Final Say: Voters in every Labour area now support further referendum on Brexit outcome, research finds

MP Jess Phillips joins the campaign, saying her Leave-voting constituents ‘feel they have been failed in the negotiations’

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Friday 02 November 2018 23:01
More than 700,000 protesters march on Westminster calling for a Final Say on Brexit deal

Voters in every Labour area now support a Final Say referendum on the Brexit outcome, new research shows, piling fresh pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to back the idea.

The huge survey also found that a majority of Labour supporters in the Westminster seats the party holds back staying in the EU – despite claims that traditional supporters are still pro-Brexit.

It has prompted one senior Labour backbencher in a Leave-voting constituency to join the campaign for a fresh public vote, while a second said he was close to the same decision.

Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, backed a Final Say, saying: “It’s no surprise to me that my constituents feel that they have been failed in the negotiations and are changing their mind on Brexit.”

Pat McFadden, the Wolverhampton South East MP, pointed to past “doubts”, but said: “I will keep listening to voters, because this is such a huge issue for the country and it’s vital that the people’s voice is heard.”

The survey, by the People’s Vote campaign, also found that 80 per cent of Labour supporters in Mr Corbyn’s Islington North seat backed a fresh referendum – the highest figure in the country.

The Labour leader has resisted pressure to support a new public vote, but has inched towards it when the party agreed it must be an option if MPs reject any deal struck by Theresa May.

The survey of almost 26,000 people – the biggest since last year’s general election – comes after The Independent’s petition calling for the Brexit decision to go back to the British public reached one million signatures last week.

The negotiations remain deadlocked over the issue of the Irish border, amid mounting evidence that Britain is not ready for crashing out of the EU if a deal is not reached by March.

People’s Vote said its groundbreaking research calculated the views of people in particular seats by analysing data from a larger area, based on characteristics including age, gender, education, social class and past voting.

YouGov’s technique proved far more accurate than conventional polling in successfully predicting a hung parliament last year, it pointed out.

In recent weeks, some Labour MPs have spoken of rescuing a Brexit deal from defeat by Tory opponents, because they fear a backlash from voters accusing them of blocking the first referendum result.

But the research found that, in the 259 Labour-held seats, voters across the political spectrum now want a People’s Vote, the percentage varying from 74 per cent in Bristol West to 53 per cent in Ashfield.

Among Labour voters, at least two-thirds in every constituency support another referendum – with the majority going further by backing EU membership as well.

Birmingham Yardley voted by 60 per cent to 40 per cent to leave the EU – but, after a dramatic turnaround, now backs a People’s Vote by a margin of 63 per cent to 37 per cent, the survey found.

Ms Phillips said her voters had heard “posh blokes on the telly telling them what’s good for them and they realise that this miserable plan was never about them”.

“I trust my constituents to make a call on what’s best for them and Britain, much more so than the politicians in charge of it,” she said.

In Mr McFadden’s Wolverhampton seat, 58 per cent of constituents now back a People’s Vote, a proportion rising to 71 per cent among Labour voters, according to the study.

The influential backbencher said: “A lot of new information has come to light – including the huge divorce bill what wasn’t mentioned at the time, the problems over the Northern Ireland border that were casually dismissed by Brexiteers during the referendum and the difficulty of securing an even half-decent-deal.”

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