Labour snatches poll lead as Tory support plummets after week of Brexit chaos

Posted On: 
18th November 2018

Support for the Tories has plummeted after the agreed Brexit plan put forward by Theresa May sparked a civil war in the party, new polls have suggested.

The news is a boost for Labour.

Two surveys carried out during the height of the bitter Tory in-fighting this week saw the party lose between three and five points, giving Mrs May her worst polling numbers since she became Prime Minister. 

Labour snatched leads over the Conservatives after the Brexit showdown saw two senior Cabinet members and a number of other senior figures quit the Government in opposition to the draft deal.

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A ComRes poll for the Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express saw Tory support fall 3 points since September - from 39% to 36%.

Labour has remained steady on 40%, giving Jeremy Corbyn a four-point lead.

Meanwhile, an Opinium poll for the Observer found the Tories had slumped five points to 36%, handing a lead to Labour after the party jumped two points to 39%.

The fall was driven by Leave voters deserting the party in droves, with 10% now saying they would no longer vote for Mrs May’s Conservatives in a general election.

But the poll also found the draft withdrawal deal failed to command support from the wider public. Only 22% of those surveyed though the deal was acceptable.

Despite the drop in support for the Conservative party, Mrs May has retained her lead over Mr Corbyn on who is viewed as the best prime minister, by 30% to 23%.

Adam Drummond, Opinium's head of political polling, said: “With the country almost as divided as on referendum day two-and-a-half years ago, it's no surprise that we find ourselves in a messy situation now that the actual form of Brexit has been announced.

“The backlash against the deal, similar to that against Chequers in July, has seen Leavers start to flee the Conservatives, giving the Tories their lowest vote share since Theresa May became Prime Minister.


The new figures come as a separate Populus poll found that just one in 10 voters believe Mrs May’s deal will have a positive impact on them and their family compared with the UK’s current relationship with the EU.

The poll, carried out for pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain, found 44% supported a second referendum on Brexit - rising to 59% when those who said they were unsure were excluded.

Eloise Todd, head of Better for Britain, said: “People think May’s deal is bad, and the majority of people in the country believe they should have the final say on Brexit.

“Our country is at a crossroads. Politicians have to decide whether to keep trying to deliver a botched Brexit, or to come clean and set out what we lose if we leave the EU. It’s time to listen to the will of the people and deliver a final say on Brexit.”

Mrs May has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of holding a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, saying last week: “We gave people the choice; we should deliver on the decision they took.”