Of course, it’s tough to accept, or even believe for the millions of people who voted for and fully expected Remain. Large areas of the UK voted Leave - indeed some areas in the Midlands and North were over 70%. However, equally many areas voted in swathes to Remain - most of London, all of Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as some cities such as Liverpool and Manchester.
Some breakdown of the data with more detailed analysis has been done and reported recently on the BBC.
Of the 30 areas with the fewest graduates in the UK, according to the 2011 census, 28 backed Brexit.
By contrast, 29 out of the 30 areas with the most graduates voted Remain, including the City of London (where 68.4% are graduates)
Of the 30 areas with the most elderly people, 27 voted leave and of the 30 areas where most people identified as English, 30 voted leave
In the aftermath of this historic vote, some people are calling foul - surely it should have been a 2/3 majority needed to leave; some people voted leave as a protest but did not really mean it so there should be another referendum; young people who have to suffer the consequences longest have been denied a future in the EU by the older voters, London/Scotland did not vote to leave etc.etc.
Well thank God we live in a democracy - every adult has one vote, wherever they live, whatever their social background or level of intelligence (assuming this is measured by whether you have a degree or not).
The magical thing about democracy is that it doesn’t give some people extra voting power if they are rich or well-educated or live in a particular part of the country. It’s the ultimate great leveller.
I live up north, I did not have the benefit of a university education, left school with a few ‘O’ levels at the age of 16 and worked hard for the next 40 years. I do not regard myself as better or more deserving compared to anyone else. I am not an intellectual as any readers of my blog will surely have gathered. But equally, whilst I may be foolish at times, I am not stupid.
I have read some comments recently branding Brexit voters as confused individuals who do not realise what they are doing. The older voters are self-centered and have no thought for the youngsters.
Whist I can accept that much of this comes from a feeling of disappointment and despair, I also think it is misguided and unfair. There are surely many complex reasons for coming to a decision of such importance. Yes, some people - maybe many, would not fully understand the consequences (either way) but for me what is most important is not so much the outcome of the vote but the process called democracy by which we resolve such issues.
It is democracy which underpins the entire fabric of our society and preserving this is far, far more important and precious to our way of life than any particular vote.
The day the vote of the common man or woman, however disadvantaged, low intellect, poor or just unlucky in life's lottery, counts for less than others would be a very sad day indeed.
Although I voted to leave last Thursday, I have no sense of pleasure or joy at the result. I expected it would go the other way and I would have accepted that outcome if it was Remain.
At the end of the day, whichever side we supported, whatever the merits, the nation has spoken and I was pleased to hear David Cameron say yesterday in parliament that the will of the people must be accepted. The argument between leave or remain is now settled and it’s time for everyone to move on, accept the decision and trust that the majority 17 million people have made the right choice for the nation.
We will not know for sure for quite some time but whilst the future may be uncertain outside of the EU, I know with certainty that we are all better off living in a robust and healthy democracy - I hope we never take it for granted.
This is essentially a blog about my investment journey so this will be the final post about the referendum! Back to business as usual next article.