21 March 2023
Labour could win increased majority by turning against Brexit, new poll finds
A poll commissioned by the Constitution Society and published today (21 March) finds that there would be no electoral penalty for Labour if the party said Brexit was a mistake, and that it could even gain from doing so.
With its present stance of ‘make Brexit work’, Labour is projected to win 527 seats in the House of Commons, a majority of 404. If it said Brexit was a mistake, its seats total could rise to 550. Labour is currently on course to sweep all 42 Red Wall seats. This poll reveals that the party would still be on course to win all 42 seats if it said Brexit was a mistake.
The poll found that, among the general population of Great Britain:
- Most people (59%) think Brexit has made Britain worse off
- Most people (55%) think that Brexit was a mistake
- On General Voting Intention, Labour has a lead of 26% over the Conservatives
- This lead could grow to 28% if Labour said Brexit was a mistake
Among Red Wall voters:
- Exactly half agree that Brexit has made Britain worse off
- 46% say Brexit was a mistake
- On General Voting Intention, Labour has a lead of 33% over the Conservatives
- This lead could shrink to 30% if Labour said Brexit was a mistake, but the Party would still win all 42 Red Wall seats.
Professor Andrew Blick, head of the Department of Political Economy at King's College London, and senior adviser to the Constitution Society said: “Most Labour voters backed remain in 2016, and a majority of members of the public seem now to view Brexit as a mistake. But because of the way that the UK ‘first-past-the-post’ voting system works, a particular viewpoint can achieve electoral importance out of proportion to its total popularity.
“Support for Brexit was high in a number of seats that Labour lost in 2019. The party seems to have drawn the conclusion that it cannot come back into power if it criticises Brexit. But, this polling suggests it is mistaken. On this evidence, criticism of Brexit might not be a dealbreaker in the Red Wall, and saying Brexit was a mistake could improve Labour's overall electoral performance.”
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Head of the Department of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and Contemporary History