The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on Thursday 23 June.
After the seismic shift in the political landscape, the immediate results were swiftly known on the morning of Friday 24. The local vote did not completely follow the national outcome. All of the local areas had a strong turnout of over 77%, higher than the national average of 72%.
North Somerset’s vote mirrored the national result as a narrow majority of the electorate supported Leave. The area’s two Conservative Members of Parliament held different opinions, Liam Fox strongly campaigned for Brexit and John Penrose supported Remain.
Bath and North East Somerset voted strongly in favour of Remain. 60,878 voted to Remain whilst 44,352 voted to Leave. Jacob Rees-Mogg, North East Somerset’s MP is a well known Eurosceptic.
Mendip was the only area in the county of Somerset to vote Remain. The narrow result between Remain and Leave was approximately 1,300 votes. Mendip however bucked the national trend as many rural areas voted Leave, and only a few major cities such as Bristol and towns voted to Remain. James Heappey, MP for Wells advocated a Remain vote.
Within the rules of UK’s referendum voting, unlike a General Election there is no constituency ‘first past the post’ system. This area’s results, although interesting, have no significant bearing on the future of the region. The referendum rules are that majority verdict across the country wins.
A week is a long time in politics. The tumultuous days following the referendum, now six days ago, have led to upheaval on a national scale with uncertainty in the financial markets, both Conservative and Labour facing leadership battles and with the future of the Union cast in doubt.
Locally, apart from the chagrin and uncertainty felt by Remain voters and the jubilation of the Leave supporters, the longer term outcome of consequences and opportunities for Mendip’s people, businesses and organisations following the Brexit vote remains to be seen.
The region’s Conservative MPs also face change. James Heappey tweeted ‘If we believe in democracy we must accept result’ and of his sadness at the resignation of David Cameron. Jacob Rees-Mogg announced his support for Boris Johnson’s leadership bid.
Liam Fox retweeted his quote on BBC World Service “We’ve got such a great opportunity now” and, according to reports he does not rule himself out of the leadership contest. Dr Fox has until Thursday 30 June at noon to decide whether to become a contender for leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister.
Have you been immediately affected by the results or do you have a view you’d like to share? Get in touch.