How would Brits vote for Brexit today?
Google has revealed that a large number of British users sought an answer to the question “What is the EU?” on June 24, a day after they voted to leave the European Union.
It was the second most asked question, after “What is Brexit?”
It seems many Brits wanted to learn what they had done only after they decided on their political faith.
That fact doesn’t seem quite in line with the jingoistic headlines of popular newspapers in the United Kingdom, like “A new Britain is rising from the shackles” or “Let’s make Britain great again.”
Yet another term has further enriched the political literature of the English language after Brexit: Bregret. It was also British media, the not so popular but serious ones as well, which reported that many voters thought they were “protesting” the government of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
No, a referendum is not an election.
It is one of the most backward political tools that mankind has found, where a nation votes for their strategic future without a duration - like the term of an election - with agitated, momentary feelings.
Cameron as paid a high price, not only for himself but for the U.K. as well, for accepting the populist challenges of his rivals like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
Now Brits have already started to talk about another referendum, as the six founding members of the EU have told the U.K. to exit immediately without waiting for two more years.
If a second referendum was held today in Britain, it could be possible to see the 52-48 outcome turn the other way around.
An election is not a referendum, but Turks had a similar experience in 2015.
The polling results right after the June 7, 2015, election showed that if another election was held the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) could regain its parliamentary majority because an opposition leader, Devlet Bahçeli of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had immediately announced that he would not be in a coalition government, signaling uncertainties. President Tayyip Erdoğan deterred former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu from forming a coalition with the social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pushed for another election. The AK Parti indeed regained its majority in the Nov. 1, 2015, election and formed a single-party government once again, enabling Erdoğan’s strategy to shift to a presidential system.
With or without another referendum caused by Bregret, the stones have started to roll and it seems they will not become still until new political balances are found in Europe.
But the bottom line is that referenda are a risky tool to play with in politics, especially when about strategic matters.