EU Referendum: general turnout was high but clear divisions emerged between regions and age groups

Voted 72%
Did not vote 28%
The turnout was high at 72.2%, with more people turning out to vote than in last year's general election. However, clear divisions emerged between regions and age groups.

Regional divide

The only three British regions to back Remain were among the areas with the lowest turnout. In particular, the Scottish turnout was lower than expected. Three in five Scots backed Remain and they were expected to have the highest figure after “referendum fever” saw 85% of Scots vote in the 2014 independence vote. But in the end they had a lower turnout than every region except Northern Ireland. London did have a lower than average turnout which may have caused by heavy rain and flash floods on the day of the referendum.

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Age divide

Turnout in areas with a higher proportion of younger residents tended to be lower while those areas with the highest share of older voters enjoyed the highest turnout.

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Other key factors

As well as age, educational attainment and national identity were also key factors in how the UK voted.

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Brexit Study

Open Europe has conducted comprehensive studies of UK withdrawal from the EU and simulated UK-EU negotiations involving key politicians from across Europe:

  • Our original Brexit report draws on detailed economic modelling to assess the impact of different Brexit scenarios.
  • The follow-up Brexit II report looks at recommendations for liberal policies in the fields of trade, immigration and regulation, which we believe are required in the event of a Brexit in order to offset the costs and maximise the economic benefits.
  • Involving key politicians from across Europe, we have simulated UK-EU negotiations for two main scenarios: (1) the UK seeking a new deal after having left the EU and (2) the UK renegotiating EU reform from within.

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