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.
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.
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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