MICHAEL Gove was largely correct to claim that the British public have "had enough of experts" during the EU referendum campaign, new research suggests.

An analysis of why the Remain campaign lost in June found widespread distrust of politicians, academics and financial institutions contributed to a failure to convince enough people of the economic benefits of membership.

More people agreed than disagreed that they would rather trust the wisdom of "ordinary people" than experts. Just 22 per cent of those who agreed that they preferred to trust ordinary people said that they expected the economy to get worse as a result of leaving the EU. Of those who did expect the economy to get worse, well over half preferred the wisdom of experts.

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Mr Gove, a leading leave campaigner, infamously said that "people in this country have had enough of experts" in a setpiece TV interview ahead of the EU referendum, a statement that provoked a backlash from some quarters. However, a paper produced by Professor John Curtice and published by the National Centre for Social Research found that distrust in establishment figures was a major factor in the result.

He added that this, alongside a widespread lack of belief in the economic benefits of the EU in the first place, means that it is not inevitable that the public would turn against Brexit even if faced with an economic downturn.

Factors such as the financial crash of 2008 and the MPs expenses scandal may lie behind waning respect for experts, the paper said. It concluded that Remain lost the referendum because it "did not win the economic argument as well as it needed to," while focusing almost solely on the economy, rather than addressing issues such as identity and immigration, was seen as a "fragile" tactic.

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Professor Curtice said: "We should not assume that the public will turn against Brexit if economic difficulties follow the vote to leave the EU. Many of those who voted to Leave exhibited a distrust of financial institutions and experts that suggests they could well point the finger of blame instead at those same institutions and experts if markets react adversely to Brexit. That said, they are looking to the government to negotiate a deal that ensures that in the end the consequences are at least economically neutral."