The majority want the next PM to renegotiate, but be willing to leave the EU without a deal if they don’t agree to Britain’s terms
With the Conservative race now down to Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt both candidates now have their sights set on the ballot of party members in July.
As we showed earlier in the week, party members are overwhelmingly more interested in the candidates’ plans for Brexit than their domestic policy agenda. So what approach to leaving the EU does the Tory selectorate want their next leader to do?
The results of a new YouGov poll of Conservative party members show the majority view among members, held by 59%, is that the new Prime Minister should take another stab at getting the EU to agree to better terms, but if they refuse to do so then we should leave without a deal in October.
However, another quarter (24%) now want to give up on talking to the EU entirely and use our remaining time before 31 October making preparations for a no-deal Brexit.
Only 15% want to take one of the other four approaches we put to them, including delaying Brexit further, a second referendum, a Rory Stewart-style citizens’ assembly and remaining in the EU after all.
The survey also reveals that now many of those Conservative members who voted to Remain in the EU in 2016 would back a no-deal Brexit. Fully 44% back an approach which could see Britain leave the EU without a deal. Among Leave voting members this figure is 94%.
As Chris Curtis has already outlined in his article on the false narrative of the inevitable Boris Johnson coronation, fully 71% of Conservative members expect that Johnson will attempt to renegotiate with the EU but invoke a no-deal Brexit in October if such talks fail. By contrast, they tend to think (50%) that Jeremy Hunt will open renegotiations but try and delay Brexit should an agreement not be reached by the October deadline, a move that is the preference of just 6% of members.