#EUquake? Remain areas see boost in turnout in European Elections

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.

See also: “Thousands could complain to Electoral Commission after #DeniedMyVote outcry”

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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4 Responses to “#EUquake? Remain areas see boost in turnout in European Elections”

  1. wg

    Or, it could just be that those who voted Leave in the referendum are disgusted that they are required to vote in another EU election and are refusing to take part.

    Incidentally, this is why I believe that Labour will walk into power at the next General Election – old people tended to vote Brexit, and older people are more likely to vote Conservative; and most of my older friends tell me that if the EU vote is not honoured in any recognisable way, they will never vote again.

  2. Julia Gibb

    Labour MPs in Leave Areas refused to consider a Peoples Vote.
    The Labour leadership tried to appease Leavers and Remainers by being all thing to all people.
    The choice is simple when you look at who is on the Leave side – Tories, The Brexit Party, The DUP and UKIP.
    On the Remain side we have the LibDems, Greens, SNP, PC
    What kind of Labour Party would align with the first group?

    Labour lost 2 MEPs in Scotland. The SNP gained and the LibDems won a seat. Labour is dead and buried in Scotland and the “sit on the fence abstainers” are being rejected elsewhere in the UK.

    I understand Corbyns concerns about the EU (I don’t agree but understand). However aligning with the Political Right is not the way to go.

    If Farage/Johnson/Foster etc are on one side of a debate I will be on the other ever time. Bigots are not the answer under any circumstance.

  3. sikra

    You shouldn’t count abstentions as remainers … 🙂 but good try !!! Time for ignotance is hover. People are more well informed about EU Corruption and it’s lack of democracy … mote and more EU looks like Soviet Union.

  4. Dodgy Geezer

    The interesting point for me is the the Remain side had a high turnout while the Leave side turnout dropped. So comparisons are between Remain who were really trying, against Leave who were less motivated.

    There are two ways to interpret this. Either Leave are getting disheartened at the lack of Leave progress and giving up, or they saw no reason to vote. I incline towards the latter – Tory Leave friends of mine tell me that they saw not voting for their preferred party as a measured complaint.

    If the above is correct, one should add 5-10% onto the Brexit vote to get a reasonable view of the Remain/Leave split, to allow for those not voting as a protest. That would bring the division back to the original Referendum split of 52% leave, 48% remain. But of course the truth is probably more complex…

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