HAVING listened to politicians and political pundits claiming the election was a “huge success” for those wishing to leave the EU, I studied the results and found myself totally confused.

Leaving aside the Conservative and Labour parties who clearly have no agreed policy, other than members of the first seeking to enhance their political careers in a leadership contest, and the latter the same in a General Election, and omitting those who stood as individuals or for single-issue campaigns, the official statistics show that, while Nigel Farage’s new party won the largest number of seats, they did not win an overall majority – usually taken as the indicator of success.

Further, the Leave campaign did not win a majority at UK level. In terms of the percentage of votes, Leave gained, 32.6%, Remain candidates took 37.9%, with the don’t-knows (Conservative and Labour) gathering 25.9%, with the remaining 3.6% to candidates not expressing a view of the EU. In terms of the number of votes cast for each option this was 6,009,946 for Leave: 6,494,189 for Remain, and 4,571,672 Con/Lab and 140,624 for others. The results in Scotland and Northern Ireland were even more emphatically in favour of Remain.

In light of the facts, would it not be reasonable for politicians et al to accept that on Thursday 23 May, the people spoke and they said Remain – or will they continue to argue that nothing has changed in the past almost three years and that the very narrow victory for Leave in the referendum of 2016 is set in stone? After all, we have been repeatedly told that the will of the people is paramount.

T J Dowds