Leeds votes ‘remain’ in EU ballot by tiniest of margins - as rest of Yorkshire says ‘bye bye Brussels’

editorial image
27
Have your say

Yorkshire voters have voted overwhelmingly to quit the EU - with huge swathes of the region favouring a Brexit.

However Leeds voted to remain by the tiniest of margins - just 2,389 votes and a 50.3 per cent total vote share.

It was an ultimately futile success in the North for the ‘remain’ camp during a night of a thousand drubbings.

Neighbour Wakefield opted out by a massive margin, 116,165 votes to 58,877, and a 71.2 per cent turnout.

And the regional vote was also emphatically for a Brexit - 58 per cent Leave versus 42 per cent for remain.

In total, 2.7m votes were cast in the region, with a turnout of just over 70 per cent.

Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Jane Collins UK Independence Party MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire celebrates despite Leeds voting to remain.
Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Jane Collins UK Independence Party MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire celebrates despite Leeds voting to remain. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

There were a total of 1,580,937 votes for Leave and 1,158,298 for remain, a significant difference of 422,639 votes.

There was a sombre tone from key ‘remain’ figures at Leeds Arena, the headquarters for the wider Yorkshire and Humber counts, as their camp received a drubbing in much of the wider county and country.

Even before Leeds had finished its count, Britain was heading for an exit from the European Union.

Within hours, Prime Minister David Cameron had announced his resignation, paving the way for a Tory party leadership contest and - according to some commentators - a possible early General Election.

European Union Referendum 2016. Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Counting gets underway.
23rd June 2016.
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

European Union Referendum 2016. Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Counting gets underway. 23rd June 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds was the counting base for 21 local authorities in the region, with the final count for Yorkshire and the Humber fed into the national total.

With a total electorate in the region of almost four million, some commentators had suggested that the Yorkshire and Humber vote could be the clincher for the whole referendum result.

However in the end it was all about the Brexit surge, and the narrow ‘remain’ votes in Leeds - as well as Harrogate and York - proved ultimately futile.

Even as the Leeds vote was announced, the Brexit campaigners at the arena - already assured of a national result in their favour - were singing songs of victory.

Polling station on Calverley Lane, Bramley. Pictures: Tony Johnson

Polling station on Calverley Lane, Bramley. Pictures: Tony Johnson

The overall results from Yorkshire had the Remain camp trembling - as it was trounced in cities like Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley. Bradford also opted to leave, by a margin of 20,000.

Also voting to quit the EU by significant majorities were Hull, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees, North East Lincolnshire, Richmondshire, Scarborough, Hambleton, North Lincolnshire, Selby, Ryedale and East Riding.

Of the 21 local authorities declaring in Leeds, 18 voted ‘out’.

The only other exceptions in Yorkshire were Harrogate - which opted to remain by a margin of just 2,000 votes - and York.

Leeds’s own 358 polling stations had closed at 10pm last night, with the usual last minute rush before the deadline and the start of a frantic regional count at the first direct Arena.

The atmosphere at Leeds Arena had been electric as the first national results started trickling through.

.

.

Early successes for Remain were soon put in the shade by some stunning results for Brexit across the country as well as in Yorkshire.

The Brexit-boom was further fuelled by some huge turnouts, including 81 per cent in Craven and a huge victory for Leave in Sunderland with 61 percent of the vote.

In Leeds, the overall turnout was 69.9 percent, with 379,759 voters casting a ballot out of a possible 544,000.

There were 194,863 votes for ‘remain’ and 192,474 for the Brexit camp.

Across Yorkshire, the turnout was slightly higher at 70.1 per cent, with 2.7million of the eligible 3.88million eligible voters actually doing so.

Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. 
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Yorkshire and the Humber count at the Leeds First Direct Arena. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sarah Champion MP

Aisha Iqbal: Let’s not blur the lines between courage, free speech and hate