How would Swanley vote in another referendum?

In Swanley on Saturday it was dry and not cold. It was not very busy but we still had 166 people put stickers on the Brexitometer. As on previous visits Swanley voters are mostly Leavers, the numbers are in the table.

And the picture is that there would be very little change if we get another referendum. Of the 12 people who said that they did not vote in the 2016 referendum, 6 would vote leave, 3 would vote to remain and 3 would not vote next time either.

Apart from a minority of Leavers, both Leavers and Remainers taking part were sensible, polite and prepared to engage and discuss the issues leading to many useful conversations.

As always, many walk past with little or no interest or comment. Many are fed up with the whole thing and are not at all happy with our politicians – of all colours.

But there are some messages from the discussions with some of those who gave their views.

One is that quite a few leavers appear to have voted on a single issue; focussing on one aspect of the EU that they object to. Sometimes this is very specific – “my grandson can’t afford to have a child”. 

There were, as on other occasions, references to “uncontrolled immigration” (although the UK chooses not to apply certain controls to EU immigration) and to “being ruled by laws from Brussels” (despite only 1% of EU legislation having been opposed by the UK).

Others give reasons that are well known to be simply untrue – straight bananas (yes really), £350m a week, and similar.

None of these is accurate but most of those expressing them are not prepared to hear that. 

There are also those who reference immigrants and WWII, and of course Remainers, in ways that cannot be described here, and some of us came away with the distinct impression that Leavers are angrier than Remainers even though we are told that Remainers are angry because they lost.

Overall there has been very little change in people’s views on this, but despite this there are those who engage and listen and some of them do go away with food for thought.