Election study shows majority of Labour voters want to stay in single market
New research shows Labour is the party of people for remain & the single market. Time for the Labour party to listen to its members and voters on Brexit.
Research out today shows Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party was boosted by remain voters. And despite the two main parties effectively doing their best to sideline Brexit in their campaigns, the report also shows that Brexit was the biggest issue on voters’ minds.
The research by the British Election Study (BES) shows a clear split in voting preference between those voting to leave and those voting to remain in the referendum. Of those voting leave, the Conservatives were the overwhelming choice. The Tories’ vote share was boosted by a majority of UKIP voters switching to the Tories. Analysis of the findings by BES found the Tories gained 60% of the leave vote.
As for where the remain vote went, the results show Labour picking up more than half of all the remain voters. Only 25% of them voted Tory and 15% voted Lib Dem. BES said the 2015 election showed Labour was already the preferred choice amongst those who voted to remain. And it adds that despite Labour’s ambiguous position over the single market, it continued to be the preferred choice for people wanting to keep close ties with the EU. This is clear from the large number of Tory remainers choosing to switch to Labour.
Single market or immigration control?
BES said Labour’s popularity amongst remainers was partly due to the debate at the time being about how the UK would leave the EU and whether it should be a soft or hard Brexit.
Leaving aside how people voted in the referendum and focussing instead on Brexit priorities, there is a clear split between those deciding to vote Labour and those deciding to vote Tory. BES said the Tories led Labour by over 40 percentage points amongst voters prioritising immigration control. Meanwhile Labour led the Tories by around the same for those wanting full single market access.
— Chris Prosser (@caprosser) 1 August 2017
This is a result that Labour HQ will find difficult to ignore. At the moment, Labour maintains that it has not swept any options off the table with regard to Brexit.
Last month, a survey of Labour party members showed overwhelming support for single market membership. The Guardian reports 66% of members saying Britain should stay in the single market whilst 49% said there should “definitely” be a vote on the Brexit terms. There was also support for a customs union with the EU with 63.1% of members surveyed saying the UK should stay in the customs union.
You can see more on BES’ 2017 Election research at britishelectionstudy.com.
Labour members want the UK to stay in the single market. The new research from BES shows Labour voters also want the same.
Officially, Labour has kept its Brexit options open. But if the party wants to listen to its members and its voters, there is a strong message: staying in the single market is the way forward.