Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Demographics of Brexit

Some very interesting data here, if it is reliable:
Lord Ashcroft, “How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and Why,” Lord Ashcroft Polls, 24 June, 2016.
How did people vote by class?

The breakdown:
Middle Class:
AB: Leave: 43%; Remain: 57%
C1: Leave: 51%; Remain: 49%

Working Class
C2: Leave: 64%; Remain: 36%
DE: Leave: 64%; Remain: 36%

AB: Higher & intermediate managerial, administrative, professional occupations
C1: Supervisory, clerical & junior managerial, administrative, professional occupations
C2: Skilled manual occupations
DE: Semi-skilled & unskilled manual occupations, Unemployed and lowest grade occupations.
Lord Ashcroft, “How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and Why,” Lord Ashcroft Polls, 24 June, 2016.
The British working class (C2 + DE) was solidly behind Brexit: 64% of them voted “leave.”

57% of the upper middle class and middling middle class (AB) voted for remain.

The lower middle class (C1) voted to leave by a narrow margin at 51%.

And what about the breakdown by political party?:
Conservative: Leave: 58% Remain: 42%
Labour: Leave: 37% Remain: 63%
Liberal Democrats: Leave: 30% Remain: 70%
UKIP: Leave: 96% Remain: 4%.
Most Conservative party supporters voted to leave: a Conservative party government that does not deliver on Brexit will make its voters very angry.

An important point: it seems 63%, a majority, of Labour party supporters voted to remain (as pointed out here). A strange result?

Not really – because the modern Labour party has long since ceased to be the party of the working class.

As pointed out here, which cites Robert Garner and Richard Kelly’s book British Political Parties Today, Labour lost a great deal of its working class support by the 1990s, and, remarkably, the process had begun gradually from the 1970s and continued in the 2000s.

From the 2000s, New Labour has been a middle class party in a double sense: reliant more and more on middle class votes and run by a middle class elite, with a political agenda of cultural leftism (e.g., identity politics) and neoliberalism-lite (not to mention warmongering). Even in the membership of the party, the middle class is increasingly important.

What were the reasons for voting Brexit? They were as follows:
“Nearly half (49%) of leave voters said the biggest single reason for wanting to leave the EU was ‘the principle that decisions about the UK should be taken in the UK’. One third (33%) said the main reason was that leaving ‘offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders.’ Just over one in eight (13%) said remaining would mean having no choice ‘about how the EU expanded its membership or its powers in the years ahead.’”
Lord Ashcroft, “How the United Kingdom voted on Thursday… and Why,” Lord Ashcroft Polls, 24 June, 2016.
So Brexit voters, including the majority of the working class, want (1) Britain political sovereignty restored, and (2) control over immigration (in fact, the other evidence that most British people want immigration sharply reduced is pretty stunning (see here, here, and here).

This is also confirmed in the Lord Ashcroft Poll: 80% of those who voted leave thought immigration was “a force for ill.”

It’s no good trying to hide this, or sweep it under the carpet.

A British political party that does not offer Britain (1) political sovereignty from the EU (2) control over immigration is grossly out of touch with what the majority of British voters want, no matter whether its own supporters were pro-Brexit, as in the case of the Liberal Democrats and Labour.


  1. Welcome to the new Blue Collar Revolution~!

  2. You'll note that Labour is clinging to the 'breakdown by political party' like a toddler to their blanket.

  3. I have a question LK,

    Is it possible to have a lax immigration policy in conjunction with a modified jobs guarantee program? The program could be modified in the sense that it would only be available for UK citizens. That way, low-skilled migrant labor will not detrimentally compete with citizens because they won't be necessarily working in the same sector (one would be privately hired, the other by the government).

    (Side note: Isn't the effect of low-skilled immigration on wages really small anyway? Not to mention that the impact of medium and high skilled labor on wages is positive.)



    1. "That way, low-skilled migrant labor will not detrimentally compete with citizens because they won't be necessarily working in the same sector"

      The name for that is 'slave class'. Not in any Britain I understand. Here if you're here you are my peer - wherever you came from. That's why we have no identity checks on the NHS.

  4. Off-topic, but not really:


    this is Bloomberg's live feed ongoing right now. I assume it'll be available for viewing later on. Anyway, Nigel Farage just said he thinks nations are better of with a non-fixed currency that that they can devalue at will, as opposed to a fixed currency. Is he really a Libertarian? I thought Ron Paul & that whole crowd wanted a fixed currency!

    1. he is not exactly american liberterian he is more of a tatcherist there is differences between both camps.

    2. Libertarian != Rothbardian

    3. Misseans are the same on this while friedmanists tatcherists are like ukip

  5. A similar phenomenon prevails in the United States. The US Democratic Party started to move away from the working-class in the 1970s and built a coalition on upper middle-class professionals and racial minorities. This Left is characterized by liberalism on cultural issues while supporting the neoliberal consensus on economics.