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Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union


About the Book

In June 2016, the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. As this book reveals, the historic vote for Brexit marked the culmination of trends in domestic politics and in the UK’s relationship with the EU that have been building over many years. Drawing on a wealth of survey evidence collected over more than ten years, this book explains why most people decided to ignore much of the national and international community and vote for Brexit. Drawing on past research on voting in major referendums in Europe and elsewhere, a team of leading academic experts analyse changes in the UK’s party system that were catalysts for the referendum vote, including the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), the dynamics of public opinion during an unforgettable and divisive referendum campaign, the factors that influenced how people voted and the likely economic and political impact of this historic decision.

Key Features

A comprehensive study of Brexit, accessible to general readers, students and academics, combining theoretical and methodological rigour with clear storytelling

A balanced critique of existing post-referendum commentaries which challenges the stereotypes which emerged during the referendum campaign from both sides

Combines the investigation of key factors which produced the Brexit vote with analyses of how these factors evolved in the months and years before the referendum

 Meet the Authors

  • Harold D. Clarke, University of Texas, Dallas

    Harold D. Clarke is Ashbel Smith Professor at the University of Texas, Dallas. He is the author of Austerity and Political Choice in Britain (2015) and Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain (Cambridge, 2013).

    Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent, Canterbury

    Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Kent and Senior Visiting Fellow at Chatham House, London. He is the author of four books, including Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain (2014) which was awarded the Paddy Power Political Book of the Year 2015. In early 2016 he authored a report that predicted Brexit.

    Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

    Paul Whiteley is a Professor of Government at the University of Essex and is currently the director for the Centre for the Study of Integrity at the University of Essex. He is the author of eighteen academic books including studies of electoral behaviour, party members and citizenship in Britain.

    Also by the Authors:

    Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain, ISBN: 9781107641167

Citizens and Community, ISBN:9780521208321

Performance Politics and the British Voter, ISBN: 9780521697286

Citizenship in Britain, ISBN: 9780521534642



Brexit Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union Authors: Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin, and Paul Whiteley, University of Essex Publication: April 2017 ISBN: PB 9781316605042 Price: £15.99 / $19.99

Content Listing:

1. Brexit introduced 2. Campaign prologue 3. Into battle 4. Attitudes to Brexit over time 5. The people's army 6. The rise of UKIP 7. Voting to leave 8. The consequences of Brexit 9. Beyond Brexit.


Darwin College Lecture Series 


March 16th-18th – University of Pittsburgh, European Studies Center

May 4th – Launch Event with The UK in a Changing Europe, King’s College

May 10th – Event at Centre for European Reform


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