One of the districts with the largest percentage of voters to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum was Castle Point in Essex, which includes Canvey Island.
Canvey Island, the birthplace of pub rock and band Dr Feelgood, was reclaimed from the sea in the 17th Century before becoming the fastest growing seaside resort in the early 20th Century.
It is a fiercely proud community with its town council dominated by the Canvey Independence Party.
So what does this town, apparently dominated by a pro-Brexit stance in 2016, think of this week’s European elections?
‘May has not done the job’
Canvey resident and social housing manager Suzy Reed, 47, said she felt let down by the government.
“I have always voted Conservative but will not vote for them at this election. Theresa May has not done the job,” she said.
“I’ll be voting for Nigel Farage. He seems to be the only one who talks any sense.”
She said she decided to vote to leave the EU in the referendum because of the experience of her son in trying to get an apprenticeship and posts being filled by people from Germany.
“That was the only reason I voted Brexit because I love Europe and have a house in Italy,” she said.
Christine Speight, 63, a former council worker who lives in Canvey Island, said she “can’t see the point” of the European elections.
“I think we should be out. We voted to go out, so we should be out. I don’t think I am going to vote in the Euro elections,” she said.
‘We were lied to’
But Craig Newton, 29, who grew up in Canvey Island and has family still living there, said he had changed his view since referendum.
“I voted for Brexit in the referendum but now I think I made a mistake,” he said.
“For me it was not about immigration. For me it was about where the money to Europe goes.
“I thought that money could be better spent. They said that £350m a week could be spent on the NHS, but it was not true.
“I would vote remain now. I feel we were lied to.”
Mr Newton said Brexit supporters such as Boris Johnson “promised stuff they can’t deliver”.
He said in the European elections he was not sure which party he would vote for.
“I have always voted Conservative. It’s hard to know what I’ll vote for in this election, but not for the Brexit Party. There is too much at risk,” he said.
- Castle Point, which includes Canvey Island, Hadleigh and South Benfleet, saw 72.7% of those who voted wanting to leave the European Union
- Some 37,691 voted in favour of leaving, with 14,154 voting to remain, amid a turnout of 75.3%
- The Essex districts of Castle Point and Thurrock were in the top five Brexit supporting areas in the country
- Canvey Island is within the constituency of Castle Point which in the 2017 general election was held by Conservative Rebecca Harris with a 18,872 majority over the Labour candidate.
- She has been MP since 2010 and her party has held the seat since the constituency was created in 1983, except for one Labour win in the Tony Blair landslide of 1997. It went back to the Tories in 2001.
‘The government let us down’
Ernest Linwood, 84, and his wife Hilary, 77, who live in Fobbing, near Canvey Island, both voted to leave the EU in the referendum.
They said they were fed up with politicians delaying Brexit.
“I would like us to get out of the EU. I will not be voting Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem in the Euro elections. I will be voting for Brexit,” said Mr Linwood.
“The government let us down. They are not doing their job, they are just stalling for time and not taking notice of what the people decided.”
He added that he thought the UK could make a success of Brexit as British people “are good at making deals in the world”.
Mrs Linwood said she had been concerned at “overcrowding” in England and wanted to “see us leave”.
“I went to a church school and was brought up to be patriotic,” she added.
‘We should be out’
Paul Coster, 38, of Canvey, said: “We voted to go out, so we should be out.
“I work in a warehouse and we are not having any problems with it and our stuff comes from France.”
Craig Shrago, 48, who is moving from Edgware to Canvey with his partner Nerissa, 42, said: “I don’t care for the European elections. We were supposed to be out on 29 March.
“Why do we need to ask Brussels how to spend our money?”
Photographs by Laurence Cawley of BBC East.
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