House of Commons Library

Analysis of the EU Referendum results 2016

Published Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper analyses the results of the referendum on EU membership held on 23 June 2016. The highest vote share for Leave (76%) was recorded in Boston (Lincolnshire). The highest vote share for Remain (96%) was recorded in Gibraltar. The dataset accompanying this briefing paper will be published soon.

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Votes for Leave and Remain were not evenly distributed across the UK. Leave won the highest share of the vote in England and Wales, while Remain won the highest share of the vote in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Within England, London was the only region where Remain won a majority.

Results

A total of 33,577,342 people voted in the referendum, a turnout of 72.2%. The Leave vote won by a 3.8 percentage point margin.

Leave

  • Votes cast - 17,410,742
  • % of valid votes – 51.9%

 

Remain

  • Votes cast - 16,141,241
  • % of valid votes – 48.1%

 

Winning margin for Leave

  • Votes cast - 1,269,501
  • % of valid votes – 3.8%

 

Total votes

  • Total valid votes - 33,551,983
  • Rejected papers - 25,359
  • Total votes cast - 33,577,342

 

The figures in the associated PDF shows graphical representations of the total number of votes cast, and the national share of the vote, for Leave and Remain.

Proportion of the vote across the UK

  Leave % Remain %
England   

53.4%

 

46.6%

 

Wales

 

52.5%

 

47.5%

 

Scotland

 

38.0%

 

62.0%

 

Northern Ireland

 

44.2%

 

55.8%

The associated PDF presents the following information as a map of the UK:

  • Majority Leave/ majority Remain by counting area
  • % voting to leave by counting area
  • % voting to remain by counting area

 

Analysis of results by counting region

Leave won more than 50% of the vote in all counting regions except for three:

  • London
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

 

The West Midlands saw the highest share of the vote for Leave (59.3%), and Scotland the lowest (38.0%).

Turnout was highest in the South East, and the South West and Gibraltar (76.7%), and lowest in Northern Ireland (62.7%).

Further data in the PDF

The associated PDF shows a table of results by region, ranked by highest vote share for Leave. There is also a graph showing the net share of the vote for Leave in each counting region.

The net share of the vote for Leave was highest in the West Midlands and lowest in Scotland.

As the number of voters varies by region, not all regions contributed equally to the overall national result: regions where more votes were counted had a greater impact on the final outcome.

The graph in the PDF shows the weight of the contribution each region made to the final result. The South East counted the highest number of votes overall, and also the highest number of both Leave and Remain votes.

Analysis of results by counting area

Out of the 382 voting areas, 258 recorded a vote share for Leave that was higher than 50%. Leave won 60% or more of the vote in 105 of these counting areas, and 70% or more in 14 of them.

Remain won more than 50% of the vote in 115 counting areas. 46 of these recorded a Remain vote share of 60% or more, and 16 counting areas (10 of which in London) recorded a Remain vote share of 70% or more.

The table in the PDF shows the highest level of support for Leave and Remain across all counting areas (including constituencies in Northern Ireland).

The vote was close (with either Leave or Remain winning by a margin of between 0 and 5 percentage points) in 75 counting areas.

The most frequent margin was a 5-10 percentage point lead for Leave, which was recorded in 48 counting areas.

In the East

In the East, Castle Point recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Cambridge for Remain. Out of the 46 counting areas in the East, 5 recorded a vote share higher than 50% for Remain.

Turnout was highest in St. Albans (82%), and lowest in Luton (66%).

East Midlands

In the East Midlands, Boston recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Rushcliffe for Remain. Leave won more than 50% of the vote in 38 out of the 40 counting areas in the East Midlands.

Turnout was highest in Derbyshire Dales (82%), and lowest in Nottingham (62%).

London

In London, Havering recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Lambeth for Remain. Leave won more than 50% of the vote in 5 out of the 33 counting areas in London.

Turnout was highest in Richmond upon Thames (82%), and lowest in Newham (59%).

North East

In the North East, Hartlepool recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Newcastle upon Tyne for Remain. Remain won more than 50% of the vote in 1 out of the 12 counting areas in the North East.

Turnout was highest in Northumberland (74%), and lowest in Sunderland (65%).

North West

In the North West, Blackpool recorded the highest vote share fore Leave, and Manchester for Remain. Remain won a vote share over 50% in 7 out of the 39 counting areas in the North West.

Turnout was highest in South Lakeland (80%), and lowest in Manchester (60%).

Scotland

In Scotland, Moray recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Edinburgh for Remain. Remain won the most votes in all counting areas in Scotland.

Turnout was highest in East Renfrewshire (76%), and lowest in Glasgow City (56%).

South East

In the South East, Gravesham recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Oxford for Remain. Remain won more than 50% of the vote in 24 of the 68 counting areas in the South East.

Turnout was highest in Chiltern (83%), and lowest in Slough (62%).

South West and Gibraltar

In the South West and Gibraltar, Torbay recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Gibraltar for Remain, followed by Bristol. Remain won more than 50% of the vote in 10 out of the 38 counting areas in the South West and Gibraltar.

Turnout was highest in Gibraltar (84%), and lowest in Bournemouth (69%).

Wales

In Wales, Blaenau Gwent recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Cardiff recorded the highest vote share for Remain. Leave won a vote share of over 50% in 17 out of the 22 counting areas in Wales.

Turnout was highest in Monmouthshire (78%), and lowest in Merthyr Tydfil (67%).

West Midlands

In the West Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Warwick for Remain. Leave won more than 50% of the vote in 28 out of the 30 counting areas in the West Midlands.

Turnout was highest in Wychavon (81%), and lowest in Birmingham (64%).

Yorkshire and the Humber

In Yorkshire and the Humber, North East Lincolnshire recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and York for Remain. Leave won more than 50% of the vote in 18 out of the 21 counting areas in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Turnout was highest in Craven (81%), and lowest in Kingston upon Hull (63%).

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland was one counting area in the referendum, but results have been published at constituency level by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

North Antrim recorded the highest vote share for Leave, and Foyle for Remain. Leave won more than 50% of the vote in 7 out of the 18 constituency areas.

Turnout was highest in South Antrim (68%) and lowest in Lagan Valley (49%).

Data tables

The associated PDF includes full data tables showing results by local authority, England (including Gibraltar), Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Further information about the referendum

The associated PDF also includes information on the following:

Analysis of the relationship between selected characteristics and votes for Leave and Remain

  • Voting behaviour
  • Highest qualification and age
  • Socio-economic indicators and immigration
  • Rural and urban vote shares

 

Further analysis

  • The weather
  • Spoilt ballot papers
  • Turnout and the relationships between turnout and age, and turnout and Leave votes
  • Opinion polls
  • Timeline of key events
  • Previous referendums

 

Further information

Publication details

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7639

Author: Elise Uberoi

Topics: Election results : UK, Elections, EU law and treaties

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