Fresh blow for Change UK as poll reveals more voters think Labour are ‘anti-Brexit’ than the new group

Posted On: 
30th April 2019

Pro-EU party Change UK has suffered a major blow ahead of the European elections after a poll found that more Brits think Labour are “anti-Brexit” than the new group.

Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker, Chuka Umunna, Heidi Allen and Ann Coffey from Change UK - The Independent Group
Credit: 
PA Images

The party - fully known as Change UK: The Independent Group - was founded by seven ex-Labour MPs frustrated at their former party’s failure to call for a second referendum, and was later boosted by the defection of three pro-EU Conservatives.

Interim leader Heidi Allen branded the group the “home of the Remain alliance” last week when they unveiled high profile candidates including writer and sister of Boris Johnson, Rachel Johnson, and former BBC newsreader Gavin Esler to fight next month's vote.

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Her colleague and fellow ex-Tory Anna Soubry told the launch in Bristol: "No ifs no buts, no backroom deals... we were never on the fence, we always believed it and now we demand it... a People's Vote."

But the new poll for YouGov found that just 38% of voters think of the party as "anti-Brexit".

Forty-four percent of those asked said they "don’t know" what they party's position on Brexit is - while 13% think they are "pro-Brexit" and 5% think they are "neither".

By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn’s party, which went into the 2017 election promising to leave the EU, is seen as anti-Brexit by 42% of the public.

A quarter (25%) of those asked said they didn't know Labour's Brexit position, while 20% said they were neither pro- nor anti-Brexit. Just 13% said the party was pro-leaving the EU.

Members of the Labour's ruling national executive committee will today gather for a two-hour meeting to thrash out what should be in its manifesto for next month's European Parliament elections.

Supporters of Mr Corbyn believe that a so-called "people's vote" should only take place in order to halt a "Tory Brexit", while top Shadow Cabinet figures such as Keir Starmer and Tom Watson and a host of top union bosses want a confirmatory vote on any deal agreed.

Elsewhere the study found that the Liberal Democrats - who have also branded themselves as the party to stop Britain leaving the EU - are seen as anti-Brexit by 53% of voters, while 34% don’t know and 5% think they are for quitting the bloc.

Former Ukip chief Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which many polls suggest is likely to top the election in Britain, is seen as pro-Brexit by 79% of voters, compared with 3% who think they want to stay.

Voters were split on their perceptions of the Tory party, with 37% branding them pro-Brexit, 24% said they were against it, 20% said they don’t know and 19% said they were neither.

The SNP were recognised as the most anti-Brexit party, with 65% of voters citing them as such, compared to just 3% who thought they were in favour of quitting the EU.