REFERENDUM: No evidence of figures

Whatever the policy of the Labour Party may be on Brexit and the future of the UK, the letter from Jean McLaughlin (News Guardian, February 2), must be challenged on the facts of the referendum.

Monday, 20th February 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:07 am

Unless she has access to data of which I am unaware, results were declared in many places by reference only to administrative areas, for example North Tyneside Council, not parliamentary constituencies.

The result in North Tyneside was 53.37 per cent for leave and 46.6 per cent for remain, on a turnout of 72 per cent. In my world that could never be described as an overwhelming vote in favour of exiting the EU.

Unless Mrs McLaughlin can produce officially verified evidence from Mr Campbell’s Tynemouth constituency, she should withdraw her assertion that “his constituents voted overwhelmingly to leave”.

One piece of academic research has suggested that voting in Tynemouth was 51.7 per cent for leave, hardly a resounding endorsement. This is not verified by actual votes. However, if reasonably accurate, it would chime with results in similar areas where votes are known by reference to the socio-economic profiles of their populations.

Unless we can separate hard facts we can have no hope of maintaining rational debate.

Alan Fidler

North Shields