December 3, 2018
On the back of May’s Brexit agreement, cabinet resignations and a flurry of media coverage on the topic, FTI Consulting conducted research to help clients understand UK public opinion and voter perspective.
In just 2 hours after starting the research, we were able to collect the opinions of 1,012 respondents online, representative of UK adult general population (15th November 2018 from 3pm to 5pm).
Below are our top 10 findings from this research, delving into the possible scenarios, forecasts and repercussions of a ‘People’s Vote’ and a potential UK General Election, based on behavioural and psychological profiling (i.e. voter turnout) as the political debate in the UK continues to show little sign of abating.
Lightning poll conducted online in 2 hours with n=1,012 respondents representative of the UK adult general population.
62% of the UK want a second referendum; dubbed the ‘People’s Vote’, to decide what the UK’s relationship with the EU should be. Those who voted ‘Leave’ in 2016 are less enthusiastic however, with 58% claiming that the politicians should decide, not the people.
If there was a ‘People’s Vote’: 53% would vote ‘Remain in the EU’. However, this is based on 84% claiming they would actually vote. Moreover, 33% say they could still change their mind.
If there was an option to vote in a second referendum: 33% would most want to retain the original relationship with the EU as opposed to 31% for the negotiated agreement. Just 19% would favour a Hard Brexit. When looking at the views of those who claim they would vote: 37% would choose the negotiated agreement; 40% EU membership; and 23% a Hard Brexit.
48% think the Brexit agreement will negatively impact the UK and 32% think it will also harm the EU. From a personal perspective: 45% consider it won’t impact them.
The perception, on balance, across the UK is that the EU ‘won’ on the of the Brexit agreement (47%), whilst only a quarter (24%) think the UK can claim victory. That said, nearly a third (29%) feel that in fact both sides can hold their heads high and claim the win.
As of Thursday 15th November, 7% claim to have read the 500+ page withdrawal agreement. A further 28% claim that they intend to, whilst 49% won’t, but instead will form their opinion based on what others say about it.
69% claim the UK’s actions and negotiation on Brexit have impacted how they would vote in a General Election.
Labour are now leading the popular vote 37.9% (however, it’s down 2.8% compared to 2017), compared to Conservatives 33.4% (down 9.2%). Lib Dems has increased to 10.7% (up 3.3%) and UKIP 5.5% (up 4%). This is with 84.1% claiming they would vote (+15.4% more voting than in 2017).
However, a huge 46% claim they could still change their mind (potential swing voters), but past behaviour shows approximately half won’t vote at all.
50% think Theresa May will be deposed and replaced by another Conservative MP before the end of March 2019, with 30% believing a UK General Election will be called. The latter is perceived to be more likely than a ‘People’s Vote’ on the UK’s relationship with the EU, which stands at 25%.
Boris Johnson is the preferred replacement (17% across the UK and 25% with previous Conservative voters at the GE) and Jacob Rees-Mogg the distant second most popular choice (8% across the UK and 16% with Conservative voters). If this new leader was in place, 32% believe the Conservatives would win the next GE, compared to 29% if May remained as the PM – in summary: a change in Conservative leadership is not expected to dramatically change the outcome of an election.
This research was conducted online by FTI Consulting’s Strategy and Research Team, from 3pm to 5pm on Thursday 15th November 2018, with n=1,012 of the UK adult population (18+ years).
Results were weighted in terms of age, gender, location and voting behaviour in the 2017 UK General Election and the 2016 EU Referendum to ensure representativeness of the UK population, in accordance with UK census and Electoral Commission data.
Please note that the standard convention for rounding has been applied and consequently some totals may not add up to 100%.
Further information on the results and methodology can be obtained by emailing Dan Healy.