Saturday, December 15, 2018

If Labour backs Brexit it will fall behind the Lib Dems

There's a remarkable story on The Times website this evening, reporting the findings of a new opinion poll on Brexit:
The YouGov survey of 5,000 voters, commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, shows that support for Labour could fall from 36% to 22% if they helped the Tories to pass a compromise deal with Brussels like the one advocated by Theresa May. 
Under those circumstances, the Lib Dems would soar from 10% to 26% - their highest rating in any poll since they entered coalition government with the Tories in 2010. 
The poll shows that Labour’s supporters want a People’s Vote by a margin of almost three to one - and an even bigger proportion would stay in the European Union if they were given the chance.
It's just one poll, but it does confirm the view that the voters whom Labour won over at the election were not attracted by the socialism-in-one-nation beliefs Jeremy Corbyn has held since he was a teenager. They wanted an end to austerity and they wanted to remain in the European Union.

So far Corbyn and his inner circle have stayed on the fence over whether we should leave the EU, but that stance is calling for increasingly contorted gymnastics. If they jump the wrong way, they will pay the electoral price.

And there is some comfort for the Liberal Democrats here. We have fallen like Icarus, but the greater volatility of present-day politics means it is not too fanciful to believe we will take wing again.

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