A majority of the public would now vote Remain, according to a new Brexit poll conducted by Channel 4.
Revealed during Channel 4’s ‘Big Brexit Debate’ on 5 November, the results of the poll have been welcomed by Remainers, with 105 council areas that originally voted Leave apparently looking likely to swing to Remain if another referendum was held tomorrow.
In what is the biggest poll since the EU referendum itself, 20,000 people were questioned by market research agency Survation on their opinions about leaving the EU, with 54 per cent saying they would now choose to stay, a six per cent swing from the results of the original referendum – although this result discounts those who refused to vote or answered ‘don’t know’.
If offered a vote on the type of deal they thought the government was trying to achieve, only around a quarter of respondents said they would accept it. 34 per cent replied with ‘don’t know’ to this question, showing that public uncertainty around the status of the government’s Brexit negotiations is, unsurprisingly, high.
Results from the survey in Sunderland specifically, which voted 61 per cent in favour of Leave in 2016, showed a massive swing towards Remain, with only 51 per cent of survey respondents now saying they would vote Leave in a second referendum. Speaking at the Big Brexit Debate, UKIP’s Nigel Farage said: “I would expect, across the country, to see a move back in the other direction, but not of that scale.”
Looking at perceptions of the impacts of Brexit, 40 per cent felt leaving the EU would have a good impact on immigration levels, while a majority of people said it would be bad for both the UK economy and the NHS. There were mixed feelings about Brexit leading to Scotland and/or Northern Ireland leaving the UK, with equal numbers concerned and not concerned about this possibility.
Green MP Caroline Lucas, who was also speaking at the debate, reiterated descriptions of the government’s approach to Brexit as an “omnishambles” and said that Theresa May was being “held hostage by the zealots in her own government who want to have this very ideological, extreme Brexit.”
She continued: “[May] is being given a position that is impossible to square – she’s being told that we’ve got to leave the single market and the customs union but not have a hard border in Ireland… those two things are impossible to resolve, and that’s why it’s so important that it goes back to the people, that we have a People’s Vote on the final outcome”.
In October, thousands marched in London calling for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal – according to organisers, 700,000 people were present, which would make it the second most attended march since the anti-Iraq War demonstration in 2003.
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party Co-leader, commented: “Last night’s Channel 4 debate showed that the country is coming with us on Brexit. The Green Party has long called for a People’s Vote on the final deal and support for this position is growing by the day. It feels unstoppable.
“As Caroline said last night, the current negotiations are an omnishambles. The Green Party is the only party putting the future of this country first and we must stand tall and fight economic and environmental destruction. We must keep this decision in the hands of the people.”
The Big Brexit Debate can be watched in full on the Channel 4 website.