Only 30% of Remain voters have reached acceptance on the five stages of Brexit grief

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
January 29, 2020, 4:27 PM GMT+0

There has only been limited progress since 2016

With Britain set to leave the European Union on Friday after three and a half long years of Brexit turmoil, the results of a new YouGov survey show that Remain voters still haven’t come to terms with the decision.

Back in late 2016, with the sour taste of the referendum result still in the mouths of many Remainers, YouGov first asked them which statement from a series of five best reflected how they felt about the result of the EU referendum.

Each of these five statements mirrored one of the five stages of grief. Today’s survey shows that just three in ten Remain voters (30%) have reached the final stage – Acceptance – saying “I have come to terms with the fact that the UK will leave the EU”.

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This figure is was 20% in our 2016 survey, meaning that over the course of three years a mere 10% of Remainers have managed to make the move into acceptance.

That is not to say that Remainers have made no progress. The proportion who are stuck at the first stage of grief – Denial – has fallen markedly. Whereas in November 2016 almost a third of Remain voters said “I don’t believe people in the UK really wanted to leave the EU” – the most chosen option – this figure now stands at 19%.

In addition to this, 16% of Remain voters are at the second stage (Anger) and 25% are at the fourth stage (Depression).

The least commonly occupied stage is the third: Bargaining. Just two days before Britain is set to leave the EU an incredibly optimistic 3% of Remain voters said “Brexit can still be averted if the Remain side continues to put its case to the public”.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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