Demographics of Leave and Remain Voters

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13th Dec 2019 Dissertation Reference this

Tags: PoliticsSociologyBrexit

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Does the public portrayal of who voted either way in the EU referendum and why, match the reality of people in north-east London and surrounding areas?

Introduction

The European Union (EU) referendum on 23rd June 2016 left both the media, politicians on either side of the debate, and professional researchers taken aback at the outcome. Leading up to the voting day there was a large amount media coverage, and comment from politicians and newspapers on why the British public should vote either way.  After the vote there was extensive analysis on why people voted the way they did.

Results showed that factors such as gender, age group, employment, level of education or training, ethnic group and where the voters lived, played a key role. The media and researchers also examined the main influences for the public’s vote, and the results ranged across family, friends, colleagues, social media, general media, politicians – or entirely longstanding personal views.  These views were often around immigration, the economy, employment, personal identity, national sovereignty, the environment, and national security.

This essay will cover these points in further detail, examining studies of why people voted either way, from a variety of sources, including the media, university, and professional research results, before comparing these with a survey taken in north-east London by the author. As London voted overall to remain, with an average of nearly 60% to stay part of the EU and in some areas over 70% (Donovan, 2017)[1], the question of why London’s vote to remain was so much higher than that of the rest of England arises (the rest of the country with only a 46% vote to remain and the overall UK percentage was 48.1%) (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [2].   A conclusion will then be drawn to decide if the public and media portrayal of who voted either way in the EU referendum and why matches with the reality of people in north-east London and surrounding areas.  Reasons for any mismatch will be suggested.

Research after the vote

There has been a large amount of research on why people voted either way, and it has become clear that different demographic groups had vastly different opinions on EU membership and the option of “Brexit”.  Results from polling all over the country has revealed deep divisions in the United Kingdom and its constituent countries, most evidently through age and education (Kirk and Dunford, 2016)[3] as well as areas the voters live in.  Opinions on the EU and immigration through membership of it vary greatly, with clear divides based on age, education, and ethnicity. It became evident that white, older, and more lower paid people without high levels of education were much more likely to vote for Brexit than younger people, degree-holders, ethnic minorities, and the more secure middle- and upper-classes (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[4]. Research has also revealed that many of those who voted to leave the EU did so due to a belief that this would lead to improvements in the economy, international investment, and the UK’s influence in the world (Ashcroft, 2016)[5], amongst the other factors.   At the same time many people voted to remain as they felt Brexit would adversely affect these things.

Unchangeable factors which may have led to a leave/ remain vote

This section focuses on the characteristics of British voters that they have no choice over and have no ability to change. That is to say, who the voter is and how that may have affected their vote, as opposed to their reasoning for voting either way (these being things they may have been influenced into thinking or made a conscious decision to believe). 

This section will include:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Ethnicity

Age

This had a clear impact on the referendum.  Leaving the EU was strongly supported by the UK’s older population with those aged over 60 being the most likely group to want to leave the EU, according the polls before the vote (Kirk and Dunford, 2016)[6]. In the actual referendum, 73% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted to remain, dropping to 62% among 25-34s and the number of remain voters falling again with those aged over 45, only 44% voting to remain. Those aged 65 or over were the age group most likely to vote to leave, with only 40% voting remain (Ashcroft, 2016)[7]. Apart from two, each of the top thirty areas of the UK in terms of aging population voted for Brexit.  Higher pensioner areas showed the largest enthusiasm to leave the EU (Kirk and Dunford, 2016)[8]. Put simply, the older the voters, the more likely they were to have voted to leave the EU.

Types of pension also affected the vote decision, with around two thirds of those retired on a state pension voting to leave and more than half of those retired on a private pension. (Ashcroft, 2016)[9] However, it is not as simple as ‘the elder generation’s vote to leave swung it’ as there are many overlaps with other factors.  Even the increase of Leave voters with a state pension rather than private begins to reveal some sort of connection to discontent with the government and public funding, uncovering another layer to why the public voted the way they did.

It may seem obvious that older generations would vote to leave as older people tend to hold more conservative attitudes than younger people, but there are many reasons aside from age which pushed the people to vote either to leave or remain in the EU. Research shows higher levels of support for Brexit in areas with not only an older population but with below average levels of education. These places in the UK are more likely than others to encounter deprivation and have seen large amounts demographic change as a result of the inward migration of EU nationals in recent years (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [10].  A combination of all these factors led to an overall vote to leave from a particular area.

The author’s own research in north-east London – see Appendix E – does not completely follow the normal pattern of age, with only 20% of those who voted to leave being 61+, whereas the biggest vote for Brexit was from 41-60-year old’s, with 57% of those who voted to leave being from this age group. The numbers fit for the younger generations with only 17% leavers being 26-40 and 7% being 18-25. The decision for Brexit will affect younger generations more than anyone else in the longer term so may be more inclined to vote to stay apart of the EU for economic reasons (see the section on Economy). The question is why the number of 41-60-year old’s vote to leave was so high in north-east London. It is not clear why this has happened.  It could be the result of an angry baby boomer generation which overlaps with this group, who never experienced the difficulties that not being part of the EU could bring up, whereas an older generation have experienced the long history of conflict which the UK has often been drawn into. In fact the UK was failing economically before it joined the European Economic Community (EEC – which later became the EU) in 1973. People might well have forgotten that uncomfortable fact even if they are baby boomers and voted to stay in the EEC in the 1975 vote.

However, London is always going to be an anomaly in any comparison with the results from the rest of the UK, as shown later in this essay. 

Education 

This leads on to the connection between the level of education a person achieved and their decision to vote either way. National media has widely reported that degree holders were more likely to have voted to remain in the EU and most research concurs, showing that the higher the level of education, the higher the EU support, with university graduates being the most likely people to want to stay in the EU. This concurs with the fact that people with GCSE or equivalent as their highest qualification were more likely to vote for Brexit (Kirk and Dunford, 2016)[11]. Within this, those who are still in full time education, whether it is at a lower level or a degree are more likely to vote to remain. (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[12] Research shows that a 57% of those with a university degree voted to remain, 64% with a higher degree and an extremely high 81% still in full time education also voting to remain (Ashcroft, 2016)[13], clearly highlighting how higher levels of education progressively result in higher levels of support for Remain. Of the areas that voted to remain, 92% had above average GCSE results (Scott, 2017)[14].

As with age, qualifications bring about the usual liberal vs conservative attitudes, those with few qualifications tending to remain more socially conservative whilst more highly educated people holding a more liberal perspective on matters (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [15] . This does appear to be true with the high support for Brexit in areas where a large percentage of the population had no qualifications; all the 20 areas considered in the UK ‘most highly educated’ voted to remain and 15 of the 20 ‘least educated’ areas voted to leave while (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [16].  

One of the reasons that a more highly educated area may be more inclined to vote to remain in the EU is their ability to take advantage of the globalization the EU offers.  Authors Hanspeter Kriesi, Robert Ford and Matthew J Goodwin believe that the ‘winners of globalization’ are usually highly-educated and qualified whilst the losers tend to possess fewer skills and therefore are extremely challenged by the increased competition or even see their jobs outsourced due to the increase EU immigration. This is supported by the case that   votes to leave the EU were highest in areas where it could be regarded that the majority of people were lower educated and therefore do not necessarily have the skills to prosper in a progressively competitive and globalized economy that works better for those with the required skills. The lower levels of of education may leave these people with a disadvantage in a fast moving economy, and a lack of opportunities in these low skilled areas further marginalizes them in society and really holds them back.  It results in a society which looks on globalized systems such as the EU as a negative thing. (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[17].

Those with an ‘A-level’ or equivalent level of education are the group which compromise the importance of education and bring forward the relevance of area. They are the ones who seem to have been most influenced by their surrounding environment, mirroring those in their community. (In a low-skilled community those with A-levels or equivalent are likely to vote the same way as those with low education and in higher-skilled communities they are likely to mirror the beliefs of those with a degree). This begins to show how vital area was in influencing the outcome of the referendum. This is supported by the fact that people with all levels of education were more likely to vote leave in areas which were considered low-skill as opposed to those considered high-skill (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[18].

My own research very much supports this, with 71% of those who voted to remain having a degree, 18% of those with A levels and only 7% of those at O level or GCSE standard.

Ethnicity

As much of the campaign to leave the EU was based on fear of immigration (33% of people said the main reason for their vote to leave was to regain control over immigration and Britain’s borders), it is unsurprising that white voters voted to leave the EU by 53% to 47%. Research also shows that 67% of those describing themselves as Asian voted to remain, as did 73% of black voters, highlighting how, on average, non-white voters did not support the leave vote. The importance of this concern over immigration from other countries including EU states (ranging from concern over control through to outright dislike), is supported by the data that those from a white British background voted to leave with 52% but only 31% of those from a white other background voted to leave the EU. (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[19].

The high levels of white British leave voters also show links to national sovereignty, with the desire to ‘take back control of Britain’s borders’, reports say that people who feel very strongly English were highly likely to vote to leave than any other group (71 to 36%). This also underlines the conception of national identity that comes with the feeling of being English rather than British, supporting the fact that English voted 54% to leave (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[20].

The author’s local research does not correlate completely with this.  Non-white British voted mostly in favour of remain, as was expected, 60% of white others voted to remain, 70% of Asian British and 50% of mixed-race British. The only anomaly here is that 60% of Black British voted to leave in the north-east London survey. It is possible that the reasoning for the higher leave vote amongst a local black population is due to likelihood that those who would refer to themselves as ‘black British’ in London are often third, fourth or even further generation immigrants, resulting in a similar sense of national identity to those who are ‘white British’. This could mean that this section of voters in north-east London has seen the more recent influx of other immigrants in the area and therefore hold the same views as the majority of white voters. 

Factors for the voter’s decision

This section is broken down into the voter’s personal reasoning for their vote as opposed the previous section which focused on the actual voter. In this section the voters may have been open to influence on particular issues and had a choice in whether to believe positive or negative messages or not.

This section will include:

  • Immigration
  • Jobs/ Employment
  • Economy
  • National Sovereignty
  • Longstanding personal views
  • Personal Identity

Immigration

As has already been brought up in the section on ethnicity,the issue of increasing immigration – both legal immigration from EU states, and illegal immigration from other countries by people travelling into and then through the EU to Britain – was widely debated in the lead up to the referendum. EU migrants make up for about half the people who move to the UK for a minimum of a year, increasing from only 21% since Eastern Europe was included in the EU, now making up for more than a third of the UK foreign born population. (Ashcroft, 2016)[21] In 2016, EU migration was about      596,000 in total, with around 268,000 citizens from other EU countries migrating to the UK. (Ashcroft, 2016)[22]  Many of those who voted to leave the EU did so with the belief that doing so would bring about a better immigration system and improve border controls. (Ashcroft, 2016)[23] According to research, nearly 90% of those who felt that immigration was bad for the economy supported the vote to leave, but less than 10% of those who thought immigration was good for the economy (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[24]

Those who see immigration as a positive thing and therefore voted remain are also not uncommon. Britain often uses the free movement of people within the EU to its advantage: 1.2 million UK-born citizens work, study, and retire in other EU states. (As an aside, most working in other EU states are professionals, and the largest number of retirees go to France and Spain.) (JRF, 2016)[25] 85,000 in total emigrate abroad per year. (Ashcroft, 2016)[26] This may have been a factor which spurred on some members of the public to vote remain, but clearly it wasn’t significant enough.

On average Britain’s immigrant population preferred the remain campaign due to the level at which the leave campaign stressed the importance of decreasing migration across Europe and other countries.  National figures show areas with higher levels of net migration, such as London, voted to remain (Scott, 2017)[27] (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[28].

London is also an area where immigration is undeniably higher than the rest of the country, with just under 40% of Londoners being foreign born and a significantly larger amount being second or third generation immigrants (Kirk and Dunford, 2016)[29]. However, researchers Italo Colantone and Piero Stanig claim that there is no evidence of a connection between the support for Brexit and the proportion of immigrants or new immigrants in an area. (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[30] Other data also supports this, saying that areas which started with relatively few migrants but which saw sizeable increases experienced a sudden influx of EU migrants over the last ten years were often more pro-leave (the leave vote was high in areas such as Redditch, Maidstone, Gravesham and Lincoln, with links to this factor) (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[31]  This shows that if the number of immigrants in an area has seen a sudden increase, there was more likely to be a Leave vote in that area than an area which has had a large number of immigrants for a long time. It suggests that fear of immigration is key (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[32] The public is often afraid that EU migrants tend to come to the UK to work (JRF, 2016)[33], so a sudden increase of immigrants in an area may lead to a loss of job for those who had already been living there.  Residents also often believe that the arrival of new immigrants is a principal contributor to the pressure on services (Travers, 2016)[34]. This shows that the level of migration doesn’t seem to matter but the pace of change over the past decade or so does, suggesting yet again how area plays a significant role on why people vote either way.  Higher-skilled, higher-migrant, low-leave areas include Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Camden (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[35], also highlighting the importance of area: these have seen significant migrant increase, yet voted in favour to remain also bringing into light the other factors which influenced the area’s votes. Areas which voted to leave witnessed significant demographic change due to the surge of EU immigrants in recent years and are more likely than others to experience deprivation and. (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[36]

The author’s research matches what has been said, as the survey taken was in London where a higher migrant population is the norm. Amongst the north-east Londoners that were questioned, 42% of the cited immigration as a key reason for their vote. However, this was not the most common answer, coming third behind employment (52%) and economy (65%) as key reasons which influenced a vote either way. An interesting result, which matches what has been said about areas with higher levels of immigration being less likely to see this as a negative issue, is that 60% of those who chose immigration as a reason for their decision actually voted to remain.  This suggests that they saw immigration as a positive result of remaining part of the EU. This reflects on the importance of area as London’s results are so different to those of the rest of the country.

Jobs/ employment

Many people’s decision to vote either way in the referendum was spurred on by the subject of employment. This links back to the subject of immigration as the employment rate of EU migrants is high; 82% of working-age EU migrants are employed, with EU migration expanding the UK workforce by around 0.5% a year and putting 6% of the UK workforce under stress of severe reduction by 2018 (JRF, 2016) [37]. The unemployed were much more likely to vote to leave the EU as well as those who felt their financial situation had deteriorated (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[38], because they felt their situation was down to the UK being a member of the EU.

This again links back to the issue of area as a whole.  Many areas have experienced a loss of jobs such as mining, docking and seaside jobs, as well as those which involve traditional manufacturing. This has left these places with weak private sectors and a mismatch between skills available and skills needed for the modern economy, resulting in a backlash of resentment toward the EU, (some of the biggest Leave votes were in areas exactly as descried: Stoke-on-Trent, Blackpool, Mansfield and Barking & Dagenham to name just a few). Many believe those who run government have allowed large parts of the country to be left behind (Ashcroft, 2016)[39]. As has been mentioned before, students are more likely, on average to have voted to remain, forming a higher proportion of the population in low leave vote areas. Once the number of students in an area is controlled, the correlation between employment and votes either way becomes much clearer (Clarke and Whittaker, 2016)[40].  Research shows that support for leave was higher for those on a lower pay (£20,000 per year), than it was for those with incomes of more than £60,000 per year (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[41].

Overall, when employment is taken in to consideration with a vote either way, it is, on average, those who earn less who voted to leave. However, when taken into consideration with other factors, as in other sections of this essay, the line becomes blurred and it is no longer as simple as that.

The north-east London findings research fall very much in line with what others have said, with students more likely to vote to remain than leave by about 20% (with a considerable amount not voting at all), and those who are unemployed voting to leave by about an extra 60%. Those in work were more likely to vote remain and those who had retired vote to leave. This can link back to the importance of age and by extension, education, those who have retired mostly being older and students usually being younger and better educated.

Economy

The EU is Britain’s largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 45% of UK trade and is the largest source of foreign direct investment (JRF, 2016)[42], so a vote to leave the EU puts into question the economic reasoning behind the decision. 43% of those who voted remain did so as they believed the risk of leaving was too high of a danger for the economy. Only just over 6% said the main reason for their remain vote was that “when it comes to trade and the economy, the UK would benefit more from being outside the EU than from being part of it” (Ashcroft, 2016)[43] so it is surprising the UK voted to leave. 

The UK’s membership fee in 2015 was £12.9 billion per year which comes to around £200 per year for each person. Many believe this money would be better spent within the UK, for instance towards public goods and services such as the NHS. In terms of total contribution to the EU budget, the UK pays the highest amount after Germany (JRF, 2016)[44] and it is often argued that the amount the UK pays is too high, and this resulted in many Leave votes.

The author’s figures shows that London also saw the economy as a key reason that the UK show either remain or leave the EU. It was the biggest factor influencing north-east Londoners’ vote, with 65% citing this as a reason for their decision.

The local research also correlates with other national research. Of those who cited economics as a reason for their vote, 78% voted remain, matching the idea that some feel the UK would do much better economically within the European Union, and those in London feel particularly strongly about this. This may link to the immense centralisation of the UK, politically and in terms of the concentration of the economy, which will be talked about further later in this essay.  This centralisation allows more people within London to see the economic benefits of being a member of the European Union than people in other areas, who may often feeling cut off from what is going on in the city.

National Sovereignty

The loss of sovereignty inherent in EU membership was also a reason for why people voted to leave. Many believe that other EU countries have too much influence over the laws which affect the UK, convincing several people to vote Leave. These laws include regulations which affect working hours, the environment, financial services, workers’ rights, and even domestic appliances.  Research has shown that 49% of those who voted leave claimed the biggest reason for them wanting to leave the EU was “the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK” (Ashcroft, 2016)[45]. International aid has also increased and many think that the problems within the UK require more attention at this time, considering that funding for the Home Office, local government, further education, and housing has been cut by up to 35% (Travers, 2016)[46].  13% of leave voters feared that remaining in the EU would result in the UK having no choice “about how the EU expanded its membership or its powers in the years ahead” (Ashcroft, 2016)[47], while believing that the UK does not have a fair say in the laws and policies of mainland Europe.

The author’s research finds Londoners care less about national sovereignty in relation to their decision to vote remain or leave, with only 19% of the survey results coming back with this being a key reason for their decision.  This again shows how different Londoners opinions are to the rest of the country and highlights problems such as the centralization that fuels the UK but often leaves the rest of the country feeling detached from politics. This will be talked about in more detail in the sections on London and Area.

Longstanding personal views

Longstanding personal views must be taken into consideration as to why people voted either way in the referendum, as 43% of people said that they were always sure of what they would end up voting or decided early on, whereas only 24% decided their vote within a week of referendum day with 10% deciding the day before, or even on the day of the vote (Ashcroft, 2016)[48].

Although the voters seemed unsure what to decide, both leave and remain voters were equally likely to have chosen what their vote would be on the actual day of the referendum (Ashcroft, 2016)[49]. This suggests that according to the research, longstanding personal views were not the main reason which influenced the outcome of the vote. 

The north-east London research showed that 50% of people believed their longstanding personal views were a big part of how they voted, 37% of the people saying it was their sole influence. This could relate to people in London having been in the centre of politics so much that they are more in touch with and understand the situation Britain is in, allowing them to make up their minds sooner.   

Personal Identity

Personal identity seemed to be the least important issue for most people, with little available research on this section. Just under 17% said their main reason to vote remain was the belief that UK would “become more isolated from its friends and neighbours” and only 9% said they felt a “a strong attachment to the EU and its shared history, culture, and traditions” (Ashcroft, 2016)[50], highlighting how little British people feel a connection to their mainland European neighbours and linking back to the idea that those who felt primarily British were more likely to vote to leave the EU.  

The author’s data shows that north-east Londoners feel more strongly about personal identity than the rest of the country, with 33% of them citing this as one of the reasons which influenced their vote. It is possible that Londoners feel a stronger connection to Europe than the rest of the country, and explain why the number is higher. Linking back to the fact that the UK is a very centralised country, London has a stronger affiliation with Europe than the rest of the country. It has more relations with mainland Europe due to the nature of many jobs in London, specifically in the city of London, a large amount of which must keep consistent contact and relatively good relations with the rest of Europe.

Another reason for the higher percentage of people seeing personal identity as a reason to influence their vote could be the, already discussed, high local immigrant population, especially from other EU countries, resulting in more integration and a more evident personal connection to the rest of Europe.  This will again come up in the sections on London and Area.

Other

Nationally, gender did not significantly affect the way people voted.  By contrast a stronger possible factor for people voting either way was their feelings of detachment from politics. 70% of leave voters were concerned that ‘politicians don’t care what people like me think’ (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[51]. About 75% of council and housing association tenants preferred the leave vote, (Ashcroft, 2016)[52] but this could be linked to other issues such as employment and the belief that the money spent of the EU should be spent within the UK.

Another group who were more likely to vote Leave were those in favour of the death penalty as well as harsher prison sentences in general, and those who are against equal opportunities for women and homosexuals (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [53], but this again could link back to an elder generation as well those who are generally more right wing often voting to leave.  

The author’s research taken in north-east London conflicts with what other data says about gender being irrelevant, as 76% of the women voted to remain whereas only 54% of men said the same. This could be due to EU regulations and directives, some of which are particularly in the interest of women and go further than previous UK legislation.  These areas relate to maternity rights, sex discrimination and equal pay, offering woman what some may see as a better deal than men if Britain voted to remain.  Views on this are both positive and negative and it is intuitive that more women would take a positive standpoint.

Area

Area stands alone to the other sections in this essay as it is neither a conscious reason to vote either way or an unavoidable part of who a person is, but could fit into both parts as has links to both.

Most of what has been said so far comes down to area and the structure of UK, the most centralized large democracy in the world, highlighting how, arguably, London cannot and will not in any way reflect the views of the rest of the country. People not living in London feel cut off from the Government, because in fact they actually are, with ministers and other officials living in central London whilst making decisions which effect the rest of the country (Travers, 2016)[54]. This may have led to many of those in areas outside London voting to leave in a protest vote, pointing out that their voices are not being heard and their needs are not being addressed; these areas have been ‘left behind’ by fast economic and social change and were the most likely to vote for Brexit (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [55].

The area in which people live seems to override every other reason for which they voted, for instance, education; people with all levels of qualifications being more likely to vote leave in a lower-skilled area than those in a higher-skilled area, regardless of the level of education they attained. Even though they were less educated and therefore at a natural disadvantage, this was not the only reason they felt marginalized in society and therefore voted Brexit, due to the complete lack of opportunities that were offered in these low-skilled communities (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[56].

Research shows that people living in these low skilled areas also naturally tend to be more conservative as well as identify more strongly with being English rather than British or European and feel more out of touch politically than similar types of people living in high-skilled areas (Goodwin and Heath, 2016)[57].

In areas where there is little opportunity to ‘get ahead’ and the people feel economically disadvantaged and struggle to keep up with other, more highly skilled areas, people were also more likely to vote to leave. These areas have often also seen important changes due to the inward migration of EU nationals (Goodwin and Heath, 2016) [58], reasserting the importance of immigration but showing that area was above that factor in importance when voting.  

This all shows the importance of all factors, with area tying other sections together. In some cases, area even comes through as a stronger cause to vote either way, overriding other reasons for why people may have voted, such as education and age.

London

Consideration must always be taken when comparing polling results with London, where immigration rates are high, with the largest number of migrants in the UK, 1.4 million living in inner London in 2015 and 1.8 in outer (Vargas-Silva and Rienzo, 2017)[59] and with the votes for remain resulting in some of the highest in the country (Scott, 2017)[60]. Votes were swayed towards remain in London, partially due to large numbers of people from immigrant backgrounds (see Factors for the voters’ decisions above. For example, in north-east London boroughs such as Waltham Forest and Hackney clearly voted to remain (by 59.1% and 78.5% respectively).  

The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg summed up the situation perfectly, commenting that, “London is an island, compared to the rest of the country where the Leave campaign is gaining ground,” (Donovan, 2017)[61].

Conclusion                   

Does the Public portrayal of who voted either way in the EU referendum and why, match with the reality of people in north-east London and surrounding areas?

Overall it is difficult to compare London with the rest of the UK due to the extreme centralization of the country politically and economically, but most results seem to correlate and confirm national trends for particular factors.

When it comes to sections such as immigration results vary enormously, but those in London who voted to leave often had other reasons for their vote aside from this. The rest of country feels more detached from politics than London and so votes are naturally more likely to sway to leave but the research has also showed that those in areas with less immigration were more likely to vote leave than those with a large number of migrants, even if they named immigration as one of the top reasons for their vote. This shows that the fear of immigration is more effective than actually living in an area such as London. This can also be linked to the idea that areas with less migrants are less likely to be in large cities and therefore will feel more detached from politics and will be ‘left behind’ in a rapidly globalized country and therefore are searching for someone to blame. Due to the high number of immigrants in London as well as it being the capital with a higher average wage, it is naturally more likely to vote remain so any surveys taken in London will reflect this.

Although the parts of north-east London people interviewed were from are not necessarily the most educated areas, the research has shown that although this could sway votes, the area in which the people live is more important and therefore outweighs that, resulting in a less educated person living in London being more likely to vote to remain than a higher educated person in a seaside town. This can also be taken into consideration when it comes to age and other factors.  With this in mind, the north-east London research generally matches with the national public portrayal of who voted either way and why. From the author’s perspective, at the same time it underlines the centralised nature of the UK and the concentration of economic growth in London and the south east.

Summary of References

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[Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

Scott, 2017

Scott, S. (2017). Did education count in the EU vote?. [online] Schools Week. Available at: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/did-education-count-in-the-brexit-vote/ [Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

Ashcroft, 2016

Ashcroft, L. (2016). How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why – Lord Ashcroft Polls. [online] Lordashcroftpolls.com. Available at:

How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why
[Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

Vargas-Silva and Rienzo, 2017

Vargas-Silva, D. and Rienzo, D. (2017). Migrants in the UK: An Overview – Migration Observatory.

Migration Observatory. Available at:

Migrants in the UK: An Overview
[Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

Donovan, 2017

Donovan, T. (2017). EU referendum: Most London boroughs vote to remain – BBC News. [online] BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36612916 [Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

Appendices

Appendix A

Schools Week, (2016). The Relationship Between voting Leave and Educational Background. [image] Available at: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/did-education-count-in-the-brexit-vote/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Appendix B

Lord Ashcroft Polls, (2016). How Britain Voted by demographic. [image] Available at: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Lord Ashcroft Polls, (2016). When they decided. [image] Available at: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Lord Ashcroft Polls, (2016). The Relationship Between Voting Leave and Educational Background. [image] Available at: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Ashcroft Polls, (2016). Reasons to Leave, Reasons to Remain [image] Available at:

How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why
[Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Lord Ashcroft Polls, (2016). Do you think of each of the following being a force for good, a force for ill, or a mixed- blessing? [image] Available at: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Lord Ashcroft Polls, (2016). National Identity. [image] Available at:

How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and why
[Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Appendix C

Resolution Founation, (2016). Four Groups of interest. [image] Available at: http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/the-important-of-place-explaining-the-characteristics-underpinning-the-brexit-vote-across-different-parts-of-the-uk/ [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Resolution Founation, (2016). Leave vote in the local authority, by % of 16-64 year olds with NVQ4+. [image] Available at:

The Importance of Place: explaining the characteristics underpinning the Brexit vote across different parts of the UK
[Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Appendix D

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, (2016). Support for leave among different demographic groups. [image] Available at: https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/brexit-vote-explained-poverty-low-skills-and-lack-opportunities [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017].

Appendix E:

Author’s survey in north-east London 30Dec 2016


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