Polls show shift in opinion over Brexit - is a second referendum on the cards?

Polls show shift in opinion over Brexit - is a second referendum on the cards?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Research commissioned by Best for Britain and Hope Not Hate has shown that some constituencies that voted for Brexit have now switched their opinion to Remain.

Consumer analytics company Focaldata modelled two YouGov polls - one conducted before Theresa May unveiled her Brexit plans on July 6, and one after - to measure the shift.

The polls had 15,000 respondents in total.

Liverpool Walton was the constituency with the biggest shift, with a 14.3% swing to Remain. Knowsley, Swansea and Hayes and Harlington followed, with a 13.4% and joint 12.8% shift respectively.

Eloise Todd of best for Britain, which is campaigning to stop Brexit, told Julia Hartley-Brewer the biggest shift was in Labour seats.


'Is it democratic to go ahead with Brexit?'

“I think since the election last year we’ve seen quite a steady polling result, 53% would rather stay in and 47% leave,” she said.

“We thought it would be great to know where those people are, because a lot of MPs say they’re in a leave or remain constituency. The picture has changed in two years.

“It’s not uniform across the country, you’ve got some places in Tory seats where the Leave vote has hardened a bit. The big news is, in a lot of Labour seats, people who voted Labour and voted Leave are starting to shift their position.”

She said that the methodology the polls used was “highly scientific” and accurate, and was the same method that predicted Trump’s election and the Leave vote.

“If the tide is turning in public opinion, what is the morally right thing to do?” she asked.

“Is it democratic to go ahead if the polls are saying consistently over a year that people are changing their minds?

“Some people have come to the conclusion that given it is a two year process, we haven’t left yet, it seems perfectly reasonable to say when the Prime Minister comes back with a deal, let’s compare it with the deal we’ve already got and may the best deal win.”


'People can change their mind the minute they leave the polling station'

Julia Hartley-Brewer responded that she’d be “quite happy with a poll on deal or no-deal” but accused the Remain side of trying to push results of a hypothetical second vote in their favour.

“But you don’t want that, the Remain side are all in cahoots about this, you want three options - Remain, leave with a deal and leave without a deal, rather cunningly splitting the option of leaving into two, and what a surprise, Remain will win,” she continued.

“Julia, I’m surprised to hear you say that as a democrat, what would you say to the 53% who want to stay in?” Todd challenged her.

“I’d say we already had that debate two years ago,” Hartley-Brewer retorted. “We elect governments every four years, people can change their mind the minute they leave the polling station, that doesn’t mean that person is ousted from office. We were told it’s a once in a lifetime referendum.”

“You’re saying the will of the people in 2016 trumps the will of the people now, how is that democratic?” asked Todd.


'Do they want a referendum every time someone changes their mind?'

Andrea Jenkyns, a Brexiteer and MP for Morley and Outwood, also joined Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show.

She left her parliamentary secretary position in May to ‘fight for Brexit’.

"Does she [Eloise Todd] wants to use taxpayer’s money to have a referendum every year every time someone changes their mind? I think it's a load of claptrap," she said.

Hartley-Brewer asked if she thought the country might be united over Brexit had it had a more “inspiring leader”.

“I can’t disagree with that, but I think there are several aspects,” Jenkyns said. “When you’ve got organisations like Eloise’s who commissioned the poll, they want to keep having referendums until they get the answer they want. “A lot of media out there are very pro-Remain, they’re trying to influence.

“The second element, in parliament it doesn’t necessarily reflect that people voted to leave in the country, we’ve got people thwarting the process as we’ve seen. In the 1922 committee I said, ‘can we have a positive post-Brexit vision for the country’, people are crying out for positive leadership… they need to be reassured.”