Brexit: Anti-immigrant prejudice and voting patterns

For nearly two decades’ various reports have been discussed the links between race and segregation, and mostly simply blame BME communities, without examining the historical relationships between race, politics, housing markets and wealth. Last years Casey review on integration continued this focus simply blaming BME, and Muslim communities in particular. However, there is a reverse side to this story which rarely gets a mention. White populations in towns and cities are dwindling at record levels, and some cases have halved in a decade. Whether this is simply due to ‘white flight’ or people buying bigger houses in suburban areas has now really been researched well. However, we can tell from voting patterns that its these areas, predominantly white, that they are mostly likely to show sympathy for UKIP, and therefore mostly voted ‘Leave’ during last years’ referendum. Was this due to prejudice? Well, a new report seems to think so.

The report empirically tested this claim and found a link between voting intentions and prejudice. It noted that if more immigrants lived in an area, the less likely its community would vote for leaving the EU. Existing research suggests that living alongside and engaging in frequent positive interactions with members of different cultural groups generally makes people more accepting towards them. The researchers in this study suggest it is likely that individuals who come into contact with immigrants more often were actually those most likely to favour Remain.

The Brexit campaigner’s relentless rhetoric about taking back control of the borders fuelled racism and prejudice, and the reports of xenophobia and racism after the polls ended, the firebombing of a halal butchers in Walsall, graffiti on a Polish community centre in London and laminated cards reading: “No more Polish vermin” apparently posted through letterboxes in Huntingdon, have left a mark which needs to be addressed, this report suggest one way.

Read more here or Read the full report HERE




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