Towards a More Polarised Britain?
In this chapter, I explore how patterns of political competition in Britain changed after the 2016 vote to leave the EU by comparing the ideological profiles of party voters in 2017 with those of party voters in 2015. The aim is to see whether party voters became more polarised after the EU referendum and, if so, along which dimension polarisation occurred. I go on to investigate whether the electorate as a whole became more polarised with respect to each dimension. I find that while groups of party voters became more polarised with respect to one another along the cultural dimension between 2015 and 2017, overall polarisation of the electorate as a whole, insofar as it occurred, was much more gradual. Another finding is that in Scotland the issue of independence became framed as an economic left–right issue after the 2014 independence referendum.
KeywordsPolarisation Immigration Scottish independence referendum Vote choice
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