Britain After Brexit: A Nation Divided

Issue Date January 2017
Volume 28
Issue 1
Page Numbers 17-30
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On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted by a 52 to 48 margin to leave the European Union. The result of the EU referendum was the latest and most dramatic expression of long-term social changes that have been silently reshaping public opinion, political behavior, and party competition in Britain and Western democracies. In this essay, we consider the underlying social and attitudinal shifts that made “Brexit” and the rise to prominence of the populist, right-wing U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) possible. Finally, we consider what these momentous developments reveal about the state of British politics and society.

About the Authors

Robert Ford

Robert Ford is professor of political science at the University of Manchester.

View all work by Robert Ford

Matthew Goodwin

Matthew Goodwin is professor of politics at the University of Kent and senior visiting fellow at Chatham House. He is coauthor (with Robert Ford) of Revolt of the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain (2014).

View all work by Matthew Goodwin