Brexit was "a cry of financial pain", rather than general unhappiness with country, study claims

Catherine Neilan
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People's feelings about their own wallet was a principle factor in the Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

The Brexit vote was "a cry of financial pain”, which had little to do with age, race or social class, a new study claims.

Researchers from the University of Warwick argue that many popular theories about why the country voted to leave the EU are wrong. They claim it was triggered by people’s feelings about their own finances, but not "generalised unhappiness in the country".

Based on a survey of 8,000 people, the researchers found that there was little difference in the voting views of 35 year-olds, 55 year-olds and 75 year-olds. "Only the very young were heavily Remain," the university said.

Read more: Two in five Leavers would sacrifice own job for Brexit

The study also said there were no major voting differences between white Brits and other citizens, and no statistically significant impact from being unemployed, married, having children, or living in a rural area.

The key predictor of someone’s Brexit vote was their deep-down feelings about their own finances - whether they felt they were managing comfortably, getting by or being in difficulty. Education also played a factor, with university educated people 16 per cent more likely to vote Remain, while women had a "mild" preference for staying in the EU (six per cent).

Read more: One in four Brexit voters think they were duped by the Leave campaign

Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economic (CAGE), one of the study’s authors, said: “People’s feelings - about how their own wallet had been performing - determined how they voted. I am not sure Brexit was greatly about principle. It was more a cry of financial pain.”

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