Sunderland votes to Leave by larger margin than expected

The value of Sterling dropped sharply by around 3 per cent on the markets in an instant reaction

Friday 24 June 2016 01:31 BST
Sunderland votes to leave EU - 2nd take

Sunderland has voted to leave the EU by a larger margin than expected, with 61 per cent voting to leave and 39 per cent voting to remain in the European Union.

The value of Sterling dropped sharply by around 3 per cent on the markets in an instant reaction to the Sunderland result, as traders took on board the possibility of a strong result for Leave.

Follow the latest live updates from the EU referendum

Leave was expected to win Sunderland by six points, but in fact won by 22, according to Ben Riley-Smith, political correspondent for the Telegraph.

The turnout in Sunderland was 65 per cent and the result follows a vote for Remain in Newcastle which was narrower than expected at 51 per cent to Remain against 49 per cent to Leave.

Nigel Farage described the Sunderland result as “fantastic” and Newcastle as “amazing” for Leave, telling Sky News: “It's clearly very tight [but] I think Remain might just nick it.”

Delighted Leave supporters drowned out the regional counting officer in Sunderland as she announced their big win in the city.

They hugged and cheered as Sue Stanhope made the announcement at the tennis centre in Silksworth, where the count had been conducted with the usual efficiency.

From the 134,400 votes cast, Leave received 82,394 and Remain polled 51,930.

Sunderland prides itself on running a slick operation to count votes, and its three constituencies were the first to declare at the last general election. The city uses students to run the ballot boxes to the tables of counters, many of whom are bank tellers used to quickly handling cash.

Ukip MEP Diane James said the large win for Leave in Sunderland could be down to anger over the local Nissan car plant writing to employees to make clear the company would prefer Britain to stay in the EU.

She told BBC News: “Nissan, I believe, was one of those companies that was effectively asked by the Prime Minister to write a letter to the employees and I think what you're seeing here is the reaction to that, which I understand has been quite widespread across the country where people have actually taken offence at being directed to do something and then seemingly that whole message has been undermined in the later stage.”

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