Britain has turned against Brexit and would now vote to stay in the European Union, according to the biggest ever poll-of-polls.
The YouGov analysis for the Evening Standard of 300 surveys shows “concrete” evidence that the country shifted against quitting the European bloc in the year after the June 2016 referendum and has steadfastly stuck to this position ever since.
One of the most striking findings is that 204 out of 226 polls since July 2017 have shown Remain ahead, with just seven for Leave, and 15 ties.
So far this year, just one poll in the series has put Leave ahead, compared to 74 for staying in the EU.
The results appear to undermine the idea, being fuelled by No 10 chief adviser Dominic Cummings, that Brexit is turning into a “Parliament v the People” clash.
Anthony Wells, director of political research at YouGov, said: “The polling evidence is concrete. The overwhelming majority of questions asking people if Brexit is right or wrong, or if they would now vote Remain or Leave, show a lead for Remain, and have done for over two years.
“The characterisation of the situation as People vs Parliament doesn’t really stand up when the public are split over Brexit. It is more a case of half the public vs half of Parliament.”
The study shows that at the start of 2017 quitting the EU was ahead, by 51 per cent to 49 per cent, once “don’t knows” were excluded.
However, the figures were reversed by the end of the year. In the first six months of 2018, Remain was ahead by 52 to 48, for the rest of the year by 53 to 47.
This lead grew to 54 to 46 in the first six months of 2019, with the gap narrowing slightly afterwards to 53 to 47.
The findings came as the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum announced more details of its “Together for the Final Say” march on Saturday, October 19.
Hundreds of thousands of people are set to join the demonstration, which is expected to be one of the biggest ever in British political history, on a day when an emergency sitting of Parliament is set to be held after an EU summit in Brussels on the Brexit crisis.
Boris Johnson has vowed that the UK will splinter away “do or die” by October 31.
However, Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy said: “Confronted with the reality of Boris Johnson’s destructive Brexit, more voters than ever before now say that the only way to solve this mess is to put the question back to the people.”
With growing signs that no new Brexit agreement will be struck between the EU and the Government, the People’s Vote campaign also highlighted its latest poll, by YouGov, which showed that if there is a second referendum with the choice between Remain or quitting with “No Deal”, the staying-in option wins by 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
The drift against Brexit is believed to have been driven by slightly more Leave than Remain voters changing their minds, particularly in Labour areas, people who were undecided in 2016 and did not vote now leaning more to Remain, and demographic changes with more young people, who tend to support staying in the EU, becoming eligible to vote, and elderly people, who voted out in larger numbers, passing away.
The poll-of-polls compiled results from four trend questions on Professor Sir John Curtice’s whatUKthinks website including: “If there was another referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, how would you vote?”, “If there was a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, how would you vote?”, “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union, or leave the European Union?” and “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?”
The results suggest Remain would win a second referendum, but Leave could clinch it given the narrow gap, especially if it ran a better campaign as last time and got supporters out to vote in greater numbers.
If there is a General Election instead, it would still in many ways be another vote on Brexit, but the result would be affected by other factors including
Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity among many voters, as well as parties’ policies on domestic issues like the NHS.
Source: Evening Standard