Three shocking facts about Brexit referendum

June 28, 2016

Comments and considerations have followed Brexit's results. And many others will come, as it should be.



Since last Thursday's night, many things happened... the pound is free falling, PM David Cameron has resigned and Scotland is opting ways in order to remain in the EU, at the expenses of UK.


However, above all, the following three facts left me deeply impressed with respect to all others.



1) "Excuse me Sir, what is the EU?"


Apparently everyone in the UK was aware of the referendum (turnout 72.2%, source: Telegraph), but not the same can be said about the theme under scrutiny.

Although knowing what the EU is it's not rocket science, many in UK have no idea about that.

Personally, I think this is a failure for mass media, government and education system. I only hope those questions do not come from people who voted...



2) Young people have basically skipped the vote


Despite young people's votes were mainly oriented towards Remain, media omitted to stress the fact that around 2/3 of them haven't voted at the referendum... That's for sure one of the keys to understand the success of Leave.


Why so many young UK citizens haven't voted? And, on the other hand, why participation is positively correleted with age?

While we wait for a sociological explanation, it is implicitly confirmed the need for self-awareness of young generations on the importance of the European project.




3) When actually people decided how to vote


This is probably the least discussed fact of the three, but it is for me fundamental to understand why polls on intenction to vote have been fluctuating so much during the last months and weeks.





The large majority of people who went to vote was undecided - on both sides - and some were in this condition until the very last day: the 25% of all pro-Remain voters and 22% of all pro-Leave ones decided how to vote in the last week, and a shocking 10% of electorate actually decided it just during the voting day!

A personal thought
Considering such an indecision, I was wondering how different polls - suggesting 50-50 - could have influenced those undecided voters. As we know, turnout was expected around 80%. Probably, polls suggesting Remain arising in the last days, have discouraged part of the people having right to vote to go to polling stations. This could explain the gap between voting intention polls (52%-48%) and actual results.

Davide Zilli










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