Polling Day is imminent and the people of the United Kingdom are about to take the biggest decision in a generation regarding the country’s membership of the European Union. Local MP Jon Cruddas has a long history of consulting residents on issues that stand to have a substantial impact on the local area and the EU referendum was no different. Over the last month teams of volunteers have been busy delivering a consultation survey to around 20,000 homes across Dagenham, Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park, equating to roughly half of the households in the constituency.

The surveys were distributed in all of the nine wards in the constituency to varying degrees in order to gain an accurate cross section of resident opinions.

The survey sought the views of residents asking what would impact their decision; whether they feel enough information has been provided; and based on the information would they be voting to Remain in or Leave the European Union on Thursday 23rd June.

Last week Jon Cruddas MP contributed to an article in The Nation magazine outlining his views on the upcoming referendum. To read Jon’s article ‘Should We Stay or Should We Go?’ click HERE

The response to the Dagenham and Rainham referendum survey was huge with 1,609 hardcopies being returned in the space of the last few weeks. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 897 (55.7%) Leave
  • 592 (36.6%) Remain
  • 120 (7.7%) Undecided

Looking at recent trends concerning the referendum the results of the consultation were hardly surprising. Recently Havering was named the most Eurosceptic borough in the country and across the UK many areas, such as Dagenham seem to be leaning towards a leave vote. However there are still many people yet to make up their mind both locally and nationally.

Jon Cruddas MP responded to the results of the survey: “We have undertaken a massive survey across the constituency and the results are pretty mixed. Individual residents lean towards exit although many of the businesses I have talked to go the other way.

“Personally I have never been a great fan of the EU – I tend to see it as an over bureaucratic, pretty undemocratic corporate stitch up. Years ago I campaigned for us not to join the euro and can see why the referendum gives people a chance to voice their frustrations on a whole range of issues – from housing, migration and cheap labour to pressures on the health service and school places.

But we have to be very careful about what we wish for here. Boris Johnson and Michael Gove talk a lot about the ‘elite’ but they are the ‘elite’ and many of those arguing the loudest for Brexit want to privatise the NHS.

“The bottom line for me is what happens if we vote out on Friday? What happens next? No-one really knows. Overall I have not been impressed with the debate at all – lots of shouting and anger but very little proper discussion. A lot of politicians playing fast and loose with the livelihoods of my constituents at a time when many families are already struggling. Having listened to all the arguments and consulted and talked to loads of people I end up worrying about the risk of leaving. I am going to vote to remain. I am no fan of the EU but Brexit is too big a bet.”

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the consultation you can do so online by clicking HERE