Description

Vote Leave was a campaigning organisation that supported a "Leave" vote in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. On 13 April 2016 it was designated by the Electoral Commission as the official campaign in favour of leaving the European Union in the Referendum.

Vote Leave was founded in October 2015 by political strategists Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings as a cross-party campaign. It involved Members of Parliament from the Conservative Party, Labour Party and the sole UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell along with MEP Daniel Hannan and Conservative peer Lord Lawson. Labour MP Gisela Stuart served as chairman and Leader of the Vote Leave Campaign Committee as Co-Convenor with Michael Gove MP, of the Conservatives. The campaign was also supported by a number of prominent politicians; including outgoing Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who became a key figurehead for the Vote Leave campaign. A number of Vote Leave principals, including Douglas Carswell, Michael Gove, Bernard Jenkin and Anne-Marie Trevelyan, were also members of the influential IPSA resourced European Research Group.

Vote Leave co-operated with Labour Leave, Conservatives for Britain and Business for Britain throughout the referendum campaign.

At the referendum held on Thursday 23 June 2016, the majority of those who voted, voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, which was equivalent to a 51.9% share of the vote (a 3.8% margin); which set into motion the steps to be taken for British withdrawal from the European Union. In September 2016, Change Britain was formed to act as a successor organisation.

On 23 June and over the following days, both Vote Leave and its rival organisation, "Britain Stronger in Europe", were excoriated by sections of the media and academia for a campaign described by the Electoral Reform Society as "dire", which left the public seriously lacking proper information. On 17 July 2018, Vote Leave was fined £61,000 and referred to police for breaking electoral spending laws.

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