Sunderland Echo poll shows u-turn on Brexit

Leave voters celebrate the Sunderland EU referendum result.

Leave voters celebrate the Sunderland EU referendum result.

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Echo readers have performed a stunning U-turn on the Brexit vote - with the majority of those voting in our poll saying if they had the chance again they would now want to stay in the European Union.

Sunderland was the first city to declare on referendum night back in June as more than 60% voted for Britain to leave the organisation.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson.

Now, most readers from our poll, which received almost 3,000 responses this week, say they would vote to remain if another referendum was held.

It comes as a staggering reversal of opinion after a poll held in the run-up to the referendum earlier this year mirrored the actual result on the night, with a resounding 61% voting to leave the EU.

A total of 65% of the city’s population took part in the ballot.

Sunderland came under the spotlight of attention after become the first city in the UK to declare its results on referendum night and returning a leave verdict.

MP Julie Elliott.

MP Julie Elliott.

The city has since come under a huge amount of scrutiny from across the globe, with media outlets such as the New York Times keen to hear the reasons as to why Sunderland voted out.

London elites who dismiss leave voters in the north as being “stupid” for backing Brexit need to “stop sneering” and understand the realities of life on the post-industrial region, the IPPR North think-tank cautioned in its annual State of the North conference.

Uncertainty around the future of Wearside’s Nissan car plant was expressed following the vote, after the Japanese firm’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn said the company would be holding off on all possible future investment deals until it received assurances around compensation. 
However, after meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May in October, the company announced that the next Qashqai and X-Trail models will be built at the Sunderland factory, securing and sustaining the jobs of more than 7,000 workers.

Earlier this week, MPs voted to trigger Article 50 before April next year, starting the two-year exit timetable.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

In the run-up to referendum day, more than 5,200 people took part in an Echo poll, with 3,828 readers saying they favoured a leave vote.

All three Sunderland MPs were remain campaigners but said that thecity’s decision was clear.

Sharon Hodgson, who represents Washington and Sunderland West, said: “The referendum result was clear, Sunderland voted to leave the EU, and this must be respected.

“The people of Sunderland did not vote to become poorer as a consequence of leaving the EU, and it is up to MPs to hold the Government to account on their haphazard Brexit strategy and make sure people’s jobs and livelihoods are not jeopardised because of it.”

MP for Sunderland Central Julie Elliott said: “The referendum result in Sunderland was very clear, an overwhelming majority of people voted for us to leave the EU.

“Although I strongly supported a Remain vote as I believed it was in the best interests of our city, I totally respect the result.

“It is now my job to ensure the government negotiate the best deal they can for Sunderland as we exit the EU.”

And MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson added: “I respect the result of the referendum.

“My priority now is to make sure that the government delivers the best possible deal for our community.”

Our latest Brexit poll sparked a lively debate on both sides of the vote.

Here are a selection of your views:

WHY WE SHOULD REMAIN

Pete Bogg wrote: “Those most vocal of exit supporters probably realise they’ve been taken for a ride and are now so embarrassed they dare not admit to their naivety.”

Margaret Crosby wrote: “I’d vote Remain. But it’s possible we’d get the same result.

“The weakness of democracy is that the majority vote wins, even if their choice is immoral, illogical, or insane.”

Alan Mowle said: “If I voted again tomorrow I would want to know the objectives we were trying to achieve.

“It is disgraceful that Parliament still don’t know our aims for exiting the EU in my view; no plan and no clear vision.

“It is history, but in my view it is a decision we will regret for decades to come.”

Bill Walton wrote: “I voted leave fully expecting the £350million per week to be pumped into the NHS.

“Now I know that is not the case I wish I had voted remain.”

WHY WE WERE RIGHT TO VOTE OUT

Yvonne Foffy Moulding wrote: “I always knew my decision to leave was right long before any campaign.

Brian Thurlbeck added: “I would not change my vote. I am neither unintelligent nor easily led.

“Notice McDonald’s are moving their European HQ to the UK from Europe.”

Michael Lamb wrote: “Given what’s happening since the referendum I’m even more determined that we have made the right decision.”

Alan Wharton said: “Don’t understand what the hold up is. We voted out, so let’s get out now....”