How much does your constituency regret Brexit?

New data based on a survey by Focaldata for UnHerd maps current opinions on leaving the EU by constituency. Published on the third anniversary of the UK leaving the EU, it shows that opinion has shifted since the Brexit referendum. The survey estimates that half of in England, Scotland and Wales think it was wrong to leave the EU (54%) while only a quarter Brexit was the right move (28%).

Regretting leaving the EU is not the same as wanting to rejoin. But there is a growing swell of people who wish to rejoin as I discussed here on LDV on Sunday.

This MRP analysis is potentially very important as it gives a guide to where it is beneficial for Liberal Democrats to campaign on a pro-EU ticket. Whether that is campaigning to rejoin or to forge closer relations with the EU is a matter for campaign strategy, national and local policy.

In every constituency except three, more people think that Brexit was a mistake than think it was right. The three dissenters are in east Lincolnshire, and only Boston has more people thinking Brexit was nothing they regret.

It will be no surprise that all seats with Lib Dem MPs think Brexit was wrong. Roughly two-thirds of the constituents represented by our MPs think Britain was wrong to leave the EU.

Check your constituency here. Check how your constituency voted in 2016 here.

In North Shropshire, where former MP Owen Paterson was anti-EU, and 59% voted to leave the EU, 46% agree that leaving the EU was wrong, compared to 37% who think it is right. In Tiverton and Honiton, 58% voted to leave the EU. Now 47% think that was wrong and 37% think it was right.

Boris Johnson is rumoured to be thinking of switching seats from Uxbridge to his former constituency of Henley in south Oxfordshire. The bad news for Johnson is that an estimated 57% of the constituency thinks it was wrong to leave the EU.

The tide is turning and the deceit of the Brexiteers is being exposed. Yet today, Rishi Sunak boasts “we’ve forged a path as an independent nation with confidence” after Brexit. Some business people think “Brexit been a complete disaster” and that it has “been  a lose-lose situation for us and Europe… The reality of Brexit was, it was just was a bunch of complete and total lies.” The Telegraph reports that “Brexit is costing the UK’s economy £100bn a year” and the economy is four per cent smaller than it might have been as a result.

The public see the reality, even if Conservative politicians do not. A poll published by Ipsos on Monday found 45% thought Brexit was going worse than they expected:

 

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at andybodders.co.uk.

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17 Comments

  • Graham Jeffs 31st Jan '23 - 3:19pm

    So what is it going to take for the party leadership to have the temerity to actually speak out about this?

    Common-sense indicates that we need a closer-working relationship with the EU. There are ways of achieving this – it doesn’t have to be ‘re-join’ or nothing. We can’t afford ‘nothing’.

    The leadership needs to say so!

  • We need to ask to get back into the EU as the UK is suffering greatly being out of it, I just hope it’s not too late and would be accepted back in, even if it meant taking up the euro.

  • The Telegraph quote “Brexit is costing Britain’s economy £100bn a year”, comes from new analysis by Bloomberg Economics looking at the hit to investment and the widening shortfall in workers Brexit branded ‘complete disaster’ as £100bn a year loss to UK revealed
    The Campaign to Rejoin EFTA EFTA4UK argues – “Applying to rejoin the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and securing a better relationship with the EU through EFTA membership presents the fastest and most realistic way to limit economic shock and build a brighter future for the United Kingdom.” I think they may be right.

  • Interesting map. One of the least bregretful is Penrith and Borders which is a constituency where we topped the poll in last year’s election. Cornwall is split with west Cornwall being the most bregretful

  • George Thomas 31st Jan '23 - 5:16pm

    To be fair to the Brexit idea, it might still have been a success (or at least not as bad) if someone else had been in charge and worldwide circumstances hadn’t exposed the lack of talent in Tory party. And The EU we left so many years ago has changed without our input since so won’t be as good, from our perspective, as one we left which we at that time wanted to tweak to be better again.

    To be fair to those who voted for Brexit, many of those did on basis of feeling ignored and seeing their communities being worn down to the point that a) any risk with chance of getting better was worth it and b) likes of Cameron and Osbourne as architects of this outcome telling them Brexit would be something to regret only encouraged them more, and critically nothing has significantly improved since.

    Brexit became an exposed nerve of overly heated and overly simplified debate which ignored real reason behind why many were tempted by it. It would be a shame if getting closer to EU/rejoining saw same thing happen.

  • Hear hear, Graham! I joined LDs in 2016 (then living in Oxon) & am proud to have done my bit as a footslogger for the excellent Layla Moran. But as Britain seems to be sensing an increasing ‘7-yr ick’ with 8rex!t, I am disappointed still that almost nobody in the corridors of power dare query it even yet; just a case of ‘keep calm & carry on’ as our socioeconomic situation lurches from bad to worse under a régime long past its own sell-by date. We should be active at local level to dislodge grassroots Tawdry councillors that slavishly, entrenchedly & cynically implement at what used to be community level, the cuts that are probably irreversibly wrecking the very fabric & infrastructure of Britain.

  • David Garlick 1st Feb '23 - 10:29am

    Good to have access to polling. I will no longer be respondng to surveys from Yougov

  • David Franks 1st Feb '23 - 10:41am

    How to we wake up our Party leaders and get them to start talking about a closer relationship with our EU n neighbours? Looks like we are going to have to vote Green and be expelled from the Party, in my case after 51 years of active membership.

  • Peter Martin 1st Feb '23 - 10:56am

    “Regretting leaving the EU is not the same as wanting to rejoin. But there is a growing swell of people who wish to rejoin…..”

    Sure. But, isn’t the situation rather like quitting your job then later realising than you might have been better staying? Firstly your company might not want you back. Even, if they do you might not be on the same pay grade! We can draw similar parallels to personal relationships. Once severed they can’t easily be unsevered.

    The EU isn’t a constant. The organisation we’ve just left wasn’t the same as the one we joined in 1973. It will be different again in another decade or so. The EU too has its own
    fundamental problems; the main one being to correct the fundamental design errors in the structure of the eurozone. Before we decide to go anywhere near that we need to be sure they are fixed.

  • Graham Jeffs 1st Feb '23 - 11:44am

    The issue is not one of re-joining. Let’s not be diverted down a discussion cul-de-sac.

    What is happening is that increasing numbers of people are coming to understand that we need to be closer to the EU. That can be achieved. But nobody is trying to do that.

    A closer relationship is a first step. That is the sensible path to follow. We need action and we need our leadership to spearhead this.

    David Franks is not alone.

  • Anthony Acton 1st Feb '23 - 2:27pm

    Why are the LD leaders not shooting at an open goal on this? It’s the one national issue where the public would expect the party to lead. If fear of anti EU sentiment in the LD West Country and other rural target seats is the reason, that’s very disappointing and the reverse of leadership.

  • John McHugo 2nd Feb '23 - 10:08am

    @Martin – I am wholeheartedly in favour of increasing our links with the EU. Business and the British economy demand it, apart from anything else. But please let’s not suggest a policy that even mentions the possibility of a referendum. That would be a disastrous own goal, and the results can be achieved without one.

    I understand that the German constitution forbids referenda because a certain A. Hitler found one useful in his climb to power. They do not have a settled place in our constitution, and there is no reason why a government with a parliamentary majority could not negotiate an agreement with the EU that took us back into the single market without a referendum.

  • @ John McHugo
    A referendum is needed firstly because it is the only way Labour would agree to the policy and secondly because Brexiteers dubiously claim that leaving the single market was an inherent part of the Brexit vote.

    Referendums are neither the irreversible will of the people nor are they are the tool of dictators. Done properly they can be a check and balance that legitimises major constitutional changes.

  • Interesting You Gov poll of “Bregret” voters shows that of people who voted Leave and now say it was a mistake 11% voted Lib Dem in 2019 and now 9% would. This is in line with our average vote and much higher than our share of the Leave vote overall. Suggests that Bregret voters would be a good target market for us?

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2023/02/03/which-leave-voters-have-turned-against-brexit

  • Jason Connor 5th Feb '23 - 7:17pm

    But if you’ve been a member of the party for 51 years why would you not want to campaign for change and closer ties within the EU, joining the single market even than vote for another party though I doubt you would be expelled for doing so. I don’t see what’s so democratic about the Greens and local come to that. They are very good, a bit like Labour, at imposing some of their extreme measures on communities without widespread consultation. To me they’re a bit like a take our medicine or else party. They get away with some quite nasty behaviour as they are not subject to the same scrutiny as the other parties. All the things Lib Dems are good at when they get their act together, localism. empowering communities, decentralising and devolving power, UBI, championing some marginalised groups – they are not.

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