BREXIT - How Different Age Cohorts Voted (or simply didn't)

Casualbets

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A lot has been written about a "Divided Britain" in the wake of the Brexit vote - about sharp schisms of opinion between the young and the old, the Middle-Class and the Working-Class, the Financially Stable and the Financially Precarious, the Highly-educated and the Poorly-educated etc. There is definitely truth inasmuch as the Polling data definitely points towards such.

However, taking the differing turnout rates - in as much as we can estimate them - throws up a more nuanced picture.

For instance - looking at data for both likelihood to vote and voting intention amongst potential voters of differing Age groups - it seems likely that the proportion of older potential voters (55+) that voted REMAIN (about 31%) was actually not that far behind the number of young voters (18-34) who voted REMAIN (about 37%).

The real difference is that the majority of the rest of the older potential voters group voted LEAVE, while the majority of the rest of the younger potential voters simply did not vote.

In fact, it's quite possible that the 37% REMAIN vote amongst younger voters was even lower - three of the five polls ending on the 22nd June had figures of between 77% and 79% for those "Absolutely Certain To Vote" while the actual turnout figure was 72%.It is not unreasonable to assume that this disparity between stated certainty and actually voting was higher amongst younger voters - particularly given that two of the above five polls mentioned above asked potential voters were they certain that they were registered to vote and found that while over 95% of voters over 65 were certain, less than three-quarters of 18-24 year olds were.

So what would have happened if there had been uniform turnout amongst all age-groups? The answer is probably not much. It has to be remembered that the putative 60% turnout for those aged 18-24 is a very high turnout figure for that age-group, even if it does lag behind the turnout figure for older voters. The result probably would have been a 1-point shift to REMAIN leading to a LEAVE 51 REMAIN 49 final scoreline.

 


benroe

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A lot has been written about a "Divided Britain" in the wake of the Brexit vote - about sharp schisms of opinion between the young and the old, the Middle-Class and the Working-Class, the Financially Stable and the Financially Precarious, the Highly-educated and the Poorly-educated etc. There is definitely truth inasmuch as the Polling data definitely points towards such.

However, taking the differing turnout rates - in as much as we can estimate them - throws up a more nuanced picture.

For instance - looking at data for both likelihood to vote and voting intention amongst potential voters of differing Age groups - it seems likely that the proportion of older potential voters (55+) that voted REMAIN (about 31%) was actually not that far behind the number of young voters (18-34) who voted REMAIN (about 37%).

The real difference is that the majority of the rest of the older potential voters group voted LEAVE, while the majority of the rest of the younger potential voters simply did not vote.

In fact, it's quite possible that the 37% REMAIN vote amongst younger voters was even lower - three of the five polls ending on the 22nd June had figures of between 77% and 79% for those "Absolutely Certain To Vote" while the actual turnout figure was 72%.It is not unreasonable to assume that this disparity between stated certainty and actually voting was higher amongst younger voters - particularly given that two of the above five polls mentioned above asked potential voters were they certain that they were registered to vote and found that while over 95% of voters over 65 were certain, less than three-quarters of 18-24 year olds were.

So what would have happened if there had been uniform turnout amongst all age-groups? The answer is probably not much. It has to be remembered that the putative 60% turnout for those aged 18-24 is a very high turnout figure for that age-group, even if it does lag behind the turnout figure for older voters. The result probably would have been a 1-point shift to REMAIN leading to a LEAVE 51 REMAIN 49 final scoreline.

Those that remember the UK before it joined the EU were more likely to want to leave, the younger millennials just want everything handed to them on a plate and fear change.
 

Prester Jim

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You might be right but on the other hand, the higher the % of an age group that voted, the greater the % that voted leave. It has already been said that the leave voters were much more vehement about voting and the remain too confident that things wouldn't change.
If all that is true and you assume that a higher % of those who voted for leave voted, then if the Brits (Aussie style) forced everyone to vote you might have had a very different outcome.
 

Ruadh

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Depending on whose feeds you get to see in Facebook of course but there seemed to be a lot of comments about the uneducated and the poor voting out and it was said as a slur.

Remain clearly has as many asholes on its side as the leave campaign. They just think they are a better caliber of human.
 
D

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There was a referendum in Ireland on whether younger people should be allowed to vote; it failed.
 

RasherHash

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There's something slightly antidemocratic about the way the Remainers are looking for excuses as to why they LOST.

Nevermind, they have Sudds, Blair and Ahern and their side :)
 

benroe

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Depending on whose feeds you get to see in Facebook of course but there seemed to be a lot of comments about the uneducated and the poor voting out and it was said as a slur.

Remain clearly has as many asholes on its side as the leave campaign. They just think they are a better caliber of human.
I'd like to think it was an ordinary mans kick-back against political and corporate elites.
 

gatsbygirl20

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There's something slightly antidemocratic about the way the Remainers are looking for excuses as to why they LOST.

Nevermind, they have Sudds, Blair and Ahern and their side :)
What is "anti-democratic" about analysing why voters voted the way they did?

We do it all the time after general elections.

Nor do we consider it "anti-democratic" to criticise the choices made by voters.

We pour scorn on a regular basis on Enda and Joan Burton and the "morons" who voted for them etc

On a political discussion site, just after this game-changing referendum, of course posters will be discussing the motives of voters, why the Leave side won, who voted what way and for what reason...and what lessons can be learned.
 

Casualbets

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You might be right but on the other hand, the higher the % of an age group that voted, the greater the % that voted leave. It has already been said that the leave voters were much more vehement about voting and the remain too confident that things wouldn't change.
If all that is true and you assume that a higher % of those who voted for leave voted, then if the Brits (Aussie style) forced everyone to vote you might have had a very different outcome.
Yep. And it did show in the polls that LEAVE voters were more committed (although generally speaking the margin wasn't huge). But as I said - if turnout amongst 18-34 year olds was really in the low 60s - if the 18-34 year olds had voted at the same level as 65+ year olds, it would have been closer but wouldn't have been sufficient.

While it is true that less young people voted, it is also true that less working-class people voted - so (theoretical) mandatory voting mightn't necessarily have been skewed that much towards the Remain side.
 

Casualbets

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Depending on whose feeds you get to see in Facebook of course but there seemed to be a lot of comments about the uneducated and the poor voting out and it was said as a slur.

Remain clearly has as many asholes on its side as the leave campaign. They just think they are a better caliber of human.
Yep. And an Op-Ed in the Financial Times fell just short of calling for Thickness Tests in Polling Stations.
 

RasherHash

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What is "anti-democratic" about analysing why voters voted the way they did?

We do it all the time after general elections.

Nor do we consider it "anti-democratic" to criticise the choices made by voters.

We pour scorn on a regular basis on Enda and Joan Burton and the "morons" who voted for them etc

On a political discussion site, just after this game-changing referendum, of course posters will be discussing the motives of voters, why the Leave side won, who voted what way and for what reason...and what lessons can be learned.
I don't think that's what is happening here, the Remainers are trying to make a virtue of the minor fact that a certain demographic mostly voted for Remain, but it's really an ageist point.
 

Prester Jim

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Yep. And it did show in the polls that LEAVE voters were more committed (although generally speaking the margin wasn't huge). But as I said - if turnout amongst 18-34 year olds was really in the low 60s - if the 18-34 year olds had voted at the same level as 65+ year olds, it would have been closer but wouldn't have been sufficient.

While it is true that less young people voted, it is also true that less working-class people voted - so (theoretical) mandatory voting mightn't necessarily have been skewed that much towards the Remain side.
Fair enough, all speculation of course but I wonder what % difference the purely protest vote made to the end result, an awful lot of anecdotal evidence now that there was a large cohort of people who wouldn't have voted for Brexit if they thought they would get a Brexit.
All in all I think that a rerun might well turn out different, especially now that people have seen the actual instability that resulted, give it a few more months...
 


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