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An exploration into voting behaviour: A thematic analysis on what drove voting on the Brexit Referendum on a University sample

Evlogias, Eleftherios (2017) An exploration into voting behaviour: A thematic analysis on what drove voting on the Brexit Referendum on a University sample. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Whom and what the populace votes determines the outcome of democratic mechanisms, hence, voting behaviour is a fundamental component of the political process that shapes democratic societies (Degan and Merlo, 2011); thus, it is understandable why the act of voting is the most studied phenomenon within political science (Lapatinas, 2014). There are several causal cues that may affect an individual’s voting decision (Neimi and Weisberg, 2001), which previous literature has explored through a variety of democratic mechanisms, such as elections (Feddersen and Pesendorfer, 1997), referendums (Midtbø and Hines, 1998) and even issue-specific referenda such as EU integration referendums (de Vreese, 2005). However, recently the 2016 Brexit referendum introduced a new type of issue-specific referenda aiming towards the withdrawal from the EU, which due to its novel-nature literature on it is limited. Largely due to the focus political science places on ‘what’ rather than the ‘why’, the breadth of research within this discipline fails to account for underlying causes of why these factors affect behaviour. Therefore, this journal aimed to explore what influenced voting behaviour in the Brexit and why. The data was collected by six semi-structured interviews, which were analysed via thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The themes emerged were ‘Cost and Benefit Calculations’, ‘EU Attitudes’ and ‘Leader Image’. It was apparent that the efficacy of these influences depended on an omnipresent drive to fulfil their worldviews. Implications, limitations and further research based on findings are discussed

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