Research reveals trends behind Brexit vote

Press Office

New research shows trends relating to income, location and skills were important factors behind the public's decision on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union (EU).

The research was co-conducted by Professor Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics in Kent’s School of Politics and International Relations, and shows that people earning less than £20,000 a year with lower qualifications and living in low-skilled areas were the driving force behind the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The research, which was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), is one of first academic analyses to examine individual and place-based characteristics driving the leave vote.

Data showed that the leave vote relied on the type of area in which people lived, described by the researchers as a low skill area. For example, 70 percent of people in a low-skilled community such as Tendring voted for Brexit, whereas over 70 percent of people in highly-skilled communities such as Cambridge voted remain.

‘Brexit vote explained: poverty, low skills and lack of opportunities’ by Professor Matthew Goodwin (University of Kent) and Dr Oliver Heath (Royal Holloway University) can be read at Political Quarterly.