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The December 2019 General Election: Brexit, Political Identity and Policy

Brexit and the 2019 General Election

Le Brexit et les élections législatives britanniques de 2019
Dennis Kavanagh


The article examines two different interpretations of the British general election in 2019. One claims that electoral behaviour was largely driven by views about whether the UK should deliver on the vote of the 2016 referendum to leave the EU. Another claims that while such views counted for some voters the real significance of the result was to reinforce electoral trends that had been at work for some years. In the longer run the second interpretation is likely to be more convincing.

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Author's notes

This article is based on the author’s talk at the Crecib conference in Lyon in October 2021. The author thanks Fiona Simpkins for help on an earlier version of this paper

Full text


1Apart from the “Who Governs?” general election in February 1974, it is difficult to think of another titled election in modern times until the Brexit one in 2019. No doubt the title will stick for the immediate future but this paper suggests the need for second thoughts about its use because many so-called Brexit features of the election have been at work for some years. These include the declining attachment to the Labour party in its old northern and Scottish strongholds, the unpopularity of the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the long-term lukewarm attachment, at best, of UK voters to the EU. This paper will seek to examine the case for calling it a “Brexit election” and then consider the case for a more qualified perspective.

2However, it is worth recalling the context in which the election was held. The 2016 referendum on UK membership of the EU was called by David Cameron to back continued membership and unite his party which was divided on the issue. The measure had been promised in the party’s election manifesto in 2015. He felt the need to appease his increasingly Eurosceptic party and ward off the election threat of the anti-EU Ukip party. He lost the referendum vote and resigned. His successor Theresa May called an election the next year partly in search of her own mandate, achieve a larger majority in the Commons and deliver her version of Brexit. She failed on all counts and resigned in 2019. Boris Johnson succeeded her and called an election to replace a deadlocked Parliament with one that would “Get Brexit Done”. A mark of the growing instability of recent British politics is that the 2019 election was the UK’s fourth nationwide vote and third general election in four years, the last two (2017 and 2019) driven in large part by the 2016 referendum. The outcome of the vote in 2019 was driven by a number of factors.

3First, there was the anti-political mood. Before the 2010 general election public opinion had been soured by the effects on household incomes from the financial crisis of 2007 and the scandal over MPs’ expenses in 2008. The expenses revelations about fraudulent claims by MPs across the parties and the imprisonment of some MPs damaged public trust in politicians and the political system. Leavers in particular scored higher than Remainers on questions about political distrust (see below).

4Second, there was the lack of public support in the UK for the EU and its ideals to achieve greater unity at the cost of member states’ autonomy. Eurobarometer surveys often showed the UK to be near the bottom of the league of member states when it came to approval of the EU. Much of the press regarded membership as an encumbrance, rejected the EU’s declared goal of eventual political union as something alien and ran few positive EU stories. These views were regularly conveyed in the pro- Conservative papers, like the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the Daily Express. Pro-EU papers were heavily outgunned. Commentators often described the UK as a “reluctant” European or, as Angela Merkel said to David Cameron, “a troublesome child”. Perhaps only Edward Heath and Tony Blair have been pro-European Prime Ministers over the past 50 years. Inevitably, such a background disposed Remainer campaigners to wage a negative rather than a positive campaign in the referendum, one which emphasized more the downside of departure than the advantages of continuing membership.

5Third, the Conservative party has become steadily more Eurosceptic or anti-EU in the three decades since Mrs Thatcher left Number 10 when the party was still broadly pro-European. Thatcher’s resistance to what she regarded as efforts by leaders of other member states to give more power to the Commission and the Council of Ministers placed her in a minority in her party. Ironically, it was following her departure that support grew for her views, particularly among the more free-market and the nationalist wings of the party. Both wings opposed EU plans for economic and monetary union. The four Conservative Prime Ministers from Thatcher to May all had their last periods of office marred by divisions over Europe and both Cameron and May resigned because of it. In 2011, 81 Conservative MPs defied a three-line whip to call for a referendum on continued membership and, in 2013, 114 of them supported a motion regretting the absence of a referendum in the Queen’s Speech. Conservative party leaders were also always aware of the threat posed by Nigel Farage’s two anti-EU parties, first UKIP and then his successor Brexit Party, which called for outright departure. His parties always drew more votes from Conservative than from Labour voters and his threat to run candidates served to stiffen the determination of the Tory Eurosceptics. The potential damage was dramatically demonstrated in the 2019 European elections. The Conservatives finished in fifth place with just 9% of the vote, shedding much of its support to Farage’s new Brexit party

6Over the years Labour moved in the opposite direction. At the Labour party conference in 1962 the party leader Hugh Gaitskell memorably declared his opposition to membership on the grounds that it would end a thousand years of British history and was applauded enthusiastically by delegates. In 1975 Harold Wilson’s divided Labour government called a referendum to decide whether the UK should remain a member of the then European Economic Community. As the party moved to the political left in opposition after 1979 it became anti-EEC. Its 1983 election manifesto called for withdrawal, this time without a referendum. Decisive general election defeats in 1983 and 1987 showed that this was hardly a winning strategy. Under Neil Kinnock (leader 1983-92) the party abandoned the withdrawal policy and, particularly under Tony Blair, the party became more pro-European. Although both the two main parties contained Eurosceptic minorities Labour was probably the more pro-EU.

7Finally, the 2016 vote has reinforced the idea of the referendum as the arbiter on constitutional questions. This is despite the varied motivations often at work by the governments that call them. But in the absence of longstanding rules about its use it can be the tool of single issue groups, party factions and powerful interests, particularly those which cannot prevail in Parliament. The device and its idea of popular sovereignty are difficult to reconcile with the idea of a sovereign Parliament. Rarely has a referendum been called on issues which were near the top of voters’ concerns. This was the case with the 1975 referendum on membership of the EEC, the 1979 referendums on devolution to Scotland and Wales and the 2011 Alternative Vote referendum, all of which had poor turnouts.

8Harold Wilson called a referendum on Europe in 1975 primarily as an answer to his party divisions over the terms of entry negotiated by the Conservative leader Ted Heath. He also promised a referendum on Scottish devolution to head off the surge in electoral support for the Scottish Nationalist Party in the two 1974 general elections. Wilson’s thinking about trying to curb internal party divisions on Europe was at work for David Cameron in 2013 when he promised an EU referendum. The result does not always settle an issue. Losers may continue to challenge the result, as the Labour party pledged in 1983 to overturn the 1975 result and the SNP similarly has called for another independence referendum after having lost one in 2014.

The Brexit election

9There is no doubt that the dominant narrative of the 2019 general election is that it was a Brexit election. Both the Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had self-interested reasons for claiming that it was. For Johnson, it vindicated his purge of Remainers in the Cabinet, denial of the party whip to Remainer MPs, neglect of many other policy issues and it would give him a mandate for leaving the EU. For Corbyn, the claim deflected attention from his own unpopularity and criticisms that his programme was too leftist and unaffordable. He could also argue that the media focus on Brexit meant that the left case was sidelined rather than repudiated by voters.

10In 2019, both the Conservative and Labour parties took different lessons from the 2017 election. Having lost their slim majority in 2017, the Conservatives had a new leader and was now an unabashed Brexit party. Johnson’s Brexit stance was much bolder than Theresa May’s had been in 2017 and he required party candidates to sign up to it. The stance was crucial in persuading Nigel Farage’s Brexit party not to stand in seats which had a sitting Conservative candidate. Labour, on the other hand, tried to build on the progress it made in 2017 by fighting on a similar agenda of radical social and economic reform and calling for a second referendum on EU membership after a renegotiation of terms, without making clear what it would recommend.

  • 1 Robert Ford et al, The British General Election of 2019 (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), p. 573.

11The Conservative slogan “Get Brexit Done” may have left the detail unclear but there was no doubt about the direction of travel. However simple, it also tapped into the public fatigue and impatience with the deadlock in the Commons and the confusion of the opposition. In a series of votes on Theresa’s proposals for withdrawal large majorities, including Leaver and Remainer MPs, found reasons to defeat her. As Robert Ford and colleagues state in The British General Election of 2019: “there is no doubting the magnetic appeal of ‘get Brexit done’, the three-word message which defined a contest, just as “take back control” had done in the 2016 referendum”.1 Johnson’s Conservatives were making the election into a single issue one, almost a referendum to deliver on the verdict of the 2016 vote. If the Conservative campaign was clearly a Brexit one, Labour’s ambiguity meant it could potentially appeal to both Remain and Leave sides, a stance that met with some success in 2017. But it also that it could lose among both.

12The 2019 election left the UK with a new demographic electoral map. The old map had been divided between, crudely, a Labour non-graduate and working-class North and a Conservative middle class and well-educated South. This had gradually become frayed until in 2019 both parties were cross- class coalitions, with Labour’s support having become more middle class and the Conservatives’ more working class. According to YouGov polling in 2019 the middle class split 43-33 for Conservative over Labour and the working class split 48-33 for the Conservatives, respective Conservative leads of 10 and 15. This is a stunning reversal of the historical social class bases of party politics in Britain.

  • 2 Ibid., p. 532.

13Age and education have replaced social class as key demographic divides among voters. This had been foreshadowed in the 2016 referendum when age had been the biggest divide. In 2019, among voters aged under-35 Labour led by 28% and among the over-65s the Conservatives led by 40%. As Robert Ford comments, “British party competition in the late 2010s has been a conflict between the generations to a greater extent than in any other period in the last 40 years”.2 Another demographic reversal has been on education. Labour now attracts more graduates than the Conservatives and the latter gain more of those with no educational qualifications. Not surprisingly the same trends are evident in voting for Brexit: 80% of graduates are Remainers and while two thirds of over-65s are Leavers this is true of only 28% of the 18-24 age group. The misfortune for Remain and Labour is that the turnouts in elections and in the 2016 referendum have been much lower among younger than among older voters.

14Over the three general elections of 2015, 2017 and 2019, the Conservatives increasingly became the choice of Leavers, according to the British Election Study (BES). In 2015, it gained 44% of 2016 Referendum Leavers (when competing with a substantial UKIP vote), 64% in 2017 and 73% in 2019. Compared to 2017, the parties’ changed shares of the vote in 2019 were Conservative (+ 1.2%), Labour (-8%), SNP (+8%) and Liberal Democrat (+4.2%). There had already been a substantial increase in the Conservative vote share in 2017 but there was only a very modest one in 2019. The story therefore is less of a surge in Conservative popular support, as misleadingly suggested by the increased number of seats, but more one of a large Labour decline both in votes and seats.

15But behind those figures it is the location of the shifts in votes and seats that is significant. The Conservative vote share rose 6% in Leave seats and fell 2% in Remain seats. 73% of Leave voters backed the Conservatives while just under half of Remainers backed Labour. Labour lost 53 seats in which a majority had been Leave voters and the Conservatives gained 56 seats in which Leavers were the majority. There is therefore much material to back up the claim that 2019 was a Brexit election and was the key to Conservative success.

A qualification

16A contrary line of argument is to suggest that the significance of 2019 is that it consolidated long term social and electoral trends rather than caused them. Brexit was largely the catalyst and only partly the cause of the electoral changes. If the parties’ votes are allocated on the basis of whether they were for exit ( Conservative, Ukip and Brexit) or for remain/second referendum (Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru) the split was 47% versus 50%, a narrow reversal of the narrow 2016 referendum vote (52-48 for Leave). The crucial difference in the two events is that the referendum was a binary vote while in the general election votes were for parties and reflected in numbers of seats.

17Among the trends that had been building up was the growth of Conservative support among the working class and in the North and Midlands as well as Labour’s steady decline in those regions between 2005 and 2015. Labour had been growing steadily in London and major cities and, as noted, its electoral support became more middle class and its membership even more so. In other words these main features of the 2019 election had been building up for some years. The election gave rise to much analysis of the so-called Red Wall seats. These were seats in the North and Midlands that had returned Labour MPs for many years, in some cases since the seat was first created. They used to have industries and coal mines and a large manual working class which was often heavily unionised. But as the industries declined the seats were economically “left behind”. Workforce and demographic changes resulted in the seats having relatively fewer graduates and professional workers, more elderly people and shorter life spans. They had been called Red Wall because for long they appeared to be invincibly Labour.

18The tactical failures of the Remain or Second Referendum parties are also important in explaining the result. The Liberal Democrat offer to revoke Article 50 and effectively overturn the referendum result promised the likelihood of further division and delay in Parliament, something for which there was little appetite. It also smacked of arrogance. There was no great public backing for Labour’s offer of a second referendum. Above all, it was not clear where Corbyn stood on Brexit. His ambiguity was perhaps understandable given that he was clearly out of step with many of his Remain-leaning MPs and voters and members. If he campaigned more openly for Remain he risked further alienating Labour Leavers in the Red Wall seats and an even-handed stance risked losing Remainers. His ambiguity had paid off in the 2017 election but failed in 2019, largely because of the new clarity of the Conservative position. Compared with the Conservative success in hoovering up the Leave vote, Labour collected only a half of the Remain vote, having to share it with other parties, particularly the Liberal Democrats.

  • 3 Michael Ashcroft, Diagnosis of Defeat, Labour’s Turn to Smell the Coffee, February 2020, https://lo (...)

19Michael Ashcroft’s Diagnosis of Defeat3 emphasizes the significance of Corbyn’s unpopularity for Labour defectors in 2019. He was widely seen as too left wing, a risk to national security and lacking in leadership qualities. The study suggests that many defectors were minded to desert even without Brexit. Corbyn’s unpopularity loosened or snapped their ties to Labour, turning them to abstaining or voting Conservative. Leadership, more specifically Corbyn’s, seems to have been a key driver of the Brexit success. Johnson’s ratings were rather modest and even trailed Theresa May’s in 2017. According to the British Election Study panel data May’s mean rating in the final week of the 2017 campaign was 4.2 (out of score of 10) and Johnson’s in 2019 was 4.0. Corbyn had improved his ratings during the 2017 campaign and in the last week of the 2017 campaign his mean rating was 4.4. But in the last week of 2019 it had plummeted to 3.1. According to a You Gov question on who would make the best Prime Minister Johnson led Corbyn 41-26, although a third were undecided. In 2017 there was little difference in voters’ approval of the two party leaders. In 2019, however, it was the sharp decline in Corbyn’s standing rather than Johnson’s modest rating which was crucial in producing the large difference in voters’ approval of the two leaders.

  • 4 Peter Kellner, “Labour has a new hope- their mission is impossible”, The New European, 9th December (...)

20Johnson’s clear Brexit message appealed to Leave voters in the Red Wall seats, many of them former Labour voters. And for Labour and Conservative Remainers who defected or were thinking of defecting Corbyn was a strong negative influence. As Peter Kellner argues, in his The New European review of The British General Election of 20194: “The Conservatives benefitted greatly from pro-European voters who feared Corbyn more than they feared Brexit”. He adds that Remainers might better direct their anger/disappointment at the Labour Party for choosing Corbyn as leader.

  • 5 Paula Surridge, “Are There Value Divides among the British Electorate?”, UK in a Changing Europe, 7(...)

21It is therefore important not to see support for or opposition to Brexit as an independent variable driving voting defections from Labour. Paula Surridge notes that, for many voters, attitudes to Brexit are part of a larger package of traditional values and policy preferences. Supporters of Brexit often back the return of the death penalty, oppose more immigration, multiculturalism and same sex marriage and are climate change sceptics. Remainers are often on the opposite side of these issues.5 Some commentators (notably David Goodhart in The Road to Somewhere) use such broader labels to characterise the respective tribes as “closed” versus “open” or “authoritarian” versus “liberal”. That support for Brexit is often one part of a battery of these attitudes suggests that if and when the Brexit saga is confined to the history books it may still leave a legacy for the political parties.

The results: looking ahead

222019 was the fourth consecutive general election in which the Conservatives emerged as the largest party. But the three previous elections failed to deliver a clear and stable majority of seats. 2010 led to the first post-1945 coalition government, 2015 to a narrow Conservative majority, and 2017 to a minority Conservative government, relying on support from the small DUP party. Significantly, 2019 also ended the deadlocked Parliament which was unable to agree on any Brexit deal. Opinion polls at the time suggested that the public welcomed an election result that would “get Brexit done”. The result metaphorically confirmed the 2016 referendum vote.

23With some 95% of their seats in England the Conservatives are more than ever an English party. Despite the electoral progress the party made in the North and Midlands it is still heavily based in the South East of England, and has only 20 of the 99 seats in Scotland and Wales. Party factions are not new but the assertiveness and influence of the European Research Group under both David Cameron and Theresa May made it appear almost as a party within a party. Both leaders struggled to keep these MPs on board. The 50-odd members of the group had their own whipping system, coordinated their votes in the no –confidence resolution about Theresa May’s leadership, and are generally right-wing and Eurosceptic. Their success in driving the party’s agenda has not been lost on the newly elected Tory MPs for the Red Wall seats. They have formed the Northern Research Group to keep the government’s eye firmly on Johnson’s so-called the levelling up agenda. In 2021 Johnson appointed Michael as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, stating that levelling up would be his (Johnson’s), legacy (private information). In early 2022 Gove presented a White Paper promising more devolution and investment in these seats with the aim of revitalizing them and reducing the inequalities between the regions.

242019 was Labour’s fourth consecutive general election loss, and the heaviest. Earlier runs of election defeats, three by in 1959 and four by 1992, gave rise to such texts as “Must Labour Lose?”, “Can Labour Win Again?” and, recently, “Must Labour Always Lose?”. Again, the obstacles to recovery are formidable. The forthcoming boundary review is expected to give an additional 20 seats to the Conservatives compared to 2019. The party has also suffered a seemingly irreversible decline in Scotland which provides nearly a tenth of seats in the Commons. With just one of the 59 seats in Scotland Labour ranks third in share of votes and fourth in number of seats. In the past, Scotland has been a remarkable talent pool for the party. It provided Labour’s first Prime Minister with Ramsay MacDonald in 1924, its last with Gordon Brown in 2007, and a third of Tony Blair’s first Cabinet in 1997. The Scottish pool is dry at present. The election may have sharpened the divide between Scotland and the rest of the UK, at least on Brexit. The SNP gained from the first-past-the-post electoral system, gaining 80% of the seats for 45% of the vote. In an echo of the Remainers’ dilemma, because the pro-union parties divided the unionist vote they paid a price in lost seats.

25The question marks over Labour’s identity relate not only to the party’s ambiguous position on the main issue of the 2019 election. The disjunctions between the Blair’s New Labour, Corbyn’s more full-blooded leftist programme and Keir Starmer’s attempt to move beyond New Labour and row back from Corbynism, raise questions about what the party stands for. Johnson’s government, perhaps driven by circumstances, has presided over large increases in public spending and taxation and extended the reach of the state into many areas. These social democratic policies have upset many Conservatives who seemed to anticipate that Brexit would open the way for their desired small-scale government of lower taxes and fewer regulations, a virtual Singapore-on-Thames. Supporters calculate that that Johnson may, accidentally, have stolen some of Labour’s thunder. Given the likely pressures on the public finances in the next few years at least, how much scope will there be spending programmes?

26There were some clear losers from the decisive result. Jeremy Corbyn resigned as Labour leader and Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson not only lost the leadership but also her seat. Conservatives may fear that they profited from an exceptional combination of propitious circumstances and that electoral volatility and events threaten their ability to win a fifth consecutive election. Labour may fear what another election defeat would mean for its future credibility as an alternative government. Conservatives will hope that another election victory confirms its position as the natural party of government and Labour will hope that, with Brexit behind it, the agenda will return to a traditional left-right divide and voters will be more receptive to a party with a progressive domestic policy agenda.

27During the 2019 election the Remainer tribe was transmuted into a Rejoin or Second Referendum one, although not with much traction at present. It is difficult to find more than a handful of prominent figures making the case for Rejoin. Certainly it is unlikely that any re-entry would be on the terms that John Major managed to negotiate at Maastricht in 1991. These included opt-outs from the social chapter covering health and safety regulations and workers’ rights, and membership of the single currency. .

28The Conservative party has set itself a challenging “levelling up” ambition to be achieved by the time of the next general election, due no later than 2025. But how will party supporters in more affluent blue wall seats react to more investment and redistributive policies to help Red Wall seats? Already there have been disillusioned voices, not all from the Red Wall seats, about the government’s plans for social care, taxes and migrants. The increased public spending, taxes and national debt, all heavily driven by the government’s response to Covid, may imperil the party’s reputation for fiscal prudence.

29Labour faces a massive electoral hurdle. It needs a record 12% swing to gain a majority of one seat next time. The last time it was so far behind was after 1983 and it required gains in the following two elections and then a 10.2% swing in 1997 to regain office. Paula Surridge’s analysis of the new value-based style of politics is hardly promising for the party as it has been losing from the shifts in social class, geography and culture. The party’s main challenge is surely to recapture what Lord Ashcroft calls Labour defectors (to the Conservatives in 2019) rather than appease party activists. The former say the party must change but the latter regarded Corbyn as an outstanding leader and support the left wing policies in the 2019 manifesto. Yet recapturing former supporters will not be enough; it also needs to win scores of Conservative seats.


30Support for the Conservatives in opinion polls declined sharply in the autumn of 2021 and by early 2022 Labour had gained a clear lead. The reversal in party fortunes has everything to do with what Harold Macmillan called “Events, dear boy, events”, and little to do with Labour initiatives. Conservative mishaps have been largely self-inflicted, including Johnson whipping his MPs to support a colleague who had been found guilty by an independent standards authority of breaking rules forbidding MPs to engage in paid lobbying and Johnson misleading Parliament about social gatherings in Number 10 (so-called “partygate”) in defiance of Covid restrictions. The change in the climate of opinion and in the parties’ standings reinforces the adage that elections are won by governments and lost by them.

  • 6 Anand Menon, “Is the British Public still split on Brexit?” in Anand Menon, British Politics After (...)
  • 7 Will Jennings, Lawrence McKay & Viktor Valgardson, “What Has Brexit Done to Political Trust?” in An (...)

31Public opinion is still divided on Brexit. The polling expert John Curtice notes that pollsters have changed the question of Leave or Remain to “Join” or “Stay Out” respectively. By the end of 2021 the Conservatives were still strong among Leavers and Labour among Joiners. But there has been a decline in the proportion of Leavers and an increase in the Joiners. Given the association of voters’ views on Brexit with choice of party it is not surprising that a decline in Conservative support has led to a fall in Brexit support.6 Another change has been in attitudes to the political system. Before the referendum, Leavers were more disillusioned and Remainers more positive. Since the 2019 election the opposite is now the case with Leavers more politically trusting.7

32The Brexit saga has hardly shown the British class at its best. But it can be claimed that the election brought to an end a remarkable period of stasis in British politics. Between 2012 and 2019 Britain had three different Prime Ministers, a coalition government, a minority one, and a deadlocked House of Commons that could not agree on legislation to exit the European Union. How long the period of stability and one party majority government endure remains to be seen.

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Baston, Lewis, “The myth of the red wall”, The Critic, 18th December 2019, (last access 1st March 2022).

Cowley, Philip & Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 2017 (London, Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).

Ford, Robert, Tim Bale, Will Jennings & Paula Surridge, The British General Election of 2019 (London, Palgrave MacMillan, 2021).

Jennings, Will, Lawrence McKay & Viktor Valgardson, “What Has Brexit Done to Political Trust?” in Anand Menon, British Politics After Brexit, (London: UK in a Changing Europe, 2022).

Kellner, Peter, “Labour has a new hope- their mission is impossible”, The New European, 9th December 2021, (last access 1st March 2022).

Goodhart, David, The Road to Somewhere. Popular Revolt and the Future of Politics. (London, Hurst, 2017).

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Singh, Matt, “Division didn’t start with Brexit- but it might have further to go”, CAPX, 31st January 2021, (last access 1st March 2022)

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1 Robert Ford et al, The British General Election of 2019 (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), p. 573.

2 Ibid., p. 532.

3 Michael Ashcroft, Diagnosis of Defeat, Labour’s Turn to Smell the Coffee, February 2020, (last access 1st March 2022).

4 Peter Kellner, “Labour has a new hope- their mission is impossible”, The New European, 9th December 2021, (last access 1st March 2022).

5 Paula Surridge, “Are There Value Divides among the British Electorate?”, UK in a Changing Europe, 7th February 2020, (last access 1st March 2022).

6 Anand Menon, “Is the British Public still split on Brexit?” in Anand Menon, British Politics After Brexit, (London: UK in a Changing Europe, 2022) pp. 95-97.

7 Will Jennings, Lawrence McKay & Viktor Valgardson, “What Has Brexit Done to Political Trust?” in Anand Menon, British Politics After Brexit, (London: UK in a Changing Europe, 2022), pp 117-22.

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Electronic reference

Dennis Kavanagh, Brexit and the 2019 General ElectionRevue Française de Civilisation Britannique [Online], XXVII-2 | 2022, Online since 15 June 2022, connection on 04 March 2024. URL:; DOI:

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About the author

Dennis Kavanagh

Professor of Politics, Liverpool University

Dennis Kavanagh is Emeritus Professor of politics at Liverpool University. Before then he held appointment at Nottingham and Manchester universities. He is co-author of the twelve Nuffield College studies of British general elections between February 1974 and 2017.

By this author

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The text only may be used under licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. All other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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