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.