Why have some Leave voters changed their mind on Brexit?

Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
January 06, 2023, 9:20 AM GMT+0

A sense that things are generally getting worse, as well as the poor the state of the economy, top the list of reasons

The number of Leave voters who think it was wrong for Britain to vote leave the EU has been steadily increasing since 2021, hitting a record 19% in November 2022.

So why have some Leave voters changed their mind on Brexit?

Respondents were asked to answer in their own words (rather than choosing from a list of options) and the top reason given, at 25%, is just a general sense that things have gotten worse since Brexit.

Slightly more specifically, the second most common answer given by Leave voters who have changed their mind is the current state of the economy / the rising cost of living, at 19%.

One in nine (11%) say they have changed their view because they feel the public were lied to about Brexit, or because it hasn’t turned out how they expected when they voted back in 2016. In a similar vein, 8% specifically blame the handling of the processes of leaving the EU by the government, or felt the deal that was agreed between the UK and EU was a bad one.

One in ten (10%) cite issues with trade or restrictions on businesses.

Issues around freedom of movement and the ability to live and work abroad were mentioned by one in twenty (5%), while 3% cited a shortage of workers since we left the EU. A similar number (4%) say that they have changed their mind because immigration hasn’t reduced as expected.

See the full results here

Photo: Getty

Explore more data & articles