EU Referendum “How Did You Vote” Poll

by Lord Ashcroft

Very comprehensive survey data on voting behaviour and characteristics of voters.

EU Referendum Results: 7 graphs that explain how Brexit won

Independent, 24th June 2016

A most interesting set of graphs, constructed from the Lord Ashcroft poll results

Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU

By Alex Hunt & Brian Wheeler, BBC News
This is BBC’s account and explanation of the Brexit process, which is updated every week. It is full of useful information and seeks to be impartial.

A Cognitive Economist’s View on Brexit

by Leigh Caldwell, in The Psychologist
One of many psychologists’ responses to the journal’s request for opinions on the referendum process.

Asking of the question itself crystallises vague fears or feelings into a concrete motivation – such as “get the immigrants out” – that otherwise might never surface or even exist within the voter’s mind. Plausible sociological theories exist to explain the “real” causes that might lie behind these motives – alienation, economic deprivation, anxiety – but empirical evidence is lacking.

Like Children of Divorce – The Brexit Poll

by Annette Schlosser, University of Hull, in The Psychologist

Like children in a family where parents are discussing divorce, we need reassurance that we are going to be OK. That we can visit both parties when we want and need to. We need our parents to hold the emotions for us, to help us make sense of the difficult, complicated feelings we struggle with. Daddy Cameron isn’t helping much, because he has already told Ma’am he’s walking out, uncle George tries to tell us it will be tough, but it can work, and great-uncle Boris says everything is going to stay the same! But we know that can’t be true, because we are going to Leave, so the message that is meant to be reassuring turns to worry again. Jeremy falls out with all his friends and disagrees about whether he can lead or not, and while everyone fights, we cry quietly in the corner.

Family rifts over Brexit: ‘I can barely look at my parents’

written by Rhiannon Lucy Coslett, in The Guardian, 27th June 2016
A collection of stories from lots of young people shocked by the way that the referendum had completely shifted their relations with their parents and made normal communication with the family almost impossible.

So your mother voted Leave: How to fix a family broken by Brexit

By Ewan Cameron (11th  July 2016), in,

It’s not just political parties that are being torn apart by the Brexit vote. Across the country, families have been pitted against each other, usually on generational lines, as the emotional fallout continues. Millions of older voters feel they’ve taken back control of their country. But for many of their sons and daughters, it’s like someone just stole their future. The political has never felt more personal.

Brexit – dividing families since 2016

posted by Andrew Webb, 26 July 2016, in The Spark

Leaving relationships damaged because of Brexit would be a far worse consequence for society than economic uncertainty or getting a few less Euros for your Sterling.

A very constructive article, with lessons learnt from reducing tensions after the Scottish Referendum.

To help us all along the way, these are what we believe to be the rules of engagement for families, friendships and communities:

  • move past differences of opinion/perspective being about ‘them and us’
  • try not to dismiss someone else’s feelings because they do not tally with your own
  • try not to characterise perspectives as ‘right or wrong’
  • communicate – talk about the issues, not the people
  • listen – listen to understand, not merely to respond

Use non-blaming/non-aggressive language – talk about my opinion, my beliefs and not why you are ‘wrong’.

Taking these steps can start the process of mending bridges and thankfully, they do not require any kind of polling or voting to be put in to practice.

Younger Generations: Why we’re angry about Brexit

by Hope Barker, a student at Warwick University, in Intergenerational Foundation, 29th August 2016

The EU referendum has highlighted the ever-growing schism between generations within the UK and, moreover, has demonstrated the power that older generations have over our futures. The consequences of leaving the EU will manifest themselves across decades and many of those who voted Leave won’t be here to deal with them.

Brexit is one more example of the older generation financially bankrupting the young

by Ben Chu, 28th June 2016 of The Independent

Stagnation generation? The case for renewing the intergenerational contract

by Ben Chu 28th July 2016, Intergenerational Commission

Just like families, states and societies are underpinned by a social contract between the generations – collectively supporting each of us through the stages of our lives, and crucially doing so fairly. But this contract looks at risk of fraying. Even before the EU referendum result highlighted big differences between the generations, with the under 45s voting to remain and the over 45s to leave, issues of intergenerational fairness were rising up the agenda.

The Inter-generational Theft of Brexit and Climate Change

in Skeptical Science, 27th June 2016
An article that starts with an analysis of  referendum voting by age group. It then quotes various comments including the following one by Nicholas Barrett

The younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors.

What is a citizen? Brexit has exposed tHe contradictions

by Jennie Bristow in Sp!ked Review, July 2016
A thoughtful article that looks at the underlying cultural reasons for the age gap and suggests some ways in which it might be bridged.

The case for commitment is an open-ended one. It should include recognising the importance of the commitments that young people have, to their families, friends and communities. The current tendency in policy thinking towards pitting the views and interests of the young against their elders is nothing more than an attempt at indoctrination. Of course young people will develop their own ideas, and an outlook that is different from their parents and grandparents – they have done this throughout history. But this is a process that needs to happen through interaction with older generations and wider ideas of the moment, rather than being fed directly to them via a set of officially sanctioned pseudo-value.

UN human rights expert deplores ageist attacks sparked by Brexit

in United Nations Human Rights, 5th July 2016

The impact of ageism should not be underestimated. Ageism is the root of the marginalization, social exclusion and isolation of older persons. It is also intimately linked to violence and abuse against them in public and private spheres as scapegoating and stereotyping nourish subconscious motives.

Philosophers on Brexit: Brexit and Intergenerational Justice

By Martin O’Neill in Daily Nous on 28th June 2016

The more substantive issue is whether it could be normatively justifiable for those who will be less affected by the consequences of such a huge decision to impose it on those whose interests are more extensively at stake, and who strongly favour a different outcome. Yet that is certainly what has happened. If Brexit becomes a reality, and if the principle of free movement is abandoned, then the young people of Britain, who are pro-European and pro-EU by a substantial margin, will have seen what they might have believed to have been their birth-right – their European citizenship, which grants them the right to work, study, or, let’s imagine, fall in love, settle down and raise a family in any of the 28 EU countries – taken away from them. It will have been taken from them given the voting decisions of age cohorts who will, in general, not be as significantly affected by this loss of European citizenship. One question here is whether this injustice calls for any kind of institutional response as regards the design of voting systems, or the stipulation of thresholds for major constitutional changes, but whatever answers might be given to such questions, it is impossible plausibly to deny the magnitude of the injustice that has been done to the young.

A Generation Apart

by Katy Owen and Caroline MacFarland,  COVI, July 2016

Young people will have to live with the fallout from the referendum for a lot longer than those who are already retired.  Despite this, it was widely reported that politicians were failing to engage younger people in the debate.  This report takes a timely look at some of the reasons behind this lack of enthusiasm that has ultimately led to the Remain camp losing the argument.
Democracy doesn’t work well if people don’t participate.  It is clear that politicians and the media need to reassess the messages they send out and the way they are presented or we risk a whole generation losing faith in democracy

United Kingdom age structure 2016

Index Mundi

On the causes of Brexit: Regional differences in economic prosperity and voting behaviour

by Gylfi Zoega in VOX – CEPR’s Policy Portal – 01 September 2016
Britain’s decision to leave the EU surprised many. This column examines the relationship between economic prosperity and voting behaviour in the referendum. The regions that have benefitted most from immigration and trade voted most strongly in favour of remaining, while the regions where people feel most threatened voted to leave. In other countries fearing a similar EU exit, economic policy should aim to ensure that the gains from trade and immigration are as widespread as possible.

Did young people bother to vote in the EU referendum?

A useful analysis by ECREP (European Centre for Research on Electoral Psychology) of voter turn-out by age groups. It also looks at the possible impact of including 16-17 year olds as amongst those eligible to vote, as in the case of the Scottish Independence referendum 2014.

European Union Referendum 2016

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper CBP 7639, 29th June 2016,  by Elise Uberoi
A very thorough account of voting behaviour throughout UK, published within one week of the referendum. Chapter 3, entitled “Characteristics associated with votes for leave and remain” provides a valuable analysis of main determinants of voting behaviour”.

The referendum result suggests the UK is split almost down the middle on the issue of Europe. Polls before and after the referendum have attempted to analyse this split; who are the people who voted Leave and Remain? The analysis below shows there are clear relationships between the proportion of people in a local authority who voted Leave and the proportion voting UKIP in the 2014 European Parliament election, and between the proportion of Leave votes and the proportion of non-graduates. Weaker relationships exist between Leave votes and social grade, and immigration (where higher levels of immigration are associated with lower levels of leave votes).

Lord Ashcroft carried out a post-referendum poll that supports these suggestions.3 This poll also found that the main reason people gave for voting Leave was “the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK”. The main reason people gave for voting Remain was “the risks of voting to leave the EU looked too great when it came to things like the economy, jobs and prices”. People who voted Leave and Remain were also found to have opposing views on the desirability of developments like multiculturalism, social liberalism, feminism, and the internet.

 The Age Gap: How the Old Defied the Young on Brexit & Trump

by James Hitching-Hales, Global Citizen, 17th November 2016

Perhaps you need to ask your grandparents. Over-65’s were more than twice as likely as under-25’s to have voted to leave the European Union. Staggeringly, 90% of over-65’s voted. Sure, it was slightly less unanimous than the younger vote: 64% of them wanted out. But, still, it sends a clear message. The old and the young, for the most part, wanted very different results.

A “Titanic” success for the government in the High Court

by Brendan Donnelly, Director, The Federal Trust

….the government deploys its political argument, that the British people have spoken in the referendum of 23rd June, their decision to leave the European Union is irrevocable and those who seek to reverse it are acting undemocratically. This claim deserves much more critical scrutiny than it has received in public debate over recent months. Too many commentators and politicians have allowed themselves to be browbeaten and morally blackmailed by accusations from the government and its allies in the media that the referendum of 23rd June, with its narrow majority in favour of ill-defined revolutionary change, constituted a mandatory basis for whatever action the government decided it wished to take in interpretation of that decision.

Contrary to an oft-asserted argument of the government’s supporters, the referendum held on 23rd June was not a legally binding one. If it had been, it would have specifically contained within itself provisions binding on the government in the event of a “leave” vote,

Now is the time for EU and UK to work together

by Charles Collins, 21st November 2016

Following the UK’s Brexit vote, the centre of the EU should take note that there is a decent majority of British people, including a currently disenfranchised younger generation, who have embraced the European ethos.

Women workers’ rights and the risk of brexiT

by TUC

If the UK votes to leave the EU, the workers’ rights that are currently guaranteed by EU law will be at risk. Equal pay, sex discrimination and maternity rights are unlikely to disappear but they could be eroded over time as the gains made over the last four decades are reversed. Rights of women part-time workers and temporary workers are under particular threat of repeal because those leading the campaign for a leave vote have directly attacked the directives that underpin them.  This report outlines 20 ways in which EU law has improved the rights of working women in the UK and it considers the threat to rights if there is a vote to leave.

Combatting ageism, fear and loathing in Brexit Britain

by Jilly Forster

We must put aside the blame and recrimination. We must embrace our societal age shift, and find a new way forward. Perhaps as a start, we should use Brexit as an opportunity to generate positive intergenerational dialogue; to attempt to understand, once emotions have cooled, where each other is coming from; to reconcile differences of opinion, to listen to one another’s hopes and fears. In this way, we may begin to build awareness, bonds and bridges, and find unity where presently there is only division.

UK Students and Brexit

by Youthsight, 24th July 2016

Students in the UK turned out in large numbers to vote in the EU referendum but have to live with a result that they feel very negatively about.