Poll shows Labour voters back party's support for new Brexit referendum

PUBLISHED: 09:20 03 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 03 March 2019

The People's Vote March for the Future in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

The People's Vote March for the Future in London. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Labour voters in the North and Midlands strongly back the party's shift on a new Brexit referendum, according to a poll.

The move is supported by 75% of people who voted Labour in the 2017 general election and expressed a preference, a YouGov survey for the People’s Vote campaign shows.

More than one third, 35%, said the policy change to push for a new Brexit vote made them feel more favourably towards Labour, while 14% said it made them feel less so.

The survey of 5,000 voters across the North, Yorkshire and Humber and the Midlands found that 76% would support staying in the EU, with 24% against.

If it was a choice between Remain and backing prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, the split would be 81% to 19% in favour of staying in the EU, according to the survey.

Only 14% of those polled wanted their MP to back the government’s proposed terms for leaving the EU.

And more than two thirds, 68%, said it was more important to maintain frictionless free trade than control immigration, while 17% disagreed with the statement.

Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov, said: “The myth that Labour voters in the party’s heartlands favour Brexit is just that - a myth.

“Those who voted Labour in 2017 in the Midlands and North favoured Remain by two-to-one in 2016, support Remain by three-to-one today; and, if given a referendum choice between Remain and Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, back Remain by four-to-one.

“That explains why such big majorities of these Labour voters want a new public vote and approve of Labour’s new policy.

“This survey also suggests that Labour’s heartland supporters are less hostile to immigration than is commonly thought.”

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