St Albans EU election turnout above national average

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 June 2019

Activists campaigning ahead of the EU election on May 23. Picture: StAfE

Activists campaigning ahead of the EU election on May 23. Picture: StAfE

Archant

The number of St Albans voters who turned up to have their say in the EU election was well above the national figures.

Activists campaigning ahead of the EU election on May 23. Picture: StAfEActivists campaigning ahead of the EU election on May 23. Picture: StAfE

Nearly 50,000 residents across the district went to their polling station on May 23 to elect a new set of East of England MEPs - despite Britain being scheduled to leave the European Union in October.

That is a 47 per cent turnout, which is about ten per cent more than the national figure.

Chair of local Remainer campaign group St Albans for Europe, Fiona McAndrew, said: "As a group, we worked hard to encourage EU citizens and youth to register, and had a huge leafleting campaign to encourage people to support one of the parties advocating a People's Vote."

Outspokenly pro-EU party Liberal Democrats topped the St Albans poll with 22,232 votes, followed by The Brexit Party with 10,590, the Greens with 6,010, the Conservatives with 4,583, and Labour with 2,752.

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Voters were electing seven new MEPs - there are now three from the Brexit Party, two Liberal Democrats, one Green and one Conservative for the East of England.

Fiona added: "Once again, St Albans has sent a crystal clear message to the government and to [St Albans MP] Anne Main that people want a rethink on Brexit, now that it is widely known to be a total disaster."

St Albans voter Dave Newman, 40, said: "I voted Lib Dem because I am dismayed with the rise of what I regard as far right extremism being fed by the likes of Farage, and I want to see an end to this Brexit fiasco."

Nicola Wood, from London Colney, added: "I wanted to use my Remain vote to maximum effect, so I looked at the polls to see who needed it the most and ended up voting Green. Normally I'd have voted Labour or Lib Dem."

The BBC calculated that pro-Remain parties on the national scene received 40.4 per cent of the votes and Brexit advocating parties collected 34.9 per cent.

Chair of local Remainer campaign group Harpenden for Europe, Richard Scott, said: "The people of Harpenden have overwhelmingly given their MP Bim Afolami a simple message to stop Brexit.

"They are extremely worried that the next Tory Prime Minister will support a disastrous No Deal Brexit. We call on Mr Afolami to support a People's Vote so we can put an end to this Brexit mess and get on with our lives."

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