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EU referendum result: Stafford votes LEAVE

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Voters in Stafford chose overwhelmingly to leave the EU as more than 70,000 people turned out to cast their vote.

The referendum results for the Conservative stronghold were declared at 4.30am, with 56 per cent of people in Stafford declaring they wished to leave the EU.

There were 99,605 registered voters and 132 polling stations across the borough for people to have their say on one of the biggest political decisions the UK has ever had to make.

The total turnout was 77,527, equating to 77.83 per cent, an increase on the 71 per cent who voted in the general election.

And while 34,098 voted in favour of staying in the EU (44 per cent), 43,386 decided they wanted to leave (56 per cent).

  • More: Live coverage from the local counts in the West Midlands
  • More: The national picture as Brexit surges to victory

Brexit supporter and MP for Stone, Bill Cash, said: "This is about our democracy and the strength of Britain.

"This is a chance for us to let the British people govern themselves, which they are more than capable of doing."

Around 1,000 staff worked throughout the day to ensure the voting process and the count ran smoothly, with 140 ballot boxes making their way into the leisure centre for counters to sort.

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Just over 14,900 postal votes were issued across Stafford, with a turnout of 90 per cent being returned.

Councillor Alan Perkins, who represents Haywood and Dixon, said he believed that the UK should have left Europe.

He said: "I think now is the right time to let the British people rule Britain.

"We have got nothing to thank Europe for, we have taken back control and now Britain can be Britain once again."

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MP Jeremy Lefroy, who had campaigned for Britain to remain in Europe, said: "This has been probably the biggest exercise in democracy we have ever had here in the UK.

"It was so crucial that people cast their vote and I am pleased to see that so many did.

"I believe remaining in the EU was the right thing for the UK and for my constituents in particular.

"I have backed the idea of a referendum for many years and whatever the result was, I believe letting people have their say was crucial.

"There will be people who are unhappy with the result but I am determined, as they should be, to make the people's decision work.

"We as politicians have to work together now, we have been putting forward arguments for months now but the decision has been made.

"Staying in the EU would have given Stafford the best chance to grow and prosper and I believe on a national scale, it would have been the best thing for the UK staying together."

Polls closed at 10pm with the first ballot boxes arriving at the leisure centre on Lammascote Road less than half an hour later.

Verification was expected at 1.30am but was delayed by an hour as staff tried to confirm their figures with officials at the ICC in Birmingham.

Stafford Borough Council leader Patrick Farrington said: "I think the most important thing that has happened is that people have had their say and that is what has to be followed.

"It is a decision that has split the country right down the middle, even in my own household there is a difference of opinion.

"I am glad that the people of Stafford got out and voted, whatever the result was going to be, it was so crucial that everyone made their voice heard."

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