Wales’ Brexit vote ‘caused by English retirees’ – Oxford University

An older gentelman

Wales would not have voted by a majority for Brexit if not for retired English people moving across the border, according to research by Oxford University.

This was despite a pro-Leave vote in the valleys of the south-east of Wales, according to Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Oxford.

“Wales was made to look like a Brexit-supporting nation by its English settlers,” he told the Sunday Times.

In the 2016 referendum, border towns and areas of central Wales popular with English settlers saw a large proportion of leave votes. Wrexham and Powys were examples of this, he said.

Dorling revealed the statistics at the British Science Association’s annual meeting at Warwick University.

He said: “The Welsh did not want to quit the EU, but that is one of many false beliefs about Brexit.

“The biggest is that the pro-leave vote was due to northerners. It’s true some northern areas were strongly pro-Brexit, but the population there is too small to swing the vote.

“The real support for Brexit, in terms of numbers of votes, was in places like Cornwall, which was 57% for leave, Hampshire, with 54%, Essex with 62% and Norfolk with 57%.

“It is those southern English voters that are dragging Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland unwillingly out of Europe.

“Everyone blames Wigan and Stoke for Brexit but we should really be blaming Cornwall and Devon.”

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Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Bit rich blaming “English settlers” for the pro Leave majority while ignoring the damage they’ve caused to our language, culture, education, health services and parts of our housing market for most of the last half century. Selective identity politics at its worst.

Minydon
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Minydon

Why only pick on the English,tempting as it is, mass immigration from wherever they are from will cause the same effect to our language and culture,but plaid and labour are quite happy for it to continue, so as England fills up we get the over spill, and its continuing at a pace, nearly everyone I know is Welsh, they all voted for Brexit bar one, the few English people I’m friendly with voted remain, go figure!

iWAN
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iWAN

Although I’m generalising, from my experience, multi lingual immigrants tend to embrace Welsh culture and language much better than monoglot English ex pats. There seems to be an openness to become part of a community rather than a stoic colonial, self entitled attitude.

Minydon
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Minydon

It is all generalizations, but blaming one group, ie the English is rather racist is it not? If I said poles or Iranian, there would be uproar, also saying non English immigrants are open to integration really no doubt some are but we are having a large amount coming to these islands who want to transfer their religion here and live in areas together, and have no intention if integration. Immigration should be strictly controlled. Especially in countries such a Wales where the culture is on the verge of disappearing.

May
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May

Facts are facts

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

Yeah, they’re like sacks: don’t stand up until you put something in them.

Lexi Smith
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Lexi Smith

I would dispute these so called facts. It’s a remainer’s take on why we voted leave. What a cheek, telling us that Wales, even though we voted leave, are really remainers. I would beg to differ. Majority voted leave, now get on with it.

Ernie The Smallholder
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Ernie The Smallholder

Do you know what a ‘no deal’ leave will do to our Welsh Lamb exports ?
That is why we need to be in the EU single market AND be in the customs union.
OK!

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

There is nothing wrong with ‘their religion’ that isn’t also wrong with ‘our’ religion. Like Kemal Attaturk, I wish that all religions were at the bottom of the sea, but the reality is that some people seem still to want religion in its many forms. In and of itself there is no reason why people who profess Islamic faith cannot integrate just as well as those others who also follow that other Middle-Eastern religion, Christianity.

Minydon
Guest
Minydon

Well I’m sorry I dont care where poeple come from or what religion the follow, but what I do object to are people that do come here, who then turn around and say that they are offended by this,that or the other.and then try and make a country like the one they have just left, whether it be from England or the middle east. When in Rome! By all means be multi racial, but multi cultural will only mean the death of one culture, and we know which one it will be. I dont want Wales becoming just a name… Read more »

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

Where do you get that from? Most people of different faiths and religions simply ask for tolerance. Most couldn’t give two hoots about what you or I get up to, and certainly don’t want to dictate to us how to behave. They just don’t want those things that are offensive to them imposed on them. Would you like something that whilst perfectly legal, but personally offensive to you, was imposed on you? Of course not! Perhaps you’d be better stopping reading the Daily Mail/Express/Sun, (they’re clearly rotting your brain) and getting out and about and actually talking to people of… Read more »

Bryn
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Bryn

It’s not been the poles or Iranians that’s been destroying welsh culture for centuries.

Minydon
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Minydon

You miss the point.

Sibrydionmawr
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Sibrydionmawr

I think he hits the nail on the head, you’re just Islamophobic. I think Wales’ problems lie elsewhere than in concerning itself overly with the faith choice of its citizens. The kind of theory you seem to be buying into has very shady origins. I don’t want to live in a Wales where ideas like that are mainstream.

Terry callachan
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Terry callachan

The 650,000 English gives the game away.
There isn’t any other nationality with nearly as many people in wales as the English , apart from, of course the welsh.
21% of the people living in wales are English people

zuza
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zuza

“Especially in countries such a Wales where the culture is on the verge of disappearing..” thanks to many years of english ruling

Joanne Davies
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Joanne Davies

But the heaviest leave vote areas were the south Wales valleys, where the fewest number of English retirees live. The most Anglicised parts of Wales affected by English immigration like Ceredigion, Cardiff, VoG and Monmouthshire voted remain.

Minydon
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Minydon

They dont want to see that, it’s a case blame every thing on the English, we never seem to look at our own short comings, and the first ones who should take a good look at themselves are the mp’s and am’s.

May
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May

Read the full study

Minydon
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Minydon

Try telling that to plaid cymru, they are not concerned about the Welsh working class who have been ignored once again, party of wales maybe, but certainly not for the welsh english speaking working class. They should rename themselves party of the English remainers!

Penderyn
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Penderyn

Minydon… Oxford university blamed English retirees… they did the report…. dont blame Welsh ppl for this report

Elaine
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Elaine

There isn’t any “report”, it’s opinion loosely based on a talk, loosely based on a book, loosely based on (and now this is my opinion) an Englishman’s take on Welsh society

John Evans
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John Evans

as a welsh working class person myself who voted remain i disagree. Independence for Cymru. dysgu cymraeg – doing my personal best to make the dream a reality by joining Plaid and learning my language – an inheritance i was robbed of that i am reclaiming. Plaid are not ignoring the working classes.

Minydon
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Minydon

You’ll find the hard way.

Robert Tyler
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Robert Tyler

This is a very interesting assertion. I believe the issue has been addressed by Professor Richard Wyn Jones at the Wales Governance Centre in Cardiff. I am open to correction, but as I recall, the research suggested a very strong correlation between national identity and Brexit preference. Those identifying as Welsh in the survey were split 71% to 29% in favour of remain, whereas English identifiers were exactly the opposite. Those identifying as British and Welsh or British only were in favour of leave but it was more a 55 to 45 split. Does anyone have a link to this?

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

The Professor’s research sounds like the most sensible interpretation of the vote mentioned so far.. Let’s be honest, the referendum was more about ‘feelings’ than ‘facts’ and consequently how people view themselves was bound to be one (!!) of the factors involved in deciding which way to vote. And is that necessarily a bad thing? If you had made your decision based solely on the facts, it would have been a case of ‘Yes, but, No, but, Yes, but, No but….’ depending on the latest advice you heard. Sadly the referendum was very black and white, whereas most people’s opinions… Read more »

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

The difference in attitude in the areas close to the border can be summarised as being proud to beWelsh but having a stronger willingness to accept a British identity as well.

Cai Williams
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Cai Williams
Matt Williams
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Matt Williams

Being from the Cynon Valley, I can say your argument is flawed. There might not be many retirees in the Valleys from England, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of English decedents there, with similar imperialist outlooks and right wing sentiments, completely contrary to the traditional welsh working class, and left wing, values of my forefathers. The Valleys are both highly anglicised and highly resentful of the English. The picture there is way more complex than “the heaviest leave vote” (higher populations anyway so redundant).

Cai Williams
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Cai Williams

Sounds like Ukraine, the USSR settled loads of Russian speakers there and after independence they’re now fighting a civil war to keep Ukraine in Russia’s orbit

Brian Thomas
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Brian Thomas

I think however that there is a discussion that we need to have if we are to abolish freedom of movement for those entering the UK from either EU or non- EU countries we should have the discussion about limiting the numbers of immigrants from outside Wales that are allowed to settle here. We need those that will contribute to the economic prosperity of our communities and not just those who come to add extra pressure on our health services. etc. We need to reestablish the balance between young and old.

jr humphreys
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jr humphreys

Told ya.
And for the umpteenth time, Jersey type migration rules, please.

A.E. Hughes
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A.E. Hughes

Yes I ‘v know n That from the beginning .

A.E. Hughes
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A.E. Hughes

Hwyl

Marti
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Marti

We are all becoming to tribal. Scrap England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland bring back Britton one tribe of people.

Cai Williams
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Cai Williams

The Welsh are the Britons, we are their direct descendants (as well as the Cornish and Bretons).

Joy
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Joy

There is no possible way this can be proved. 854,572 voted leave in Wales and 772,347 voted to remain. That is a difference of 1001 votes. It’s more likely that what swung the vote was the 164,594 who failed to vote and the 1135 who spoilt their papers. The Times is a Murdoch paper, don’t do it and the Establishment’s job by dividing those who live in Wales. And if you want to stop rich incomers, we need to start selling our properties for maximum profit and choose local buyers who can afford our homes. The majority of areas in… Read more »

May
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May

The Oxford study has just proved it!

Joy
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Joy

Don’t fall for it. Without seeing the details, you can’t say anything is proved. This is just an opinion that’s all. You can make statistics say anything to be fair. Almost 200,000 Welsh votes are missing from this equation.

Elaine
Guest
Elaine

The “study” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Dorling himself says the article is based on a talk he did, based on a book co-authored by him. This is not a conclusion from a rigorous and specific study of the Wales migration data.

Simon Gruffydd
Guest
Simon Gruffydd

This is complete nonsense. The facts are that majority Welsh Wales (the Valleys) voted overwhelming for Leave: Blaenau Gwent 62% Leave; Merthyr Tydfil 53% Leave; Torfaen 60% Leave. The areas with the most holiday homes and English incomers (Gwynedd & Ceredigion for example) voted Remain. This is literally turning truth upon it head. 2 + 2 = 5. How gullible do Remainiacs think we are? Oxford university clearly has a mission – which doesn’t include telling the truth..

Elaine
Guest
Elaine

Well said, I have started looking closer at migration data as intuitively I know what you have said to be the case and it would be good to rebut this idea with facts

Lexi Smith
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Lexi Smith

Well said.

Benjiman Angwin
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Benjiman Angwin

Oh dear…

The Welsh are a patient people. .

Penderyn
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Penderyn

Cornwall is Cornish not southern English

Joy
Guest
Joy

There is a solution to this which is being tested in other areas like Devon, Cornwall and the Highlands . We can address this by stopping the profiteering on houses …. instead of selling to the highest bidder, sell to a local family at a fair and realistic price. It really is that simple. Across this island, youngsters are unable to get near the property market. This is not about the Eu its about personal greed and a lack of local community alliegience

Gaynor
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Gaynor

If thete is profit to be made from proerty or planning. The Welsh are happy to sell to the highest bidder, be they English, Wrlsh or Taiwanese

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Well-off English settlers in Welsh-speaking picturesque areas of the country almost certainly voted Leave for the same reason as those poorer English inner-city dwellers who have been moved across the border by their local authority into social housing in towns like Wrecsam and Yr Rhyl, namely, as a protest vote against immigration — a motive these two groups shared with the predominantly anglophone Welsh working class of the post-industrial areas. The irony would have been lost on the first and second of these three social groups, of, course, but they represent a substantial and growing minority who must have influenced… Read more »

Stuart Stanton
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Stuart Stanton

The point that is totally ignored is that the areas regarded as the Welsh ‘Heartland’ all voted remain, or as near as damnit in the case of Ynys Món, in 2016 and increased this in the Euro elections. Is there are a connection between this and the Welsh Language? Oes! ……My continuing fascination and research into the importance and relevance of Euskera (the native language) in Basque society is showing that there is a synchronicity with Welsh-speaking Wales.

Gaynor
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Gaynor

But then again Welsh speakers are now in the minority in both Ceredigion and Carms

Richard Carr
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Richard Carr

We need to resist the temptation to generalise and stereotype though. I personally know plenty of English “immigrants” in Wales who are fervent Remainers and I also know a number of native born Welsh people (including some fluent Welsh speakers) who are staunch Brexiters. Also as a number of other posts have correctly pointed out some of the counties that voted most heavily for Leave (e.g. Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr) have very few English born people living in them.

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

We know about the Valleys vote already, Richard, and the Cardiff vote. The issue is “Was the Leave vote among settlers in the rural areas and those removed here by English LA’s enough to swing the final count?” The numbers involved would suggest “Yes” — aways assuming, of course, that the man Dorking has got his facts right. If it turns out that he is either mistaken or fibbing, then please ignore everything I’ve said.

John
Guest
John

There is an unpleasant, faintly racist overtone to this argument. The narrative seems to be that Wales as a whole voted Remain, despite the votes of quite a lot of misguided people in the Valleys but the whole thing was swung by retired, wealthy, English blow-ins….

Try this for an alternative view: Wales decision to back Leave was heavily underpinned by the Valleys vote, supported by Brexiters from the Borders….

jr humphreys
Guest
jr humphreys

Have a squint at Breitbart, if you think WE are unpleasant.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

Even better, try eavesdropping on some of the conversations of some retired English people in Wales. Not all are xenophobic racists by a long way, but a substantial proportion of them are, and their views are obnoxious in the extreme, and their views about Welsh people, especially those of us who speak Welsh are often hardly any better.

Richard Carr
Guest
Richard Carr

I’ve heard Welsh people (including Welsh speakers) make xenophobic and racist comments too.

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Only when we speak about arrogant English b******ds who come here expecting everything done to suit them. Supremacist behaviours stimulate prejudiced responses, or haven’t you noticed that causal link in your community ?

Rhodri Thomas
Guest
Rhodri Thomas

Nobody with any experience of living in rural Wales would doubt the accuracy of this report. The white flighters who have moved in massive numbers from the English cities to the Welsh countryside to get away from the ethnic and religious minorities are guaranteed to be just as prejudiced against the EU. They were probably more likely to have voted too given an opportunity to express their xenophobia.

Mcollins
Guest
Mcollins

Echo some of the comments here about the racial undertones to this piece and the fact that the working class South Wales valleys were all strongly leave.

Imagine an article saying

“London remain vote caused by Romanian workers”

I would condemn it and so this should be too

Alfyn
Guest
Alfyn

If you can’t tell the difference between colonisation and immigration, please check it in a dictionary.

Lexi Smith
Guest
Lexi Smith

What a load of rubbish. Most constituencies in Wales voted leave, not just those with English immigrants. Who is this guy Dorling? We know why we voted leave, it was nothing to do with what was written on a bus, nor were we influenced by the propoganda before the Referendum. If Wales hasn’t prospered after over 40 years in the EU, then it’s time for a change. The EU isn’t working for us.

Alfyn
Guest
Alfyn

Wales hasn’t prospered because we’re part of the UK not because of the EU.

Gaynor
Guest
Gaynor

WAles has not prospered under Westminster not the EU

jack
Guest
jack

And there’s this that so many Brits are not aware of, no thanks to Murdoch’s gutter press which will always evade the truth:-
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-second-referendum-boris-johnson-eu-deal-peoples-vote-final-say-a9165861.html