Voters are identifying more with Leave or Remain rather than political parties

PUBLISHED: 08:25 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 09 December 2019

Anti-Brexit signs outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

Anti-Brexit signs outside the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.

PA Wire/PA Images

Voters are more inclined to identify themselves as Leave or Remain than a supporter of a political party, new research has found.

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Findings by academics at Kings College London suggests the 2016 referendum has left the country deeply polarised and that the way people voted on Europe has come to define their politics more than party allegiance.

The Policy Institute at the university found that 55% of Britons aged 18-75 said they "very strongly" identify with their Leave or Remain Brexit affiliation - up from 44% on last year.

In contrast, just over a fifth said they very strongly identify with their political party.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute, said it was evidence that the electorate's views on Brexit were continuing to "trump" party affiliation.

The data also unearthed negative feelings between party supporters and those backing rival parties.

Asked, on a scale of 0-100 - with zero being as cold as possible and 100 being warm - how they consider the other party, Labour supporters gave Conservatives just 15 out of 100 and Tories gave Labour a score of 18.

Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute, said: "These findings provide more evidence for the idea that British politics has changed dramatically in recent years.

"People's Brexit identities have got stronger and continue to trump party affiliations, while our views of people on the 'other side' of political debates have become very negative."

The findings were produced after conducting surveys with more than 2,000 adults aged 18-75 between November 27 and 29.

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