No-Show Remainers Helped Deliver U.K. Brexit Vote, Study Says

More people who told pollsters they backed staying in the European Union failed to vote in Britain’s June 23 referendum than those who said they wanted to leave, a study of voting patterns found.

About 19 percent of people who said in May that they backed “Remain” didn’t vote, compared with 11 percent who backed “Leave,” the National Centre for Social Research said on Wednesday. The findings, based on three studies with samples of between 3,000 and 30,000 people, also showed the disproportionate influence of people who don’t normally vote in elections.

More than half, or 54 percent, of people who said they didn’t vote in the 2015 general election voted in the referendum, and 60 percent of those “new voters” backed “Leave,” according to the study.

“There are many reasons behind the outcome of the EU referendum, but a key factor in the ‘Leave’ campaign’s success was that they managed to galvanize a wide-ranging group of people,” Kirby Swales, director of survey research at NatCen, said in an e-mailed statement. “This included a group of politically disengaged people, and this goes some way to explaining why many polls underestimated the ‘Leave’ vote. Their models simply did not account for these new voters.”

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