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Why Britain Voted for Brexit: An Individual-Level Analysis of the 2016 Referendum Vote

Clarke, HD and Goodwin, M and Whiteley, PF (2017) 'Why Britain Voted for Brexit: An Individual-Level Analysis of the 2016 Referendum Vote.' Parliamentary Affairs, 70 (3). pp. 439-464. ISSN 0031-2290

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This paper investigates forces that shaped the decisions voters made in the June 23, 2016 referendum on the UK's continued membership in the European Union. Using data gathered in a national panel survey conducted before and after the referendum, multivariate models informed by previous research on voting in major 'polity-shaping' referendums are used to assess factors affecting the choices voters made . Analyses document that both economic- and immigration-focused benefit-cost calculations strongly influenced voters' decisions. Combined with risk assessments, emotional reactions to EU membership and leader image cues, these calculations were major proximate forces driving referendum voting. National identities were at work too, operating further back in the set of forces affecting attitudes towards the EU. Taken together, the findings indicate that the narrow Brexit decision voters made on June 23rd reflected a complex mixture of calculations, emotions and cues.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brexit; Benefits-costs; Risks; Leader cues; Immigration; European Union
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 15:28
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:36

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