After the success of my two previous series of Brexit diagrams (5 diagrams in series 1 in January, 26 diagrams in series 2 between February and April) I took a little pause for a month after the decision was taken on 10 April 2019 to delay Brexit until 31 October 2019. I even told the New York Times I might stop making these diagrams…
But due to popular demand the diagrams are back!
This new series of diagrams tries to plot what will happen on the UK side primarily between May 2019 and the new Brexit deadline in October – up until a possible UK General Election in autumn 2019.
For each diagram 4 documents will be produced:
– the draw.io XML file
– a high resolution PNG file
– a scaleable PDF file
– the .ods file I use to calculate the odds
All of these documents will be uploaded to this folder each time – so please check there for the latest versions! Images will also be added to this blog post below, with the newest diagrams at the top.
Due to heavy server load this page might be slow to load – there is a mirror here. Also if you want to use one of these diagrams, feel free – they are CC Licensed for sharing – but please download a file and host it on your site, rather than adding to my bandwidth use. Thanks!
Version numbers will change if the options on a diagram change. If only probabilities change, or minor spelling corrections are made, this will be a .x version.
As ever these diagrams are made based on how MPs have voted in the past, public statements of party leaders and other politicians, and using opinion polls as a means to predict how MPs and Tory activists will behave in the future. All of this needs some educated guessing. However the previous diagrams long predicted a Brexit delay as the most likely outcome, and that was what happened – so maybe there is some use to this!
Version 29 – 17.10.2019, 1600
Johnson somehow has a framework for a Deal, but the DUP still will not back it. I admit my V28 thought this was unlikely (any Deal was only .2), but the overall impact is not that significant – Deal up, election down a bit.
Version 28 – 10.10.2019, 1700
After yesterday’s Varadkar-Johnson meeting, today it seems that negotiations to get a Deal are back on. But managing to comply with the Benn Act is now too tight, so this might be the cover Johnson needs to ask for an extension. All this is covered in the latest version of the diagram.
Version 27.2 – 9.10.2019, 1200
A horribly more complex diagram – to account for the Government having announced it is going to ask the Commons to sit on 19 October. And also drawing on the latest developments in the Vince/Maugham/Cherry case.
Version 26.1 – 3.10.2019, 1630
Now we know there will be a short prorogation of Parliament 9-14 October, and a Queen’s Speech 14 October. This has major implications for the order of the next steps on Brexit. The diagram has also been re-drawn from scratch, and time is more rigorously displayed now. In comparison to V26 this re-adds the Vince/Maugham case.
Version 25 – 1.10.2019, 1730
There is a new idea in town – mandate someone other than Johnson to send the Article 50 extension letter
Version 23 – 25.9.2019, 1315
Now we know that Corbyn and Swinson want more guarantees that No Deal cannot happen, and Johnson will ask for an extension, before they commit to a VONC… New routes top left of the diagram. Some odds also adjusted in light of Johnson’s statements.
Version 21 – 19.9.2019, 2130
This version is not just one diagram, but three! Benedict Wesson asked if I could make versions for each Supreme Court outcome – I have done that for whether prorogation is justiciable or not (see diagrams 2 and 3 below), as well as making a version of the standard diagram based on probabilities of how the Supreme Court will rule. Also a thoughtful tweet from Daniel Atkinson made me realise some routes were missing from Version 20 – these are added here.
The impact of the justiciable or not question is rather negligible on the overall outcomes – a General Election is still the overwhelming favourite in each case. BUT the major difference is how to get there. If prorogation is non justiciable, Boris Johnson has a 76% chance of being PM at the 17 October European Council. If prorogation is justiciable, that drops to just 26%!
Version 20.1 – 19.9.2019, 1200
This one has been built from scratch, the day prior to the expected judgment in the Supreme Court. It aims to simplify everything as much as possible, and also to revert to a more strict chronology of events. This however results in 3 different times when a Vote of No Confidence (VONC) could happen! This version also rolls all possible Brexit deals together into one – it does not try to work out what sort of Deal that Johnson could get.
Forthcoming Decisions V1 – 11.9.2019, 1900
A new mini series on the decisions for the fortnight ahead – trying to assess what happens to the prorogation cases coming to the Supreme Court, and the release (or not) of the Yellowhammer papers
Version 16 – 6.9.2019, 1015
Labour’s position against giving Johnson the election he wants on 15 October is hardening. The idea the Government might Vote of No Confidence itself has been added – Labour might be more likely to go for this as it pushes the Brexit deadline forward to at least 29 October. General Election this autumn still the overwhelming favourite outcome.
Version 15, redesign – 5.9.2019, 1015
No changes to the outcomes, but some major redesign work after these diagrams were featured on ARD Morgenmagazin. Now the thickness of the arrow corresponds to accumulated probability
Version 15 – 4.9.2019, 2330
This one is in light of the legislation to stop No Deal having passed the Commons, and Johnson’s effort to get a 2/3 majority for an election failed due to lack of Labour backing
Version 14 – 4.9.2019, 1130
Post Johnson being defeated by the rebels in the Commons, and whip being removed from 21 Tories who rebelled. Chances of a GE rising strongly.
Version 13 – 29.8.2019, 1600
This one has some minor changes, adding extra routes for Johnson not acting on what the Commons instructs him to do. This makes the chances of No Deal inch up a bit – to 20%.
Version 12.1 – 28.8.2019, 1610
The Queen has approved the order to prorogue. Diagram amended accordingly. Makes no change to overall outcome.
Version 12 – 28.8.2019, 1330
Version 11 came out just 3 minutes after all the news that the Government is seeking to prorogue parliament broke. And that news rendered much of the top of the diagram wrong. This has all now been re-worked, although the change to the overall percentages is negligible.
Version 11 – 28.8.2019, 1000
Now we know opposition parties are going to try a legislative route to stop No Deal Brexit first of all, and only then might Vote of No Confidence routes be attempted. This is reflected in the completely re-drawn Version 11.
Version 10 – 20.8.2019, 1200
OK, so I am back from 3 weeks of holiday, and have tried to get my head around what’s happening now – the Yellowhammer leak, stuttering efforts to get a caretaker government to be formed by Corbyn, but his rather categoric statements that a Vote of No Confidence will happen in September. All of this adds up to the chances of a General Election dropping a bit, and the chances that the UK can agree to nothing other than opposing No Deal increasing quite a lot. For the first time some detail of how at least a first VONC would go is added here.
Version 9 – 26.7.2019, 1430
Johnson managed to see his way through his first week. And we have some more idea what he might try to do now, and how the House of Commons will most likely seek to stop him. This is all reflected in the latest diagram – and this will be the last one until 19th August unless something major happens in the meantime. I need 🏝
Version 8 – 23.7.2019, 1700 BST (note times were CET on previous versions!)
So Boris Johnson has been appointed. I have now added what will happen in the days after his appointment to the overall picture. Also I had previously gone along with the UCL Constitution Unit blog’s conclusions re. Johnson and a majority, while here I have switched to this interpretation from Carl Gardner and others (0.8 probability) – all of that has negligible overall impact, but increases the chance of a General Election in the autumn rather than starting to plan for one now.
Version 7.1 – 11.7.2019, 1130
Now assuming Johnson will win (based on this by Political Betting), and drawing on this about No Confidence scenarios by the UCL Constitution Unit, and with more detail on timing from this by Jonathan Lis. There is a whole new section – to try to work out what happens if a PM Johnson cannot command the confidence of the House of Commons – but that ultimately does not make much difference to the overall probabilities – still at 66% chance of a General Election. The only question is whether that is called sooner or later. Also note that the .ods file uploaded to this folder has a new structure – you can change each node within it now, and see how that changes the overall probabilities.
Version 6 – 27.6.2019, 1130
Johnson is strengthening his position. But what happens were each of them to win? Three diagrams for that!
Version 6 – 25.6.2019, 1730
The final two are known – Johnson and Hunt. And Johnson has started to struggle. All on the latest diagram!
Version 5 – 13.6.2019, 1200
Tory MPs vote in the first round, with Johnson pulling ahead. This change is added to the diagram, but makes little difference to the overall outcome.
Version 4 – 9.6.2019, 1200
This is based on growing parliamentary support for Boris Johnson, notably from Brexit hardliner Steve Baker. It also increases the odds that a hardliner that isn’t Boris would lose a majority. The impact of this on the overall outcome? Just +/- 1% compared to version 3!
Version 2.2 – 27.5.2019, 1215
Probabilities adjusted based on reactions to the aftermath of the European Parliament elections in the UK. Paths in the diagram unchanged.
Version 2.1 – 25.5.2019, 1945
After Theresa May’s statement resigning as PM, and building on the betting about the Tory Leadership election and the announced procedure as to how that will work. (Version 2 had an error – the .ods was right, but I had put 26% rather than 23% for No Deal)
Version 1 – 22.5.2019, 1600
Published after Theresa May’s statement on 21.5, outlining her plan to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the Commons (essentially a 4th try to get her Brexit Deal approved). This was produced while rumours of May’s imminent demise is circulating but no news is confirmed.