Old, poorly educated backed Brexit: data
Brexit has polarised Britain. Source: Eurasian Times
While Britain’s wrestles with the fallout from last June’s vote to Leave the EU, a localised breakdown of voting from nearly half of UK local authorities gives greater detail to explain voting patterns.
The data confirms that voting Remain was strongly associated with educational attainment.
Education had a higher correlation with the voting pattern than any other major demographic measure although older voters were more likely to choose Leave.
Ethnicity was important in some places, with ethnic minority areas generally voting Remain but some of London’s Asian community were more likely to support Leave.
There was a strong tendency of deprived, predominantly white, housing estates on the periphery of cities to vote Leave, while inner cities, with high numbers of ethnic minorities and students largely voting Remain.
Couples have split up over the issue.
Colin White, 62, from Hartlepool, said Brexit played a significant role in his separation.
“My wife and I separated in December for the third and final time. Our differing views on Brexit encapsulated many of the reasons why we’re no longer together,” White told the Guardian. “The morning of the result I woke up early and felt floored. Next to me, and still asleep, was my wife – who had been in favour of Brexit. That morning, I was hostile towards her. I had no right to behave that way and I regret it.
“Not for the first time, I seemed to be saying, ‘You’re wrong and I’m right.’ The subject of the referendum had become difficult over the previous weeks and now it was toxic,” White added.
“At the heart of my wife’s support for Brexit was immigration. She saw the problems associated with it as something that needed attention. I was completely opposed to this viewpoint and horrified at the thought of leaving the European Union. Not a single one of my friends was in favour of Brexit. In sharp contrast all of my wife’s close friends voted to Leave.
“I asked myself, can two people with such divergent views live together in harmony? I’m sure many do and I wish we could have, but sadly it wasn’t to be for us.”
Postal voters appear narrowly more likely to have opted for Remain.
Wards where the population had fewer qualifications tended to have a higher Leave vote.
In statistical terms the level of educational attainment explained about two-thirds of the variation in the results between wards.
The correlation is strong, based on assessing university qualifications or lower-level education.
Education and age combined to account for nearly 80 per cent of the voting variation between wards.
White people were generally more pro-Leave, and ethnic minorities less so and there were numerous wards where voters with lower levels of educational attainment largely voted Remain. These wards normally had high ethnic minority populations, particularly in Birmingham and Haringey in north London.
In contrast no highly educated populations voted Leave. Osterley and Spring Grove in Hounslow, west London, is a mainly ethnic minority ward which voted 63-per-cent Leave. Ealing and Hounslow, with large South Asian origin communities, had high Leave votes.
Research suggests non-graduates tend to be less liberal on immigration, multiculturalism and the death penalty.