1. Exquisite Tweets from @drjennings

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    After the whole kerfuffle over Andrew Marr's post-referendum comments, I went back and re-read a couple of the most prominent (academic) studies of the vote (notably the @sarahobolt article in @jepp_journal and the Clarke, Goodwin & Whiteley book)...

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    Will Jennings

    Most striking to me now is the emphasis on the multifaceted forces shaping the Brexit vote.

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    Will Jennings

    Sara highlights the 'funnel of causality' linking socio-demographics, identities, attitudes and vote choice. Harold et al. note "The narrow Brexit decision voters made on 23 June thus reflected a a complex, cross-cutting mix of calculations, emotions and cues".

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    Will Jennings

    In the latter study, the 'economy-international' predictor used has *the strongest effect* on the probability of voting Leave (though the immigration-terrorism predictor also has a substantial effect). The perceived risk of leaving and leader ratings mattered too.

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    Will Jennings

    Given the popular accounts of the Brexit vote that have dominated since, it feels like a lot of the nuance and care of analysis has been lost. Immigration and (English) identity certainly mattered, but these were far from the only factors.

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    Will Jennings

    So why have simplistic accounts come to dominate? It is difficult to be sure but it is perhaps some time for some reflection on how quite a complicated vote calculus has been reduced to a simple tale of the will of the people expressing a clear, homogeneous view.

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    Will Jennings

    The significance of this all is that claims to a clear, simple, unifying mandate delivered by the referendum are (sadly) completely bogus. The negotiating 'red lines' are a political construction.

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    Will Jennings

    Relying on poll cross-tabs on single questions to deduce the electorate's intent on June 23rd is a charade.

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    Will Jennings

    The essence of politics is, to steal from @ProfStoker, "about choosing between competing interests and views often demanding incompatible allocations of limited resources". Our approach to Brexit should have been about resolving the tensions and contradictions in the vote.

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    drjennings

    Will Jennings

    Ironically, 'Brexit means Brexit' captures this inherent contestability. The vote did not express a single collective will but many views and interests. British politics since has been about a retrospective attempt to construct the political meaning of the referendum.

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    drjennings

    Will Jennings

    Which rather brings to mind Humpty Dumpty: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

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    Will Jennings