Poll: Remain now has largest lead witnessed since EU referendum

An anti-Brexit protestor waves an EU flag in Westminster. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

An anti-Brexit protestor waves an EU flag in Westminster. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

A snap poll conducted in the wake of the crushing defeat of Theresa May's Brexit plan found the largest lead for Remain since the 2016 referendum.

The YouGov survey of more than 1,000 voters found 56% would now vote to stay in the EU, against 44% who want to leave.

It gives Remain a lead of 12% over Leave.

Exactly the same proportion of voters said they wanted a second EU referendum - three points higher than recorded in a similar poll before Christmas. Backing for a so-called People’s Vote among Labour supporters stood at 78%.

The Remain lead was extended further when respondents were asked to compare it to May’s Withdrawal Agreement or the option of leaving the EU without a deal.

Against the prime minister’s deal, Remain led by 65% to 35%, while against no-deal was 59%-41% in favour of staying in the EU.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said the government now needs to change course.

He said: “There is now a clear and expanding majority for staying in the EU and an even bigger one when voters have the chance to look at the real options for leaving.”

Umunna said that the poll had exposed the compromises of “Norway-plus” or customs union membership as “niche positions supported by less than one in 10 voters”.

In a three-way choice, voters split 52% for Remain, 39% for no-deal and 9% for Norway-plus, and 54% for Remain, 38% for no-deal and 8% for a customs union deal.

“The poll also underlines why the leadership of my party needs to listen to Labour’s own supporters, more than three-quarters of whom are demanding a People’s Vote,” said Umunna.

“To ignore those calls now would be an historic mistake for which Labour would not be forgiven.”

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