Second Brexit referendum would see UK vote to remain in EU, new poll analysis shows

‘Bluntly, older, mainly Leave, voters are dying – and younger, mainly Remain, voters are joining the electorate,’ expert says

Oliver Wheaton
Sunday 27 May 2018 16:40 BST
Can Brexit be reversed?

The UK would vote to remain in the EU if a second Brexit referendum were held, new polling analysis has suggested.

Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov and polling analyst, suggested that up to one million Labour supporters who voted Leave in the 2016 referendum are having second thoughts.

In an article for Prospect, he points out that YouGov has carried out 14 polls this year asking people if the UK was right or wrong to vote for Brexit.

“Thirteen of 14 polls this year show slightly more people saying ‘wrong’ than ‘right’,” he said.

“This indicates a small but consistent net move away from Brexit.”

A large part of Mr Kellner’s belief stems from data showing that generally older voters supported Leave, whereas younger voters tended to support Remain.

He said: “Bluntly, older, mainly Leave, voters are dying – and younger, mainly Remain, voters are joining the electorate.”

Mr Kellner points out that Leave voters outnumber Remain by 1.3 million and that since the referendum roughly 1.2 million voters had died, while 1.4 million have entered voting age, meaning “demography has already reduced that lead by more than half”.

However, he warned that even if a second referendum were to take place, Labour would have to “campaign actively to stay in the EU”.

“This would, of course, require Jeremy Corbyn to abandon his past views of Brussels, which have ranged from lack of enthusiasm to outright hostility,” he added.

An exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research in December showed 51 per cent of people now backed remaining in the union, while 41 per cent still want Brexit.

Legal challenges have also claimed another referendum is required before Britain can leave the EU.

Campaigners say the 2011 “referendum lock” introduced by David Cameron prevents any significant change to relations with the EU without the public’s say, and therefore requires a second referendum.

The news comes as Michel Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator for the EU, told Britain to “face the reality” of Brexit, and warned against blaming the EU for any negative consequences it caused.

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