YouGov Polls

Since the Brexit referendum media and politics seems to have turned anti-European but it seems that the public opinion is slowing starting to shift towards being more pro-European. There is increasingly despair among the public about the lack of leadership and success with the Brexit negotiations. Two years on from the referendum vote and we really don’t know where we will be and what will be agreed over the next 5 months. A YouGov poll has consistently found that about two thirds of those polled feel the negotiations are going badly.

Below I have collected a number of YouGov polls around Brexit. They make for interesting reading.

Surprisingly, a recent YouGov poll found that 31 percent of Tories say the government’s Brexit decision is wrong. This compares with 73 percent of Labour voters and 83 percent of Lib Dem voters. Because some voters think that the government now has a duty to implement the referendum 30 percent of Remainers want the government to go ahead with Brexit. Although, those who were undecided, during the referendum, are beginning to gradually favour staying in the EU.

YouGov also found that 42 percent think that Brexit will make the economy worse. Those who think the economy will improve is 24 percent, and on another question 38 percent think the UK will have less influence in the world while 17 percent believe the UK will have more influence.

On questions regards jobs 37 percent believe Brexit will be bad for jobs and 23 percent think it will be good for jobs. On the NHS 31 percent believe it will be bad, against 25 percent who felt Brexit would be good for the health service (presumably, they believe the NHS will get the £350 million a week after leaving the EU).

Those who are following Brexit news very closely was found to be 10 percent and 37 percent are following Brexit new fairly closely. However, of those polled majority say they are bored with so much Brexit news.

Further results of polls were: –

  • About half (49 percent) think the EU has had an upper hand in these negotiations;
  • While 26 percent of those polled believe that there has been give and take on both sides;
  • On the two year transition 50 percent felt it was a good idea and 23 percent didn’t think it was a good idea:
  • The pool also asked the question if there is to be a transition period what you would prefer: 30 percent preferred one year and 49 percent preferred 2 years transition period.
  • On the question of: “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?” Right to leave was 43 percent and wrong to leave was 46 percent.

There is a very solid majority (maybe only just) who feel that leaving the EU is not the right thing for the UK to do and that this government is managing the process badly. The public also recognise that Brexit will not be good for the UK. Is it enough (IF we do leave the EU) that the Lib Dems were on the right side of history?

* Tahir Maher is the Wednesday editor and a member of the LDV editorial team

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39 Comments

  • Jack Giilles 4th Jul '18 - 4:39pm

    Oh dear, the governance of our country is in a dreadful state, I awaite and hope for a decisive swing against Brexit, time is getting short.

    I recommend searching on-line to see and hear Lord Hesseline’s views on Brexit
    on ‘The Independent’ site of 27th December 2017
    Lord Heseltine is seen saying he believed that any damage done by a Corbyn government would be short-lived and capable of correction, but that EU withdrawal proposed by the Conservatve government could cause irreversible harm.

    I hope for a government with Lib Dem views and principles – but it may come down to a choice of the lesser of the two evils as Lord Hesseltine sets them out.

  • I had an email today from LibDem HQ, which quoted some polling on the Peoples’ Vote: a year ago 18% wanted a Peoples Vote, but now the figure is 44%.

  • 2 years of reducing influence in the EU:

    I) The EU now is not the one we voted to leave and is not the one Cameron had foreseen us reforming to make more UK friendly
    II) People responding to the poll may not be saying we should be part of the EU, just that we should not have a binding referendum when 2 years on we don’t know what exiting looks like
    III) Exiting Brexit won’t respond immediately to the feelings that lead to that vote. There will be a lot of work to do to make sure those feeling ignored feel that they haven’t been knocked back further and those feeling desperate will still feel desperate until there are wider home policy changes.

    In hindsight the referendum was the wrong referendum (leaving the EU doesn’t answer people’s primary concerns) and wrong time to have it (leaving to form closer relations with Trump’s America was very different prospect to Clinton’s America to name one world election going on just after we brexited) so Danny Dyer was spot on in his summary of Cameron.

  • David Evershed 4th Jul '18 - 8:07pm

    We need to distinguish between Europe, a continent, and the EU, an organisation.

    You can be anti EU without being anti European.

    You can be anti European without being anti EU.

  • Martin Land 4th Jul '18 - 8:43pm

    @ David Evershed. I’m anti Israel but still get accused of being anti-semetic.

  • Peter Watson 4th Jul '18 - 9:17pm

    Hmmm.
    What about another Yougov poll.
    It showed:
    – 54% think leaving the EU would be risky vs. 34% safe.
    – 40% think leaving the EU would make Britain worse off vs. 23% better off
    – 36% think leaving the EU would be bad for jobs vs. 22% good
    – 29% think they would be personally worse off financially on leaving the EU vs. 10% better off
    – 51% would vote to remain in the EU and 49% would vote to leave
    That Yougov poll was published the day before the Referendum (https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/atmwrgevvj/TimesResults_160622_EVEOFPOLL.pdf)

  • William Fowler 5th Jul '18 - 7:35am

    Winning a second vote would still be tight and get even tighter after the press portrayed EU as bullying the UK (even if not true). If the EU were to be magnanimous, offer decreasing payments into the EU over time, tough residence test for benefits etc access, and outlined how UK would be a member on outer edge whilst the Euro zone became more integrated then that would get things moving in the right direction for a second vote.

  • Peter Watson 5th Jul '18 - 8:23am

    On polling, I am struck by the failure of the Remain campaign in general and Lib Dems in particular to make any significant progress.
    The Referendum was two years ago. Since then, regardless of whether one wants Brexit or not, the positions of the Government and Opposition have looked confused and fudged, the UK’s position in negotiations has looked weak, we’ve had two more years of project fear and bad publicity for the likely outcomes, and what Brexit means looks no more certain than it did in 2016
    Similarly, the Coalition ended more than 3 years ago. Since then we’ve had a Tory (Torier?) government that brought us the chaos of the referendum and Brexit facing a bitterly divided Labour party under a leader attacked by all parts of the media.
    Yet despite all of this, polls on Brexit have not changed significantly and support for the Lib Dems has not recovered significantly. And when I write “not significantly”, it could well be “not at all”.
    Surely both Remain and Lib Dems should be doing much much better by now, so both need a change in strategy before it is too late, For Remain I would suggest a charm offensive with a positive case being made for how great it is to be in the EU, and for Lib Dems I would suggest a more assertive and obvious distancing (apologies, perhaps?) from the impression given of the party during Coalition. But then I’ve been suggesting both things for a very long time now.

  • Andrew Daer 5th Jul '18 - 8:26am

    These polls largely pre-date the recent spate of announcements from business leaders saying Brexit will be bad for jobs and the economy. What we have heard from Airbus, BMW and JLR could have been decisive before the referendum, but for people who have already voted leave the problem is how to incorporate these dire warnings into their view of the world – without having to admit they made a mistake. Blaming Europe is the easy answer, as usual. Some (like Tory MP Jack Lopresti, whose constituency contains Airbus workers) claim EU governments are conspiring with Airbus and BMW to scupper Brexit, and others are positioning themselves for a future blame game – “Brexit was a good idea, but the EU (or a feeble Tory government) made it impossible for us to negotiate a good deal”. Leave voters are only human, and rationalising bad decisions is something we all do.
    In order to prevent Brexit, we need to convince people to look at what they are telling themselves, and try to realise that they are not looking rationally at the evidence, of which there is now a growing mountain. Virtually all of it shows Brexit to be not only the wrong decision to solve the problems this country faces, but one which will make most of them considerably worse.
    Those who are bored by Brexit are another problem, as are the so-called ‘remainers’ who are willing to go along with the 37% who voted leave. Those of us who genuinely believe in remaining in the EU need to be more dynamic and forceful about defending this country from the effects of a stupid decision. Personally, on the doorstep and on a pro-EU street stall, I’ve found that the time has come for a less deferential approach than usual. Nobody has to respect a decision made when many of the relevant facts were not known, and even very clever people say “when the facts change, I change my mind.”

  • The bored with Brexit are the key. If you can convince them a none Brexit or a very, very soft Brexit is the fastest way to make Brexit go away (and it is) then you might make some progress. The Brexit proclaimers will not change, they can’t they have invested too much of their selfworth in proclaiming the righteousness of Brexit. No amount of facts will change their minds, how could they bare to look in the mirror and see a fool, it just isn’t going to happen. The sad thing is as Brexit carries on that is how they do appear to people who lack their faith.

  • Michael Cole 5th Jul '18 - 9:31am

    The Liberal Democrats are perceived by many of the electorate as pro-EU at any cost.

    Our leadership needs to spell out clearly what areas of the EU need reform.

  • Andrew Daer 5th Jul '18 - 11:13am

    @frankie – the trouble with talking up the “soft Brexit” option is that it gives people an excuse to think Brexit won’t really matter, even if it’s not a very good idea. That would mean less demand for a new referendum. We need to remind everyone that a soft Brexit would leave us as disempowered ‘rule takers’, which is exactly the opposite of what the leavers wanted. A deal for a hard Brexit would be more likely to galvanise opposition.
    However, tomorrow’s events may change things. The cabinet under Mrs May will only be able to agree to pursue a deal the EU have already said is a non-starter (basically still the old ‘cake and eat it’ plan). With luck, when the EU says no, the Brexiters will then push for harder deal, which will make it easier for Parliament to reject it or require another referendum. Our task is to convince enough voters that they need to ‘take back control’ of the process by having another referendum (and also to persuade them to vote remain).

  • Andrew,
    While obviously no Brexit is by far the best deal, a soft, soft Brexit is preferable to the horrors of a no deal Brexit. While no deal would expose all the Brexiteers delusions, I’m not of a view that exposing their lack of clothes is worth the pain that would be inflicted at the country at large. Yes I know a hard Brexit is likely to totally discredit the Brexiteers and in many cases turn them into shunned pariahs, bring dismissed as “he’s a Brexiteers, say no more, just avoid”, but I’d rather that didn’t happen, if the price of a soft, soft Brexit is they get to moan the pain inflicted ( and it still will be considrable) wouldn’t have happened with their form of Brexit it is a price I’d pay.

  • Richard Fagence 5th Jul '18 - 12:02pm

    If you haven’t read Catherine Bearder’s piece entitled “As an MEP, I can tell you the British Government doesn’t understand Brexit” (Independent, 26th June) yet, I strongly urge you to do so. It explains why the UK will end up as a third country in EU terms.

    Forget Galileo after Brexit, forget staying in Europol, forget the European Arrest Warrant: they, along with many other benefits of membership, will simply not apply to us. The single market is a legal entity and you cannot just break the rules that apply to all the other members just because one member has said they want to leave. We shall be a third country, just like Canada or South Korea.

    It is time that the British public had this spelled out to them – in words of one syllable if necessary. If the Liberal Democrats don’t to it, who will? With little sign of Remain getting their act together, the time to move is NOW.

  • Sandra Hammett 5th Jul '18 - 12:20pm

    Richard Fagence
    The wind should be in our sails IF the polls are turning but we’re seeing no signs of recovery.
    I really don’t understand our current plan regarding Brexit since it seems to be ‘drag our feet, wait and see, hope the Lords will sort it’. We don’t even seem to be making a particularly strong case for ‘A Vote on the Deal’.
    Not ideal.

  • Now is the time to make the positive case for Remain again (vs Leave):-
    More jobs
    Better, more secure jobs
    Sufficient qualified staff to help the NHS (and other important services) remain excellent and reduce the burden on other staff
    Keeping international (European) families together – no fear of Windrush style separation
    Cooperation over a wide range of scientific and medical research
    Effective environmental protection.
    Frictionless travel for tourists (straight through the airports and ports)
    Better governance (our politicians are not the best!)
    Etc.
    Etc.
    Etc.

  • Britain will be calling for the Euro, Schengen, TTIP, a privatised EU army and privatised EU wide healthcare system once the public experience a term of Brexiteer Tories followed by another term of Corbynism.

  • Andrew Daer 6th Jul '18 - 7:29am

    Frankie,
    thanks for the response, but to be clear, I’m not advocating a terrible deal which gets implemented, and teaches the leavers a lesson. I’m saying a terrible deal has more chance of being thrown out by Parliament – or by another people’s vote. Personally I’ve never been fully behind the concept that if one referendum was a bad idea then two would be better. People are not clever when they make big decisions, as scientists have proved with thousands of experiments. It is patently absurd to say “I respect the result” when it is so obviously so wrong. You can only respect people’s opinions after they have shown they deserve respect, by producing valid arguments, not when they simply shout “we won, so shut up”.
    Can anyone remember hearing a Brexiter list the positive gains from leaving the EU? Apart, that is, from meaningless gibberish like “getting back control” and deliberately vague assertions like “we want a trade deal with (an un-named country) that wants to buy the (unspecified goods) we are currently unable to profitably export to them (for unspecified reasons), without demanding to flood our shops with their own exports, which we will be in a stronger position to negotiate once we are no longer part of the world’s largest trading bloc.”

  • Richard Underhill 6th Jul '18 - 7:48am

    There has been a bye-election for a seat in the House of Lords.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44728814
    The anomaly results from a compromise that PM Tony Blair made with the then Conservative leader in the Lords, succeeding in getting most of Labour’s 1997 promise implemented. Conservative Leader William Hague MP sacked the leader of the Tory Peers, a Cecil. Labour’s then leader in the Lords repeatedly promised that Labour would complete the task as promised in their manifesto, but this has not happened and she is no longer Labour Leader in the Lords.
    David Steel tried to legislate to remove this anomaly, which can have farcical consequences. He managed to introduce some reforms, which have been enacted, including the right to resign voluntarily.

  • What we have heard from Airbus, BMW and JLR could have been decisive before the referendum

    Um… but they were saying exactly the same things before the referendum. So was the chancellor. Remember all those predictions of a ‘technical recession’, of the unemployment figures shooting up, immediately on a ‘Leave’ vote? Remember the punishment budget?

    People didn’t believe them then, and — no punishment budget, unemployment fallen, no recession — it looks like they were right.

    So why would they believe them this time?

  • Better governance (our politicians are not the best!)

    If your argument is really, ‘The UK would be better run by Jean-Claude Juncker than our own politicians’ then don’t be surprised if the vast majority disagree.

  • Andrew Daer 6th Jul '18 - 9:46am

    Dav,
    big businesses like Airbus are saying that new investment would probably not be in the UK if customs and other regulatory issues made it easier to invest in France, Germany or Spain. The fact that the Brits had given the EU two fingers would also make it hard to explain to workers in the EU why they weren’t getting preference over our workers. If you honestly can’t see the logic (and obvious validity) in this argument, you leave me a bit non-plussed. You appear to be saying that because George Osborne over-egged his predictions, therefore the business leaders of Airbus can’t be trusted. I know we all sometimes blog without thinking too hard, but are you really telling the 100,000 people whose aerospace jobs are threatened that their jobs are safe because there wasn’t a ‘punishment budget’?
    Perhaps it would be more true to say that the pronouncements of the directors of one of the world’s leading industries sound very much like an inconvenient truth, and that you would like them to be ignored for that reason alone.

  • If you honestly can’t see the logic (and obvious validity) in this argument, you leave me a bit non-plussed

    It’s not about the logic, it’s about the idea that ‘What we have heard from Airbus, BMW and JLR could have been decisive before the referendum’.

    When in fact Airbus were saying exactly the same thing before the referendum; see this from April 2016, headline ‘EU referendum: Airbus warns Out vote may hit investment’:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35958693

    So it clearly wasn’t decisive, was it?

  • @Dav – I think the real difference between before the Referendum and now, is the absence of reassuring words from a Brexit leader to the faithful: your eyes are deceiving you, can’t you see the emperor is wearing fine clothes…

  • Innocent Bystander 6th Jul '18 - 10:47am

    I find myself strangely conflicted here. I was a Remainer exactly because of the risks to jobs in these industrial sectors.
    But now I think “Have we sunk so low that decisions in French, German, Chinese and Indian Boardrooms can destroy us economically?”
    The French have a rail industry, nuclear power, aviation, automotive. All in their hands. All these other nations have similar industrial empires all their own.
    I can see a little glimpse of what the Leavers probably hardly could articulate themselves.
    We are on our knees, begging for crumbs, hoping that our new owners will be kind to us.

  • Andrew Daer 6th Jul '18 - 11:08am

    @Dav,
    you are absolutely right (I’ve looked at your link). It clearly wasn’t decisive. However, that doesn’t mean those 100,000 people wouldn’t lose their jobs if Brexit went ahead, or that similar job losses wouldn’t happen in car manufacturing and other industries.

  • Tahir Maher Tahir Maher 6th Jul '18 - 11:11am

    @Innocent Bystander i agree with your sentiment and it is annoying. the issue is not Europe but our industrial strategy over the years. We effectively ran down our industrial base and built up the financial and insurance sector. The mistake made was that we should have developed both. One of the reasons we failed to do that I’M afraid is that we are London centric – hence the excessive focus on the financial sector. We need greater regionalisation to allow regions to be free to develop their own industrial base and fight for industry be that coal; IT: manufacturing: steel: etc.

  • @ Andrew Daer

    “Can anyone remember hearing a Brexiter list the positive gains from leaving the EU? …”

    Well one tangible change in the law that you could make after leaving the EU would be the scrapping of the flat rate of VAT, and its replacement with a series of graduated luxury taxes like we used to have before we joined the Common Market as it was then. Ordinary pair of trousers for Joe (or Jill) average, 5%. Posher trousers, 10%. Bespoke trousers 40% – if you can afford to buy ’em, then you can afford the tax.

    This would benefit skint people – like me – and would also be progressive. It is not progressive to have a flat rate across the board as we currently have, where the poor have to splash out a higher proportion of their wages in taxes than the wealthy.

  • Innocent Bystander 6th Jul '18 - 1:59pm

    VAT already is progressive.
    Jeans from Poundland @ £1 tax = 20p
    Jeans from Smythe and ffortescue @ £200 tax = £40

  • VAT already is progressive

    No, it isn’t. A progressive tax is one where the rate (not just the amount) increases as the amount increases (either smoothly or, as with income tax, in steps).

    VAT is charged at the same rate for all amounts, hence isn’t a progressive tax.

  • @Innocent Bystander

    What Adam and I suspect others want is to be able to purchase their jeans from Smythe and ffortescue at Poundland prices. Naturally, there will be more people wanting jeans at Poundland prices so either prices for everyone else go through the roof or “the government” funds the difference…

  • Peter Watson 6th Jul '18 - 3:29pm

    @Joseph Bourke “by imposing a tax you reduce the amount of goods or services supplied”
    As an economics ignoramus I am loathe to get too deep into this sort of discussion, but is the point you are making an argument against the VAT increase by the Coalition government (and not ruled out by Vince Cable before the 2010 election)?

  • @ Roland

    “What Adam and I suspect others want is to be able to purchase their jeans from Smythe and ffortescue at Poundland prices.”

    No mate, I just want to be able to cover my backside when I live on considerably less than the minimum wage… but you probably wouldn’t get that, hence your sarcasm!

  • @Adam “No mate, I just want to be able to cover my backside when I live on considerably less than the minimum wage…”

    If that were the case, I suggest all that matters is that you can buy trousers (of reasonable quality) at an affordable price, given your income level. It is irrelevant to this whether others can afford ‘posher’ or ‘bespoke’ trousers.

    As Joseph Bourke pointed out, if you can’t afford to buy trousers at £30 a pair, then it doesn’t really matter if the rate of tax on them is 5%, 10% or 20% as at present. However, if there was a way that you could obtain them (ie. trousers of equal quality and longevity) for significantly less ie. greater than 50% reduction then that could make a difference. However, how that reduction might be funded is another discussion.

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