The rise of post-referendum “Re-leavers” has given the government a huge mandate to push for a hard Brexit, new research has revealed.
Re-leavers, defined as those who voted to Remain in the EU but think that the government has a duty to leave, have blurred the lines between “Leave” and “Remain” meaning the country is now split into three groups instead of two: The Hard Leavers who want out of the EU (45 per cent); the Hard Remainers who still want to try to stop Brexit (22 per cent); and the Re-Leavers (23 per cent). The other nine per cent don’t know.
The latest YouGov figures rubbish notions that Brexit buyer’s remorse exists, with the new group meaning the country is no longer split almost down the middle 52/48. Instead, it is instead one massive lake made up of Leave and Re-Leave voters and one much smaller Remain pond. This means that the Conservatives and UKIP are fishing among 68 per cent of voters with Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and nationalists scrapping for just 22 per cent of voters.
With UKIP seemingly disappearing into the abyss, this leaves the Conservatives with an opportunity to sweep up the support of Leavers as they consolidate their position among their own past voters and pick up the support of many 2015 UKIP backers. The strong Conservative position on Brexit should also managed to siphon off extra votes from the Re-Leavers, boosting its support in this group by two per cent since the last election.
Among the 68 per cent of the electorate that are Leavers or Re-Leavers, Theresa May’s party is picking up the backing of over six in ten. Because of its strength here, it matters a lot less that they are losing voters amongst Hard Remainers, which only accounts for 22 per cent of the electorate.