The Imagery of Migrants in the British Media and its Impact on the Brexit Vote in the Midlands.
Dobiles, Kevin Michael
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The vote to leave the European Union by the United Kingdom was a shocking political event. Pollsters had predicted a slight edge for the Remain camp right up to the day of the referendum. After the votes had been counted it was discovered that a region that had historically backed the Labour Party, a strong supporter of Remain, had voted Leave. This region, the Midlands, had seen changing demographics due to migration within and outside of the EU. Consequently, the imagery of the 2015 Migrant Crisis that was published in the British media helped to increase anxieties over migration in this region. These media sources differed in their initial focus of the images of the early part of the crisis. This changed as the crisis continued and the migrants began to travel across multiple European borders. The tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail and The Guardian, a paper of record, are examples of this convergence that helped to exacerbate the immigration anxieties of the voters in the Midlands. This thesis will explain how the presentation of these images led to this region supporting the UKIP position of leaving the European Union.