Understanding the Leave vote


What were the ‘real’ reasons behind the Brexit vote?

This report by NatCen’s Kirby Swales addresses that question by bringing together – in an accessible form – some of the latest, high quality data that have now become available on how people voted and why.

The report looks as three kinds of explanation:

  • First, how far did support for Leave and Remain vary by people’s objective demographic characteristics, their sense of identity, and their subjective feelings about their well-being and that of Britain as whole?
  • Second, to what extent did people’s vote reflect their views of the consequences of leaving the EU and their underlying values?
  • Third, how far did the vote – including people’s willingness to vote at all – reflect voters’ feelings about politics and the recommendation of the political party they support?

These analyses are then brought together into a segmentation of the electorate into different ‘clusters’ or types of voters. In so doing, the report shows that the success of the Leave campaign rested on attracting the support of a much wider constituency than the so-called ‘left-behind’.


Read the full report:

Understanding the Leave vote

Table Annex