BREXIT: Leave campaigners in Wales confident of referendum win
Published 24/06/2016 | 03:32
Wales will vote to quit the European Union, Leave campaigners have claimed.
The first 10 results in Wales all swung in favour of Brexit - including a comprehensive 62% "out" result in Blaenau Gwent.
Welsh Leave campaigners at the counting centre in Deeside are saying they are "very optimistic" that Wales will vote to leave Europe.
A source said: "The results are better than we anticipated. We thought it may be closer in Wales, but it's now looking that out of 22 local authorities in Wales only four will choose to Remain."
Among the early victories chalked up for Leave included Wales's second city Swansea as well as several Labour areas including Newport, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil.
Turnouts in Wales have also been a lot higher than in the UK and Welsh Assembly elections too - with Monmouthshire topping with 76.2%.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who wants the UK to stay in the EU, blamed Prime Minister David Cameron for the bad timing of the referendum.
She said the vote was too close to the Welsh Assembly elections in May and had made the Remain campaign less effective.
Speaking at the Cardiff count early on Friday morning, she said: "We warned the Prime Minister very early on that the date was too close to the Welsh and Scottish elections and that it would cause problems.
"If the result ends up being leave for Wales, it exonerates our position on the issue of timing."
Ms Wood said she was not surprised that so many parts of Wales had voted to leave the EU - despite the country benefiting from billions of EU funding over the years.
She added: "It looks as if the areas where there are greater levels of deprivation and received the most of European Union funding are the areas most likely to have the greatest numbers of those wanting to leave.
"That tells me that people are not satisfied with the status quo and that that the status quo cannot prevail.
"In the Rhondda where I stood and won in the Assembly election, there was very strong feeling from people that they want change.
"The EU referendum is an opportunity to do that - to land a blow on the political establishment."
That sentiment was also echoed by former Neath MP Lord Hain.
He said: "The strong Leave vote demonstrates the serious extent of left-behind alienation in Labour areas."
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