Drinking alone: local socio-cultural degradation and radical right support – the case of British pub closures

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

August 15, 2021


Little is known about how local context influences radical right voting. This paper advances the theory that the degradation of local socio-cultural hubs is linked to radical right support by contributing to loss of community and cultural identity. I examine this thesis by exploiting an original dataset on British community pub closures. I argue that the disappearance of community pubs triggers social isolation and signals the decline of the British working class condition, which is associated with UKIP support. Combining district-level data with UK panel data (2013–2016), I show that individuals living in districts that experience one additional community pub closure (relative to the total number of pubs per district) are more likely to support UKIP than any other party by 4.3 percentage points. The effect is magnified under conditions of material deprivation. This paper highlights the significance of local socio-cultural degradation as a mechanism to explain radical right support.

Published in

Comparative Political Studies

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 54 , p.1 -1








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