The EU Referendum Result was a landmark victory for Vote Leave as I predicted in The Drum last week for three reasons:
1. It has terminated our relationship with the EU after 43 years.
2. The turnout was the highest for any election in the UK’s history with some 33.3 million people voting representing 72.2% of all eligible voters.
3. It has resulted in the departure of the Prime Minister, ‘lucky’ Dave, by October.
A lot has been written about the campaign and the raft of ‘misleading’ assertions on both sides. The reality was that whilst the people say they wanted facts, unless you had a crystal ball how could anyone say what the future would be in either scenario?
What occurred yesterday is part of a wider global zeitgeist where people are expressing their frustration with out-of-touch elites. And what could be more symptomatic of that than the EU where unelected officials bureaucrats in Brussels interfere in people’s lives across the continent?
A story about Robert Peston on a BA flight on his way back from Davos exemplified this. He saw Justine Greening - a full UK Cabinet Minister - walk past him in Club Class to go and sit in economy. After take-off he sent her a glass of champagne and tweeted the fact.
At the same time the President of the European Commission, Herr Juncker, and his fellow Commissioners have the use of 10 private jets as they are too busy to wait for the EU-commissioned trains that transports all the MEPs from Strasbourg to Brussels every fortnight (at a cost of £150m a year).
Osbourne tried to cut out this waste and the French simply said ‘non’ and that was that.
So the British people have re-asserted their belief in democracy (especially after having seen what happened to the people of Greece and Italy). Government by the will of the people. These are noble and fundamental concepts that the British people hold them dear.
Does this really matter to them, I hear you ask?
Weren’t they just a bunch of racist, Little England xenophobes as the Remain twitterstorm is suggesting to explain why they lost?
I would ask how many of the Twitterati, many of them who inhabit Adland, have left London and actually spoken to their fellow countrymen?
We did. And we found them very thoughtful about their situation and able to sift the deafening noise from both camps.
In short whilst our fellow countrymen realised that Brexit might make them less well-off in the next few years, remaining was not a certain option either. Whilst they tend not to have a high opinion of politicians they know that they can kick ours out, but with the EU they felt powerless.
I have a huge respect for the people of Britain and how they make collective political decisions (which of the last elections did they not get the result they wanted?). I am not a polling wizard and do not possess a crystal ball, but I believe I have an empathy with them that has enabled me to predict on the record the result of the EU Referendum (within 0.1%), the General Election (within 0.46%) and the Scottish Referendum (within 0.3%).
I am not so impressed with my colleagues in Adland who are in shock that we are leaving and had not expected it. To be frank, many do not understand the people they need to communicate with.
So onwards to the next election and whilst we do not know when that will be or who will lead the main parties (Theresa May at 14-1 was a good bet last week), I can tell you the result.
How do I know?
Well I was cycling to the LSE to watch the count last night and I saw the “Labour In” bus stopped at some lights. I went to the driver and said “you’re on the wrong bus, we’re leaving”. He replied “I know, I voted Leave. The Labour bigwigs in here are in meltdown.”
The ‘man driving the bus’ is a great metaphor, along with the Labour leadership sitting in the back not knowing where they are going.
Our next Government will be a Conservative one.
Michael Moszynski is the founder and chief executive LONDON Advertising.