Information and analysis provided by the House of Commons Library.

In a UK wide referendum on 23 June 2016, voters were asked if they wanted the UK to remain a member of the European Union (EU) or leave the European Union.


  • There were 17.4 million votes for ‘Leave’ (51.9%).
  • There were 16.1 million votes for ‘Remain’ (48.1%).


  • Votes for Leave and Remain were not evenly distributed across the UK. Leave won the highest share of the vote in England and Wales, while Remain won the highest share in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Out of the 12 counting regions (including Northern Ireland), nine recorded more than 50% of the vote for Leave, and three recorded more than 50% of the vote for Remain.
  • The highest vote share for Leave (76%) was recorded in Boston (Lincolnshire). The highest vote share for Remain (96%) was recorded in Gibraltar.

Counting area characteristics

  • The proportion of people in a local authority who voted Leave was strongly related to the proportion that voted for UKIP in the 2014 European Parliament election, and to the proportion of non-graduates. Relationships between Leave votes and other selected socio-economic indicators were weaker at local authority level.
  • In England, urban areas were more likely to record higher vote shares for Remain than rural areas. High vote shares for Leave, however, were found in both urban and rural areas.


  • Turnout was 72.2% across the UK. This was higher than at the 2015 General Election (66.2%) but lower than turnout at the 2014 Scottish independence referendum (84.6%).
  • The highest turnout was recorded in Gibraltar (83.5%) and the lowest in Lagan Valley (Northern Ireland) (48.9%). The highest turnout (83.5%) in the UK was recorded in Chiltern (Buckinghamshire).