From Hamp­stead to Hull:

Im­pli­ca­tions of Brexit and other over­seas vot­ing trends for the ALP


The Aus­tralian polity has gorged it­self on the spec­ta­cles of Trump­ism and Brexit in re­cent years, yet both of these present in­struc­tive lessons for the Aus­tralian La­bor Party, if they are open to learn­ing them.

To un­der­stand why Brexit hap­pened, it is im­por­tant to first look at the de­mo­graph­ics of those places in which peo­ple voted dif­fer­ently from their nor­mal party po­lit­i­cal al­le­giance. The BBC re­sults maps, on the page fac­ing, in­di­cate how the coun­try voted in the 2015 and 2017 Gen­eral Elec­tions, as well as the 2016 na­tional ref­er­en­dum on whether Bri­tain should leave the Euro­pean Union (EU).

What is clear is that the ref­er­en­dum re­sults do not fall cleanly along po­lit­i­cal lines. Some Con­ser­va­tive Party seats in the south of Eng­land, es­pe­cially in and around Lon­don, voted to re­main in the EU; while some Labour Party seats in the north of Eng­land voted to leave.

There are large spat­ter­ings of red (Labour Party) rather than blue (Con­ser­va­tive Party) in the north and north-east of Eng­land and in South Wales in the 2015 elec­tion re­sults map1; and even more so in the 2017 na­tional elec­tion re­sults map2. There are fewer cor­re­spond­ing patches of the gold colour (which sig­ni­fies a Re­main vote) break­ing up the dom­i­nant blue (which sig­ni­fies a Leave vote) in the map of the 2016 EU Ref­er­en­dum re­sult.


A cru­cial fact in ex­plain­ing Brexit is that many work­ing-class Labour vot­ers in the south of Wales and the north of Eng­land – such as in Sun­der­land, Sh­effield, and Birm­ing­ham – added

This ar­ti­cle has been peer-re­viewed prior to pub­li­ca­tion.

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