EU Referendum: North West towns vote Leave as cities votes Remain

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Image caption,
Counting at Manchester Central following the EU referendum

People in many North West towns have voted to leave the EU, while Liverpool and Manchester voted Remain.

In Bury 54,674 people (54.1%) voted to leave, while 46,354 (45.9%) voted to stay, during the first declaration in the region.

Turnout was high, with 71.3% of the electorate voting.

Liverpool voted for remain, with 118,453 voting to stay (58.2%) and 85,101 voting in favour of leaving (41.8%).

Manchester saw similar results with 121,823 (60.4%) voting to remain and 79,991 (39.6%) leave.

Wirral, Sefton, Trafford, Stockport also voted Remain, against the trend of the region's towns.

Blackpool 'most leave votes'

In St Helens, there were 54,357 votes for leave (58%), with 39,322 people (42%) voting to remain. Turnout was slightly lower than in Bury at 68.8%.

Knowsley, which neighbours St Helens, had 36,558 people voting to leave (51.6%) and 34,345 (48.4%) opting to remain. Another neighbour, Halton, voted leave.

The result in Burnley was 28,854 votes for leave (66.6%) and 14,462 (33.4%) to stay, with a turnout of 67.2%.

Blackpool had the highest percentage of leave votes in the region. Some 45,146 voters (67.5%) opted to leave, while 21,781 (32.5%) wanted to remain. Turnout was 65.4%. Its neighbour, Fylde, also voted leave.

BBC North West Tonight political editor Arif Ansari

So far we are seeing huge majorities across Lancashire for leave.

What is unexpected is the number of areas in the North West that have voted to Leave by big majorities.

Most people were expecting quite close results. But large parts of the region have overwhelmingly chosen to quit Europe, sometimes with larger turnouts than at the previous general election.

The old mill towns of Lancashire and Greater Manchester want out. So do large parts of Merseyside. Why?

During the campaign I met voters who felt they had got nothing from the EU and were determined to stop further immigration. Liverpool, Wirral and Manchester have voted to remain. The cities are more at ease with immigration and have benefited from EU regeneration money.

In Pendle, 28,631 voters (63.2%) voted leave and 16,704 (36.8%) Remain on a turnout of 70.2%. Nearby Hyndburn had 26,568 people (66.2%) voting to leave and 13,569 (33.8%) remain on a 64.7% turnout.

Salford, Wigan, Lancaster, Blackburn with Darwen, Rochdale, Preston, South Ribble, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, Chorley, Bolton, Tameside, Oldham also voted leave as did Wyre and West Lancashire.

Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington all voted leave.

Overall, the North West towns polled 59% of votes wanting to leave and 41% to remain.

Liverpool-born Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: "I always thought it was going to be close. People on balance have tipped either way."

Steven Woolfe, UKIP MEP for the North West, said: "I am ecstatic. I am so proud of the British people and the North West's contribution in voting to leave the EU. It means we are going to take control of our own destiny. It enables us now to make our own laws. One thing is very clear- the politicians cannot hide behind the EU.

"This is our independence day, the most significant thing you can have for a country. We have democracy restored."

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