Is there a swing to Remain? Could there be a second referendum? And if so, how would it go?by John Curtice / February 21, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in March 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
Are more people supporting Remain? Who has changed their mind? Last June’s general election not only undermined Theresa May’s authority, it also tilted the balance of opinion—narrowly—in favour of “Remain.” BMG’s data below is typical. In the six months before the election the company’s polls never put “Remain” ahead. Since then, they have never put “Leave” ahead. However, the “Remain” lead is far too small to be sure what the outcome of a second referendum would be. After all, in the 2016 vote most (though not all) polls put “Remain” ahead, yet “Leave” secured a narrow victory. “Too close to call,” is still the only safe verdict. Signs of (a bit of) a swing to “Remain” Stirring up apathy Most movement has been among 2016 non-voters “Leave” voters are no more likely than Remainers to have switched sides. “Remain” are ahead in the polls because those who abstained in June 2016 now heavily back staying in the EU. New vote, new question Attitudes towards another referendum depend on what is asked “Leave” voters strongly oppose and “Remain” supporters are only lukewarm about a rerun of the 2016 ballot. But “Leave” voters are less hostile about a vote after the terms of leaving are known—especially if it’s a vote on how we exit, rather than whether we do.