The result in the Brexit referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union or remain a member was 51.9% Leave, 48.1% Remain. Is there a good estimate of how British citizens voted? I mean the voters who were British citizens, not those who had a vote but who weren't British citizens, who included many residents of Britain who were citizens of the Republic of Ireland or of a Commonwealth country such as Australia, Canada, Cyprus, India, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, or South Africa.

Among British citizens who voted, was there a majority for Leave or Remain?

  • I would be surprise if "citizens of the Republic of Ireland or of a Commonwealth country such as Australia, Canada, Cyprus, India, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, or South Africa" were allowed to vote. Source? Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 19:20
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    It's true, @Martin, otherwise I wouldn't have asked. And you should have done some research before you posted that question in a comment. It's easily verifiable. Click here.
    – user9876
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 19:38
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    The way the question is posed it is quite difficult to understand what is being asked. A background summary of all of the different possible classifications of voters would make the question asked much more clear.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 7:41
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    @ruffle : your source is good, but it was your job as the OP to include it in the question to support your (correct) claim, and not Martin's job to check the claim by himself. I think you should move the link to the body of the question for future readers who might wonder about that affirmation.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


The official results didn't reveal such information. This graph by BBC shows the results of different nations within UK:

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The results show that majority of voters in Northern Ireland and Scotland voted Remain. There is no official data available about how non-British Commonwealth citizens voted. According to this BBC article,

Estimates based on the 2011 census put the number of Commonwealth citizens eligible to vote in the forthcoming referendum at between 894,000 and more than 960,000.

If we accept that the number of non-British Commonwealth citizens is in this range, then we can conclude that even if all the less than 1 million of them who were eligible to vote voted Leave and all their votes were removed, then the result would still be in favour of Leave, given that Leave won by 1.3 million votes

Reference: electoralcommission.org.uk

  • Downvoters, may I know what's wrong with this post? Your feedback will help me improve it. Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 17:21
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    Thanks for this, which I have upvoted because it contains a useful estimate of the number of non-British Commonwealth citizens who had a vote. But there is no English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish citizenship. British citizens resident in Northern Ireland are precisely that. And the question asks about those who weren't British citizens but who had a vote by dint of being citizens of either another Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland, so it cannot be resolved only with reference to citizens of Commonwealth countries other than Britain. I have edited your penultimate sentence.
    – user9876
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 19:43
  • According to this article in the Irish Times, around 400,000 non-British Irish citizens live in Britain. There would have had to have been both a very high turnout among non-British citizens and a very large majority among them for Leave for their votes to have changed the result. The basic idea of this answer is correct. It is highly likely that the majority of British citizens who voted did vote Leave. If you amend the answer I will accept it.
    – user9876
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 20:01
  • @ruffle "Northern Ireland voted by 56% to remain within the European Union." - Don't Irish people live their? irishtimes.com/news/politics/… Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 20:07
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    Yes, people from Northern Ireland are Irish, but the vast majority of them are British citizens. Northern Ireland is part of Britain. The vast majority are also entitled to citizenship of the Republic of Ireland, or automatically have it, but the question asks about non-British people who had a vote in the referendum, namely people eligible to vote who were citizens of the Republic of Ireland or of a non-British Commonwealth country and who were not British citizens.
    – user9876
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 20:24

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