Edit: They moved their blog to Medium because of the demand: https://medium.com/@chrishanretty/eu-referendum-rolling-fore...
Interesting because the odds react far quicker than any live blog I've found, so a sudden swing means that there's just been a surprising result announced.
100/4:1 is a notation mystery. 25%?
So if something is 4/1 and you back it, you'll win £4 for each £1 you wager. If you lay it, you'll win £1 for each £4 wagered.
Betfair exchange is matching up people on both sides of the bet, with a margin of commission in between the back and lay values.
I don't care about the result. I'm more interested in how our statistical modelling tools failed us. Thoughts? Did opinions change overnight? Did the polling miss a demographic?
(Also known as social desirability bias)
Lots of people say in public that they're in favor of immigration, unity, and tolerance, because lots of people will call you a bigot if you don't, but in private, harbor old-fashioned ideas about nationalism, and well, polling involves a human and voting happens in private.
I don't think that's the case though. I predict a Trump victory on the basis of a very strong social desirability bias and an immense amount of silent resentment against current social justice orthodoxy, especially as it pertains to speech restrictions on campus and in the workplace.
I've gone through Italian politics in the '90s. We tend to be pioneers when it comes to political monstrosities.
I've found it odd that the markets were far more confident in poll findings than the pollsters but assume that the bets were mainly placed on the simple heuristic that poll results tend to understate voters caution and attachment to the status quo.
Whether that's because he's better than the markets at modelling differential turnout or the markets know things his confirmed results data doesn't about predicted results in places like Birmingham remains to be seen...
This model uses a frequentist prediction interval, which assumes independently drawn samples, meaning reporting order must be random for the assumptions to be valid. If reporting is non-random, e.g. how early or late a district reports is correlated with things like region, demographics, population density, etc., then the prediction interval is probably narrower than it should be, especially early on in the reporting (meaning the model is overconfident in its prediction).
The headline prediction is more robust if you just want to know which outcome is more likely given current results, but the probabilities being badly calibrated due to these kinds of model assumptions is a common issue in quantitative polisci models.
>This is a big update, and I'm conscious that I may have made a terrible mistake somewhere in estimating differential turnout, but here goes:
Anyway using my imaginary betting account I will bet a million pounds - I will enjoy the cup of imaginary coffee I will be able to buy with my winnings :)
More seriously the model was right and the bookies wrong - it is relatively rare that you get an opportunity like this handed to you to make money with almost no risk.
I still think p=1.0 was not possibly achievable via any model at that point in the counting, which means betting based on it would have been an enormous risk. The fact that the bet would have paid off makes no difference; especially given how close the vote seems to have gone, a coin flip would have gotten it right half the time, and I doubt you'd say that a coin flipper who just declares 100% confidence has a good model.
I certainly hope that the people who made money off Chris’ model follow his suggestion and donate to the Jo Cox fund.
It definitely seems like political discourse has taken a turn for the worse. In contrast with the Scottish independence referendum a couple of years ago which, although there was some animosity, did feel like a genuine political conversation… this one has seemed much more like an angry shouting match.
I'm particularly interested in the comparison with Trump in the US. In both cases, it feels like a nominally populist, anti-bureaucratic/anti-establishment movement (the extent of the truth in that being debatable) has been able to make a substantial impact with that platform, due in part to the abject inability of that establishment to deal with and neutralise the movement.
It's happening all over the world: Austria, France (National Front), China, Japan, Turkey, Israel, etc etc.
It's like the world forgot the lessons of the past - the curses of nationalism, populism and ideology - and nobody has stood up to remind them. The latter really angers and depresses me; nobody with a platform is making the well-known arguments about why these things are very dangerous.
We've had a political class who've decided that the hoi polloi don't really matter anymore and that governance is a matter of maintaining consensus at the top. Now the working classes are lashing back and sure it's ugly but it's a predictable consequence of the last few decades of tone deaf technocratic government.
In the UK, there's an intense feeling that the concerns of people in traditionally working-class communities have been ignored in preference of a metropolitan elite. There is increasing wealth inequality, cuts to public services, less job security and so on. Members of these communities are very aware of the costs of EU membership – free movement of labour being particularly damaging to these communities – and are not as convinced by the corresponding benefits.
I do place the fault squarely at the feet of the modern left-of-center political movements (Labour Party in the UK) which has consistently peddled a muddled message of internationalism mixed with social democracy mixed with unrestrained capitalism – in appealing to an imagined middle-ground voter they have alienated their traditional support. It feels like these movements have compressively failed to provide a convincing messages – instead peddling a weak compromise that pleases nobody.
It's frustrating, but I'm struggling to understand what the answer looks like.
Yes, but in the UK context they're voting for Farange, Johnson, et al. Who are as solidly establishment as they come.
If you live in the NW or NE it's probably down to disenfranchisement. Large parts of the NW and NE are still not out of the 2008 recession, so hearing the constant bleating about the economy, they're told is doing so well, just reinforces the emptiness of the political classes.
On Europe specifically most of the remain arguments were economic. It's quite hard to listen to those seriously whilst London is in its usual bubble and the area in which you live is still suffering. Nearly every EU economic argument is reinforcing the EU being about big business, just proving, in their minds, the disconnect with the people. People who are living in areas that have seen enormous decline in the last 30 years. Makes it harder to vote for free movement and markets when you can see the decimation of your once vibrant industry and town centres.
So nearly every argument for Remain is demonstrably untrue in their own life and region.
So, no, they're not voting for Farage, they're voting against the Westminster groupthink bubble. If they had got more regional development, or the regional economies were given better support, things could have been very different.
The UK just lost the biggest future lights out fabrics.
What does the UK plan to do?
I would hope that efforts can be made to make the UK economy more inclusive. The areas voting overwhelmingly to leave are all the areas that have been suffering since the 80s - NE, NW, Wales.
How the UK operates and competes globally now, I simply have no idea. I'm also concerned we're going to lose a lot of the protections we had in the EU.
These are Tory policies; Labor opposes them.
> free movement of labour being particularly damaging to these communities
How? The UK has had internal free movement of labor for a long time, and it didn't damage them. Blaming the immigrants sounds suspiciously like populist propaganda. It doesn't make it false, but can you back it up?
EDIT: From today's NY Times:
there was no question that while the immigrants contributed more to the economy and to tax receipts than they cost
That's not really the case. Wealth inequality increased massively under the previous 13 years of Labour government in the UK, for example. They're more 'new liberal' policies than Tory or Labour policies.
I guess I wasn't that clear – I don't actually agree with them in the aggregate, and I'm solidly pro-EU and pro-free-movement. 'Blaming the immigrants' as you say is solidly nationalist propaganda. But there is a perception in these communities – false though it may be – that 'immigrants from the EU' come to the UK and 'take jobs,' 'put pressure on public services' and so on. Many people in these communities haven't been well-treated by successive governments, particularly around immigrations. That's why they're annoyed, not because immigration is bad for the country (it isn't.)
> That's not really the case. ...
Austerity is a Tory policy ... I don't know about the rest, but Labor hasn't been in power for awhile.
> there is a perception in these communities – false though it may be – that 'immigrants from the EU' come to the UK and 'take jobs
That's the propaganda. Social services are reduced by Tory austerity, and then they blame the immigrants. Similar things happen in other places in Europe, especially blaming immigrants.
Because there aren't any. Although I would not use the word "sane" here, I would use the word "capable", as in capable of running a political unit the size of a country. The inconvenient truth that nobody wants to acknowledge is that there are no human beings capable of doing that. Countries are simply too big and too complicated. (This is actually true IMO for units much smaller than countries, but countries is the current level of discussion.) The problem is not to find someone who can govern a country sanely; the problem is to figure out how to organize ourselves and coexist given that nobody is capable of governing a country sanely.
Because bringing it to a halt would take precision work and even then it probably wouldn't be stable. Iterative systems oscillate. It's what they do.
Moreover, a lot of the suggestions about "how to solve it" are in fact what people are trying to do very hard, and are themselves part of the system. The obvious solutions are what are taking us in the current direction. The fact that they are obvious is why you can actually plot the cyclic progression of civilizations with some reliability. It's an interesting field of study.
(BTW, buckle up. We're almost certainly in for a period of substantial uncertainty based on those modes. But, also, you are not your government or social system. Whatever abuse those things may be in for doesn't mean that you won't come out of it. Also, while I'd say high technology shows little evidence of having eliminated the cycles up to this point, I do consider it a wild card personally. Doom is not guaranteed.)
See also http://www.livescience.com/22109-cycles-violence-2020.html , which also has some very Google-able keywords.
Bear in mind that it's a field of active research, and I'm giving those more as starting points I plucked out from Google hits than necessarily endorsing those exact theories. Personally I would only defend a somewhat weaker idea, that the future isn't somehow entirely random, but that we can indeed look to theories like this for some understanding of the next few decades, modulo the technology wildcard. Or at least a much better understanding than just thinking it's all whims of fate and everything's on the table equally. I said some reliability on purpose... it's not totally reliable, but you can still do much better than nothing.
The institutions that used to provide alternatives political voices have been co-opted. So who are they going to vote for?
See Die Linke (The Left party) in Germany taking over territory perhaps once held by the SPD (Socialdemocratic party).
So the accusations are not so much that `these voters belong to us'. But: no self-respecting party should form a coalition with these dictators ever.
That taboo has been broken on the state level in East German a long time ago. But it still holds some power on the federal level, and in West German states.
The voting systems make that hard. Eg for the US any one who wants to win the primaries has to pander to their extreme base.
Moving to range voting would help a bit http://www.rangevoting.org/
This cycle is completely about the ruling elite wanting the same crooked game to keep playing, and the voting public saying "You know what? Fuck you".
Yes, the Dems couldn't pull it off with Sanders, but it appears the republicans actually picked, perhaps not an anti-establishment candidate, but at least a non-establishment candidate.
Point being not only right wing basket cases don't like the EU. The far left doesn't really like it either. It is a project conceived by US planners and executed by the French and German elites pushed onto the rest of the continent. Whenever there is talk about the "democracy deficit" it is brushed aside as something that will be fixed once Europe has become more integrated.
Plus, Germany, the UK and France are the big players in the EU. Naturally the union favors their agenda and overrules smaller member countries.
Any proof of that? From a US perspective, I can't see how a unified Europe would benefit the US - neither economically nor militarily. The EU is the only state (besides China with 4x the population of the US) that can compare to the US economy. Dealing with smaller countries gives the US an advantage compared with similar deals with the EU itself.
A unified EU military would be the only state both large enough and advanced enough to pose a valid military challenge to US hegemony.
A bit off-topic, but what exactly do you hate about Bologna? I liked it that it shortened my studies (math) from 4 years to 3, although I would have appreciated a bit more depth (more elective subjects)... But then, I only have a very limited perspective, so I'm very curious about what other people think, and what possible improvements they see.
The result is as far as I can tell from personal experience that the quality of an average master students in Math and Physics is now significantly lower than that of diploma students.
They also introduced very interesting language, you study Modules, each of which give you points. In the end you are supposed to end up as a nice exchangeable semi-educated narrowly focussed cog in some big corporation.
The parallels between our (still recent) past are absolutely striking: EU's propaganda, censorship efforts, ideological idiocy that nobody takes seriously any more (incl. economic).
But most of all, there's the scary disconnect between how real people live their lives vs what the official "party line" dictates. We're re-learning to read between the propaganda lines, again.
IMO we don't need condescending comments about how stupid everyone is (populists!), nor a platform explaining why this "central planning" ideology is appealing but very dangerous. We know very well, and we vote accordingly.
 "we" = majority of the country: http://zpravy.idnes.cz/ctenari-idnes-cz-anketa-czexit-de5-/d...
The fact that a majority of a country believes populist propaganda is, unfortunately, not evidence of anything but the power of populist propaganda.
It seems to me the Czech Republic has become far wealthier in the EU, in large part because of access to EU markets and due to the stability of EU institutions.
Wouldn't a voluntary exchange of trade, labour and policies, in place of "a feeding hand" (what a condescending remark!) be better for everyone?
By the way, the subsidies feed mostly the politicians, and the hands of their well-connected friends who are the true benefactors. And that's no coincidence -- as I said, we've already lived through the reality disconnect that is the result of top-down social engineering.
What the linked poll shows you is that normal people are telling you to take your oh-so-generous subsidies and shove them. If it means being part of a political union they have no say in.
You'll need to provide some data. It sounds like what any anti-EU propagandist would first think of asserting.
And what about the businesses with access to the world's largest market?
Regarding businesses: what about them? I happen to run a business, and dealing with EU partners and clients is actually a (marginally) greater nuisance than non-EU partners and clients. Are you aware of the complexity of the inter-EU VAT regulations and laws, especially for SMEs? 
There is a problem with education also, we should teach our kids what populism and nationalism is, what are the consequences of radical nationalism.
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."
We are a long way from the Middle Ages; things do change quite a bit. Look at civil rights in the U.S.: Two generations ago, women needed their husbands permission to get a job, and were only allowed in teaching and nursing for the most part. Look at the spread of democracy.
When people can see all around them that gender, nationality, race, and religion convey useful information about the people they meet, and they live under the rule of an elite which claims that these things are irrelevant, then when some demagogue or other comes along who acknowledges the truth about these things but who lies everything else, people are going to go running into the arms of that demagogue.
Had these people advocated a fair and humane acknowledgement of these obvious, day-to-day truths instead of adopted a posture of absolute denial of the obvious, we wouldn't have Trump in the US and Brexit across the Atlantic.
> absolute denial of the obvious
You say that as if it's assumed, but I don't agree and neither do very many others. I agree it's obviously a human instinct to think that, but that's true of many other bad ideas - we're not beasts, our intellectual abilities take us far beyond our instincts. That tribal instinct has led to terrible destruction - arguably it's caused more harm than any other idea.
Of course I'm not speaking in absolutes (and I hope you don't you mean to). There's a little bit of information there, but generally I find people are the same everywhere; there are good and bad, smart and dumb, happy and sad, capable and incompetent, kind and cruel, etc. just as much in every group. It's really the individual that matters.
It's also essential to liberty and basic fairness: An individual need to be judged on their own merits, by their own action, and not by the color of their skin, their nationalities, their religion, gender, sexual preference, etc. If we say, "people in religion X are thieves", then it will be an injustice to almost all the individuals in that religion. It leads to widespread injustice even in peace, when a skilled woman or minority, for example, is judged instead on their race or gender and denied the job.
It turns out that stereotypes, however distasteful, usually do have a certain degree of accuracy: http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/03/30/are-stereotypes-accur.... You may not want to live in the world where they do, but that reality is what it is.
When you ask people to deny the evidence of their own eyes, you're setting up a kind of resentment that can lead only to bad outcomes.
Of course, it'd be awful to be individually assumed to be a thief because you come from a group full of people unusually likely to be thieves. My point is that if it's a matter of fact that people of that group are more likely to be thieves, whatever the reason, and you tell people that, no, that group isn't full of thieves, and people are terrible for thinking so, then as soon as some demagogue acknowledges the truth, people will run to him no matter how bad his other opinions and no matter how ruinous his policies.
People hate liars, and even more, they hate being compelled by social forces of shame and ridicule to deny their true beliefs. It's better to have an honest conversation about these things than to repress them and create the kind of pressure cooker that explodes and makes a Trump president.
In an EU context, maybe it'd have been better to accept some restrictions on freedom of movement. Maybe it'd have been better to scale back centrally-imposed regulations on consumer goods (e.g., the EU banning traditional UK tea kettles).
Now we're going to see the EU damaged because well-meaning people tried to bring about the world they'd like to see by demanding everyone pretend it be so, and only children play pretend.
But I don't think any of that is accurate; I think your words are false and the argument rests only on the assumption that they are true.
If you want to cite something persuasive, you'll need something with more widespread credibility.
> It turns out that stereotypes, however distasteful, usually do have a certain degree of accuracy ... You may not want to live in the world where they do
This is an argument with a strawman that you made up, some absolutist person who says otherwise. If you read my prior comment, I already agreed with you that they have some degree if meaning.
> but that reality is what it is.
However, you don't get to define reality; maybe your definition is wrong.
You claim to want to avoid propaganda, but you are hewing to that approach closely with the assumptions, the absolutes, the lack of skepticism of your own position. My impression of Heterodox Academy is that it's more of the same but regardless, how about finding some more serious sources if you genuinely want to know?
Most of these differences are too incendiary to link here (and I'd rather not attract the wrath of dang), but let me cite one example: men are, biologically, physically much stronger than women. 95th percentile in women is 5th percentile in men. See this well-sourced quora thead: https://www.quora.com/Are-men-generally-physically-stronger-...
I think it's pretty easy to corroborate the statistics with everyday experience. Muscular strength is a function of total number of muscle fibers. Look around you, if you're in a group of men and women: which group tends to have the thicker biceps and triceps?
Now consider that quite a few people, particularly in the more blue-tribe areas of the US, think that it's a grave injustice that women do not have more representation in occupations that depend to large extent on physical strength --- e.g., firefighting.
Think about how frustrating it must feel to point out the unreality of this accusation. Imagine how it must feel to fear that you'd be fired from your job and ostracized from your social group for pointing out what the statistics and your own eyes agree in the truth. Now imagine that you had an opportunity to anonymously vote against the people who make you feel that way.
Can you imagine this state of mind? If so, you've captured why Britain left the EU.
> My impression of Heterodox Academy is that it's more of the same but regardless, how about finding some more serious sources if you genuinely want to know?
One sad effect of the current political climate is that it's become very hard to find unbiased sources --- or at least sources everyone respects (which isn't the same thing).
This is just a strawman; nobody argues women are as strong as men.
> it's become very hard to find unbiased sources
Not really, except than for ideological partisans
It could also be, that we are doing something wrong in the society, something we did better after the last wars. Such as not including everybody in the growth of the economy.
At least I'd like to think we don't have to kill hundreds of millions of people every century, to make people remember...
Company cultures have been shifting from fear-driven-development to a more human focus. Still a ways to go (especially compared with the marketing around it), but a step in the right direction.
The average worker in the western nations did a lot better when the cold war was in full swing than afterwards. Peaceful competition among nations and economic systems seems to work best.
Once the USSR and its satellite states disappeared, US capitalism had no fear of a revolution ever gaining hand, and the results for the middle class have been as expected.
Seems like a valid idea.
I do know that in the aftermath of WWII, the Allies, under the Morgenthau Plan, treated the German population in the West very poorly. Essentially, the goal was to keep them in an agrarian state so they'd never be able to pose a military challenge.
After it became apparent that a large ideological battle between the communist and capitalist systems among the German population was being waged, and that the western population might just begin to choose communism, should things not improve, the Allies did begin to allow the West to re-industrialize.
I watched the Grapes of Wrath (1940) a few years ago. The amount of pro-communist idealization in the film would never, ever be allowed to play in a main-stream theater in the US today.
I think most younger people don't realize that communism was a huge threat to the US Capitalist system pre-Soviet-breakup, and because of that, a very large propaganda campaign was waged until the 90's. The remnants we see today are why an effective attack on Bernie Sanders was to associate him with socialism / communism.
Obviously, young people didn't fall for the tactic. Older folks who had been taught to fear and hate communism for much of their earlier lives, on the other hand, were influenced heavily by the attack.
Perhaps, are you alluding to SEALDs and those against revising the constitution? If so, I don't think their voice are comparably as loud as those overseas.
This is the inherent problem in dealing with demagoguery. Logical arguments do not matter, and the left doesn't seem to understand this. You have to fight fire with fire. Feelings with feelings. You have to speak to people's guts, not their minds.
Sure, you can say that Brexit are incredibly populist and play on peoples fears, but... the Bremain side was no better. Essentially, my take on it was, that the Brexit side was targeting the incredibly stupid people with fears like immigration, whereas the Bremain was targeting the merely stupid people with fears like economy crash. Neither seemed to have any kind of justification to their main arguments, or any other sensible argument.
The situation in the US seems very similar. Sure, Trump is spewing inconsistent nonsense left and right, but Hillary has nothing to say, period. Part of me thinks that she's so embroiled in potential scandals that it's actually better for her to say nothing, and hope that Trump auto-ignites and explodes based on his speech...
Yeah, both sides have massive flaws, but isn't it stifling to keep insisting on this fact and to keep preaching it? Shouldn't we all just accept the lesser evil, by however small a margin it's less evil?
As good a point as you may have, isn't it more important to avoid a Donald Trump presidency/a brexit/a ridiculous fear of immigrants and Islam than to say what is technically correct so loudly and prominently?
I feel like if we wind up with the worse cases, people might regret having made both sides seem bad. Plus, less intelligent people might avoid voting altogether rather than voting for the lesser evil because they keep hearing intellectuals say how bad both sides are.
Today's vote only has two possible outcomes, but please don't perpetuate the myth that Americans have only two choices in November. Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would serve the public better as president than either of the two corrupt charlatans that the two wings of the Status Quo Party will nominate. If we want to improve the nation, and we want to do it by voting, we will be fools if we continue to vote as we always have.
What do you seriously suggest the people do to get another person besides these two?
Whether you like it or not, the fact remains that those who vote for a third party have always been a tiny minority and have ultimately caused elections to be lost to people even they think is the worse evil. Unless of course you respond with what your plan of action is and how it will work.
This is probably too political for HN, so I'll stop now.
People who vote against their own interest and focus on over-emotional bipartisan feelings are exactly the reason America's government keeps doing things that people don't like. They're so afraid of the "greater evil" that they'll even kill the greater good in a futile attempt to avoid it. The republicans will still keep on winning every couple of cycles, just as they always have. Voting for one of the two major parties is really a vote for the status quo of alternating republican and democrat governments. It's like sports, no team is ever really going to win. They just keep switching places.
The strawmen about only voting for the winner doesn't apply.
If you want to make voting your conscience easier, support something like eg Range Voting.
I am not so sure. I think there are other systems that can achieve this too. Eg a proportional system perhaps?
Anyway, yes, score voting is still a good idea if you can only elect a single candidate. People already understand how it works from sports.
Because I couldn't bear to be a citizen of a country that elects Donald Trump as president. I'd be too embarrassed in the face of my peers around the world. I already get made fun of enough for my country by my German, Swiss, and Korean friends for just the prospect of Trump winning. I couldn't live here anymore or represent this country when I travel. The people who surround me, my compatriots, would be too stupid, bigoted, and hateful in my view for me to continue living here.
For any other election, I'd happily agree with you and might even try to change the status quo. But the risk of a Trump presidency has my insides sinking.
But right now, I'm going to vote for anything to stop that guy from winning. Even if it means voting for a crook.
Ross Perot got 19% of the popular vote in 1992. I'd say that shows what a third party candidate can do.
That would probably come as a surprise to the small army of people who have sued him over the years, or who have been sued by him for what seem to be vindictive or petty reasons.
You may prefer Trump, but the corrupting interests of business and politics very often intersect. I think it would be a mistake to assume he's neither corrupt nor corruptible.
You seem to be a Trump supporter, so there you go, you're not on the both-sides-are-evil boat. I have no qualms with you other than the obvious political differences.
I highly recommend reading https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer . It was written in the aftermath of WW2 and tries to break down the factors that go into the formation of mass movements like Naziism and Communism.
I wouldn't say we've reached the same levels by a ways, but the parallels between the situation then and now are chilling.
That margin is an epsilon, and its inverted for people with different pressing concerns than you.
The Republican party is full of people will be voting for Trump, not because they really like him, but simply to keep Killary out. That is their lesser evil.
This is the manufactured consent of US politics.
That sort of attitude towards non-upperclass people on both sides of the political spectrum is why they are pissed off with the political classes, in fact. And they are not stupid to be pissed off.
I saw something (jokingly) suggesting the other day that the best thing Clinton could do with her campaign's cash would be to loan it to Trump's campaign.
I've yet to hear an intelligent argument in favor of mass immigration, especially for a densely populated country like the UK. So, "stupid" to me is forcing a country with millennia of fairly consistent demographics to rapidly  turn into a squabbling Middle Eastern/North African/South Asian aggregate. Stupid. And by stupid, I mean stupid to the point of being utterly baffling.
 By historical standards. Britain is being re-settled a lot faster than North America was for instance. That took hundreds of years.
I agree, partially. Mass immigration is almost never a good idea. However, the populations you pointed out aren't from the EU so have basically nothing to do with Brexit.
It's good for the people moving!
(There are other arguments, too.)
My feeds are full of people who just absolutely cannot believe that other people hold "wrong opinions".
If something went viral, I used to take that as a signal or indicator of how the majority of people think. Now when something goes viral, I think, "that's roughly how a lot of men and almost as many women, age 13 to 30, who are comfortable aligning with that particular opinion publicly, think."
Then I started considering what that might mean for television, movies, print, etc.
I always knew that media was skewed in favor of attracting the youngest audiences, because they're more valuable to advertisers. Now I'm also considering that maybe those forms of media are also skewed in favor of the type of person who tends to watch a lot of television, go to a lot of movies, buy a lot of magazines, etc. I used to think everyone did that, now I know a lot of people do it far less than others.
Daytime television, for example, is full of advertisements for private colleges that exist mostly just to take your SSN so they can pocket federal loan money and list you as the debtor. That's because people who watch daytime television tend to be uneducated and unemployed.
Daytime television is nothing close to a cross-section of humanity. It's content engineered to appeal mostly to people who don't go to school and don't work.
Now, what kind of people tend to watch primetime television? Or listen to terrestrial radio? Or buy a magazine at an airport?
As a result of media producers learning more about their audiences, pretty much every form of media eventually becomes an echo chamber.
But Bill Gates has said he reads every issue of The Economist from cover to cover, so they definitely know their audience. They'll be in the black as long as they can sell him and Richard Branson one Gulfstream every 5 years.
Anytime you see calls for "sanity" or the like you know the person is completely incapable of seeing something from another point of view. I've started to use it as a code word for "don't listen to this person".
This is partly because the islands are far more dependent on the EU than the mainland, but in Gibraltar's case it is particularly extreme. Without EU membership Gibraltar may not be able to have a border with Spain due to the territorial conflict. Spain already occasionally closes the border on a whim, for example when a Spanish fishing boat was arrested for illegally fishing in Gibraltar waters.
 I don't want to get into a debate (w/commenter below) but basically both the UK and Spain claim that they own all the waters. International rulings so far seem to be leaning towards giving the UK some and Spain some; a lot of these rulings come from the EU courts which is yet another reason why those in Gibraltar have a very strong interest to stay.
While I'm amending my comment, I think it's interesting that there were any Gibraltar citizens who voted to leave. This shows that there is a solid 8% of the population or so that will vote how they feel is important despite a very strong economic incentive to the contrary. I'm simultaneously surprised at how few people voted to leave (only 4%!) and at how there were still people who voted to leave despite the obvious economic problems leaving would bring to Gibraltar.
Please, if you work on these things, try to help us understand what we're really seeing. Otherwise, your work is for naught, because we will all learn to say, "Bah, I'll check the results in the morning."
Do any of you have ideas about how better to display live results? Maybe a heat map showing the difference in the actual results versus the polled expected results?
You can see a feed of results here: https://gist.github.com/inglesp/0b0ba9efcefe54f965be9b042afd...
Caveat: I'm drinking increasingly heavily.
All of the charts updated in real time based on how precincts actually voted compared to their predictions.
It's definitely made election night a lot less dramatic.
In the case of a general election, we have the previous election on which to base our expectations. The UK broadcasters use the "swingometer" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swingometer) in these elections, which is a useful visualisation of the change of vote share on a per-consitutency basis, indicating the meaning of the result rather than just the number.
The EU referendum has no recent comparable campaign with which it can be compared, making it much harder to do this.
Similarly, here is the 2012 election county map where "blue" had 5MM more votes than "red": http://politicalmaps.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-usa...
The Guardian do good election maps – this one has regional results scaled by population, so it's much clearer what's happening: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jun/...
It's hard though, there isn't much to compare as there isn't an 'expected way' regions vote. There's a rough idea, but it's seeming like these are not what people expected. My money is on Scotland and Ireland being overwhelmingly remain, Wales swinging unexpectedly to leave (partly because they are disenfranchised with the government), while in England the non urban areas going leave and the urban ones going stay.
Leave only needs 2,105,984 more votes to win. [edit 12:15am EST] 1,715,256 votes now and closing fast. [edit 12:19am EST] 1,196,678 [edit 12:27am EST] 894,189 [edit 12:31am EST] 785,549 [edit 12:37am EST] 741,795 [edit 12:38am EST] 592,337 [edit 12:45am EST] 448,596 [edit 12:46am EST] 373,532 [edit 12:51am EST] 308,519 [edit 12:57am EST] 94,635 [edit 1:00am EST] 37,665 [edit 1:02am EST] 0. The UK has officially voted to leave.
Predicted result: Leave 52%, Remain 48%
Wow. So what happens now?
- Scotland voted 62% Remain. The SNP said it will call a second independence referendum if Leave wins. Many estimate that the independence movement will win this time around. Literally every single Scottish division voted to remain.
- Gibraltar will probably be royally screwed  as well as some other areas that are heavily dependent on trade/travel with EU countries
- The pound drops like a rock. Was stable at $1.48 all day, peaked at $1.50 earlier after Remain was doing well (~6pm EST), now at $1.33 (12:13am EST), now at $1.32 (12:21am EST) and the lowest level since 1985. In 1985 it hit $1.08, which was then the lowest value in a very long time.
- The pound is down 17% from the yen by the way.
- Other independence movements in other EU countries gain a bit of legitimacy. The euro drops (currently at $1.09, down four cents or 3%), and the yen gains (currently up 6%) (12:25am EST)
- For those of us fortunate enough to have our savings in dollars, everything denominated in pounds is currently on a 12% off sale.
This is going to hurt...
Edit: now rebounding... Remain is winning now thanks to London.
Can anyone more familiar with UK markets offer suggestions on how I can trade this opinion?
If a higher percentage was thought to be a good idea, what would that percentage be? 60/40? 55/65? 70/30? I'm not advocating for this by the way, just figure it might be an interesting thought experiment.
On the other hand, you don't want too high a threshold to make a change, like 3/4 to ratify, as js2 points out, because then you're effectively locked in to the status quo for too long.
Another way of doing this is to offer voters a third option, "neutral/undecided". When counting, you'd treat these votes as if they were in favour of the status quo, remaining in the EU. Then, if 51% of the votes are to leave, Britain leaves the EU. After all, if you're neutral about something, you stick with what you have, rather than disrupting things for no good reason.
> I suspect the result today was skewed by the big swing towards the 'Remain' vote following the assassination of Jo Cox
That's kind of what I'm getting at. With a vote so close it's almost a decision that could change day to day, or depending upon the weather. For a vote that can only happen every decade or three I don't think 50% is a high enough bar for change.
3-4 a.m. (10-11 p.m.) - Results from half of the counting areas are in
Around 5 a.m. (midnight) - About 80% of counting areas have reported results
7 a.m. (2 a.m.) - All votes are likely to have been counted and the official result is expected shortly after.
And now, we can watch as the project that has brought peace and prosperity to more than almost any in history unravels. And yes, Europe has been failed by horrendous, narrow-minded economic policies of the EU, but a previous generation of leaders who still remembered the horrors of war would not have sacrificed Europe for their own narrow benefits.
So far, I've seen most commentators cast aspersions on the UK public for squandering an opportunity for peace and unity. I wish more people would entertain the notion that the EU was so badly run and so antithetical to the UK way of life that leaving was the right choice, however sad it was that the EU dream didn't become reality.
It's exactly this idea that discussions predicated on group identity are somehow outside the realm of legitimate politics that leads to the very resentment that made Britain leave the EU.
It's a shame, because if the EU had treated this issue as a political one, subject to compromise and regulation, they'd have been able to come up with a political solution. Instead, a lot of people treated this issue as a moral crusade and provoked a huge, destructive backlash.
God, homo sapiens is doomed.
External immigration is a huge issue in many parts of the EU, and a common rallying point for the anti-immigration right. Especially Muslim immigration has become a major political issue in many EU countries. There is probably a coalition that could be put together with a hard-line view on refugees and external immigration (and one is sort of forming in opposition to the Merkel-led coalition's more accommodating view). But internal EU movement is a much smaller political issue in much of the rest of the EU (though it is a big issue in non-EU, but Schengen member Switzerland). Anti-immigration parties elsewhere in Europe, like Sweden Democrats, are mainly animated by worry about Muslim immigration from outside the EU, and don't really have the beef with e.g. Polish immigrants that some of the UK anti-immigration groups have.
The european project has failed in this sense. Europe is not the euro nor the current european institutions.
Hopefully one day Europe will be the people.
We only need a couple of generations of old angry men to die off, and then we'll be ok.
What is being voted on is simply whether the good bits outweigh the sucky bits. Or whether the sucky bits are at least reformable.
Existence of the sucky bits is beyond question.
The Europe of < 1910 was very different. Socially, politically, and economically. If the EU dissolved today, I don't believe France and Germany would be at war within 200 years. So long as strong democratic values persist in Europe, peace, I think, is a certainty.
Watch this movie, it's brilliant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Civil_War
Look at Gibraltar. Channel tax havens. Nuclear submarines and oil platforms in Scotland. All these situations will now have to be renegotiated. Negotiations between states sometimes fail, and when they do, there's always that extension of diplomacy behind the corner: war.
There are endless fault lines all around us, which will be opened by renouncing the superior structures keeping them together.
In some ways, one of the main thrusts of this effort, the wish to be more independent and having self determination and resulting in more control over employment and immigration is understandable. Unlike the US where anti-immigration brings calls of racism, in the UK the animus is against people of the same "race". (it also affects people from non-EU, and of non-European descent, but less so).
I think this is the attitude evidenced when people decry "gentrification". Or No "Californians" in Portland, OR or Seattle, WA. People don't mind immigration (influx of outsiders) or change, so long as it's controlled to some degree and they have a benefit (unaffordable housing and competition for blue collar jobs from regions who are used to lower wages, makes it a wedge for people of that economic class).
Probably the saddest referendum result in my lifetime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_Alternative_Vot...
It was genuinely one of the worst referendum campaigns of all time though. I'm still haunted by the 'if you vote for this then babies will die' adverts.
Something like Approval Voting or even better range voting would have been worth it.
Elections, however, are not based on popular vote.
Regional variations are the only reason things haven't been decided yet.
I doubt we'll stand by and stomach a far right dogwhistle government. Most of the politicians advocating leaving the EU also want to abolish the Scottish parliament.
What happens if the UK as a whole decides to leave the euro zone, perhaps by a small margin or perhaps by a lot, but for some reason Scotland decides buy a 15% margin to stay in the euro zone.
Is there any reason to think we might see Scotland decide to stay with the euro zone it leave the UK in that case? Or are the ties so strong that the UK would probably stay together no matter what even if one of the member nations has a strongly different opinion?
Scotland had an independence referendum less than two years ago, where the outcome was a good 45%-55% in favour of remaining in the UK. However, the majority of representatives in Scotland remain pro-Scottish independence. Continued membership of the EU was an important argument during the independence campaign – with the pro-independence side wanting to remain, and the pro-UK side warning that Scotland would lose EU membership if it voted for independence.
It's likely – but not certain – that there would be a second independence referendum in Scotland on the basis of being 'forced' to exit the EU. But it's not going to be pretty, and there have been a lot of elections in Scotland recently – no doubt everyone is getting a bit fatigued. It's not clear at all what the outcome would be, either, or if Scotland would even be able to maintain EU membership.
Honestly I was surprised when this whole issue came up because I assumed that the EU and the Eurozone where the same thing. I know the UK never decided to adopt the Euro so I just assumed that they weren't part of the EU.
The UK has been a bit frosty about the prospect of further EU integration, possibly with good reason in some ways.
...ya know, just in case you weren't confused enough already!
I wonder what will happen in Northern Ireland. My understanding is that it will be split in half in terms of voting leave/remain.
The other interesting aspect is London: a part of the UK whose expected resounding Remain vote is far from the only way it's increasingly politically, culturally and economically different from the rest of the UK...
Lambeth just voted 78%/21% for remain...