Are Labour members really turning against Corbyn over Brexit?

Just 29% say they oppose Labour's Brexit policy

A poll of over 1,000 Labour members has caused a stir this morning, but the picture it paints is more complex than is being made out.

Sky, the Guardian and the Evening Standard all led on one of the findings – that 72% of Labour members saying that Corbyn should back a second referendum on Brexit.

The FT’s tone is typical, covering this with the headline: “Brexit drives wedge between Labour members and Jeremy Corbyn”.

None of this reporting is factually inaccurate but it only tells half the story. What it underplays is that, while 72% want a second referendum, just 29% say they oppose Labour’s Brexit policy. On the other hand, 47% say they support Labour’s stance.

And while the FT reports a wedge between Labour members and Corbyn, the Labour leader remains popular with members. Around 65% think he’s doing well as Labour leader versus just 33% who think he is doing badly.

When asked why they think Corbyn has not backed a second referendum, just 23% of Labour members said it’s because he supports Brexit.

This compares with 34% who say he doesn’t want to lose voters and 12% who say he is waiting for the right time to announce his support for a second referendum.

Official Labour policy is that a second referendum could potentially be considered if there is not a general election after Theresa May’s Brexit deal is voted down in Parliament.

The House of Commons will vote on May’s deal in the week beginning on the 14th of January and the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on the 29th March.

Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter for Left Foot Forward.

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

Leave a Reply