69% of Brits think Brexit is going badly: who do they think is to blame?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
July 04, 2018, 7:19 AM GMT+0

With 69% of Britons saying Brexit is going badly so far, Remainers and Leavers lay the blame very differently

Actor Danny Dyer recently slammed David Cameron, in very sweary fashion, for what he perceived to be the sorry state of Brexit. For their part, pro-Brexit politicians and media commentators have frequently criticised the failure of anti-Brexit politicians and voters to get behind Brexit.

With 69% of Britons believing that Brexit is going badly, and with the political class pointing fingers in all directions, who does the public think is at fault? Now a new YouGov study shows that the answer is very different depending on whether people voted Remain or Leave.

The largest figure of blame for Brexit going badly is the government. Two thirds (68%) of those who think Brexit is currently going badly say that it is the government’s fault. This includes three quarters who voted Remain (77%) and 58% of Leave voters.

While Remain voters are far more likely to blame the government than they are to blame any other group, this is not the case with with those who voted for Brexit. Leave voters are just as likely to see fault with the EU (58%, compared to 25% of Remainers) and anti-Brexit politicians (59%, compared to 15% of Remain voters). For their part, 53% of Remain voters blame pro-Brexit politicians (only 11% of Leave voters do so).

Remain and Leave voters point the finger at one another in roughly equal proportions: 42% of Remain voters blame those who voted for Brexit, while 39% of Leave voters fault their Remain-voting counterparts.

Both sides blame the media in equal proportions – 33% apiece – while Leave voters are somewhat more likely to blame British business than Remain voters (13% vs 3%).

Brits who think Brexit is going well wouldn’t blame the government if it turned out badly

Around one in six Brits (16%) believe that Brexit is going well so far, with Leave voters much more likely to think so than Remainers (26% vs 6%).

Asked who they would blame if Brexit turned out badly in the end, Leave voters who currently think it is going well give very similar answers to their Brexit-backing brethren who think it is going badly, with one exception: they are far less likely to blame the government.

While fully 58% of Leave voters who think Brexit is going badly blame the government, only 18% of those Leave voters that think it is going well think the government would be to blame if it ended up going badly.

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