Don’t mention this around the Christmas table: Brexit, inequality and the demographic divide
Brexit voting patterns appear to divide along the lines of age (above all else), then by social attitudes, and then by education, with older, socially conservative and less well-educated voters more likely to vote to leave the EU than younger, socially liberal and more educated voters.
However, a large proportion of votes to leave the EU might be understood to be a visceral reaction from those who have felt increasingly powerless as a result of globalisation, widening economic inequalities and a failure of successive UK government administrations to redistribute income and wealth more equitably for more than thirty, almost forty, years.
This is a reaction that it is easier to have if you are old enough to remember more equitable times, when it was possible to find a home and start a family in your twenties or early thirties and when full employment was a reality.
Since the early 1990s fewer younger adults have voted in UK general elections. That trend coincided with the rise of individualism among the young as they were taught more and more that their futures depended on their own individual efforts. We should not have been surprised that fewer younger than older people voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK.