Sunday, 26 June 2016

What Leave Voters REALLY Think

It's a given that the Independent Online is total garbage, but I've seen a lot of people sharing this graphic and I think it needs to be corrected for the sake of public information.

The graphic, originally taken from this Lord Ashcroft post, was posted and shared under the title 'What Brexit Voters Really Think', and purports to show the attitudes of leave voters, but it is extremely misleading. It displays, for example, the voting patterns of people who think the internet is bad. This is not an especially useful statistic, far more important is the actual opinions of people voted leave versus those who voted remain. We care a lot less about the views of people who hate the internet than the views of brexit voters.
  The biggest problem here is that the number of people who think that the internet is a bad thing is very small. Only 5% of survey respondents thought this, and 71% of these voted leave. The graphic presents the data as if people who disliked this internet were a large part of the leave vote, and I have seen many people across social media interpreting it this way. This is completely untrue. Overall, 71% of leave voters think the internet is good, and 7% think it is bad, compared to 80% and 3% for remain voters, a very minor difference.


I've taken the data from from the original Ashcroft poll here, and plotted it to show the reality of what the voters from both sides think, and it is still interesting*. Opinions on capitalism don't vary much between camps, furthering the idea that the referendum didn't cut across traditional political lines. Views of the internet are also not very different between groups, everyone likes it. Leave voters don't even seem to hate globalisation that much, though they're more against it than the remainers. The biggest differences, perhaps predictably, are on immigration and multiculturalism, which may pose a problem for those on the winning team who are now trying to claim the referendum wasn't about this...

*Numbers don't add up to 100%, as some people were neutral or didn't know.


  1. Great insight - thank you.

    Still weird to think that any majority segment of the leave coalition in the referendum can drive government policy on other issues in which they are in the minority of the electorate. We weren't electing a government.

    But even that still leaves a majority of the electorate wanting more limits on immigration.