Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Left out of the Left Behind? Ethnic minority support for Brexit

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Day:Wed 3 Jul
  • Nicole Martin, University of Manchester

This paper considers ethnic minority support for Brexit. We argue that accounts of ‘left behind’, losers of globalization, or relatively deprived  working class support for leaving the European Union do not consider that many people of this description are not white, but from one of the established ethnic minority groups in the UK. We use data from a probability sample of the UK’s population to establish and explain levels of support for Brexit among different ethnic groups. We show that socio-economic indicators of disadvantage (education, class),and subjective financial situation are much less correlated with support for Leave among ethnic minorities as compared to the white British. Ethnic minorities are more supportive of Remain when compared with white Britons and partisanship does not explain this difference. This article contributes to the literature on Euroscepticism in Britain, and to our understanding of the concept of left behind that has in its different guises been used internationally to explain recent political developments.