Dyson College, Sociology/Anthropology

Advisor: Professor Claire Panetta

Document Type



The Brexit referendum marked the first time in the United Kingdom when political lines were drawn along distinct generational lines. In 2016, 73% of young people, aged 18-24, and less than 40% of older voters, aged 65 and over, voted to Remain. In comparison, over 60% of older voters and only 27% of young voters voted to Leave (Fig. 1). Voters aged 25 to 64 remained fairly split between two options, but the difference between older and younger generations is incredibly significant (Kelly 2016). Voter differences have historically been between socioeconomic classes; the urban and the rural, the wealthy and the poor, the educated and the uneducated; however, the Brexit vote reveals a strong difference in values and beliefs between young voters and older voters, with older voters holding most of the power.