Left-behind hypothesis  

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'The Left Behind' is a term coined by Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford to refer to "older, white, socially conservative voters in more economically marginal neighbourhoods". Analysing data the day after the Brexit referendum, Ford concluded that "Such voters had turned against a political class they saw as dominated by socially liberal university graduates with values fundamentally opposed to theirs, on identity, Europe – and particularly immigration."

This was described in as "if you've got money, you vote in... if you haven't got money, you vote out". In looser terms, these groups wider dissatisfaction with the major political parties also had a significant impact on the vote - with a particular focus placed on Labour's inability to maintain support in the working class heartlands which were lost en masse to UKIP and the Conservatives in 2015. Many other academics have also suggested the link between voting 'leave' and a rejection of neoliberalism and globalisation and the sense of economic insecurity that some members of society have felt as a result of these economic processes.

Victoria Bateman suggests that today's globalised world has contributed to the feeling of fast-paced changes in society and the economy, leading to the sense of being 'left behind', which she argues motivated some voters to vote 'leave'. In a similar manner to the arguments of Goodwin, Ford and Bateman it has also been suggested that both economically and socially 'left behind' groups "are united by a general sense of insecurity, pessimism and marginalisation", increasingly feeling as though liberalised society as well as the UK and European establishments do not represent their interests or share their concerns.

The left-behind hypothesis is furthered using data on the EU referendum result across electoral wards level as well as across local authorities, suggesting that especially areas with high degrees of social deprivation and low educational attainment strongly voted in favour of leaving the EU.

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