| 1 min read
Over two decades, voters who emphasised their English identity played an influential role in the rise of UKIP and the Brexit Party, the Brexit referendum and the election of Conservative governments—a trend overlooked in most electoral analyses. Using twenty years of data from the British Election Study and British Social Attitudes Survey, as well as recent original surveys, the article explores the evolving political behaviour of national identity groups. It finds that ‘more English’ and ‘more British’ identifiers increasingly voted for different parties. The analysis also identifies growing differences in the demographics, social values and immigration attitudes of these groups, which descriptive and regression analysis suggests may underpin these divergent political behaviours. However, a fuller understanding of electoral behaviour must take account of ideas of national democracy and sovereignty. The electoral impact of both the characteristics of English identifying voters and ideas associated with English identity constitute ‘political Englishness’.