Understanding the leave vote

Document type
Swales, Kirby
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
1 December 2016
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

Download (2.1MB )

The purpose of this report is to provide a high-level overview of the main findings from an analysis of the latest and highest quality data.

Key findings:

  • The Leave victory was not about objective demographics alone.
  • The Leave campaign resonated more strongly with the public.
  • The Referendum attracted a group of ‘new voters’ who did not participate in the 2015 General Election.
  • The Referendum was not decided along typical party lines.

The Leave campaign’s success was underpinned by a broad-based coalition of voters which is much more wide-ranging than the ‘left behind’. This included three main groups; affluent Eurosceptics, the older working class and a smaller group of economically disadvantaged, anti-Immigration voters.

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