Early data suggest a strong link between how strongly areas voted for Remain in the referendum, and an increase in turnout compared to 2014.
Remainers’ hopes have been raised after provisional analysis suggests areas which voted strongly to stay in the European Union in 2016 saw a boost in turnout compared to Leave areas.
Cardiff – a Remain city in 2016 – saw a 10 point jump in turnout compared to 2014, at 42%, while Bath and North East Somerset (58% Remain) saw a nearly 6 point rise. Stroud (54% Remain) saw nearly a 4 point rise. Gwynedd in Wales – 58% Remain in 2016 – saw a 9 point surge, as did Gibraltar (96% Remain) with a 8% rise.
Strongly Leave areas like Basildon and Great Yarmouth saw falls in turnout of 5% and 4% respectively, against what appears to be a national rise.
All of the 10 areas so far announced with biggest turnout drop voted strongly to leave, LFF analysis of the figures shows, with data from 75 councils. 7 of the 10 areas with the biggest turnout increase voted to stay in the EU in 2016.
The data, collected by University of Oxford postgraduate researcher Leonardo Carella, has been cautiously welcomed by Remainers. The councils can be viewed here.
For our Future’s Sake Supporter Rosie McKenna said:
“What we could be seeing here is that young people and students voted in their droves as a response to our anger at how Brexit is going ahead.
“The overwhelming majority of young people and students back a people’s vote, and will millions of new young voters being politicised since 2016, it’s obvious young people’s wishes should no longer be ignored in this debate.”
A Plaid Cymru spokesperson told LFF:
“On the doorsteps and online, over the last few days we have seen long-time Labour and Conservative voters switching their support. People are fed up with politics as it is.
“It is much too early to tell from these figures what the final result might be, but the more remain supporters that got out there and voted, the better. Of course, a scandal seems to be brewing over the denial of thousands of EU citizens’ right to vote and we will be seeking clarification on the matter for the relevant authorities.
“Unfortunately, however, people will be attracted to the simplistic, fantasy politics of the Brexit party – who are spouting the same lies that got us into this mess. This election, and Prime Minister for that matter, might be over, but a new Brexit battle is just beginning.”
Results for the European elections will start to be released on Sunday night.
Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.
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