Facts support MP’s claim that better-educated voted remain – pollster

30 Oct

One of Britain’s most respected pollsters has defended a Labour MP facing criticism for pointing out that better-educated people tended to vote to remain in the European Union during the referendum.

Barry Sherman, a former chair of the education select committee, prompted gasps of disapproval from Tory MP Stuart Andrew during a TV discussion when he said most of the people who voted remain were better educated.

Appearing on BBC One’s Sunday Politics programme in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region, Sheerman denied accusations, later echoed by rightwing commentators, that he was suggesting that those who voted to leave the EU were “thick”.

Iain Dale
(@IainDale)

Are you a Labour voter who voted Leave? Labour MP @BarrySheerman thinks you’re a bit thick. Watch this. Fatuous elitist onanist. https://t.co/Q4wiMVm5Or


October 28, 2017

He said: “When you look at the people who voted remain, most of them were the better educated people in our country. Nearly all the university towns voted remain.”

BBC Look North (Yks)
(@BBCLookNorth)

On this week’s Sunday Politics with @IredalePolitics and @BBCSarahSmith we look again at Brexit. https://t.co/yhYrx1rtXF #BBCSP pic.twitter.com/vRmsBBe93c


October 29, 2017

Andrew accused Sheerman of snobbery.

But Peter Kellner, the former president of the YouGov polling firm, said Sheerman was factually correct.

“I would not use Barry Sheerman’s choice of words but the facts are broadly on his side,” Kellner told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday.

“Overall, people who left school at 15 or 16 voted around two to one for Brexit. [For] people who got up to A-level or equivalent qualification [it was] 50:50. Graduates voted two to one to remain in the EU. So yes, there is quite a clear educational gradient in the way people voted in last year’s referendum.”

Kellner pointed out that a similar education divide was seen in June’s general election.

“People who were for Brexit tended to move to the Conservatives. People who were remain tended to move towards Labour. So because of this educational connection it means there was quite a big swing to Labour amongst graduates. And quite a big swing to the Conservatives amongst people who left school at 15 or 16.”

Kellner added: “If you look at the handful of seats that Labour lost in the Midlands and north to the Conservatives, they tended to have fewer graduates. You look at the seats where Labour did particularly well, in London and the university towns, they tend to have more graduates …

“There is a shadow from the referendum which affects politics and parliament to this day.”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply