A poll printed in the Daily Mail – once the bible for Brexit ultras – has revealed most Britons now back a new referendum.
The Survation survey asked: ‘Should there be a People’s Vote – a referendum – on Mrs May’s Brexit deal?’
A whopping 48% backed a new vote with only 34% opposing the plan.
But the paper – which has taken a softer line on Brexit since new editor Geordie Greig took over from hardliner Paul Dacre – failed to put the result on its front page instead leading with a much tighter result suggesting MPs should back Theresa May’s deal.
According to the research 41% of people think MPs should back the deal with 38% saying it should be voted down. But of those quizzed 52% also said the agreement was ‘not ideal’.
Under the headline ‘So now will MPs listen?’ the paper sets out why it thinks May’s plan is the best on offer.
But even though it still backs leaving Europe the editorial line is in marked contrast to what Dacre would have wanted on his paper’s front page. Under his editorship the paper urged May to ‘crush’ the Brexit ‘saboteurs’ and even called the high court judges who ruled that the government would need the consent of parliament to trigger quitting the EU ‘Enemies of the people’.
Writing in the Spectator just before leaving his role, Dacre said: ‘Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers.
‘Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.’
But Grieg – the former editor of the Evening Standard who was at almost constant loggerheads with Dacre when he edited the Mail’s sister Sunday title – is taking a much softer line on Brexit.
But even so the paper has not highlighted the most startling result of its survey. Even in its leader column the People’s Vote result is ignored.