Brexit and Political Personality:
The Psychological Profiles of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn
University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, email@example.com
University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, firstname.lastname@example.org
This article focuses on the role of personality in the case of Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on January 31, 2020. A decisive step in Brexit were the general elections on December 12, 2019, in which Boris Johnson, Conservative Prime Minister of the UK and advocate of Brexit, defeated Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party and ‘neutral’ about Brexit. Political psychology considers personality as a major factor in political developments. This article presents the results of an assessment of the personalities of Johnson and Corbyn, and it argues that the personality of these key players influenced the Brexit process. The analysis is based on the theory and methods of Immelman, Immelman & Steinberg, and Mastenbroek. Our findings suggest that Johnson’s charismatic personality, his dominant leadership style, and his negotiating skills contributed to his electoral victory and to the realization of Brexit. Johnson profited from Corbyn’s lack of personal charisma and from his undecisive and divisive leadership regarding Brexit.
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