VIDEO: Blackpool votes to LEAVE the EU - reaction

Blackpool voters backed leaving the EU by a majority of around two to one in a result which both camps admitted was no surprise.

Friday, 24th June 2016, 4:48 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:14 pm
Blackpool EU referendum count

Supporters of both the Remain and Leave campaigns said the outcome reflected the mood on the doorstep in the run up to the referendum.

A total of 45,146 people voted to leave the union, with 21,781 votes to remain, giving a 67 per cent vote in favour of coming out.

The number of votes counted was 66,959 with 32 ballot papers rejected.

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Blackpool EU referendum count

Blackpool council leader Simon Blackburn, who had urged residents to vote to stay in the union, said people were disillusioned with the system - something which needed to be addressed whatever the national result.

He said the outcome was not unexpected “based on what we have heard on the doorstep” during the campaign.

Coun Blackburn added: “I do very firmly believe Blackpool’s best interests are served by remaining a member of the EU.

“But we will take time as a political party and movement to reflect on the result.

“Whatever the result we need to address the fears and concerns of the losing side.

“If you look at seaside resorts in general there tends to be low incomes and high levels of unemployment and both things can lead to a general discontent with the system.”

Supporters of the Leave campaign in the resort said concerns over immigration and sovereignty had driven people to vote to quit the EU.

Peter Greenhalgh, agent for the Leave Campaign in the town, said: “The result is not really a surprise.

Blackpool EU referendum count

“We have had tables out in the town centre and all people have been saying to us is ‘leave, leave’.

“I think for most people it was down to concerns about immigration and people have not believed the scare tactics of the Remain campaign.

“They were saying foreign people who worked for the NHS will have to leave, but that is nonsense.

“All we want is controlled immigration.

“A lot of it is also about who is best placed to look after our interests and that is the British people.”

Robert Wood, campaign co-ordinator for Labour Remain in Blackpool South, said the message had failed to get through to people about how Blackpool had benefited from Europe.

He added: “We knew from the outset we faced a tough battle in Blackpool.

“It is a town that is very deprived in certain areas and unfortunately the political parties in general have talked about the issues we want to talk about and the EU hasn’t been one of them.

“The public sees us sending money to Brussels with no explanation for what we get for that.

“In Blackpool we have had a lot of benefits including funding which enabled the council to buy and repair the Tower and Winter Gardens.

“People in Blackpool aren’t happy with the politicians and we have failed them in letting them know how the EU benefits places like Blackpool.”