New study demonstrates “Will of the People” is now for a People’s Vote - People's Vote

New study demonstrates “Will of the People” is now for a People’s Vote

Opinion in Britain’s battle ground seats has swung firmly behind a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal, with Labour supporters leading the way.

Not only do an overwhelming majority of the party’s supporters back a People’s Vote, but in every single seat won by Labour in 2017, a majority of the party’s supporters (expressing a preference) would now back Britain staying in the EU.

This is the stand-out result of a major new study into opinion on public attitudes towards Brexit published today by the People’s Vote campaign.

Other key findings include (all figures quoted exclude “don’t know” and “won’t say” responses):

  • A majority of voters in every constituency (all 631 in Great Britain – the study does not cover Northern Ireland) back free trade over tighter immigration controls.
  • A majority of voters in 575 constituencies – including in every seat Labour won in 2017 – back a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal.
  • In every seat held by the Conservatives with a majority of 5,000 or less, the majority of voters back a People Vote.
  • The majority of voters in all 143 seats where Labour are 10,000 or less votes behind back a People’s Vote.
  • In 90 of those same seats, 50% or more of voters would vote to stay in the European Union if given the chance in a People’s Vote.

The study applies cutting edge “Multiple Regression Post-stratification” (MRP) techniques to the large tranche of data collected by the People’s Vote’s mammoth polling effort over the summer and autumn – in which over 25,000 voters were asked their opinions on the key Brexit questions.

MRP builds a sophisticated social model of voters and their attitudes and applies that to the demographics of every constituency. It is the same statistical technique that led YouGov to predict the Conservatives would lose their majority in 2017’s General Election and also allowed YouGov to point to Donald Trump’s edge in the US Mid-West in 2016 when simple opinion polls correctly pointed to Hilary Clinton topping the poll in absolute number of votes.

The People’s Vote MRP model was created by Dr Kevin Cunningham and Dr Ian Warren.


In the foreword to the publication – The Will of the People? Changing attitudes towards Brexit – Peter Kellner, former President of YouGov and one of the UK’s best known and respected pollsters – who has been advising the People’s Vote campaign writes:

“This report contains a clear warning to Britain’s politicians, especially those who insist that the public mood has not shifted since the Brexit referendum two years ago: beware the private majority.

“The private majority comprise almost four in five of all voters. They are a broader group than the much-cited ‘silent majority’. Most of them are more than happy to discuss Brexit with their friends, family and colleagues at work. But they have no direct contact with their MP and they don’t attend public meetings, call radio phone-ins or post their views on social media. Below the radar of party activists, journalists and social media analysts, many of them are having second thoughts about the wisdom of leaving the European Union. 

“Our research uses a technique widely known as Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification, or MRP for short. It enables us to estimate the views of people in particular areas – in this case parliamentary constituencies – using data from the constituency and the rest of the country. The key to this is to have enough data on enough people. As well as knowing the constituency of the respondent we also use demographic data on the respondents in addition to their reported voting behaviour.

“The first step involves building a relationship between a respondent's answers, their constituency and their demography. The second step requires knowing how many different types of individual there are in each constituency - that is, every different combination of constituency, demographics and voting intention. The third and final step is to use the results of the first step and the second step to estimate the number and therefore percentage of people in each constituency that hold the different views. 

“As well as reporting seat-by-seat views on the issue of a People’s vote, our MRP analysis finds that the swing from Leave to Remain is higher than the national average in many constituencies that voted Leave in 2016 and Labour last year.”


Commenting, James McGrory, Director of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“As the gap between what was promised to voters and the miserable reality of any Brexit deal becomes ever clearer, more and more people are backing a People’s Vote.

“There is a real danger that Members of Parliament are missing the significant shift of opinion on Brexit that is happening right across the nation. Under the surface, the mood of the country is changing rapidly, and the will of the people is now strongly for a People’s Vote.”



Notes to editors

The Will of the People? Changing attitudes towards Brexit was published at 11.00 this morning and can be downloaded here.