North East voters are set to back Britain’s exit from the EU, if the results of our poll are anything to go by.
More than 3,500 people voted online across the Echo website and those of our sister papers the Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail.
And more than two-thirds of those taking part indicated they will be voting ‘out’ in the ballot a week today.
Quitting the EU attracted support from 72 per cent of those taking part, with just 28 per cent of those voting indicating they were backing the Remain campaign.
A Vote Leave spokesman said: “The North East stands to gain a huge amount when we Vote Leave on June 23.
“The region is known for its industrial innovation and ambition. When we take back control of our trade negotiations, budgets and immigration policy, we can make sure the North East’s priorities are met.
“Every year, the North East sends £496million to the EU – a quarter of the school’s budget for the region in 2015-2016.
“Just think of what we could do with that money.”
But Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott, who is campaigning for Britain to remain part of the EU, said the message on the doorstep was that there was still everything to fight for.
“Around the doors there are still a lot of people undecided, people who have yet to make their mind up,” she said.
Ms Elliott said he also believed ‘Leave’ voters tended to be more high profile and were more likely to take part in polls.
“The ‘Leave’ people tend to be a lot more vocal,” she said. “We are still seven days away from the vote and until people go to the ballot box it is still all to play for.”
Strong views on both sides
Passions ran high on both sides of the debate on the website, and views among readers were mixed.
Nick1111 wrote: “Some of the comments on here sound like turkeys voting for Christmas.
“Vote Brexit and the North-East will become even more depressed. Do you really think the right-wing nutcases who are pro-Brexit will care one jot about the problems of the North East after we lose all our subsidies from Europe? VOTE REMAIN!!”
But Reprise wrote: “The EU did nothing while Heath’s & Thatcher’s gov’s destroyed our coal industry. The EU did nothing while our shipbuilding was destroyed by cheap foreign yards.
“The EU did nothing while their toxic policies destroyed our fishing industry. The EU did nothing while Britain’s gas & power was taken over by foreigners.
“Bit of a 40 year pattern emerging here? All the EU has ever done in each of the disastrous examples given above is to offer the UK a bit of our OWN MONEY back so that we can give these and other UK industries a decent funeral.”