Five tit-bits from Ashcroft’s European Election poll

Five tit-bits from Ashcroft’s European Election poll

As he often does, Lord Ashcroft did a large post-election poll of over 10,000 voters which looked in detail at who people voted for, who they’d previously voted for and why they voted. The full article and results are well worth reading, but here are five tit-bits.

  1. Only 21% of people who voted Conservative in 2017 and voted in this election, and only 38% of those who voted Labour, voted for the same party in the European elections. More than half the Tory defectors went to the Brexit Party with one in eight to the Lib Dems; Labour defectors went mainly to the Lib Dems and the Greens, with about one in eight to the Brexit Party. Importantly, in each case more than half are currently saying they’ll stick with their new party at the next General Election (though that could of course change).
  2. The top 3 reasons given by voters for voting for the Brexit Party or the Lib Dems are the same (though in slightly different order). For example, ‘They have the best policy on Brexit’. Interestingly, the top three reasons given for voting for Labour or Conservative are also the same as each other (though have no overlap with the reasons for voting Brexit/Lib Dem).
  3. 7% of people who voted Lib Dem in 2017 switched to vote for the Brexit Party. It’s worth bearing this in mind when trying to deduce the result of a referendum from headline party results – people vote for a party for all sorts of reasons.
  4. Two thirds of people who voted Labour back Remain; two thirds of those who voted Conservative back Leave. I’d wondered if this might reverse – those who’d stayed loyal to their traditional party might be more likely to be Tory Remainers and Labour Leavers, but it turns out that wasn’t the case.
  5. The poll shows a clear shift (amongst those who voted) from Remain to Leave and overall backing for Leave. Among all those voting, 50% had backed Remain,45% backed Leave in 2016, and 5% hadn’t voted; now, amongst those voting, 50% said they wanted to leave, 46% to Remain, and 4% didn’t know. This could be a function of how the question was asked, of incorrect sampling or simply a reflection of those voting (though most observers think Remain voters turned out more, which indeed this shows), but should still give pause to those who assume Remain would win a second referendum.

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