It may will prove significant in elections and referendums to come.
2 things stand out:
Younger people voted remain
The richer you are, the more likely you voted remain. The working class is solidly on the side of Brexit (65%). Middle class is slightly on the Brexit side.
I wonder which of these is the bigger effect. Waiters in central London, for instance, who commute out far to get to their jobs. How did they vote ?
The EU has it's scapegoat: they're blaming the whole thing on David Cameron, for allowing a vote in the first place, in a supreme display of utter disdain for democracy. Of course, every vote save one about whether people wanted the EU saw people reject the EU, so I guess you can't expect Europe to like voters. Scarily a lot of people are going along with them. I don't understand why. Democracy is the central guarantee that protects workers and anything but the largest entrepreneurs from exploitation.
Also I don't understand why Hacker News, who mostly seem to be leaning to the left, are taking such a pro-capital stance. London's wealth is built at least in part, like Luxembourg's, on being a tax haven in the center of Europe, inside the EU but not paying most taxes. That's borderline criminal.
Does anyone here really think that playing on the side of big capital will work out well for you personally ? For 99.99% of the readers here it is simple: you are not a billionaire temporarily embarrassed by a misplaced comma on your bank account balance, you are either working or (maybe) middle class. Unless big capital, and the EU itself loses out big time you will die in poverty (just calculate out what your pension fund performance is when non-core inflation is 3% and interest rates are 0.25%).
It's also a remarkably conservative stance versus the usual cry to 'disrupt all the things'.
Surely an enormous political union with 750 million inhabitants, which has evolved gradually over 60 years with no clear objective or defined scope and little input from those inhabitants, is ripe for innovation and disruption?
The argument of doing what's best for everyone is just not something that resonates in their politics, much in the same way that's it's not a mainstream value in the USA either. Rather it's about "what's in it for me". Those are not the values of the majority in continental Europe thankfully, asking the question of what's best for everyone resonates stronger.
We're in a volatile time in the developed world. Economic liberalization has brought about a great deal of progress in the past 30 years. Yet, for a bunch of reasons -- globalization, automation, immigration, reduction of discrimination -- the social contract with the majority middle class has broken down. Where once there was a time that if you were born certain shades of skin color in certain countries, some level of economic superiority was your birthright, it's pretty clear that those days are numbered.
I personally think all of these forces of change are ultimately good things. The old system was immoral in a number of ways. However, I can also empathize with the very real loss of societal standing, even though the plight of the majority middle class is _still_ better today than those they feel are gaining prestige at their expense. It's no surprise that this is manifesting as a rogue wave of discontent against the elites and the power structures they control.
The saddest part is that, both in Britain and America, sleazy opportunists are successfully selling the notion that the genie can be put back in the bottle, that the way forwards is by moving backward. This would require re-oppressing the groups of people that rather invisibly propped up the prosperity of the majority in the past, and the opportunists and their supporters are becoming more bold in acknowledging this intention.
The other insurgent movement, embodied by Corbyn and Sanders, respectively, is calling for an explicitly egalitarian social contract, largely embracing multiculturalism (although less so pan-nationalism). It's interesting that there seems to be a very deep young-old divide between this approach and the reactionary approach. Even more so given that the youth hasn't even had the chance to experience the broad-based prosperity in their adult lives that the previous generation seems to have squandered.
On both sides of the Atlantic, the status quo neoliberal politicians have clearly been inept at addressing the concerns of the future, even as they've been largely effective at producing apparent macroeconomic progress. But the disconnect couldn't be more apparent for the average citizens outside the economic and political capitols. Up till now, the traditional elites been able to stay at the helm, bickering about the same old shit that used to motivate voters, but we're beginning to see the stranglehold of the duopoly falter. I think what lies beyond is basically a tri-partite battle for the future between nationalist protectionism, democratic socialism, and neoliberalism.
What's frightening is that it's far from clear that we'll end up with forward-looking governance. It seems like the interim will be chaotic at the very least, even if we avoid the slide into some kind of new fascism.