Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The generational decay of Euroscepticism in the UK and the EU referendum

Fox, Stuart ORCID: and Pearce, Sioned ORCID: 2018. The generational decay of Euroscepticism in the UK and the EU referendum. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 28 (1) , pp. 19-37. 10.1080/17457289.2017.1371180

[thumbnail of 17457289.2017.1371180.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
License URL:
License Start date: 4 September 2017


A prominent feature of media coverage during the UK’s referendum on European Union (EU) membership was the stark difference between the pro-EU young and their Eurosceptic elders, widely assumed to reflect a generational divide. The positive relationship between age and hostility towards the EU is well established in academic research, however only Down, and Wilson [(2013). “A rising generation of Europeans? Life-cycle and cohort effects on support for ‘Europe’.” European Journal of Political Research 52: 431–456] have considered whether this reflects a generational or life-cycle effect. While their research confirms that there is such a generational effect, their capacity to explain it is limited. This study utilizes data from Britain and builds on previous attempts to identify and explain generational trends in Euroscepticism, bridging it with studies on individual-level determinants of hostility towards the EU, providing the most detailed assessment of the extent and causes of generational differences in Euroscepticism to date. The results confirm that today’s young people are the most supportive generation of EU membership, caused by a combination of factors including their experience of the EU during their formative years, their relationships with domestic political institutions, and their access to education.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1745-7289
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 August 2017
Date of Acceptance: 14 August 2017
Last Modified: 07 May 2023 21:13

Citation Data

Cited 19 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics