EU Referendum – the North West votes

June 23rd was the day the UK voted to leave the EU by 52%/48%.   In England the country and towns voted to leave while the big cities voted to remain.  Wales voted out.  Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar voted to remain.

The north west followed English trends with only Manchester, Liverpool and LibDem South Lakeland voting to remain.  What is it about the towns and countryside that made them vote out?

Boris Johnson who was probably the main cheer leader for Leave says it was sovereignty, the right to vote for their representatives.   Although most commentators say immigration was the biggest factor and if the EU had been more flexible in allowing the UK to restrict immigration it would have made a difference.

Both sides accuse the other of lying.  Although Boris Johnson being photographed next to a poster saying the £355million a day will be given to the NHS seems the most memorable example.  A second example could be the emergency budget threats George Osborne made.

The Labour Party MPs landed themselves in a civil war by accusing their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, of being ineffectual.  It did seem that his heart wasn’t in the Remain case.

Basically 72% turned out and of that 52% voted to Leave so just over a third of the population voted out.  Of those a good majority where in the older category.  From anecdotal experience immigration, in so far as it clogs up schools, housing, hospitals and jobs plus sovereignty are the big issues in that group regardless of them being Labour or Conservative voters.  It is a  feature of a referendum that extremists of the left and right are likely to vote for the same side.  So it begins to make the outcome less certain in an election on this kind of subject.

That young people tend not to turn out is also a factor, although who is to say that the non-voters would vote to plan.

Overall the people have spoken.  As a very strong Remain voter it is still our expectation that the so called Project Fear is more like a 10-15 year project. The worsening of the economy will happen slowly after a bumpy year or two.

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