Centrists pushing the campaign for a so-called “people’s vote” (PV) have made much of a poll conducted by them to support their claim that support for a new EU referendum has snowballed – usually when they are trying to pressure Labour into backing it.
But a poll recently showed that any support by Labour for another referendum would cost the party votes in a general election – unless the Tories act first to call a referendum.
Now a new ComRes poll of public opinion about a new referendum – one not commissioned by the PV campaign – has painted a very different picture to the one claimed by PV spokespeople and various pro-PV talking heads in the media.
ComRes’ research contains a number of key findings – but one striking result is that across the country opinion against a new referendum significantly outweighs that in favour by a factor of almost two to one:
Strikingly, almost every region across the country showed more people wanting to respect the referendum result and avoid a rerun – even in Scotland, which in 2016 voted to remain. Only London bucks the trend – and that only by a whisker, 41% against the above polling statement and 38% agreeing.
There was little change in the overall picture when the question was changed to ask directly whether respondents were in favour of a new referendum including a ‘remain’ option.
The two-to-one ratio – or even higher – also appears among the UK’s lower earners – 52% of people in the ‘DE’ social classification said that they were against a new referendum – compared to only 27% against – while on the question of respecting the referendum result and avoiding a new referendum, the ratio agreeing reached almost three to one.
Is Labour losing votes? No
But the most significant result was the table reflecting support for a new referendum by past vote and future voting intention in a general election:
Among those who voted Labour in 2017, those who would favour a new referendum rather than respecting the 2016 result narrowly outnumbered those who disagree with them – 41% vs 39%.
However, those numbers are virtually unchanged among those who still intend to vote Labour at the next general election – 43% vs 41%. In fact, the numbers in both categories increase slightly among those intending to vote Labour at the next general election – with a corresponding fall in the Tory-intention groups compared to 2017.
In other words, Labour is more popular now than in 2017 – reflected in ComRes overall voting intention result showing Labour three points ahead of the Tories.
Not only is Labour’s position on a new referendum not damaging Labour electorally – it’s boosting the party’s popularity and swelling voting intention beyond what we saw in the 2017 result.
Compare this to the PV-sponsored results and the constant claims by PV representatives and other media pundits, parroting as fact that Labour is haemorrhaging support because of Labour’s imagined – and entirely mythical – lack of clarity and Corbyn’s supposed ‘failure’ to back the PV campaign.
We are being fed a narrative by those with an agenda that often has little to do with their superficial purpose – a narrative that wants to lead Labour away from its base and those who need it most.
That narrative falls apart under scrutiny and is not reflected in polling that is not sponsored by those pursuing that agenda.
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