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Understanding Brexit: the latest research on the EU referendum


Eighteen months on from the EU referendum, are we any nearer to understanding why people voted the way they did or what factors influenced voting behaviour?

New data from Understanding Society, the UK Household Panel Study, have been released on political attitudes, engagement with political issues and Brexit voting behaviour to enable early analysis on the pressing issues surrounding Brexit.

The initial findings and working papers will be shared at a discussion event at Church House, Westminster, London on Thursday, 7 December 2017 from 4pm to 7pm, where a panel of guest commentators will also share their insights on what the EU referendum says about the UK today.

This event will be chaired by Professor Paul Whiteley, Department of Government, University of Essex.


15.30 - 16.00 Registration and refreshments

16.00 - 16.10 Welcome and Introduction - Professor Michaela Benzeval, Director of Understanding Society, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex

16.10 - 16.20 How can understanding the results of the EU referendum help us to move forward? Professor Paul Whiteley, Department of Government, University of Essex

16.20 - 17.00 Summary of research findings from Understanding Society (and introduction to research teams)

  • Economic drivers of the EU referendum vote choice
  • The role of diversity and immigration in the context of the EU referendum
  • The role of social, political and cultural identities for attitudes towards Brexit
  • The role of family in the context of the EU referendum
  • What can levels of wellbeing tell us about the result of the referendum?

17.00 - 17.30 Experts’ comments

Professor John Curtice, University of Strathclyde

Jill Rutter, Institute for Government

17.30 - 18.15 General discussion/ Q & A session

18.15 - 18.25 Implications of the research findings for public and policy debates - closing remarks from the chair

18.25 - 19.00 Drinks reception

Register to attend this via eventbrite

Image credit: Anthony Cullen