Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Advanced Search

Taking back control?: investigating the role of immigration in the 2016 vote for Brexit

Goodwin, Matthew; Milazzo, Caitlin

Authors

Matthew Goodwin

Caitlin Milazzo



Abstract

The 2016 referendum marked a watershed moment in the history of the United Kingdom. The public vote to leave the EU –for a Brexit’- brought an end to the country’s membership of the European Union (EU) and set it on a fundamentally different course. Recent academic research on the vote for Brexit points to the importance of immigration as a key driver, although how immigration influenced the vote remains unclear. In this article, we draw on aggregate level data and individual-level survey data from the British Election Study (BES) to explore how immigration shaped public support for Brexit. Our findings suggest that, specifically, increases in the rate of immigration at the local level and sentiments regarding control over immigration were key predictors of the vote for Brexit, even after accounting for factors stressed by established theories of Eurosceptic voting. Our findings suggest that a large reservoir of support for leaving the EU, and perhaps anti-immigration populism more widely, will remain in Britain, so long as immigration remains a salient issue.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Print ISSN 1369-1481
Electronic ISSN 1467-856X
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Goodwin, M., & Milazzo, C. (in press). Taking back control?: investigating the role of immigration in the 2016 vote for Brexit. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 19(3), doi:10.1177/1369148117710799
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117710799
Keywords European Union, Euroscepticism, immigration, Brexit, referendum, voting
Publisher URL http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1369148117710799
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

Files

Taking Back Control FINAL SUBMISSION 28 April 2017.pdf (398 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





You might also like



Downloadable Citations

;