Monday, 27 August 2018

Brexit Britain : a country for old men, not the young

The BBC recently commissioned research from Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University to examine :

He found that if there were to be a second referendum now, an average of polls over the past three months suggests that overall, 52% would vote Remain and 48% Leave. So, it is a stable picture, albeit one that reverses the position in 2016.

What is more interesting is the sharper division which now exists between the young and the old. At the time of the Referendum just over 70% of 18 to 24-year-olds who voted in the referendum backed Remain, with just under 30% backing Leave. In contrast, only 40% of those aged 65 and over supported Remain, while 60% placed their cross against Leave.

Now a total of 82% of 18 to 24-year-olds with a voting preference say they would vote Remain in a second referendum, while only 18% of this age group say they would vote Leave. At the same time, two-thirds of those aged 65 and over would back Leave, while only one-third would favour Remain.

There are also stark divisions over the question of a second referendum. Asked whether there should be a referendum on whether to accept the terms of Britain's exit from the EU once they have been agreed ? about half of 18 to 24 year-olds say they are in favour of another poll. While only three in ten of those aged 65 and over hold that view.

However, only half of 18 to 24-year-olds said that they would be certain to vote in a second EU referendum against 84% of those aged 65 and over. Which means that if there were another ballot, it is far from certain that young people would necessarily take the opportunity to register their distinctive views.

In addition, there were also sharp divisions over :

With regard to priorities. 50% of the young thought that the main priority should be to stay in the single market and when it comes to the economy, 54% of 18 to 34-year-olds disagreed with the statement 'Britain will be economically better off post-Brexit' and half that number, 27%, thought the country would be better off.

By contrast, the old placed the biggest emphasis on the ending of the free movement of labour. In fact on the question of immigration, 61% of those aged 18 to 34 think that immigration enriches Britain's cultural life.

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