The People’s Pledge referendums in Cheadle and Hazel Grove to find out who wants to have a vote to stay in Eurpoe or come out of it, attracted a huge amount of activiy and interest.
Althogh the camaign did not start until June, 83,266 ballot papers which were issued by Electoral Reform Services Limited, and 29,276 people have returned them by post or voted electronically.
The results show that in both Cheadle and Hazel Grove constituencies 35% of the electorate expressed a wish to have a vote.
This was a high profile campaign, run by strict Electorial Reform Society rules in the Lib Dem constituences held by two Coalition Government members Mark Hunter and Andrew Stunell. Peoples Pledge is funded mainly by John Mills, a media mogul and by subscriptions from over 150,000 signed up members.We have requested a response from both MP’s. When we have received them they will be published here.
Here are the results………
Numbers voting AGREE 13,606 (86.6%)
Numbers voting DISAGREE 2,068 (13.2%)
Turnout: 15,674 (35.4%)
Hazel Grove Referendum
Numbers voting AGREE 12,043 (88.5%)
Numbers voting DISAGREE 1,559 (11.5%)
Turnout: 13,602 (34.93%)
A Peoples Pledge spokesperson commented commented ‘This result in these two Liberal Democrat seats will cause consternation among all the main parties at Westminster whose leaderships have all tried to ignore the issue. In both Cheadle and Hazel Grove the Liberal Democrat MPs, Mark Hunter and Andrew Stunell, have refused to accept the invitation of the People’s Pledge to debate the referendum issue in front of their constituents. In these seats, both of which are marginal, and which are both up for grabs at the next election, neither politician can now afford to ignore the 13,606 and 12,043 local voters respectively, which is greater than either politician’s majority. 12,500 people have signed The People’s Pledge locally, and we will be keeping all of these supporters up to date with their MPs’ views through to the next general election.
Mark Seddon, National Spokesperson of the People’s Pledge, commenting immediately after the figures were announced, said:
“This is an astonishing result which has significant implications for both of the local Liberal Democrat MPs, Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove) and Mark Hunter (Cheadle) in the next General Election, for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats nationally – and for both major parties.”
“The results in Stockport mean that Britain’s politicians can no longer afford to ignore popular opinion.”
“Given that Britain’s relationship with the EU is not currently centre stage, it is remarkable that over a third of voters in Hazel Grove and Cheadle have chosen to participate in this independent referendum. The turnout in the two constituencies is higher than the turn-out in local elections in Stockport of 34% earlier this year.”
“This result demonstrates that there is a very high level of support for an EU referendum among ordinary voters even within two traditionally Liberal Democrat seats. Should the Cheadle and Hazel Grove MPs continue to oppose the right of their constituents to have a vote on this issue, they must be prepared to accept the electoral consequences. Especially, as both MPs stood at the last general election on the Liberal Democrat manifesto supporting a referendum on EU membership. “
“The political parties at Westminster are now going to have to rethink their attitude to a national referendum on the EU.
“The party that has the courage to adopt a pro-referendum position could potentially win millions of extra votes. If Ed Miliband has the courage to champion the right of the British people to have their say about the EU, he could secure a victory at the next general election.”
“Finally, I’d like to thank the whole People’s Pledge team for a fantastic effort and this great result. Much more importantly, I’d like to thank the people of Cheadle and Hazel Grove for responding so magnificently.”