5 Nov 2018

Major new Brexit poll shows voters swinging towards Remain

Most UK voters would vote Remain if the EU referendum were held again, according to a major new poll from Channel 4 and Survation.

Some 54 per cent of people said they would stay in the EU if the 2016 referendum were held tomorrow – when those who refused to vote or answered “don’t know” were removed.

Survation interviewed 20,000 people online across the UK from 20 October to 2 November in the biggest ever independent Brexit opinion poll.

The results were revealed on Channel 4 in a live debate show, Brexit: What the Nation Really Thinks, on Monday.

Analysis carried out by the polling company showed that 105 council areas that voted Leave in 2016 would now vote Remain.

Since the referendum, support for leaving the EU has fallen most sharply in local authorities that saw the highest vote shares for leave, Survation said.

Above: Survation analysis suggests a majority of voters would now back Remain (yellow) rather than Leave (blue) if the EU referendum were re-run.

Below: the actual results of the 2016 referendum by local authority.

The survey suggests voters are sharply divided on what Theresa May should do next if she is unable to hammer out a Brexit deal by 29 March 2019, the date when Britain is due to exit the bloc.

Some 35 per cent of people said Britain should stay in the EU in a “no-deal” scenario, and almost exactly the same proportion – 36 per cent – said the UK should leave without a deal. Only 19 per cent thought Brexit should be delayed to allow more time to negotiate.

Public opinion on the state of negotiations so far appears to be low.

Voters were asked: “From what you have seen or heard so far, if there was a vote tomorrow on the type of Brexit deal the UK Government is aiming to achieve from the EU, how would you be likely to vote?”

Only 26 per cent said they would accept the deal, while 33 per cent said they would reject it. Some 34 per cent replied: “Don’t know”.

A majority of people asked said they were open to the idea of a second referendum if the UK and EU agreed a deal on the terms of Brexit, depending on the choices offered on the ballot paper.

More people thought withdrawing from the EU would be bad for the UK economy and the NHS than good. Some 40 per cent voters thought Brexit would have a good effect on levels of immigration to the UK, versus 21 per cent who thought it would be bad.

Voters across Britain do not seem to be panicking about the prospect of Brexit leading to a United Ireland or Scottish independence.

Some 44 per cent of people said they were concerned about Northern Ireland leaving the UK, while a similar number of people – 42 per cent – said they were not concerned.

In the case of Scotland, equal proportions of voters said they were concerned and not concerned about independence.

Full data tables from the survey are available here.