EU –bah –gum! Leeds voters see an almost 50/50 split decision
As millions of Brits across the country headed to their local polling stations on Thursday 23rd June, European leaders held their breath to find out the results of the EU referendum.
Ultimately, by a majority of less than four per cent, the UK voted to leave, with over 33 million people turning out to voice their opinions.
Breaking down these figures, we can see how the West Yorkshire public voted, with a mixed message from the electorate across the region.
In Leeds, the city’s residents were split down the middle with 50.31 per cent wanting to stay in the EU and 49.69 per cent wanting to leave.
A total of 387,337 people voted, which represented 71.33 per cent of the 543,037 electorate.
Leeds’s 358 polling stations had closed at 10pm, with the usual last minute rush before the deadline and the start of a regional count at the First Direct Arena.
York and Harrogate also leant towards remaining.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the county, more people voted to leave the EU with majorities in Bradford (8.46 per cent), Kirklees (9.33 per cent) and Calderdale (11.35 per cent).
Wakefield had the biggest majority of Brexiters in Yorkshire, with a resounding 66.36 per cent in favour of leaving – a majority of 32.73 per cent.
Amjad Bashir, Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and ‘Leave’ campaigner said people had ‘nothing to be worried about’ from the decision to leave the EU and that it was time to ‘look forward to a bright new future’.
When the results were announced, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “I believe that Britain is better off within the European Union, but the British people have clearly spoken... and their democratic will must now be fulfilled.
“I want to send a clear message to the British people and to businesses and investors around the world this morning - there is no need to panic.”
Mr Khan added: “We all have a responsibility to now seek to heal the divisions that have emerged throughout this campaign - and to focus on that which unites us, rather than that which divides us.”
Sadiq Khan’s sentiments echo what the late, much-loved Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox thought with her now famous words: ‘We have far more in common than that which divides us’.
Her husband, Brendan Cox said the murdered MP - who was pro-EU - would have stayed positive after last night’s vote.
He wrote on Twitter this morning: “Today Jo would have remained optimistic and focused on what she could do to bring our country back together and around our best values.”
According to a YouGov poll, 75 per cent of 18-to-24 year olds voted ‘Remain’ in comparison to only 39 per cent of those aged 65 and over.
There have been calls for another EU referendum with the government asked to implement a rule that says ‘if the Remain or Leave vote is less than 60 per cent, based on a turnout less than 75 per cent there should be another vote’.