BMG’s latest polling for Independent examines public attitudes towards a variety of issues with respect to Brexit, including their views on what should happen if the government’s deal is rejected, the possibility of an extension to the negotiations, and their views concerning no deal.
Conducted between 4th and 8th March – so prior to Theresa May’s revised deal to be put before and rejected by parliament – the polling highlights that, like MPs in Parliament, the public are also divided on how the Government should proceed, with no clear consensus emerging on the way forward. Some of the key findings from the polling are outlined below:
1. The public are split on whether they think MPs should approve Theresa May’s deal if it does not secure legally binding changes to the backstop.
The poll asked respondents whether they think MPs should vote in favour of Theresa May’s deal in the event that she fails to secure legally binding changes to her agreement. More say Parliament should reject the deal than say MPs should give it their backing. Around one in four say that the deal should be passed (27%), with slightly more than one third against. A considerable proportion of respondents were unsure (37%).
May’s deal is often discussed as representing something of a compromise between the Remain and Leave sides, and it is interesting to see that her deal does attract similar levels of support among Leave and Remain voters: 34% of Leave voters and 29% of Remain voters say Parliament should give the deal the green light. So, whilst the Prime Minister has been able to secure support from across this divide, she has simply not been able to attract enough support in each cohort to get anything like majority backing.
2. Generally speaking, the public want the Brexit process to completed sooner rather than later.
Theresa May encouraged parliament to “get it done” last week, and it appears that the public do at least agree with this sentiment, even if they are not necessarily supportive of the Prime Minister’s deal.
Asked about how long an extension would be if the UK were to seek an extension of Article 50, some 52% of people do not want a delay to last more than six months. 33% are in favour of a short extension (17% support an extension of less than a month and 16% back an extension between 1 to 2 months). A further 19% say they would accept an extension of between 3 and 6 months.
Meanwhile, 27% think the extension should be at least seven months in length (9% between 7-12 months and 18% say the extension should be 1 year or more). One fifth (20%) of respondents were unsure.
3. The public are divided on what should happen next in the event that Theresa May’s deal does not pass, although very few are in favour of a general election.
When asked which option would they prefer should May’s deal not make it through the Parliament, the two most popular options were perhaps the two most contentious. 29% said to “hold another referendum, with leaving the EU without a deal or remaining in the EU as the 2 options”, whilst 27% favoured leaving the EU without a deal in place. Meanwhile, 17% backed an extension to the negotiations, with just 9% backing the Labour Party’s preferred avenue of holding a General Election.
4. Britons are divided on whether ‘no deal’ should be on the ballot paper.
Not only is holding another referendum on the Brexit a matter of considerable contention, there is also a debate around which options should be on the ballot paper in the event that referendum does take place.
Our polling show that the public are divided on the issue of whether the no deal option should feature on the ballot. Two in five (41%) think that no deal should be an option, with as many against (39%).
An article based on these polling results, released by the Independent, can be found here.
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
0121 333 6006
Robert Struthers – Senior Research Executive
Marcos Contopoulos – Research Manager