On 23 June the people of Altrincham voted in the EU Referendum. Trafford voted Remain, as did Manchester, but the North West as a region voted Leave. After a week where the PM resigned, the pound fell, markets tumbled and leadership of both major political parties is in chaos, how do people feel about their vote?
I took a quick trip around Altrincham town centre to ask, starting with the independently owned shops on the Downs and Stamford New Road:
Michelle, dress shop owner, 50s
“Absolutely marvellous. Delighted. Think it’s sad Boris has resigned. I suspected there might be a conspiracy against him, because he has no Cabinet experience. We were told it was going to be Armageddon. It’s not happening. The FTSE is back up. I’m confident I voted the right way. I never believed that £350m was going to the NHS anyway, it didn’t influence my vote. I’ve spoken to half a dozen people in the shop who voted Remain and they say they wish they’d voted for Brexit.” Michelle voted Leave
Khawar, newsagent, 20s
“I think it was a mistake to leave. I thought the biggest benefit of leaving would have been the £350m spent on the NHS. It’s very disappointing, we were given false information. Most people voted Leave because of that, they’re very concerned about health care and hospitals. Most of my customers talk about it, being misled – about 400-500 people come here a day, most of them regulars and they are saying the same thing.” Khawar voted Leave
Next I stopped by the taxi rank outside Altrincham station. I could guess how they might have voted – but how did they feel now?
Mike, 56, taxi driver
“I still feel the same as I did when I voted. I’ve been doing this taxi job for 30 years. There used to be a knowledge test, but now anyone can drive taxis. I’ve have an investment of £40k in my business, but anyone can do it with no apprenticeship. A lot of people have had enough. It’s nothing to do with racism. The country needs to get a grip. We can’t keep letting people in.” Mike voted Leave
Paul, taxi driver, 40s
“People panicked after the vote. But it will all settle down. Europe needs us more than we need them. The EU sounds like my ex-wife, trying to hand on. I feel quite positive. We should all feel positive.” Paul voted Leave
No tour of Altrincham would be complete without visiting the market. It was a quiet Thursday afternoon, but a few people were having coffee outside Market House.
Judith, counsellor, 50s
“I was originally going to vote out, but after listening to various radio discussions I voted to stay. We don’t need this uncertainty, even for a short time. But the politicians are too scare-mongering. The markets are coming back. I’m not scared by loss of trade. I hope we do start trading with the rest of the world. I could care less about Cameron and Corbyn. Boris – I didn’t want him. I get annoyed by all this talk about a second referendum.” Judith voted Remain
Ellie, retired, 60s
“No-one had a plan B, that’s why there’s this chaos. I voted out. I thought they would be ready to go – you only had a choice of yes or no. I feel quite relaxed about it all. I didn’t vote out over immigration. It was the Brussels bureaucracy and ‘one size fits all’ that wasn’t working. I think Boris is a bright young thing but I couldn’t see him being a very cohesive leader.” Ellie voted Leave
Finally, I tried Pure Gym. The only person not mid-workout said they’d taken no interest in the Referendum and didn’t want to talk about it. Pumping iron and politics aren’t mutually exclusive, so I nipped up to Altas Gym on Market Street to get the view there.
Danny, personal trainer, 20s
“I voted out, but the main reason wasn’t immigration. I did research and listened to different sides. On the Remain side, there weren’t a lot of facts to make you pick them. I voted Leave because of our law-making. When we joined the EU there was a promise we’d have control. But there were 74 times when we voted one way and it went the other way. The way the EU is run, there’s no chance of that not happening. To be our own country, that’s not an ideal situation.
“Initially, I panicked. I didn’t expect Leave to win to be honest. I watched videos on social media and it was all doom and gloom, and the pound went down. But I do believe things will come back again and the economy will start picking itself up. It was inevitable that dip would happen. I’ve come to the opinion now that I made the right decision.
“I can see why people in London voted for things to stay the way there are, because they’ve got money and investment there. But I’m from Bolton and it’s not there same there or in the North.” Danny voted Leave