D&E Seminar with Chris Prosser: ‘What we talk about when we talk about Leave: Using open-ended survey questions to understand Brexit
|Starts:||15:30 1 May 2019|
|Ends:||17:00 1 May 2019|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
Dr Chris Prosser is a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, working on the British Election Study.
In the aftermath of the 2016 EU Referendum, there has been much discussion – by academics, the media, and politicians – about why people voted the way they did. One voice has been absent from this conversation: the voters themselves. I aim to correct this omission by examining how voters understood their own vote choice at the referendum, using responses to open-ended questions fielded as part of the British Election Study internet panel in the run up to the referendum. I analyse these responses – which together make up more than 240,000 words – using a combination of Structural Topic Models and dictionary-aided text analysis. By examining what issues voters cared about, and how these issued varied between people, I show that voters on both sides of the referendum cared about a variety of things, suggesting single issue explanations for Brexit are inadequate, and consequently any withdrawal agreement is likely to leave many voters unsatisfied. By examining how voters talked about their referendum vote, I also show that the Leave and Remain vote tapped into fundamentally different moral intuitions, something that helps explain the mutual bafflement about the other sides motivates, and the ensuing affective polarisation that has occurred in the fallout from the referendum.
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