Brexit voters are ditching Labour

More than half of those who voted Labour and Leave have abandoned the party

 

Labour has lost the support of more than half of those who voted Labour in 2015 and Brexit in 2016, according to new Times/YouGov polling.

Just 48 per cent of Brexit-backing Labour voters said they would stick with the party in the next election. Nine per cent said they would switch to the Tories and eight per cent to UKIP.

Since 35 per cent of 2015 Labour voters also voted Leave, this is a serious threat to the party’s voteshare, and MPs are scrambling to find the right answer on Brexit.

Only a third of Labour voters support leadership contender Owen Smith’s proposal of a second referendum or general election on whatever Brexit deal is negotiated by the government. 47 per cent think Labour should accept the result but pursue a close relationship.

Among Labour’s Leave voters, 49 per cent want a stricter system of immigration controls, reinforcing the opinion that on immigration the leadership is out of touch with the members.

Yesterday, Chuka Umunna told the Huffington Post that ‘if continuation of the free movement we have is the price of Single Market membership then clearly we couldn’t remain in the Single Market.’

He echoes another former frontbencher Rachel Reeves, who has said that ‘immigration controls and ending free movement has to be a red line post-Brexit — otherwise we will be holding voters in contempt.’

However, the poll suggest that immigration is not the most significant reason for Labour voters jumping ship. Of those who have abandoned the party since 2015, 71 per cent give Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as their number one reason.

Polls in the leadership contest closed yesterday and the results will be announced tomorrow. Corbyn remains the overwhelming favourite.

See also: Labour shouldn’t fall into the Leave campaign’s trap on immigration

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