As we approach nearly 3 months since the Referendum vote and in Walsall, we have all had a chance to reflect on the momentous decision that the British public took. Many of you read the article I wrote on the morning of the results. I had gone to bed the night before with a draft of my ‘Remain’ article nicely all but finished, to be presented, at just after 5:00 a.m, with the declaration by the BBC saying we were leaving the EU. I don’t think any of us were expecting that.
For those who missed it, here is a link to that post Brexit article: https://walsallpropertyblog.com/2016/06/24/eu-referendum-67-9-of-walsall-voters-vote-with-their-feet/. In this piece, I would like to take my thoughts on from that initial article and now start to see the clearer picture as the dust settles on the UK, but more importantly, the Walsall Property Market.
In case you weren’t aware, the residents of the Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council area went against the National mood and voted as follows…
Remain Votes 43,572 (32.1%) Leave Votes 92,007 (67.9%) Turnout 69.7%
I have been reading there is some evidence to indicate younger voters were vastly more likely to vote ‘Remain’ than their parents and grandparents and, whilst the polling industry’s techniques may have been widely criticised following them getting both the 2010 General Election and the recent Brexit vote wrong, many surveys seem to suggest there was a relationship between age and likelihood to support leaving the EU.
Interestingly, the average age of a Walsall resident is 37 years old, which is below the national average of 39.3, which might go some way to back up the way Walsall voted? What I do know is that putting aside whether you were a remain or leave voter, the vote to leave has, and will, create uncertainty and the last thing the British property market needs is uncertainty as with previous episodes of uncertainty in the UK economy – UK house prices have tended to go down.
Interestingly, when we look at the Homeownership rates in the Walsall Metropolitan Council area, of the 67,820 (62.9%) properties that are owned in the Walsall Metropolitan Council area – Owned being owned outright, owned with a mortgage or shared ownership – the age range paints a noteworthy picture.
So, looking at these figures, and the high proportion of older homeowners, you might think all the Walsall Metropolitan Council area homeowners would vote Remain to keep house prices stable and younger people would vote out so house prices come down so they could afford to buy?
But there’s a risk in oversimplifying this. The sample of the polling firms are in the thousands whilst the country voted in its millions. Other demographic influences have been at play in the way people voted, as early evidence is starting to suggest that class, level of education, the levels of immigration and ethnic diversity had an influence on the way the various parts of the UK voted.
So what I suggest is this; don’t assume everyone over the age of 35 voted ‘Leave’ and don’t assume most under 35’s backed ‘Remain’; because many didn’t!
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2 thoughts on “Walsall’s Generation Gap & Brexit – Did the Older Generation Let Down the Young?”
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