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Polling_Station

High Remain vote in West Hampstead, but turnout only average

Camden has released more details of the Brexit vote. The results are not strictly ward based (the count was organised in this way for reasons of accuracy) as postal votes were allocated randomly and evenly per ward. With that caveat, the percentage vote in favour of remain in the the local wards was:

Hampstead Town 79.72%
Fortune Green 79.71% (just pipped by Hampstead)
Frog & Fitz 79.18%
West Hampstead 78.43%
Swiss Cottage 77.79%
Highgate 77.06% (said to have been highest, but wasn’t)
Kilburn 70.20%

However, the results also reveal a surprise on turnout. Despite photographs of queues at West Hampstead Library polling station making the national press, turnout in Camden overall was 65.5%*, exactly on a par with the last general election. Yet nationally it was 72.2% (66.1% at the last general election) and, according to the Evening Standard, in comparable Islington it was 70.39% and in south west London 71.98%. So why was turnout in Camden relatively low? Local weather?  Demographics?  Voter registration?  Error in my sums?

*Turnout; 21,128 (postal votes cast) + 74,154 (ballot papers cast) = 95,282 / 145,328 (total Camden electorate) = 65.5%

EU Referendum hustings Fr Andrew

Undecided voters swayed by Sherriff Centre EU referendum hustings

EU Referendum hustings Fr Andrew

West Hampstead is a very civic-minded area and last night The Sherriff Centre in St James’s Church held a hustings on whether Britain should stay in the European Union. The audience of about 60-80 people was generally respectful and let everyone speak. A republican debate on Fox news it was not. Each side also had a stall with more information. The panel was moderated by Father Andrew Cain.

Audience fills up at the Sherriff Centre

For the Remain side: Andrew Marshall (Conservative councillor for Swiss Cottage and former Deputy Leader of Camden Council), and Hannah Phillips, who is leading the Holborn & St Pancras remain campaign (though has no political affiliation)

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall

Hannah Phillips

Hannah Phillips

For the Leave side: Calvin Robinson (teacher and Conservative candidate in the recent Kilburn (Brent) by-election) and John Mills (a prominent voice in the Labour party supporting Brexit).

Calvin Robinson

Calvin Robinson

John Mills

John Mills

The referendum campaign on both sides has, with a few exceptions, been pale, male and old(er). It was welcoming therefore to hear Calvin and Hannah balancing out the experience of John and Andrew. There was a proper debate and although there was a bit of passion from the audience and some accusations of both sides on lying, it was all in moderation. We in West Hampstead are a bit respectful.

In the end, did the debate really change anything? Father Andrew conducted a poll of the audience and it transpired that nobody who was previously decided changed their minds, but four uncommitted voters came to a decision.

Whichever direction you think Britain should take, do vote on June 23rd. It’s a momentous decision that will affect everyone, so get out there and make sure your voice is heard. If you’re finding it hard to filter the facts from the fiction, try FullFacts for some stats behind the spin.