Wrong on voting demographics

Readers' letters | Published:

I respond to purely factual issues in the letters from B Clark and Roland Twynam (20 Feb).

What will the future look like after Brexit?

Clark draws a false distinction between Anna Soubry and Theresa May.

Both women have in fact taken lines on Brexit opposite to the views of their constituents.

May’s constituency of Maidenhead voted remain.

Specifically responding to an earlier letter of mine, Roland Twynam falls into some basic errors about demographics.

High education and high earnings don’t necessarily go together.

I believe there is some evidence, in fact, that those most unhappy about the Brexit result are those graduates who work in modestly remunerated jobs in Brexit-voting areas (e.g. teachers).

Again, Twynam’s notion that highly educated people are not affected by immigration – his terminology, not mine – doesn’t stand examination.

It would be difficult to imagine an occupational group more highly educated and more likely to have voted remain than university lecturers – Ph.D. as entry qualification and about 80 percent remain vote.


They are also among the workers most likely to have colleagues from other EU countries.

About 15 percent of academic staff, rising to more than 20 percent in more prestigious institutions, are from other EU countries.

Cambridge stood out as one of the few areas in East Anglia to have voted remain, and its Markets ward was actually the council ward with the highest remain vote in the country.

I believe that about half of its university’s academics are British, with roughly a quarter each from the rest of the EU and the rest of the world. Hardly insulated from immigration!


As for the Labour Party and Corbyn, our dilemma is that Labour voters were also predominantly remain voters, but that many Labour seats are held against a divided opposition, where (as in my own constituency of Walsall North) a collapsing UKIP vote could deliver victory to the Tories.

Corbyn has so far handled fairly adroitly the lousy hand he has been dealt.

It remains to be seen whether he can continue to do so.

Alan T Harrison



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