Two thirds of Leave voters say Parliament should accept Boris Johnson’s deal

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
October 18, 2019, 11:00 AM GMT+0

Snap YouGov poll finds Brexit supporters want MPs to pass the deal, but opinion could change as more detail on the new bill emerges

With Boris Johnson and the EU having finally agreed a new deal it looks like the three-year Brexit saga may be coming to an end.

That being said, the Prime Minister still needs to pass his bill through a divided Parliament. But for what may ultimately prove to be a brief moment, Johnson finds public opinion in favour of his deal.

By 41% to 24%, Britons want to see Parliament vote to accept the Brexit deal. Crucially for the PM, fully two thirds (67%) of Leave voters want MPs to vote for it.

At the same time there has also been a remarkable turnaround in Leave voters’ attitudes on which type of Brexit they prefer.

While previous polls have consistently shown Leave voters to prefer a No Deal Brexit in a fight between a deal, No Deal and Remain, the confirmation of the new deal now sees 48% saying they most want to leave the EU on those terms and only 33% preferring to leave without a deal. Among the public as a whole, 30% of Britons favour the deal, 17% No Deal and 38% Remain, with the final 15% unsure.

There is, however, an enormous “but”. Many Leave voters are expressing views on what should happen with the deal having also admitted they don’t know enough about it to form an opinion.

As many as 39% of Leave voters haven’t yet decided if they like the deal or not, and in spite of this fact half of this group (48%) say that MPs should pass the deal. As these voters hear more about the terms over the coming days, it could be that the opinion of pro-Brexit Britons swings away from the deal.

On the plus side, for Johnson, those Leave voters who have formed an opinion are more likely to be positive than negative. Almost a third (31%) think the deal is a good one, while 19% say it is neither a good deal nor a bad deal. Only 11% say it is a bad deal.

Among the public as a whole, opinion is more divided: 17% see the deal in a positive light, 15% say it is neither good nor bad and 23% say it is a bad deal. Approaching half (45%) still haven’t made up their minds.

Another sticking point for the PM may be Leave voters’ reluctance to see the Brexit deadline pushed back, even if Parliament votes to accept the deal. Asked whether a delay of a few weeks would be acceptable in order to pass laws implementing the deal, Leave voters are currently split 46% unacceptable to 42% acceptable.

It may be the case that if Parliament accepted the deal and Brexit looked more like a reality, a few weeks would no longer seem so bad to Leave voters. It is also worth pointing out that among the wider public people are far more willing to give a little leeway: 50% would find a brief extension acceptable, compared to 28% who would still want to stick to the current deadline.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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