Public would back Boris Johnson if he shut down Parliament to deliver Brexit, poll suggests

Posted On: 
13th August 2019

Boris Johnson would be backed by 44% of the public if he shut down Parliament in order to achieve Brexit, a new poll has suggested.

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The Prime Minister has repeatedly refused to rule out proroguing Parliament to achieve Brexit.

A ComRes study for The Telegraph found that proportion of the public agree that the Prime Minister "needs to deliver Brexit by any means, including suspending Parliament if necessary, in order to prevent MPs from stopping it". 

However, more than a third (37%) were opposed to the move, while 19% said they did not know.

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Mr Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out the controversial option, sparking an outcry from MPs and warnings it would prompt a constitutional crisis.

But the idea was backed by more than three-quarters (76%) of 2017 Conservative voters, according to ComRes - while just under a third (32%) of those who supported Labour at the last election agreed with the statement.

A quarter (25%) of 2017 Liberal Democrat voters meanwhile agreed Mr Johnson should achieve Brexit "by any means".

However, 51% of respondents agreed that Brexit "should be halted if problems over the Northern Ireland border threaten to split the Union".

The Irish border has proved one of the most difficult elements of the talks over Britain's EU departure, with Mr Johnson urging the EU to remove the "backstop" arrangement designed to reduce friction at the border if no future trade deal can be agreed.

The ComRes study also found widespread disillusionment with MPs themselves, with 88% of those polled feeling Parliament is "out of touch" with the British public.

Some 89% feel MPs "ignore the wishes of voters and push their own agendas" on Brexit.

Meanwhile there was strong opposition to involving the Queen in Britain's deadlock over Europe, with more than three-quarters (77%) saying she should "remain above politics and refuse to get involved in Brexit".

BORIS BOUNCE 'REAL'

The poll also revealed that the Conservatives have widened their lead over the Brexit Party by 15% since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister.

The Tories are now polling at 31% of the vote, compared to 27% for Labour and 16% each for the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats. 

ComRes chairman Andrew Hawkins said: "With the largest Tory lead over Labour from ComRes this year, this poll is confirmation that the Boris Bounce is real and shows no sign of disappearing despite the Parliamentary break.

"Boris’s support has been boosted by him outperforming expectations, including among a third of Labour and Lib Dem voters.

"It will not be lost on Jeremy Corbyn as he contemplates attempting to call a vote of no confidence that Boris could win an election with barely a third of the vote because support is so fragmented across all the parties.

"If Boris can deliver Brexit, without too much collateral damage to the economy, he stands to win big. 

"He is within touching distance of an overall majority even without the support of the one in five 2017 Tory voters who are still lending their support to the Brexit Party. 

"If he can woo them back by delivering on his promise to leave the EU, apparently even if it means suspending Parliament, then he could well be on track to win a working majority."

ComRes spoke to 2,011 British adults between 9-11 August.