4 in 10 Labour voters want an “exit from Brexit”, says poll

European Union

A new survey from YouGov suggests that Labour voters are split on the issue of leaving the European Union.

The recent YouGov poll found that 45% of UK voters overall supported Britain’s exit from the EU. It also found that 19% of voters were what YouGov has termed “Re-Leavers” – those who would rather the UK remained in the EU, but accept that the government should take the UK out of the union. A further 27% disagreed with Brexit and wanted the government to make an exit from Brexit.

When results are broken down by how respondents voted in 2017, some interesting results come to light.

Conservatives were most likely to support Brexit, with 71% saying they favoured an exit from the union, ahead of 17% who were “re-leavers” and 10% who disagreed with leaving the EU altogether.

When it came to Labour voting respondents, voters were split down the middle. Four in ten (43%) Labour voters said they did not support Brexit and would like to see the decision to leave the union to be reversed. 26% of Labour voters said they supported an exit from the EU and that the government should deliver on it while a further 25% were now reluctant Brexiteers.

The findings suggest that Labour voters are roughly split in two when it comes to the prospect of reversing Brexit.

Analysis:

Being in opposition has allowed the Labour party to have a somewhat less than coherent approach to Brexit.

Officially, the party opposes the Conservatives' “reckless approach to Brexit” while also accepting the referendum result, and that the party would “put the national interest first”.

As for immigration, the party says:

“Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union. Britain’s immigration system will change, but Labour will not scapegoat migrants nor blame them for economic failures.”

Current Labour policy appears to be that of the “re-leavers” position, but with support for a “reverse Brexit” being the singular most popular option amongst Labour supporters, the party is in a tricky situation.

Perhaps this is why Keir Starmer, the party’s Brexit spokesperson declared that the party supports post-Brexit single market membership, as reported by the Guardian in August. However, more recently, the paper also reported in September that Jeremy Corbyn said that the country should seek “full access” to the single market.

A Channel 4 Fact Check article has outlined Labour's changing position over time.

The fact that the party is not in government makes their Brexit predicament somewhat easier for them. They do not have to be the ones deciding the UK's post-Brexit relationship with the EU, however, in crucial votes in the coming years and months on the matter, the party will need to decide where it stands on the EU and the single-market.


 

The full results of the YouGov poll can be accessed here. 3,201 GB adults were surveyed between 13th and 15th September. The results were released by YouGov on 18th September.