they say the Greens will win no seats, when they won three last time and I would have thought their support had increased since then.

I'm curious about that too. If anything this should be a big opportunity for the Greens, they won't be losing anything much to Farage or Change, they should be mopping up some of the Labour left who can't support an explicitly pro-brexit, anti-FOM party and awareness of green issues is currently pretty high with several hard hitting TV documentaries and the ER protests fresh in memory.

I hate tactical voting. I generally think the only way we ever move away from it is to patiently 'waste' our votes voting with our hearts not our heads, to build belief that something other than the Red-Blue (+Nats) picture is possible. Time for a re-think on my part, not sure where it'll land me.

jk

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tom_in_edinburgh 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

I think it is shameful the Remain parties can't get their act together and have one candidate per constituency.   There's no point in getting a Green/Tigger or whatever MEP elected if we aren't in the EU and they don't take their seat.    The only thing that matters is that clearly Remain parties get more votes than Leave parties.   If the Brexit party + Tories and UKIP get a majority then they'll use it to demand a hard Brexit.

So Lib Dems and Greens f*ck off out of Scotland and Wales and leave it to the SNP and Plaid Cymru.  Spend your money in England.   Tiggers: you were too slow, just f*ck off completely and leave it to the Lib Dems.   Greens - make a deal with the Lib Dems for a free run in a couple of seats and let the Lib Dems have everywhere else.

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rogerwebb 10 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I would agree with voting SNP if indyref 2 was off the table until after 2021. That it isn't, for me, and I suspect others, takes voting SNP off the table. 

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Ciro 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I would agree with voting SNP if indyref 2 was off the table until after 2021. That it isn't, for me, and I suspect others, takes voting SNP off the table. 

I suspect that makes very little difference in the grand scheme of things - Scotland will be solidly behind Remain anyway, it's England where the problem lies

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Robert Durran 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I would agree with voting SNP if indyref 2 was off the table until after 2021. That it isn't, for me, and I suspect others, takes voting SNP off the table. 

I'll almost certainly be voting SNP, not because I want independence but because they are the only credible Remain party and remaining in the EU means I'm less likely to feel pushed towards voting for independence (which I might end up doing if Brexit goes ahead). And I do admire the SNP's principled stand on Brexit even though leaving would make independence more likely.

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Rob Parsons 10 May 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I'll almost certainly be voting SNP ... because they are the only credible Remain party ...

Why not Green or Lib Dem?

Post edited at 14:18
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tom_in_edinburgh 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I would agree with voting SNP if indyref 2 was off the table until after 2021. That it isn't, for me, and I suspect others, takes voting SNP off the table. 

This isn't about independence its about staying in the EU.   If the Brexit parties get more MEPs than the remain parties you can be absolutely sure it will be taken as a massive mandate for the hardest kind of Brexit.  Similarly if Remain parties come out ahead it's going to be next to impossible to make 'will of the people' arguments based on a 2016 referendum.   If Brexit happens it makes zero difference who is elected as MEP because they're not going to be taking their seat.  MEPs don't have any influence on #indyref2 anyway, they are in Strasbourg.

The SNP is way ahead in Scotland.    Splitting the remain vote is going to result in fewer pro-remain MEPs and more chance of Farage crowing about the Brexit party winning and demanding a hard Brexit.

Post edited at 14:28
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Robert Durran 10 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Why not Green or Lib Dem?


Fair enough. They are credible too, but I'll be voting tactically as a remainer on this occasion.

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rogerwebb 10 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I find it very hard to believe that an overwhelming SNP vote in the European elections, without Indy ref 2 being off the table until after the Holyrood elections, wouldn't immediately be seized on as a reason to hold such a referendum.

I would think that the SNP would gain far more in the long run than it would lose by saying no indy ref until after 2021.

Liberal for me. 

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tom_in_edinburgh 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I find it very hard to believe that an overwhelming SNP vote in the European elections, without Indy ref 2 being off the table until after the Holyrood elections, wouldn't immediately be seized on as a reason to hold such a referendum.

I think that's back to front.   The best way to stop an Indyref before 2021 is to stop Brexit or at least stay in the single market.   If the UK leaves the EU there's going to be an Indyref for sure and sooner rather than later.   If Brexit is cancelled an indyref would be much less winnable and is far less likely to happen.

Splitting the remain vote could mean one of Scotland's MEP slots goes to a pro-Brexit party.

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Doug 10 May 2019

I'll be voting in France so am watching the British part of the EU election as an outsider but does any one know if the English & Scottish Green parties are putting forward a single list ?

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rogerwebb 10 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

What disadvantage would there be to the SNP to take Indy ref 2 off the table until after the Holyrood elections in 2021?

If stopping brexit is more important to the party than an early independence referendum why not take such a simple step? 

Post edited at 16:15
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Rob Parsons 10 May 2019
In reply to Doug:

> ... does any one know if the English & Scottish Green parties are putting forward a single list ?

I don't think so: Scotland is its own (single) constituency which returns 6 MEPs, and it has its own list.

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Neil Williams 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Because the election uses PR (party lists), what's the point in tactical voting?  Vote for who you want.

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d_b 10 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Because it is PR with regions there is effectively a cutoff below which a party gets no seats, so tactical voting does have value if your preferred party is small.

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Mike Stretford 10 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Because the election uses PR (party lists), what's the point in tactical voting?  Vote for who you want.

There's a minimum number of votes to get 1 representative. If the remain vote is split 3 ways all parties could end up below that threshold.

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Neil Williams 10 May 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Given that Remain is about 50% and there are also several Leave parties including a UKIP-Brexit Party split, I doubt it.

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d_b 10 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

Tactical voting isn't only for one side.

It would be nice if everyone could vote for what they actually want and expect their vote to mean something.  Unfortunately designing a perfect voting system is impossible and the best you can do is decide which problems are acceptable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibility_theorem

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Doug 10 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Curious, I thought the same system was used across all the EU28 but in France there's  30+ lists, each for all of France. I naively assumed the UK would be the same.

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tom_in_edinburgh 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

> What disadvantage would there be to the SNP to take Indy ref 2 off the table until after the Holyrood elections in 2021?

> If stopping brexit is more important to the party than an early independence referendum why not take such a simple step? 

Nobody is going to take #indyref2 off the table while there's a chance of Brexit happening.  There are two possibilities:

a. Brexit doesn't happen.  In this case chances are #indyref2 probably won't happen because the polls will say there's no point in calling it.

b. Brexit does happen.  There's going to be a huge groundswell of support from angry remainers.   Nobody is going to think the pound and UK are safe options which cancels the FUD which the unionists rely on and #indyref2 is completely winnable.   

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Lusk 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Excuse my ignorance, but could any of you explain to me, in two or three sentences, containing words of less than three syllables, what are these forthcoming EU MEP elections going to have any effect whatsoever on Brexit?

I foresee a minuscule turnout, along with massive majorities for Remainers in certain areas, and massive votes in Brexit areas.

So, what? Any results will be totally ignored by Westminster.

+ition: basically, a big opinion poll

Post edited at 18:59
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Mike Stretford 10 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Given that Remain is about 50% and there are also several Leave parties including a UKIP-Brexit Party split, I doubt it.

You're probably right... that was an extreme example from a North West perspective, were none of the 'remain' parties has a seat. The point still stands though, in answer to your original question. Specifically, the D'Hondt method we use does slightly favour larger parties over coalitions of smaller parties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Hondt_method

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summo 10 May 2019
In reply to Lusk:

> Excuse my ignorance, but could any of you explain to me, in two or three sentences, containing words of less than three syllables, what are these forthcoming EU MEP elections going to have any effect whatsoever on Brexit?

The only thing that could change is a large number of pro eu reform MEPs are elected across Europe. Unlikely as it is marmite politics at present. Either all in or out. There were good green measures just sidelined by Germany this week. Sweden wants greater CAP reform and it was pushed aside by German and France. The eu just simply isn't getting the message, that a lot if people don't like it's current agenda.

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Eric9Points 10 May 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

Here's an explanation of how the EU voting system works and why small parties are unlikley to win any seats.

https://www.richardcorbett.org.uk/proportional-representation-explainer/?fbclid=IwAR0O-0_7OJ08bwz8W4FWHA-YmqO02-A3BmdN77JhojfelPlnOIlrwBw75dM

Before reading this I'd considered voting Lib Dem but now I'll vote Labour. Here's why.

If Brexit goes ahead then the results are fairly meaningless for the UK except as some sort of an opinion poll. Whatever we all like to think the reality, which we all know deep down, is that this vote isn't going to change anything domestically and there's not going to be a general election any time soon, no matter what Jeremy keeps saying. Brexit will ultimately be decided on the floor of the House of commons not in these elections. However if enough left MEPs are elected to the European Parliament to get a majority then the left become the ruling group in the EU. It's therefore worth putting Labour into the EU Parliament so that at the very least the UK will be dealing with a left leaning EU for the next few years.

If we do stay in, my estimate now is maybe a 35% chance of that happening, then I want Labour MEPs in the European Parliament fighting to overhaul the EU and make it a bit more accessible to the ordinary people of Europe. The last thing I want is some party I didn't really want in the first place speaking for me in the EU parliament and that means for me, the SNP. They don't speak for Scotland and they certainly don't speak for me. Moreover Labour are more likely to get more seats overall than the SNP ever can and so will have more influence and thus give me a stronger voice.

Finally, I had considered not voting at all but I think it's absolutely vital that we make sure that the hard Brexit parties, the tories, Brexit party and UKIP are outvoted by as large a margin as possible.

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summo 10 May 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> then I want Labour MEPs in the European Parliament fighting to overhaul the EU and make it a bit more accessible to the ordinary people of Europe. 

They won't reform it, they'll be on the gravy train. Why would they? They will sit back and enjoy the ride just like the Kinnocks did. 

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bouldery bits 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Brexit is such a minor issue compared to the fact our planet is dying. 

I'll vote green. 

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Bob Kemp 10 May 2019
Bob Kemp 10 May 2019
In reply to Lusk:

It is in a sense a big opinion poll but the results won't be ignored by Westminster - they'll be scrutinised to death as the parties try to discern what threat there is from the new parties and MPs work out how to act over the next few months. Even if the turnout is low it will be examined to see if there are disparities in turnout between Leave and Remain voters. 

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Lusk 10 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Meanwhile, Germany keeps burning brown coal ...

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/coal-germany

"German lignite plants make up seven out of Europe’s 10 biggest polluters"

1
pec 10 May 2019
In reply to d_b:

> It would be nice if everyone could vote for what they actually want and expect their vote to mean something.

Like this you mean?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k9fE28koW4

If only.

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summo 10 May 2019
In reply to Lusk:

Which is exactly why Germany blocked the green measures this week. All those people claiming the eu helps the environment. Think again. 

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Pero 10 May 2019
In reply to d_b:

> It would be nice if everyone could vote for what they actually want and expect their vote to mean something. 

The problem is that some other people might vote for quite the opposite.

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HansStuttgart 10 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Given that Remain is about 50% and there are also several Leave parties including a UKIP-Brexit Party split, I doubt it.


I don't see it.... Remain's largest problem is a lack of votes. If they were winning, tactical voting wouldn't matter. It feels more like 15% leave, 15% remain, 30% "we'll vote for LAB and CON because we always do"  and 40% "we don't care whatever happens and we sure can't be bothered to go voting".

Rob Parsons 10 May 2019
In reply to HansStuttgart:

> ... It feels more like 15% leave, 15% remain, 30% "we'll vote for LAB and CON because we always do"  and 40% "we don't care whatever happens and we sure can't be bothered to go voting".

How do you arrive at those figures?

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HansStuttgart 10 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

mainly guessing

But polls are approx:

Brexit + UKIP 34%

LAB 21%

CON 13%

Pro-EU 28%

source: https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/05/02/european-parliament-voting-intention-brex-30-lab-2

So I overestimated the LAB+CON vote....

This together with a expected turnout of 60%.

This might be optimistic (2014 was 36%), so the group "we don't care whatever happens and we sure can't be bothered to go voting" could be larger.

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jkarran 10 May 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Labour is a pro-brexit party. If they facilitate brexit in the next few weeks it'll be a hard right version they have no control of. This is the price they're willing to have their voters pay to keep their coalfield seats onside for an election that isn't even coming. To hell with them.

Jk

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rogerwebb 10 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I am not suggesting taking indy ref 2 off the table. Just take it off the table until after the 2021 holyrood elections. If there is a huge upsurge in support for independence that will become clear then. What I suspect will happen at the moment is that any increase in the SNP vote in the European elections, despite any protestations that it is just about Europe, will be interpreted as a surge in support for independence.

The current position looks more like trying to engineer an early referendum than a desire for the UK to stay in the EU. 

What would the SNP lose by waiting for 2021?

(what is FUD?) 

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d_b 10 May 2019
In reply to Pero:

I'm sure they wouldn't be so uncooperative.

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tom_in_edinburgh 10 May 2019
In reply to rogerwebb:

I don't think it is the SNP leadership pushing for indyref2 at the moment.  Sturgeon is a very cautious poker-player politician, not a firebrand.   It's the YES movement that was fired up for the last indyref that has been reignited by Brexit.    That's why there was a 100,000 person march in Glasgow a week ago which the media tried to ignore.   

The SNP would be crazy to say no indyref until after 2021.   They need to see which way Brexit is going and if Brexit is happening they need to do indyref fast while people are angry and scared because of Brexit and Westminster is distracted.    

FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.  Classic marketing tactic of the incumbent.  But it doesn't work if the incumbent is about to kick the table over themselves.

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Pefa 11 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> This isn't about independence its about staying in the EU.   If the Brexit parties get more MEPs than the remain parties you can be absolutely sure it will be taken as a massive mandate for the hardest kind of Brexit.  Similarly if Remain parties come out ahead it's going to be next to impossible to make 'will of the people' arguments based on a 2016 referendum.   If Brexit happens it makes zero difference who is elected as MEP because they're not going to be taking their seat.  MEPs don't have any influence on #indyref2 anyway, they are in Strasbourg.

> The SNP is way ahead in Scotland.    Splitting the remain vote is going to result in fewer pro-remain MEPs and more chance of Farage crowing about the Brexit party winning and demanding a hard Brexit.

Maybe not, as most people who would vote in an EU referendum or GE wouldn't bother their a*ses going to vote on this. 

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Eric9Points 11 May 2019
baron 11 May 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

The article presumes that the Labour Party is going to do well in the Euro election.

If I was a betting man I’d be putting my money on the Brexit and Change parties.

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tom_in_edinburgh 11 May 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Labour isn't committed to stopping Brexit.  That means it doesn't want the UK to have MEPs in the European Parliament.   In which case the policies its MEPs would support are irrelevant.

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Rob Parsons 12 May 2019
In reply to baron:

> If I was a betting man I’d be putting my money on the Brexit and Change parties.

My prediction is that Change UK will only get a small portion of the vote in the Eu election. Why would anybody vote for them when there are 'normal' parties (e.g. Lib Dems, Greens) which have exactly the same policy on the EU issue?

We'll see in a week and half's time, anyway.

Beyond that, how can Change UK ever conceivably come up with, say, an economics policy? Its founding members have diametrically opposite views on the subject. It seems to me that Change UK is a single-issue pressure group. I think it is destined to rapidly fade away.

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baron 12 May 2019
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Many voters may use the euro election to show their displeasure at all the main political parties.

Hence the large Brexit vote and potentially quite big Change vote.

tom_in_edinburgh 13 May 2019
In reply to baron:

> Many voters may use the euro election to show their displeasure at all the main political parties.

> Hence the large Brexit vote and potentially quite big Change vote.

I think in England the LibDems will do well.  They've got the right message with Bollocks to Brexit.  Now they need to spend some money and hammer away at that tagline until it becomes Brexit party vs Lib Dems.

The Tiggers/Change lot didn't get their act together fast enough to make a difference.   They'd be better bowing out on this one and letting the Lib Dems have a free run.  And the LibDems should give the SNP and Plaid Cymru a free run and spend all their money in England.

summo 13 May 2019
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

>   And the LibDems should give the SNP and Plaid Cymru a free run and spend all their money in England.

Why should someone living in Wales or Scot land who is pro the union, vote for a nationalist pro independence party? 

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elsewhere 13 May 2019
In reply to summo:

> >   And the LibDems should give the SNP and Plaid Cymru a free run and spend all their money in England.

> Why should someone living in Wales or Scot land who is pro the union, vote for a nationalist pro independence party? 

Because it is not an independence referendum.

tom_in_edinburgh 13 May 2019
In reply to summo:

> Why should someone living in Wales or Scot land who is pro the union, vote for a nationalist pro independence party? 

If we leave the EU these MEPs will never sit.  If we stay in the EU an MEP has no influence on the Scottish independence question.    The only thing you get from voting in this election is the opportunity to send a message to Westminster about whether you want to Leave or Remain in the EU and whether the referendum mandate from 2016 is still valid. 

The Lib Dems have limited money, if they spend it in Scotland or in Wales to fight the leading Remain parties in those countries they are wasting money that could have been used to fight Nigel Farage in England where it matters.

Post edited at 11:47
dh73 13 May 2019
In reply to Bob Kemp:

i may be thick, but I don't get it. MEPs have no say in parliament - so they are not going to be voting for or against any policy actually affecting brexit; confirmatory referendum etc. So is it all simply about "sending a message"?

Doug 13 May 2019
In reply to dh73:

As I understand it, the European parliament has to approve any deal between the EU & the UK so the MEPs may get to vote on Brexit, although not in Westminster.

Ridge 13 May 2019
In reply to dh73:

> i may be thick, but I don't get it. MEPs have no say in parliament - so they are not going to be voting for or against any policy actually affecting brexit; confirmatory referendum etc. So is it all simply about "sending a message"?

To an extent yes. I'd describe myself as an indifferent remainer. I think we're better of financially within the EU, but don't see it as the shining palace that the more ardent remainers do. I also understand why some people might genuinely believe leaving would be of benefit to them.

However, if the stuff I see on social media is in any way representative, it seems the grand plan of the Brexit party is to cause as much chaos, disruption and ill feeling to the UK within the EU as possible. This will deliver a really hard Brexit and then....er....we don't have a clue BUT WE'VE WON!!! Leaving the EU has almost become some fundamentalist religion for a sizeable chunk of the population, and that's deeply worrying.

My feeble analogy is we were at a party, just over half of us wanted to go somewhere else, and the rest of us reluctantly agreed.

However because picking up our coats, saying goodbye and maybe leaving a couple of six packs behind was taking too long, half the group have started gobbing off at all and sundry, knocked over the fish tank, puked up the stairs and have now

decided jumping out of the bedroom window and breaking our legs is really going to teach the f**kers how hard we are.

I don't like gobshites who act like that, so to me voting against Brexit might just mean we don't become the international equivalent of a piss-stained has been who shouts at pigeons. 

A sizeable anti Brexit vote might just convince the rest of the world we're capable of behaving responsibly in future.

pasbury 13 May 2019
In reply to Ridge:

Brilliant!


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