EU referendum: Sandwell in top 10 Eurosceptic boroughs

A Black Country borough is one of the top 10 Eurosceptic areas in Britain, according to new research.

EU referendum: Sandwell in top 10 Eurosceptic boroughs

Data released by YouGov has revealed Sandwell is the ninth most Eurosceptic of 188 local authorities polled.

Staffordshire is the next most Eurosceptic – ranked 18th – with Wolverhampton and Dudley described as 'leaning Eurosceptic' in 46th and 64th place respectively.

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Birmingham is almost halfway down the list of authorities in 90th, with Walsall 'leaning Europhile' in 121st.

9th Sandwell – top 10 most Eurosceptic

18th Staffs – relatively Eurosceptic

46th Wolverhampton – mixed, leaning to Eurosceptic

64th Dudley – mixed, leaning Eurosceptic

90th Birmingham – mixed, close to median

121th Walsall – mixed, leaning to Europhile

The research used the profiles data of more than 80,000 British people on the YouGov panel reveals the most and least Eurosceptic areas of Britain.

However, some of Sandwell's leading politicians spoke of surprise at the borough's high ranking. Warley MP John Spellar said: "I think this shows that people are weighing up the advantages to industry in the Midlands.

"But they also have real concerns that the Government have been unfairly distributing new arrivals – so boroughs like Sandwell have borne more than their fair share, as council leader Darren Cooper has pointed out.

"The public in the Black Country are clearly weighing up both sides. They can see the advantages – particularly in manufacturing and with the motor industry – and Europe has been one of the main drivers behind the rebirth of the British motor industry.

"But people are seeking reassurance that their concerns are understood and are being addressed."

Meanwhile, West Bromwich West MP Adrian Bailey told the Express & Star: "I'm very surprised at this result, given the dependence of the area on the motor industry which has benefited enormously from the EU given the investment it has attracted.

"Many jobs depend on our being in the EU and I think this will become evident during the campaign."

Sandwell Council deputy leader Steve Eling said: "The only poll that matters is the one on June 23."

Of the 206 local education authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, 188 of which had large enough samples to report a position on the EU, You Gov said.

Pollsters said the euroscepticism of various areas partly correlates with lower income, but euroscepticism also has strongholds in the more wealthy regions.

Apart from in Scotland (all europhile and one mixed), parts of Wales and London, many of the europhile areas are university towns with lower median ages – Liverpool, Manchester, York and Bristol. Support for remaining in the EU is almost always concentrated in smaller, urban areas.

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