24 Jun 2016

Who voted for Remain and Leave?

There’s a breakdown of how people voted here. You can see that Labour did deliver a majority of its supporters to the Remain camp but it was critically lower than the Remain strategists thought. Remain thought they had 68 per cent of Labour supporters. They had 63 per cent, according to this research.


That’s not good enough for quite a few Labour MPs who’ve decided to press the “no confidence vote” button and to try to make a move against Jeremy Corbyn. Some of these MPs feel they could be  looking at getting eviscerated by a Boris Johnson-led Tory Party at an early general election so there is urgency now.

The breakdown of Tory supporters is worth comparing with a YouGov poll from October 2015 predicting what might happen in the referendum depending on which side of the debate Boris Johnson was on. If he was with David Cameron on the Remain side, YouGov in October last year thought that would mean the party would break 60/40 for Remain. Without Boris Johnson on his side, the PM could only count on 50 per cent of Tory supporters. In the end, Tories broke 42/58 Remain/Leave.

Late deciders were, according to the Remain camp analysis, meant to break 2 to 1 to their side if they actually voted. In the end the late deciders, according to this analysis, broke evenly.

There’s interesting stuff on English identity in this poll too. In England, Leave voters (39 per cent) were more than twice as likely as Remain voters (18 per cent) to describe themselves either as “English not British” or “more English than British”. Remain voters were twice as likely as Leavers to see themselves as more British than English.

And then you see the ultimate blow for Remain. People didn’t believe they’d be hurt that much by any economic problems resulting from Brexit. Part of that could be that some of these voters were people who were not at all well off and, as in Scotland amongst some poorer voters in 2014, thought they might as well roll the dice and didn’t have too much lose.

Some might be pensioners who thought they’d had their years in the job market and weren’t exposed to risks. Some of it must be the diminishing returns of Fear politics and distrust in politicians. That has grown in this referendum campaign, according to other polls, and the challenge now for senior politicians who won the referendum last night is to make sure it doesn’t multiply even more in the years to come.


American culture wars have been something we have tended to observe with a slight diffidence – pro and anti Abortion, pro and anti gun control. Have a look down this table and you’ll see we have our very own culture wars laid bare in the voting yesterday and the Ashcroft research.



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