New EU election poll underlines: Labour must drop referendum talk

YouGov polling likely understates Labour support but impact of referendum talk in northern England and among working class voters clear


The latest YouGov polling gives a clear indication to Labour of the impact of the continued attempts by centrist MPs, MEPs and candidates to push a new referendum in spite of the NEC’s decision this week to reject any commitment to a public vote in the party’s European election manifesto.

YouGov polling usually understates Labour support, but the headline figures show the new Brexit party leading strongly:

  • Brexit Party 30%
  • Labour 21%
  • Tory 13%
  • Fib Dems 10%
  • Greens 9%
  • Change UK 9%
  • UKIP 4%

Anti-Brexit and pro-referendum campaigners are already attempting to spin away the significance of the results, claiming that the Brexit party’s strong showing is a result of a cannibalised Tory vote. However, the detailed results do not bear that out.

According to YouGov’s data, the Brexit party:

  • is level with Labour in North of England
  • leads by 12% among working-class voters
  • leads by 11% in Wales and the Midlands
  • leads among male voters by 16%

Voting intention in European elections is unlikely to carry across to a general election, especially with a single-issue party featuring prominently. However, the indications are there that any equivocation over Brexit could do enough damage to Labour’s support to prevent the Labour government the country so desperately needs.

Even if the Brexit issue is done and dusted by the time of the next general election, the hangover of a perceived attempt to prevent the UK leaving the EU will mean the effects are not erased.

Labour can waste no time in putting talk of a new public vote in the box marked ‘done’ and focusing all its energies on showing the whole UK public its vision of a better – post-Brexit – Britain. In or out of the EU, continued right-wing government is a disaster for this country.

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  1. Oh dear, such self-justifying fabrication!

    What the figures actually show is that the major opposition party (Labour) is trundling along on a remarkably *low* percentage of support (21%) having adopted the Schrodinger version of Brexit – which clearly hasn’t attracted many votes from the Brexit crowd, who are boosted by the collapse of the quintessential Tory vote.

    Meanwhile 32% of the vote is currently supporting the fragmented Remain parties as the potential Labour vote leaks in that direction!

    To be frank, the current Labour standing is a bit on the pathetic side, and clearly not benefitting from what is essentially the shadowing of Tory policy!

    Have no doubt – even that 21% contains many who are sticking with Labour through gritted teeth on the Brexit issue.

    In summary – the analysis more plausibly supports the opposite of the headline claim.

    1. Oh dear, more Messiah complex, claiming that Brexit could be solved if Corbyn would only do what you demand.

      1. “more Messiah complex”

        … actually the precise opposite – recognising that Corbyn *isn’t* infallible, and that the Labour vote is currently not being well represented on this issue.. Do get a grip on the language (and reality).

      2. “actually the precise opposite – recognising that Corbyn *isn’t* infallible, and that the Labour vote is currently not being well represented (in Scotland) on this issue.”

      3. Skwawky spinning like his favourite top. What the polling shows is a majority for remaining in the EU!

    2. Correction : 32% should be 28%. The noticeable feature in polling figures remains the transfer of votes from Tories to Brexit, and the overall fall in Labour support whilst pursuing current policy.

    3. The tiresome Troll, RH, is “jumping the shark” here to yet again ludicrously claim that Labour would clean up electorally by telling its huge pro Brexit voter base to fuck off, by adopting an unambiguously pro Remain and Second Referendum (or “confirmatory Vote” as it is now dressed up) . If being unambiguously for ignoring the 2016 Referendum result and wanting a second Referendum and a Remain outcome was the route to electoral success, then the well-organised, established brand image, national organisation network rich, Lib Dems, would NOT be languishing at around the10% mark in both EU Election and Westminster Election polling since 2017. That is the relevant Party vote to look at – not RH’s regular trick of lumping together a number of disparate parties’ votes (or re the 2016 Referendum, lumping the non-voters in as Remainers !), to create a bogus grand total . Pure bogus statistical bullshit. And of course the sad troll, RH, can’t even add up – the combined vote of the Lib Dems, Change UK, and the Greens is only 28% , not the 32% the claims !

      The frightening real message is how many people are so disgusted with the blatant sabotage of Brexit by the political class and their press allies, that 30% (30 bloody percent FFS ! ) of respondents say they would vote for a brand new pseudo “party” only concocted a few weeks ago by a dodgy used car salesman snake oil salesman like Nigel Farage ! The contradictory and confused messaging of the combined Labour Remain Right and the confused Left Liberal Remainer Momentumite “Labour Left” are in severe danger of completely destroying Labour’s carefully nuanced official message. And the once in a lifetime opportunity too of a Left government under Jeremy Corbyn by reneging on our solemn 2017 Manifesto promise to “respect the outcome of the 2016 Referendum” , and treating the very real concerns of millions of our Labour voter base at the impact on their working lives and communities of unlimited EU-sourced labour supply, and the destruction of our industrial base facilitated by the EU Single market free movement of capital rules, and Competition policy, with the middle class disdain that the Guardian’s privileged journalists display every day.

      1. Ha’penny – you are gormless (to put it politely).

        ” to yet again ludicrously claim that Labour would clean up electorally”

        I haven’t claimed any such thing – only that the terminally dim would pretend that the Labour cowering before the Tories over Brexit has been other than a massive failure, and that some sort of intelligence is needed to turn things round. A 10% drop in support over a couple of years whist the Tories are visibly disintegrating is hardly a success. Although it complies with your strategic advice!

        Note that when I make even a minor mistake – I admit to it, rather than ploughing on regardless in a morass of fictional non-data and porky pie nonsense about a make-believe dreamed up to order on the back of a fag packet. You could learn from that.

        Bottom line, O sage of the darkened echo chamber : Labour is supported mainly by a heavily ‘Remain’ population – and that includes the working class. Sorry that it doesn’t confirm your pretend constituency – or the fictions of your onanistic ‘socialist ideology’.

    4. It’s very early days and I hope things will improve but currently things aren’t going too well for Labour and the pro EU parties appear to be benefiting from Labour’s losses

  2. “Many on the British left are trying to minimise the impact of Brexit by campaigning to remain within the European Single Market. This is tragically misguided. The Single Market imposes massive constraints on economic policymaking, which any leftist should reject. The only way to break with the disastrous paradigm of neoliberalism is to quit the Single Market and adopt a radically different set of regulations and policies”

    Costas Lapavitsas

    1. This is why Skwarkie is deluding himself to speculate about the EU issue being “done and dusted”. If Corbyn and/or the Tories bind us to any Brexit deal that is “closely aligned to the Single Market” in the sense that the EU controls state aid or prohibits national monopoly (in other words public ownership), then the arguments on the Left regarding the legitimacy of such constraints will run and run.

      Without a radical programme of economic planning, nationalisation and market-distorting state investment we cannot have a seriously pro-working class government.

  3. The adverse poll doesn’t merely show that Labour figures should “shut up” about the second referendum. It shows that Labour is set to pay a heavy price for its overly pro-EU stance, albeit not as heavy as the price to be paid by the Tories.

    There would be an easy solution: Labour after the Referendum should have delineated “red lines” for negotiations with the EU on the freedom of British governments to pursue a democratic socialist economic programme.

    But since the present Labour Left heroes seem to have joined the Establishment elite and no longer care for such notions as replacing the capitalist system with a democratic socialist system, we were rather sunk from the start.

  4. “The adverse poll doesn’t merely show that Labour figures should “shut up” about the second referendum.”

    Nope. We can’t let the *real* “Establishment elite ” – aka Tories, ERG, Farage (Lexiteers? – no – sorry, they’re just supporters)- have a free run. We need an opposition.

    1. You don’t want opposition. You want Labour to double down on the unconscionable mistakes that led to the leave vote, by telling leave-voting communities that even when they win by the elite’s own rules, they will be ignored and marginalised.

      I want Brexit not to happen. But there is no conceivable path to that outcome that does not include a concerted effort to bring these communities onside with that approach.

      The PV approach of demanding we pretend Remain won the referendum, and that the leave-voting communities don’t deserve any consideration, is merely entrenching the divisions and increasing support for the hardest of hard Brexits.

      In short, I want the same ultimate outcome as you do, but I think your tactics for achieving it are catastrophically poor and probably wholly counter-productive.

      1. “the elite”

        Sorry – but when I see these words, the meaningless bullshit indicator goes off. Brexit *not* a wealthy establishment ploy and an expression of working class wisdom? Pull the other one – the Labour working class vote was in favour of ‘Remain’, leaving the less wise to vote for ‘Leave’, along with their conservative brethren in the south.

        “The PV approach of demanding we pretend Remain won the referendum”

        No such pretence at all. There was no ‘winner’ – it was a split vote, largely influenced by the right wing propaganda press, and other fraud – in which the ultimate outcome was no majority support for Brexit.

        The demand for another referendum is simply a recognition of that reality. Those protesting the idea are simply displaying a weird sort of religious faith in place of democratic process.

    2. I doubt very much if you vote even Labour RH. Labour are currently in a mess in Scotland, and I’m guessing your vote would go to the Scottish Nationalists in a GE.

      1. Back in fantasy land again, lundiel? I’m simply like the majority of the Party and the solidly Remain Labour vote.

        If the projection of 21% isn’t a wet fart reply to the fence-sitting, I don’t know what is!

      2. The results tomorrow are for local elections.

        … oh, and – as usual – I voted Labour, like many who don’t support the fence and arse-ache position on Brexit. Any successes certainly won’t be down to that pale imitation of Tory policy.

      3. Which rather begs the question, why are you afraid to put this to the test?

      4. “In your world, you’re the majority of the country”

        Are you competing with Ha’Penny for the Daily Mail prize in fiction, lundiel?

        … I’m just arguing for a reflection of the majority of the *Labour Party* and its voters in policy – and a test of opinion about the minority view expressed in the referendum. I think its such as yourself who have shied away from that acid test.

      5. Gotcha. There are no elections in Scotland today RH, yet, in another thread you informed me you come from the Lower Hebrides.

      6. I wondered why you were rabitting on about Scotland. I realise that it must have been related weaving a story from a totally unconnected remark and context about the *Inner* Hebrides.

        Thanks for lightening the mood … and you could learn a general lesson about leaping to inaccurate conclusions based on little evidence!

  5. Yes a Brexit with a customs union.
    Democratic control of labour supply (migrants needing job offers) and capital supply.
    Migration adjustment funds for Councils.
    Trade unionise migrant workers.
    And Labour could be home.

  6. Some Lab members need to stop obsessing about a referendum The vote was to leave. Both sides told porkies which were unbelievable. Just like a GE!

    1. “The vote was to leave”

      Nope – not in any constitutionally meaningful sense. Unless you accept the concept that austerity should be accepted, since it was supported by a majority at the last election…..??? Unlike the !970s vote, which *was* clear.

      So why not test the issue? Why the abject fear?

      1. There is no ‘abject fear’ , you total fucking cretin. get it into your fucked-up childlike meind that even plenty of those what voted remain but have respect for a democratically arrived at decision, want the bastard thing resolved at it should be and with due process.

        Keep on using that worn out ‘remainer mind-trick’ and then don’t be surprised and don’t bother complaining if someone (from either side of the vote) does the pogo on your skull.

        Your incessant bleating is a form of mental abuse. Just fucking quit it.

      2. There is always a reason for non negotiable stubbornness Toffee. It might be, they hold a different nationality and fear they won’t be able to stay. It might be they live in Scotland and believe the EU will see them prosper. Or it might even be that they have a holiday cottage in Dordogne, or intend to retire to Spain and cause the locals to be unable to afford houses in their own country. Whatever the reason, there has to be one, otherwise we are dealing with mania.

      3. “…austerity should be accepted, since it was supported by a majority at the last election…”

        No it wasn’t. The tories had less than 50% of the electorate so not a majority

      4. Oh dear! Rattles out of the pram again instead of rebuttal or willingness to put the Brexit religious dogma to the test.

        Point proved.

        And Kevin – don’t keep slamming the door.

      5. Oh – and I missed this corker :

        “The tories had less than 50% of the electorate so not a majority”

        Like Brexit, then?

        Again – point proved.

  7. If majority of LP members do support remaining in EU then it’s high time LP was honest about it… I for one am sick and tired of political parties being disingenuous, even dishonest, to get votes. Look at the shower of MPs in LP for a start… most cannot be trusted one inch to work for ‘the many, not the few’!.

    1. The majority of MPs support remaining. No one knows for certain what the members or voters think.
      Labour strategists obviously think that target constituencies demand they don’t back remain exclusively. Potential losses will have been factored in.
      Those who paint a picture of mass support for remain in Labour, to the extent they can take a similar position to Change UK/LibDems/Greens are lying.

      1. Wouldn’t be the first time Lab MPs have been out of step with their members or voters! Seems to be being used as a device to destabilise the Party Leader

      2. As said, lundiel, you’re not good on assessing evidence, are you?

        “Those who paint a picture of mass support for remain in Labour … are lying.”

        When reason and the evidence fail, conspiracy and alleged venality rides to the rescue. Thus is the Brexit mind.

  8. This poll adds to the already voluminous and utterly convincing evidence that people who ceaselessly promote a second referendum are badly damaging the electability of the Labour Party and therefore to all intents and purposes campaigning for the Tories.

    The evidence is simply overwhelming.

    In 2016, 17,400,000 people voted to leave the European Union. Leaving the European Union requires no longer being a member of the EU and single market. These are the bare minimum requirements to respect the referendum result.

    While it is true that the popular vote was relatively close, with leave wining by 52% to 48%, that closeness in percentage terms is largely irrelevant for two reasons.

    Firstly, we live in a majoritarian parliamentary democracy where power is won by a party winning a majority of constituency seats. 65% of constituencies voted leave, only 35% voted remain. Secondly, it takes approximately 13 million votes for a party to win a general election in the UK and form a government. Leave votes totalled 17.4m, the largest democratic mandate in the history of the United Kingdom. When considering those facts, no party serious about winning power would defy that mandate because it would know by doing so its very existence would be put at peril. Defying such a insurmountable mandate would virtually guarantee annihilation.

    The next hard evidence is the 2017 general election. Pro-Brexit parties won 82% of the vote. Standing on a pro-Brexit ticket, Labour won 12.9 million votes. The largest vote share increase since 1945, a 9.5% swing to Labour (3.5m more votes than Ed Miliband won in 2015).

    The only remain party standing were the Liberal Democrats. They made remaining in the EU the self-declared “centrepiece” of their election campaign. Standing on that remain platform they lost over 300 deposits and recorded their lowest vote share since 1959.

    Hardline remainers claim that people have changed their minds in the meantime. That claim appears weak on both a quantitative and qualitative basis. Qualitatively speaking, for the last three years hardline remainers have been calling leave voters racists, bigots, Little Englanders and, more recently, fascists. It is simply not credible to believe that such offensive and aggressive campaigning has changed leave voters’ minds. If anything, it is most likely that it has hardened the leave vote. I voted remain and am repelled by the condescending and rude approach of hardline remainers. As a democratic socialist I respect democracy and so would vote leave if another vote were held. As a democrat I would resist any attempts to overturn any democratic result.

    Quantitatively speaking, the only evidence hardline remainers are able to present to support their claim that people have changed their minds is telephone/online polls based on people’s opinions which were formed in response to economic projections.

    This evidence is too weak to support the strong claims and demands of hardline remainers. Opinion polls do not have the weight of actual ballot papers. 20,000 poll responses do not have the weight of 17.4m votes. The views of a few hundred thousand Labour remain members do not have more importance or weight than 17.4 million leave votes. Obvious points I know, but points which are consistently ignored by hardline remainers.

    More evidence follows, Earlier this year a poll commissioned by the remain campaign showed Labour would lose 3,500,000 votes if it tries to frustrate Brexit. That poll was buried by the remain campaign and only came to light when it was leaked.

    The exponential rise of the Brexit Party further undermines the claim people have changed their minds and want to remain. In a matter of weeks a party has come from nowhere and is outpolling both the major parties in the MEP elections.

    And in the latest poll reported in this article again shows Labour is damaged when members of the party refuse to accept the largest democratic mandate in our history.

    Finally, it is worth remembering that the moment the Tories failed to get the UK out of the EU on the agreed date the party collapsed in the polls and a significant number of Tory voters have said they will not campaign or vote for the Tories in those elections.

    As well as the electoral damage to Labour, remainers are also providing a propaganda coup to the far right in the UK. Tommy Robinson will undoubtedly be rubbing his hands with glee every time People’s Vote campaigners talk about overturning the referendum result. “Look!” he will say “the establishment holds you and democracy in contempt! We were right!” he will claim. Remainers are not only effectively campaigning for the Tories to stay in power, they are also acting as a recruiting sergeant for the far right.

    The evidence could not be clearer. This is not rocket science, it is as clear as a pike. Labour remainers must stop damaging the Labour voted by campaigning for a second referendum. They lose Labour votes every time they open their mouths about a second referendum.

    Labour will agree a deal which is as close as possible to current arrangements, whilst respecting the referendum result.

    The referendum result must be respected for the sake of our democracy, our party and our country.

    1. “The referendum result must be respected for the sake of our democracy, our party and our country.”

      You mean the ‘result’ that confirmed that only a minority wanted Breit?

      1. Dearie me, the tireless right wing Troll, RH, again lumping in all those who didn’t vote in 2018 as being automatically “not in the Leave camp”. A ludicrous claim. Many of those who didn’t vote will be people totally alienated from the UK political system and its remarkably similar political elites of the last 30 years of neoliberal consensus , who simply didn’t believe it worth voting against the political status quo of EU membership. And so far they have been proved correct. Who knows , a number of non-voters might have agreed with Danny and wanted a Lexit aimed at creating a socialist, or at least radical Left social democratic, economic model , freed from the Single Market EU straightjacket . We don’t know the many motives of the non voters, RH, so stop the bullshit claiming them as part of your losing Remain voting bloc .

      2. Oh no. 63% didn’t vote for Brexit.

        You are Alistair Campbell and I claim my £5!

        Whilst you mash this cobblers out, has it ever occurred to you that 65% didn’t vote for remain?!?!

        For every 1000 remain votes, 1073 voted out. That’s it. Game over. End of play.

        Next month will show that again. Fartrage is going to win, and all because the establishment doesn’t want democracy that doesn’t suit them.

        History shows, time and time again, that when you silence or ignore people, they get more extreme in their actions to be heard and acknowledged.

    2. Extremely well put and argued , Internal affairs. Your facts and logic will not dent the trolling claims of RH and his three constantly bullshitting Remain cronies though , as his pathetic response to your detailed post demonstrates. .

      1. You keep fantasising, Ha’penny – it’s what you do best.

        Such stuff as ” the tireless right wing Troll” immediately fingers you as a playground pretend ‘socialist’ – as has been pointed out previously in some detail, and confirmed by your support of the fellow ‘antisemitism’ scammers.

      2. It looks like the Tory Party are being punished for not following the wishes of their membership and voters. Labour should take note.

    3. …Labour will agree a deal which is as close as possible to current arrangements, whilst respecting the referendum result…

      Brexit in name only is undesirable. Voter’s are not stupid…

      This is partially why Farage’s party is cleaning up. Its still an affront to democracy.

  9. RH 12:18pm 01/05/2019

    Corbyn calls on MPs to accept “Historic Duty” thread.

    “From a personal perspective, I am aware of significant changes taking place in the environment. For 40-odd years, I have observed a particular area of the Inner Hebrides where simple explanations of obvious local human interference just don’t apply. No vast local population expansion; no local pollution or intensive agriculture etc.”

    RH 16:20 pm 02/05/2019

    The results tomorrow are for local elections.

    … oh, and – as usual – I voted Labour, like many who don’t support the fence and arse-ache position on Brexit.

    Thank you for transparency… At last.

      1. True. And???

        You really should stop jumping to conclusions on the basis of misperception and wish fulfilment. Who knows? You could even see Brexit as the pile of nonsense that it really is.

        I’ll leave you to work it out.

  10. I always against another referendum. You have to respect voters. That is democracy. I feel more than ever that we need EU and cannot lose the friendship with them, though. We can build up with EU with a strong vision of the socialist idea. See what really people think of the result of the referendum and what people want, not by another referendum but by a general election. Corbyn appears always right. His voice seems sometime to be wiped out by the strong pro-EU group. I believe Corbyn than anybody else. He is a fair person and holds lots of good brain. He should not be underestimated.

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