September 16, 2019

AT THE eND OF hISTORY, THERE ARE NO POLICY DIFFERENCES...:

Under the Leave and Remain tags, the evidence shows we all want similar things (Bobby Duffy, 9/16/19, Politics UK)

A 2018 review article found that these new Brexit identities now often supersede party identities that have been established for decades. For example, a majority of both Leavers and Remainers describe the other side as 'hypocritical', 'selfish' and 'closed-minded'. And this also translates to social interactions: just half of the population are now willing to talk politics with supporters of the other side of the Brexit vote, and only one in three would be happy with their child marrying someone from the other side.

But the extent to which we've become polarised on concrete issues is far less clear - and significantly under-researched, given the prevalence of the 'divided Britain' narrative. What is clear is that the electorate aren't split into simple, coherent opposing blocs: Leave and Remain identities represent coalitions of people with highly diverse views, just as party identities do.

Recent research has shown how Leave supporters are split roughly into thirds, between those who believe the UK should 'open itself up' to the rest of the world post-Brexit, those who think we should 'protect ourselves' from the rest of the world, and those in the middle. These are very distinct views of what Brexit is for and what it will achieve.

Similarly, on the Remain side, only half say they actively identify with Europe, with the other half more pragmatic and instrumental in their reasons for supporting Remain.

It's also the case that there are many aspects of attitudes and identity in the UK that are converging rather than polarising, such as views on gender equality, same-sex relationships and racial prejudice. There is also significant consensus on what government should be focusing on, with funding for health and social care and lifting families out of poverty key priorities for the public, regardless of party allegiances or Brexit preferences. And despite what we might think from the daily combative headlines, trust in other people is going up, not down.

...so we have to substitute mere partisan affiliations.

Posted by at September 16, 2019 12:00 AM

  

« DID NO ONE WATCH THE WIRE?: | Main | ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE: »