Features / Investigations

Full Bristol Brexit results: what we learned

By bristol247, Monday Jul 4, 2016

Phew! What a week and a half. But now the dust has settled on the EU referendum and the fallout from the Brexit vote trundles on, it’s perhaps a good time to look a little close at the election results and what they mean for Bristol.

First thing first, Bristol, being Bristol, bucked the trend and voted to remain in the EU, 62/38 per cent. So it wasn’t our fault.

But there is more to the results than a simple yes/no answer. If we delve deeper into the ward-by-ward data, a broader picture emerges of how the city votes and feels about the European Union. Our interactive map shows a high Remain vote in red and a low Remain vote in yellow. Click on the wards to find exact results.

There’s no two ways about it, this is a picture of division. Take Ashley ward for example. An unbelievable 85.6 per cent voted to remain here. Meanwhile, in Hartcliffe & Withywood ward, about four miles away, 66.9 per cent voted to leave the EU.

Of course, this is no surprise. When the nationwide results were announced, they were declared council by council, showing a picture of a country divided.

Some of those divisions were between social class and levels of prosperity. Many of the more deprived towns in the UK voted strongly in favour of Brexit. While the more wealthy places voted to stay in the EU. This handy map shows the number of £1 million homes compared with the Brexit results.

And this is a picture which is carried over in Bristol. Look at this heat map of deprivation levels in Bristol, taken from the 2011 census.

The map shows a similar picture to our interactive map of the Brexit vote above. Pockets of deprivation in the south, north-west and east of the city are where there were the highest number of votes in favour of Brexit.

And have a look at this heat map of professional jobs held by people in each area which is even more revealing of how the divide may reflect something deeper.

However, there are exceptions to the rule, of course. Take Lawrence Hill for example, where just 28.3 per cent voted ‘out’. This is among the 10 per cent of most deprived wards in the whole of the UK.

One explanation could be that 60 per cent of people living in Lawrence Hill are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, while almost 40 per cent of the ward were born outside of the UK.

Of course, there are more ways to look at the results than purely on economic terms. The age divide also played its role.

And in Bristol dozens of young people turned out on College Green on Wednesday (following similar pro-EU protests on Monday and Tuesday) to call for the voting age to be lowered.

And finally, the Brexit vote here, like everywhere in the UK, also exposed an extraordinary political divide. Voters may have kicked out Bristol’s only Ukip councillor in May’s elections. But some of the Tories told Bristol24/7 before the referendum that they would be supporting the Brexit vote. But most of them just refused to say where they stood.

However, Charlotte Leslie, Tory MP for Bristol North West, where there was a high ‘out’ vote, declared her support for Brexit a few days before the referendum.

And while all three of Bristol’s Labour MPs voted to remain, that didn’t stop a split emerging in their party which has led to, you guessed it, more protests on the streets of Bristol.

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