One narrative that is emerging to explain the outcome of the EU Referendum hinges on the claim that the Labour Party did not deliver the vote in its traditional northern heartlands. Or rather, Corbyn did not deliver because his brand of metropolitan socialism did not resonate with the concerns of traditional, socially conservative labour voters, in particular around the impact of largescale immigration from the EU on their communities.
And younger city dwellers who are fast becoming the natural demographic for Corbyn supporters are alleged to have failed to vote in sufficient numbers. According to a tweet by Sky Data that quickly gained acceptance on social media only 36% of 18 – 24 year olds voted. Writing in The New Statesman, Barbara Speed was not convinced.
Sky isn’t claiming this is collected data – it’s projected, and a subsequent tweet said it was based on “9+/10 certainty to vote, usually/always votes, voted/ineligible at GE2015”. I’ve asked for more information on what this means, but for now it’s enough to say it’s nothing more than a guess.
On Sunday the Observer provided some more reliable data from Opinium, the polling agency that came closest to predicting the outcome of the EU Referendum.
OPINIUM Poll published on June 22nd
According to the Observer, Opinium pollsters, working for the LSE after the referendum
found turnout among young people to be far higher than data has so far suggested. “Young people cared and voted in very large numbers. We found turnout was very close to the national average, and much higher than in general and local elections.
“After correcting for over-reporting [people always say they vote more than they do], we found that the likely turnout of 18- to 24-year-olds was 70% – just 2.5% below the national average – and 67% for 25- to 29-year-olds.
The original Opinium poll published on the eve of the referendum also demonstrated the extent of the split in the Labour and Conservative parties. And the split was more pronounced for the Tories.
The figures suggest that the Labour vote for Remain held even in the North, where their core vote was already under pressure from UKIP. This is borne out by post a Referendum poll by Lord Ashcroft.
|Remain %||Leave %|
Source: Ashcroft polls Get the data
TO SUM UP
The Tories, not Labour promised a referendum on Europe.
The Tories, not Labour negotiated the new terms to keep Britain the EU.
The majority of Tory voters voted to leave.
The majority of Labour voters voted to remain.
But it is Labour, not the Tories who are to blame because they did not deliver a big enough vote for Remain. The Parliamentary Labour Party have accepted this and decided that they are going to blame Jeremy Corbyn. That is the justification for their leadership coup. There may be good political reasons to question Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. But the Referendum Campaign is not one of them.