London and Scotland IN as Swathes of UK Vote OUT; BREXIT VOTE: D-DAY

Daily Mail (London), June 24, 2016 | Go to article overview

London and Scotland IN as Swathes of UK Vote OUT; BREXIT VOTE: D-DAY


Byline: Daniel Martin Chief Political Correspondent

BRITAIN'S historic EU referendum has exposed a huge gulf between the views of London, Scotland and the rest of the country.

While voters north of the border and in the capital tilted heavily towards Remain, Wales and large swathes of the rest of England tended to be in the Leave camp.

In many pro-Remain areas turnout was lower than expected - much lower than in the Scottish independence vote two years ago.

In London, terrible weather may have been at least partly to blame for turnout falling short. The sharp divide between Scotland and much of the rest of the country could have stark consequences for the future of the United Kingdom. International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: 'It's a combination of London being more international and the immigration debate really jarring with people.'

Former Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper said: 'I think it does show the pattern of a divided country and that is going to be a challenge for us whatever the result is, and there is a real task to pull the country back together again.

'There are particularly divisions between the cities and the towns. We knew that the Tory shires would be more likely to be voting to Leave and the cities more likely to be voting Remain. We've also known for some time that industrial towns and coalfield communities were more likely to be voting to Leave.'

Turnout across the UK was expected to be around 70 per cent, much higher than the proportion who voted at the 2015 General Election. In many areas, referendum turnout approached 80 per cent. Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said anecdotal evidence suggested turnout on some council estates in northern England had reached unprecedented levels of more than 80 per cent.

But there were huge differences across the nation in the direction the public voted. In northern England, Sunderland was one of the first to vote Leave by a significant margin, with 61 per cent in favour of Brexit. South Tyneside voted to quit the EU by 62 per cent.

Richmondshire in North Yorkshire also voted Leave - in a snub to its ex-MP William Hague, the former Eurosceptic Tory leader who has recently backed staying in the EU.

Last night John Mann, the pro-Brexit Labour MP, said: 'Sunderland result will be exceeded in coalfield communities. I predict 2:1 for out, with turnout higher than last 25 years.' However, Liverpool voted for Remain - by 58 per cent.

In the Midlands, there was a similar lead for Leave - with Kettering voting for Brexit by 61 per cent. Rugby followed on 57 per cent.

Some southern areas around the capital also voted for Leave last night, including Swindon, with 55 per cent for Brexit. Basildon voted Leave by 69 per cent, and Watford was a close result with just over 50 per cent backing Brexit.

In London, however, the results were much more emphatic for Remain. Lambeth voted 79 per cent for Remain, with 70 per cent in Hammersmith and Fulham, 75 per cent in Wandsworth and 75 per cent in Jeremy Corbyn's fiefdom of Islington. But while support for Brexit was stronger than expected in many parts of England, all the areas in which votes had been counted in Scotland last night had a majority for Remain. …

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