Another week, another poll illustrating the depth of disillusion with Brexit right across Britain – this time from the website Unherd (hardly a hotbed of Remainers).
The poll, by Focaldata and taking in 10,000 people across the country, asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “Britain was wrong to leave the EU”.
The headline result suggests a dramatic shift in how the country reflects on the momentous vote. Focaldata estimates that in every constituency in Britain (the poll does not include Northern Ireland) except three, more people agree with the statement than disagree — that is, tend to think that Brexit was a mistake. The only three outliers are all located along the Wash in Lincolnshire: Louth and Horncastle, Boston and Skegness and South Holland and the Deepings. And two of these are actually tied in terms of whether people thought Brexit was wrong or not – Boston and Skegness, at 41%-37% is the only place in the country where a majority still believe leaving the EU was the right thing to do.
And it’s not as if this poll can be dismissed as an outlier. Earlier this month a poll for the Independent found that almost two thirds of Britons would now support a referendum on rejoining the EU. YouGov’s tracking question – were we right or wrong to leave the EU? – is trending strongly towards the latter. For the past year those saying “wrong” have comfortably outnumbered those saying “right”. The latest figures report the biggest gap yet, 56% to 32%. One in five of those who voted Leave six years ago – more than 3 million people – say the decision was the wrong one.
Such polls will add pressure to Keir Starmer who, as much as he ever mentions Brexit, it is to utter clearly disprovable statements he almost certainly doesn’t believe himself, such as that rejoining the single market would not boost UK economic growth. Shadow levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy has dismissed the idea of rejoining the EU as “fantasy”.
But Boris Johnson will apparently tell his “fearless” Talk TV interviewer Nadine Dorries on Friday that the UK would become “gravitationally sucked” back into the EU’s orbit if Labour gained power after the next election. He clearly views that as a threat. Many people may increasingly view it as a promise, even if Starmer himself feels he can’t voice it.
The Unherd poll data is here