Brexit: What do people want?
Earlier, we published our analysis of the latest Ashcroft poll with respect to Labour, the Conservatives, Theresa May, and Jeremy Corbyn. In this post, though, we want to give you our key conclusions from the Brexit-focused portion of Lord Ashcroft’s report. Given that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ means nothing, we at Polling Digest think that voters’ attitudes to various potential Brexit settlements will likely be important in the creation of the government’s overall negotiation strategy. As ever, we advise you to check out the Ashcroft report, as it’s full of goodies. Here are the 4 most interesting things we’ve seen in the polling data:
1. In the balancing act of access to the single market and controlling immigration, voters tilt towards the latter. Over half of all voters (52%) think that in the ‘trade versus immigration’ trade-off, the government ought to balance their priorities in favour of controlling immigration. At 24 percentage points lower is the proportion of voters who would like to see access to the single market prioritised, while only 14% said they felt both issues were of equal importance. Given, though, the fact that immigration was one of the most central campaign issues in the referendum, it makes sense that there is a clear divide amongst Leave and Remain supporters. Of those who voted for the UK to leave the European Union, 76% think that the scales should be tipped in favour of controlling immigration, versus only 8% wanting single market access at the cost of this control. And of those who voted to remain inside the union, 50% said they would prefer to have access to the single market prioritised, with only 28% saying the same for controlling immigration.
2. Paying into the EU budget is generally seen as unacceptable. This is a matter of agreement among both ‘Leavers’ and ‘Remainers’. Among the totality of respondents, only 19% said that it would be acceptable for the UK to still pay into the EU budget, with an overwhelming 81% saying that such a policy would not be compatible with Brexit. Of those who voted to leave, 88% said it would not be acceptable while 12% said it would be. And even among Remain voters, 74% said if the UK still paid into the EU budget, the Prime Minister would not have honoured the referendum result. 26% of ‘Remainers’ said this would be acceptable.
3. Also unacceptable: Automatically giving other EU nationals the right to live in the UK. 21% of respondents said this would be acceptable, while 79% it would not be. While Leave voters rejected this a 76-point margin (88% saying it would not be compatible, with 12% saying it would be), Remain voters were less clear – though they still clearly think that this would not be acceptable. 71% of Remain supporters rejected the idea, with only 29% saying it would be compatible with the result of the referendum.
4. But EU nationals already living and working here can stay, say voters. Indeed, this policy enjoyed wide supporter from both Leave and Remain supporters. Of all voters, 77% agreed that it would be compatible with Brexit for EU nationals already in the UK to stay, while only 23% disagreed. Leave voters also agreed with a 52-point gap between the two options: 76% said it would be acceptable versus 23% saying the opposite. And, of course, those who voted to remain in the European Union were most vehemently in agreement with the proposal: 80% said it would be acceptable while only 20% disagreed.
That’s it: those are the 4 most important things we think you need to know about what voters want with Brexit. If you want to see our analysis of the rest of the Ashcroft poll (in relation to Labour and the Conservatives), click here. If you enjoyed this post, please share, like, email, retweet, or whatever! Please also feel free to subscribe to our Weekly Digest below; thanks to the huge success of the website over the last couple of weeks, it's great to be able to give you - our readers - a weekly round-up of the best analysis of the polls!