February 2021: Prof Rob Ford

Brexitland: identity conflicts in British politics

Long-term social and demographic changes – and the conflicts they create – continue to transform British politics. Professor Ford will illustrate how deep the roots of this polarisation and volatility run, with decades of educational expansion and rising ethnic diversity as key drivers in the emergence of new divides within the British electorate over immigration, identity and diversity. Choices made by political parties from the New Labour era onwards have mobilised these divisions into politics, first through conflicts over immigration, then through conflicts over the European Union, culminating in the 2016 EU referendum, and the dramatic political changes seen in two general elections since it was conducted.

Robert Ford is Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester and co- author of “Brexitland”, which analyses the identity conflicts reshaping British politics.

His previous books include “Revolt on the Right”, the award-winning study of the UK Independence Party, and “Sex, Lies and Politics”. Professor Ford is part of the BBC elections analysis team, which conducts the general election exit polls and provides live analysis of local and national election results. He regularly writes on British politics and public opinion for a range of media outlets.

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