Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Remains Quite Evenly Split in Referendum Debate

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Remains Quite Evenly Split in Referendum Debate

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Whitfield Business editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

THE EU referendum vote is too close to call in the North East, a poll commissioned by The Journal suggests.

A survey of just over 500 people carried out by Hexham-based polling company Panelbase found that 50% of those likely to vote in the referendum wanted to leave the EU, while 43% wanted to stay in.

But 7% of those questioned were still undecided, suggesting that both sides of the debate could still win the referendum on June 23.

The poll also showed that immigration is - by a small degree - the main issue likely to affect people's votes, with 31% of those questioned highlighting that as their major concern. Those highlighting immigration were more likely to vote for Brexit.

But the economy (27%) and the UK's place in the world (23%) were also cited as reasons for voting, with people highlighting both of those issues more likely to want to stay in the EU.

The Journal/Panelbase poll also showed how age is likely to affect people's vote in the referendum, with the 'Remain' side well ahead (by 61% to 32%) in the 18-34 age range, but behind in the 34-55 group (by 51% to 40%) and substantially behind (61% to 34%) in the 55+ age range.

When asked whether they would vote, people wanting to leave the EU were slightly more likely to say they would definitely vote on June 23, but not by a large margin.

Steve Turner, Vote Leave regional director, said: "The North East stands to gain so much when we vote to leave. We can be a more outwardlooking region with the means to invest in our own priorities, increase trade outside of the EU and recruit the skilled people we need to grow our industries.

"The social and economic costs of the EU model are holding our region back from achieving its potential in the world. …

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