Clear Brexit trend in voting intention for European Parliament elections – especially among working-class voters
Results in a poll of voting intention for the likely European Parliament elections in May – which the UK will have to run if a Brexit deal has not been finalised – show a clear lead for Brexit-supporting parties overall and in key regions, suggesting that leave sentiment in many parts of England outside London and in Wales has hardened.
Overall, the standings in European Parliament voting intention in the poll, conducted by YouGov for The Times, are:
- Brexit/UKIP 29%
- Labour 24%
- Tories 16%
- Lib Dems 8%
In the 2017 general election, only two percent of voters back UKIP, so a twenty-nine percent poll for UKIP/Brexit represents a huge protest vote at the failure of the Tories to enact the referendum result.
Results in the north, Midlands and Wales and those among working-class ‘C2DE’ voters make the picture even clearer:
- UKIP/Brexit 37%
- Labour 22%
- Tories 16%
- LibDem 6%
Even among middle-class voters, however, support for explicitly pro-Brexit parties stands at 41%.
Midlands & Wales:
- UKIP/Brexit 34%
- Labour 23%
- Tories 16%
- LibDem 7%
North of England:
- Labour 34%
- UKIP/Brexit 31%
- Tories 13%
Labour’s leadership, following the party’s conference policy, tabled the option of a new referendum in Parliament – and it was decisively defeated, as it was when tabled separately.
But to those aware of working-class opinion, especially outside London, it’s always been clear that Labour had to see through Brexit or risk alienating huge tracts of its heartlands.
Labour’s current strong polling shows that the majority of its base understood that Jeremy Corbyn has played a difficult hand brilliantly. But if Labour wants to win power – as millions of suffering people in this country desperately need – it’s now time for the party to focus on delivering a Brexit that works as well as possible for everyone. Ultimately, that’s always been true.
Those who can’t see beyond a desire to ‘stop Brexit’ to the greater prize of a country governed by Labour for the many cannot be allowed to dictate the party’s agenda, tactics or message.
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