David Cameron pushed people towards Brexit – both economically and because we don’t like him

Good riddance: David Cameron killed his own political career by following policies that made people more likely to oppose him in the EU referendum: [Image: Frank Augstein/AP].

Good riddance: David Cameron killed his own political career by following policies that made people more likely to oppose him in the EU referendum: [Image: Frank Augstein/AP].

While uninformed critics of Jeremy Corbyn have been trying to tell us his campaigning style secured victory for Brexit in the EU referendum, wiser heads are telling a different story.

According to the Electoral Reform Society, more than twice as many people voted Leave because of former prime minister David Cameron than voted Remain.

And there’s more…

David Cameron was twice as likely to turn voters towards Brexit as to get them to vote Remain, new research suggests.

In a fresh trashing of the former Prime Minister’s reputation, the study by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) found that 29% of people said his contribution made them more likely to vote Leave.

Just 14% of those surveyed by pollsters BMG said that Cameron was more likely to make them vote for the UK to stay in the EU in the June referendum.

The new study, published on Thursday, is also scathing about the ‘misleading’ claims’ made on both sides in the bitter campaign, which were allowed to be peddled ‘with total impunity’.

It calls for a new official body to ‘intervene’ to call out bogus claims quickly in future referenda to avoid voters being left “ill-informed” and disengaged as they were in 2016.

Source: Distrust Of David Cameron ‘Made Public More Likely To Vote Brexit’ – New Study Finds

The above should be coupled with the findings of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, that people who have been pushed to the margins of society by Cameron’s political decisions had been driven to vote for departure from the EU.

Professor Matthew Goodwin, author of the research at the University of Kent, said it “shed light on the deep divides that exist in our society” – divides that were created and widened by David Cameron’s policies.

A lack of opportunity across swathes of the country led to Brexit.

Groups of voters who have been pushed to the margins of society, who live on low incomes, have few qualifications and lack the skills required to prosper in the modern economy, were more likely than others to endorse Brexit.

The research found three key trends behind the Brexit vote:

1.Incomes. People living in the poorest households, which earn less than £20,000 per year, were much more likely to support leaving the EU than those in the wealthiest households, as were the unemployed, those looking for work, people in low-skilled and precarious manual occupations. In households with incomes of less than £20,000 per year the average support for leave was 58% but in households with incomes over £60,000 per year support for leaving the EU was only 35%. Unemployed people and those looking for work were also far more likely to support Brexit than those in full employment – support for leave among the former was 59% but only 45% among the latter. Other things being equal, support for Leave was 10 points higher among those on less than £20,000 per year than it was among those who earn more than £60,000.

2.Education. Educational inequality was the standout trend behind the vote, showing that a lack of opportunity for low-skilled workers was a key driving force. Other things being equal, support for Leave was 30 percentage points higher among those with GCSE qualifications or below than it was for people with a degree. Over 70 percent of people with no qualification voted for Brexit, over 70 percent of people with a postgraduate degree voted to remain.

3.Where people lived. Support for Brexit varied not only according to the type of individuals but the type of area. Those with all levels of qualifications were more likely to vote Leave in low skill areas than in high skill areas. The biggest difference across types of area was for those with A-levels or a degree. In low skill areas the proportion of A-level holders voting leave was closer to that of people with low skills, in high skill areas their vote was much more similar to graduates. Whereas over 70 percent of people in low-skilled communities like Tendring (which covers Clacton) voted for Brexit, over 70 percent of people in very highly-skilled communities like Cambridge voted to remain in the EU.

Source: People pushed to the margins driven to vote for Brexit | JRF

There are clear warnings for Theresa May in these findings. But is she intelligent enough to heed them, or will she just follow Tory dogma as usual?

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23 thoughts on “David Cameron pushed people towards Brexit – both economically and because we don’t like him

    1. Hopalong Butchdance

      I think Corbyn did do his best to campaign for EU membership but has so little go in him his entreaties fell on deaf ears. Whatever Corbyn is it isn’t persuasive to those outside of his devoted circle of fans. In fact I recently read that members of the Labour party who joined before the last election predominantly favour Owen Smith as leader and that Corbyn’s popularity is basically due to newer members who joined the party after 2010 who skew support Corbyn’s way. Hardly an unexpected result really.

      (UK Polling report I think it was.)

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        If Corbyn has as little ‘go’ in him as you say, what does that tell us about his critics in the Labour Party (and members of others) a majority of whose constituents voted ‘Leave’?
        Corbyn’s own constituency voted ‘Remain’ in large numbers and Labour members and supporters voted ‘Remain’ by a majority (63 per cent for for staying in the EU).
        And you say “his entreaties fell on deaf ears”? Think again, please!
        In fact, Corbyn gained widespread support from long-term members in the 2015 leadership election – because he was putting forward a traditional Labour view. Otherwise he would not have won.
        The party has doubled in size since last year because people are flocking to a party that, at long last, is saying things they want to hear.

  1. squashydog

    guess I must be something of an anomaly then… I voted remain… as a disabled, welfare dependent, single, live alone, female. I share the mistrust of those that voted Brexit, but I always suspected that it was a double bluff, to put Tories on both sides of the fight, that would make anything the Labour party did, be seen as colluding with the Tories, it is no wonder that Corbyn didn’t make many appearances with the remain campaign, in the same way that Boris and Gove did with Farage.

    My reason for voting to remain, is currently being vindicated, by the hard push to strip the UK of it’s human rights act. If nothing else, we always had a higher body of authority to hold the cold and emotionless Nasty Party to account…… and since then it has transpired that TTIP was mostly promoted and supported by Osbourne and the UK govt., so my remain vote seems all the more valid in hindsight

    Oh btw…. I preferred when your blog/articles had dates on them … please revert to that… thanks from a Vox fan.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      My articles DO have dates on them.
      I find it very odd when people post such comments. I haven’t changed the format at all.

      1. Zippi

        For some reason, the format does change and for no apparent reason. Currently, I’m stuck in the new, blue, horizontal format. I’ve been experiencing this change for the last 3, or 4 weeks.

  2. squashydog

    hmm…. I see your articles in two different formats, after posting the above, I return to the format with a date on it …. plse don’t confuse me lol

  3. philipburdekin

    Jumped before he was pushed, smarmy and evil, the most hated man in Britain and worst PM in our history.

  4. David Woods

    There’s a lot of truth to this; I wouldn’t touch anything with a barge pole that Cameron supported, believing (a) somebody very rich would make a killing, and (b) ‘it’ would be of little use or benefit to the poor!

    But my vote was based on my own experience of life ‘pre and post’ the EU and whether I had seen and/or benefitted from the changes it brought.
    Personally, I think many of the current problems are because of our ‘lost’ identity, we (Europe) have lost our ‘uniqueness’, what made us, us!
    The only thing we share in equality is the fact the poor are suffering and the rich continue to benefit from it!

  5. Jsteel

    Hm … If you read the report … Every single politician attracted (some deliberatelyly, some unintentionally) more voters for leave than for remain, and all of them were pretty much irrelevant, the most irrelevant being Alan Johnson. Farage was the best in recruiting people for Remain …

  6. NMac

    Sadly, those same people will almost certainly soon find that all they have done is shot themselves in the foot. As for the last sentence of the post, at the moment I personally feel May is still playing at internal party politics rather than acting in the interests of the nation as a whole. The appalling divisive nature of the referendum is lost on most Tories as they thrive on division – as they continue to divide and rule.

  7. John

    I am unsurprised by these results.
    Referenda are always very blunt instruments to arrive sensibly at a democratic result. Take, for example, the 2011 AV referendum result. Nearly 68 per cent voted “No” to the introduction of the AV voting system. Was this issue solely determined by the merits and demerits of the AV system? Of course not. Both Labour and the Conservatives did not support the proposals but – probably far more importantly – there was the issue of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats decision to support a coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat and – perhaps crucially – the decision by the Liberal Democrats to support an increase in student tuition fees after having publicly endorsed no increase in fees during the 2010 general election. Put simply, the referendum provided an opportunity to give the Liberal Democrats a really good kicking – and they got it, not just then but also at the 2015 general election too.
    A similar situation applied in the case of the Brexit referendum. I warned during the run up to the vote that some might see it as an opportunity to give the Tories – and, in particular, – Cameron and Osborne a good kicking too and that it could lead to Cameron having to step down as Prime Minister, which is what in fact happened. So, again, was the decisive factor the merits and demerits of EU membership which decided the outcome, was it wholly extraneous factors or – more likely – a combination of the two? The Remain campaign was extremely poorly conducted.
    What should now be realised is that while all the mass media queued up to criticise Jeremy Corbyn for his apparent lack of commitment (ably supported by elements within the PLP) no one seems to have questioned Cameron’s attitude and performance on the issue. We all know that he only included a pledge in his 2015 general election in order to spike the guns of UKIP, to placate his own Eurosceptic MPs and did not expect to have to campaign on it as he was not expecting to win an overall majority in the general election. As a result, he had to campaign for an outcome he had never previously taken seriously and his bungling approach towards the campaign definitely resulted in boosting the Leave outcome.
    There are almost certainly other factors that influenced the outcome, such as Mrs Merkel’s open door policy to unlimited migration to Germany and her failure to grant any meaningful concessions to Cameron when he tried to gain relaxations on a number of EU-related issues. The EU itself has to stand accused of failure to support the Remain campaign too.
    Referenda are not often resorted to for the purpose of determining important issues. While parliamentary sovereignty does not always work well it could be argued that it works better than the alternatives – including referenda.

    1. Zippi

      David Cameron, you say, was left to campaign on an issue which he had not taken seriously but he could have had time to organise himself, however, he brought the date of the referendum forwards TWICE! Still, we were not given the information that we actually needed in order to make this decision. I had to do my own homework, as we all should have done but the politicians were either all clueless, or uninterested. Again, I don’t see why our leaving the E.U. should be such a disaster. None of us knows.

  8. casalealex

    What I said before Brexit:

    My own words from last month come back to haunt me….

    “More than ever, appears to me that Dodgy Dave has his finger on the pulse! He knows the majority know him to be an inveterate liar, and is using reverse psychology – believing that if he insists he does not want to leave the EU; we, in our perversity, will decide to leave! ….just saying….”

  9. Dez

    Camoron and his Elite/establishment buddies had a history of lies, cheating and rampant arrogance that put folk on auto pilot to not believe a word of their campaign. Had he not have been a born again liar, with a big leaning towards horray henry piggy parties then he would have walked it……as they thought they had done. Unfortunately they did know how real the adverse feeling to the Cons was..and still do not know to this day and will do little to change things..

  10. Joan Edington

    I wonder what those that were “pushed” by the current social climate in the UK thought that they would get from leaving the EU? There would still be a Tory government, an even more right-wing one too, that were unlikely to suddenly change their policies to more humane ones. Did they really believe that future immigration would be curbed and exisitng migrant workers expelled (unless we needed them of course) and that suddenly the UK would be awash with the jobs and homes they wanted? Obviously many people did dislike Cameron but were they really so gullible to think the bumbling Boris was the answer to their dreams?

    I agree with the electoral commission that the sort of lies that have been spouted in recent referendums should be stamped on ASAP, before the media can turn repetition into truth, as they have been doing. Also, lying to parliament or bringing the house into disrepute should result in suspension, followed by expulsion if lies or actions are proven. Is that not how it was meant to be?

  11. Barry Davies

    Nobody voted one way or the other because of any specific person, although cameron of course did go to brussels asking for a deal came home with less than he went with, and claimed success so from that aspect people were not voting for what he had claimed to have happened. People didn’t vote to leave because they disliked cameron, but because they disliked the eu and the way in which it is heading.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The article suggests they did indeed vote in a particular direction because of Mr Cameron – as his policies steered them that way. It’s not saying they all decided to give him the proverbial finger, although no doubt many did.

  12. Hopalong Butchdance

    He did manage to get a bloody awful Conservative party re-elected with a small majority. Of course a referendum and general election are quite different since the first is a binary choice between two alternative policies and the latter a choice between several different candidates which brings the baggage of party politics into it. Personally I reckon that a fair bit of the referendum vote, plenty enough to swing it for the Brexiters, was a combination of a protest vote against politicians and politics in general (not just Cameron), coupled with people buying into the lie about repatriation of £350 million a week from the EU, and immigration (which won’t stop or fall much if an “independent” UK wants access to the single market). As vile and disgusting a creature as David Cameron undoubtedly was it wasn’t all down to him, unless of course you include holding the referendum of course, which was a stupid thing to do so close to a financial crash, all the more so because it was promised only for party political issues relating to internal Tory conflicts and fears about UKIP taking Tory seats in the 2010 general election.

    One good thing about Brexit is being rid of Cameron, Osborne and mouthy self-publicising [email protected] like Daniel Hannan and such like.

    All things considered I would rather have kept these wretches in place and stayed a part of the EU however.

  13. Zippi

    I’d love to know where these people get this information. Nobody has asked me, or anybody else that I know. Why does our leaving the E.U. have to be the end of the world? Where is it written that remaining was the right way to go?
    Personally, I can’t stand Call-Me-Dave and have never liked him but he had nothing to do with my decision and nor did Mr. Corbyn. It wasn’t a Party political decision. I voted based on my knowledge of the E.U., what it is, what it does, what it’s supposed to do etc. I voted to leave, as did all of the university student that I met in Birmingham, some of them students of politics. They did not like the E.U. At the end of the day, it was our E.U. membership that we were being asked to vote on and nothing else.

  14. franceskaywriter

    I sincerely hope Maggie May doesn’t change her policies because at the moment the Tories are doing a fine job of getting the whole country against them. If she steals JCs policies people might start thinking they are actually ok.

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