Getting emotional about BREXIT

I wrote a post earlier this week that considered the way the BREXIT/BREMAIN campaigns had been fought here in the UK.

It’s now the day after the night before and I’ll come clean – I didn’t honestly think we’d vote to leave.  I called it wrong.


I believed that people would follow normal tendencies to avoid loss.

However, on reflection I was right(!) they did exactly that.

But I predicted the wrong reason:

“Loss aversion suggests that many will… avoid the more unknown quantity – going it alone.”

“All will be much clearer on 24th June but chances are we’ll behave entirely predictably as a nation of humans.”

In fact, us Brits did vote as a nation of humans.  We were fed a diet of fear after all.

The post referendum election has revealed some interesting voting biases.

Remainers tended to be much younger urbanites.

Or the Scots.

Leavers were overwhelmingly much older voters living in England and Wales.

Fear of loss was an overwhelming factor in their final decision

Immigration fear won the day for BREXIT.

Why? Because context has considerable impact on all our decisions and the context for many ‘leavers’ was feeling disenfranchised and powerless.

The fear of losing control of ‘their’ country was overwhelming.

So whilst we may be either commiserating or celebrating today’s referendum decision, it proves an important point about people.

Emotional drivers will always overcome rational facts.

Especially when the stakes are high.