'Stop Brexit' party 'would beat Labour and Ukip in a general election'

Hypothetical party could win 25.9 per cent of the vote if an election was held tomorrow 

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 24 October 2016 10:36 BST
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A new 'Stop Brexit' party would push Labour and Ukip into third and fourth place
A new 'Stop Brexit' party would push Labour and Ukip into third and fourth place (AFP)

A "Stop Brexit" party would beat Labour and Ukip if a general election were held tomorrow, a new survey has suggested.

The YouGov poll of more than 4,500 adults in England and Wales found 50 per cent of people who opted for Remain during the EU referendum would vote for a new pro-EU membership party if given the choice. A further 3.9 per cent of people who voted Leave said they would support the anti-Brexit party.

This would give the hypothetical Stop Brexit party 25.9 per cent of the total vote.

The new party would push Labour into the third place, with the official opposition only winning 18.7 per cent of the vote.

But Theresa May’s Conservative party, which is currently in charge of putting Brexit into action, would still come out on top with 34.1 per cent.

The survey did not break down the Stop Brexit vote into constituencies, so it is unclear how many seats they would win.

It follows the by-election for David Cameron’s Witney constituency, that saw the Liberal Democrats push Labour into second place after campaigning on an anti-Brexit ticket.

Lib Dem candidate Liz Leffman achieved a 19 per cent swing – up from the seven per cent of the vote the party won in 2015 – with Labour’s Duncan Enright trailing behind her by more than 15 per cent.

Commentators have been quick to point out this may just be a return to previous form by the Liberal Democrats, who were famed for their byelection victories in the mid-noughties after they became the party for people angry with Labour's policies, particularly on the Iraq War.

Indeed, Witney voted to stay in the EU in June with West Oxfordshire as a whole being split 54-46 in favour of Remain so it is unclear how well an anti-Brexit campaign would go down in the more pro-Leave constituencies in northern England.

The poll is bad news for Labour. Despite being officially pro-Remain, leader Jeremy Corbyn’s perceived lacklustre campaigning for the EU triggered a failed revolt by the shadow cabinet.

Last month, ahead of the first anniversary of Mr Corbyn’s election as leader, the party suffered the worst opinion poll ratings it had ever received in opposition.

Labour trailed the Conservatives by 11 points – the worst result for a leader since polling began in the 1950s.

Another poll a few weeks later found Labour was on course to win just 190 seats at the general election – the worst result since 1935.

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