18 thoughts on “Are Brexit voters really less intelligent than Remainers?”

  1. Posted 01/11/2017 at 15:43 | Permalink

    Nice job, Madeline.

    Indeed, Huddersfield University converted from being a polytechnic in the same year as Wolverhampton Polytechnic became Wolverhampton University.

    I have often worked with people who I had assumed had gone to university, on account of them being obviously intelligent, only to find out later that they hadn’t. It is easy to forget that when I went, less than 10% of the population did. There were plenty of bright people in those days who didn’t go, just because there wasn’t the same expectation. Similarly, many of the polytechnics in those days were of equivalent (or higher than) university standards now.

  2. Posted 02/11/2017 at 13:10 | Permalink

    Even if you were to take being at a university as a proxy for intelligence, the assumption that this intelligence was applied to the problem of understanding the arguments on Brexit is wishful thinking. I annoyed many of my academic colleagues by asking them if they had read the Five Presidents’ Report and suggesting to them that if they hadn’t then they didn’t really know what they were voting for.

  3. Posted 02/11/2017 at 17:07 | Permalink

    I was expecting to get to some numbers in this piece, but there weren’t any, so I went out and found this:


    It suggests that the association of Voting Remain with level of education really isn’t just an artifact of the correlation with age in the way here proposed (subject to the caveats on the ecological fallacy included there by the Stats Guy).

  4. Posted 03/11/2017 at 16:06 | Permalink

    leavers have neen accused by our super duper high IQ brilliant intelligentsia as racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, stupid, populist, uneducated, influenced by the Russians, Flat earthers inward looking, small minded xenophobes. Finally a research carried out by the LSE concluded Leavers didn’t change their knickers every day like Remainers did.
    Uni students have been bullied, and fear rejection because they voted to leave. People like AC Graylng, Brian Cox, Actors, Writers, Citizens of nowhere, Clarke, Clegg, Hestletine, Branson, Blair, Miller, Obams, now the Clintons, and many more including the BBC are all guilty of this abuse of the people who voted to leave the EU. Their intervention is intended to undermine democracy in this country. If these are the so called intelligentsia then we are seriously in a sorry state and so are our Universities. Our children have been brainwashed to believe that being in the EU means being European. They haven’t had it explained to them that the EU is a political construct and therefore not Europe.
    These people lack judgement, wisdom, clarity of mind, and basic intelligence. On the one hand we are accused of being extremely right wing and on the other influenced by Russia.
    They are angry because they were so complacent and didn’t have a clue what was happening outside their tiny little self congratulatory bubble. Is that a sign of perception and intelligence. I put it to them that they must have been blind not to have realised that these stupid people could not be bought by remain lies and intimidation and were intelligent enough to realise just what the EU actually means. The fact that our intelligentsia want to be part of a supranational state with all that that entails just shows how out of touch they are.
    Another thing, if they are so intelligent why do they not correlate vast immigration with pressure on schools, housing and the NHS. Wasn’t that a problem which would have been put in a mathematics lesson in Junior school?
    Their ignorance only means one thing and that is that one way or another leaving the EU will affect them personally. Losing vast pensions, freedom to swan around Europe, or worried about their EU investments.
    It’s about time they shut up and put up and used their so called intellect.
    Being an intellectual doesn’t necessarily mean you are intelligent.
    In addition isn’t this treasonable behaviour.

  5. Posted 03/11/2017 at 17:00 | Permalink

    I would assume many people voted the way they did for personal and perhaps selfish reasons. I imagine one reason for voting to remain might be because you felt you might benefit or have benefitted from free movement of labour. Such people are more likely to have better academic qualifications. Those people who have not benefitted and might indeed have suffered from free movement would be more likely to have fewer qualifications and might vote to leave. In both cases people are voting according to their own circumstances. Nothing to do with intelligence, merely self interest.

  6. Posted 03/11/2017 at 18:34 | Permalink

    Another point that has been missed – stats often appear to prove one thing while in fact are proving another: if university educated people, by and large, earn more and are therefore richer than others, as is often stated, they are more likely to travel, have holiday homes in Europe, go skiing, etc. They therefore would vote in their own self interest and not in the interest of the “common people”. Richer=self interest = Remain. Whereas the “average” Leave voter is aware of what is happening at the front line because it is happening to them, and suffering from it in a way that the richer are protected from by their money.

  7. Posted 03/11/2017 at 19:55 | Permalink

    Fantastic article.
    Well written and exactly right.

  8. Posted 03/11/2017 at 20:48 | Permalink

    You realise your first sentence starts with an inaccuracy right? 52% of those who voted, voted to leave, that doesn’t equate to 52% of the population or indeed 52% of the electorate.
    It’s fine to argue one way or another on the issue at hand; I would find it difficult to believe that 17.4m people were lacking in intelligence or conversely that 16.1m were all above average in intelligence, so for me the intelligence argument holds little weight.
    However starting off with an error does little to aid your article’s credibility.

  9. Posted 03/11/2017 at 21:02 | Permalink

    I see you failed to post my comment but instead simply the corrected the statistic at the beginning which initially read “52% of Britons” without acknowledgement of the mistake or crediting the correction.
    I assume you won’t post this either, that’s fine though I’m always willing to help out the less gifted.

  10. Posted 04/11/2017 at 10:53 | Permalink

    Nmnt we all knew the article was talking about those who voted, they are the ones who count not those who couldn’t be bothered. Surely a litll intelligence should be used when reading articles.

  11. Posted 18/11/2017 at 19:17 | Permalink

    As others have pointed out, the hypothesis that age explains the strong correlation between education and the way people voted in the referendum has been convincingly debunked. However, we could have drawn on other data to come to the same conclusion that, on average, those who voted Remain were more intelligent than those who voted Leave.

    For example, the Online Privacy Foundation found that those who voted Remain outperformed those who voted Leave when it came to logical and abstract reasoning, and in tests of numeracy. https://www.onlineprivacyfoundation.org/opf-research/psychological-biases/psychology-and-the-eu-referendum-update/

    Furthermore, a study by academics at the University of Edinburgh, led by Professor Ian Deary, found that those who support the Liberal Democrats and the Greens – the two parties whose supporters and whose platforms most strongly supported remaining in the EU – have the highest average IQs. Those who support parties such as UKIP and the BNP had the lowest IQs. Meanwhile, the Conservatives and Labour – whose supporters were split between remaining and leaving – were intermediate. http://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/files/8896159/childhood_intelligence_predicts_voter.pdf

  12. Posted 11/12/2017 at 19:29 | Permalink

    The higher the education, the more likely to think altruistically ; not selfishly as alluded to by a previous poster.

  13. Posted 20/12/2017 at 23:43 | Permalink

    “Being an intellectual doesn’t necessarily mean you are intelligent”
    Hold on, I think all the dictionaries in my house are wrong!

  14. Posted 07/02/2018 at 20:24 | Permalink

    “Leave” a reply. I like it!

    The point early in the article about a vote being a vote is all that counts. That’s all. The only way to stop people voting to leave the EU is not to insult their intelligence but to physically stop them in the event of a second referendum. However, I see no-one has yet carried out a study to determine whether Leave voters are more likely, on average, than Remainers to put you to the ground and smash you in the face with a half-brick if you try to stop the democratic process. Might be worth checking, but I think I know the answer to that one.

  15. Posted 21/05/2018 at 15:25 | Permalink

    I cannot agree more with the Synopsis. I applied for degrees as an over 25 student in the 1980s because it was easier to get on a degree course than get a job in Thatcher-land. I declined an offer of a degree in Business Studies at Wolvo Poly in favour of a degree in Economics at North Staffs Poly and am forever thankful that I did. At Stoke I met teenagers straight from sixth forms in the South East of England who were aghast at the level of deprivation in the Potteries, a third world country less than 100 miles from their homes! What was their response? Start a crusade to help? No! Crawl into a little middle-class bubble! Over-25 students met with hostility form teenage students and from lecturers, despite which the ‘old gits’ were proportionally more successful than the bright young things. As for the intelligence of students today, I know of one lecturer who twenty years ago told me that they received students with Economics degrees for M.A. courses who could not write concise English [text-speak and ‘cool’ English.] When I last saw him about ten years ago he said that the situation was even worse. Most University professors have gone from being middle-class students to Lecturers to Professors without ever encountering the dark side of life, they are theorists teaching theory. I voted Leave to ensure that Britain remains an independent nation-state, making its own decisions and charting its own course in the world, for better, not worse.
    B. A. [Hons] Economics
    M.Sc. I. T.

  16. Posted 11/06/2018 at 17:14 | Permalink

    One skill you learn in higher education, and not taught at school level, is how to research a subject. The overwhelming majority of leave voters I’ve spoken to did little or no research.

  17. Posted 24/06/2018 at 18:39 | Permalink

    Oh dear. An article based on assertions but sadly devoid of factual accuracy. Even the very first assertion is incorrect. 52% of Britons did not vote for Brexit. The actual turnout was 72.21% of eligible voters, of whom 51. 89% voted in favor of Leave. That means 37.47% of Britons voted for Brexit.

    When you get basic facts wrong and then rely on unsubstantiated assertions for the rest of your article, you’re not really making a very good case for your opinions. There has been far too much fuzziness throughout the entire Brexit process and this article doesn’t help at all.

  18. Posted 16/10/2018 at 15:20 | Permalink

    I find it hilarious how many people are on here congratulating themselves for voting “Leave” and therefore not being ignorant according to this article – whilst at the same time repeating the same patently – provably – false assertions.

    It’s not so much wilful ignorance as an abject inability to string two coherent thoughts together.

    But this article says they’re not really ignorant. So it’s fine.

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