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Brexit and the tyranny of the old

On 22 June The Economist had an article with the title Hoping that demography is not destiny. This included a graph, "The tyranny of the old, showing the probability of voting "Remain" for different age groups with an A-level education. This showed a clear correlation with age.

The data suggest age is the primary cleavage in the electorate (see [graph]). Looking specifically at middle-class adults with an A-level education, 70% of 18-24 year-olds in the English hinterland are expected to vote to “remain”, compared with just 30% of adults over 65 in the same region.

These estimates were borne out by the actual vote. I find it very depressing that the desire of many young people to remain was negated by the desire of many older people to leave. Like them,I shall no longer be around by the time the results of the vote take full effect, but my grandchildren will be and they will live with the results. The demographic consideration was a main part of what caused me to vote to remain.

David Cameron made two mistakes in planning the referendum; one was deciding to have it in the first place and the other was not allowing 16-year-olds to vote.


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