Wales no longer backing Brexit- YouGov - People's Vote

Wales no longer backing Brexit- YouGov

Wales no longer backs leaving the EU and instead supports a People’s Vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, according to a new poll by YouGov.

At the referendum in 2016 Wales voted to leave by 53 per cent to 47 per cent. However, A new poll of almost 1,000 people across Wales – one of the largest and most significant tests of public opinion in Wales since the referendum – finds that support has moved in favour of remain. 51 per cent of voters in Wales would vote now to remain a member of the EU, compared to 49 per cent who would vote to leave.

And by a margin of 8 points – 44 per cent to 36 per cent - people in Wales support a People’s Vote when negotiations about Brexit are complete. In the event of “no deal” being reached on Brexit, 50 per cent of people in Wales support the public voting in a new referendum, compared to just 24 per cent who think it should be left to politicians in Westminster.

Publication of the survey comes as the People’s Vote campaign publishes a new dossier demonstrating the impact of leaving the EU on services and businesses across Wales which reveals a botched Brexit will make every person in the country £1,818 worse off. 

Building on the success of the People’s Vote march in London in June, hundreds of people are expected to come together at a rally in Cardiff on Saturday 8 September and days of action across Wales to add to the momentum of Britain’s fastest growing movement.


Reinforcing scepticism of Westminster:

The poll reveals that the Brexit negotiations – which 63 per cent people in Wales think will produce a bad deal – is reinforcing scepticism towards Westminster.

The poll of 998 people in Wales found:

  • 68 per cent think Brexit will fundamentally impact the lives of everyone in this country.
  • 64 per cent think it will be the fault of the UK government if Wales gets a bad deal from Brexit.
  • 82 per cent think the process of leaving the EU has been a mess.


Pressure on party leaderships: 

Those findings will put more pressure on the Labour Party leadership over their pro-Brexit position. As more and more trade unions announce their support for the public having a say on Brexit, YouGov found that 61 per cent of those who voted Labour at the last General Election in 2017 support a People’s Vote.  76 per cent of voters in Wales who say they intend to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s party say they would back remaining in the EU, compared to just 28 per cent who would vote to leave in a new referendum.  

People in Wales are also clear about the damage they believe Brexit will do to Wales.

  • More people (45 per cent) think the economy will be weaker if the UK leaves the EU, compared to 22 per cent who think it will be stronger.
  • 36 per cent think the NHS will get worse, compared to only 20 per cent who think it will improve.
  • 47 per cent say they believe their taxes will go up after Brexit, with only 4 per cent believing Brexit will mean they pay less tax.


People’s Vote dossier:

This authoritative new research, including a new analysis of the economic impact of Brexit by researchers at the LSE, details the true cost to Wales from the Brexit being dumped in its doorstep by the Westminster government. 

It contains new research and analysis on sectors including tourism, security, university research funding, structural development and the cost of living.  

It shows in the clearest terms so far that people in Wales – from Aberystwyth to Abergavenny – are deeply affected by a bad Brexit deal. Jobs, security, the local economy and the produce which makes us so proud of Wales are all under threat.


Among findings, the research shows that: 

  • Wales is expected to see 9.5 per cent of lost GDP growth over the next decade under a disastrous “no deal” scenario, meaning every person in Wales could be £1,818 a year worse off.
  • More than £1,944 million of EU funding for Welsh businesses and projects through Regional Development Funds and Structural funds is at risk from Brexit.
  • 637,000 tourists to Wales from Europe may choose to go elsewhere each year, while Welsh tourist attractions and businesses will find it harder to employ seasonal staff from abroad. Over 130,000 people in Wales are directly employed in tourism as their main or second jobs.
  • The European Arrest Warrant makes Wales a safer place, used to remove 185 alleged criminals from Wales and bring 22 Welsh criminals back to face justice in the UK since 2010.
  • Students at Welsh universities will also be affected, due to the UK losing access to the EU’s Erasmus scheme as a result of Brexit.  Brexit poses a direct risk to Wales’s access to this vital programme, which could see these unique opportunities to gain experience abroad restricted for future generations.


Peter Kellner, one of the UK’s most respected polling experts and a former President of YouGov, said:

“With Wales now opposed to Brexit, albeit narrowly, this now means that all three nations in the UK outside England now back remaining in the European Union. This should concern all politicians who seek to preserve the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“The shift has been driven by Labour voters, where the swing to Remain is six per cent, double the average for all Welsh voters. In the referendum two years ago, Labour supporters voted 66-34 per cent for Remain. This has now widened to 72-28 per cent. Labour voters also back a People’s Vote by almost three-to-one: 61-22 per cent. This should concern those Labour MPs who are resisting both continued membership of the EU and a fresh referendum to let the people decide the issue.”


Owen Smith, Labour MP for Pontypridd and a leading supporter of People’s Vote, said:

“Wales narrowly voted to leave the European Union in 2016 but as more people see the damage a botched Brexit would cause to Wales, so they are joining the growing campaign for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

“This poll shows that Labour voters overwhelmingly support a People’s Vote, putting them at odds with the Party’s official pro-Brexit position. Labour Party members, supporters and voters are crying out for clear red water between the opposition and the Government on Brexit. Labour can provide that leadership to the country by backing the People’s Vote campaign.

“Nobody in Wales voted for people to be worse off, for the NHS to be damaged or for a bad deal to be dumped on our country. But it is clear there is now a growing momentum across Wales and the UK for whatever deal the Government comes up with – whether it’s Theresa May’s or Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Brexit – for the public to have a say with a People’s Vote.”


Geraint Talfan Davies, Chair of Wales in Europe said:

“These results are a massive thumbs down to the Brexit negotiations. It is clear that trust in the Brexit process is vanishing. Whether it is the impact on the economy, the NHS or taxes many more in Wales think Brexit will make things worse rather than better. It’s also clear that significant majority of women in Wales want to remain in Europe. 

“All this reflects what Wales for Europe has found on the ground in recent weeks right across Wales. People know that Wales stands to lose more than almost any other part of Britain. It’s no wonder that support in Wales for a new People’s Vote has grown, with that support increasing sharply if the Brexit talks fail.” 



Notes to editors:

  1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 988 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st July - 19th August 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The full fieldwork is available here:
  2. The People’s Vote dossier is available to download here:
  3. The People’s Vote rally in Cardiff will be held at the Glee Club, Cardiff Bay at 2pm on Saturday 8 September. Speakers will include Owen Smith MP (Labour), Jane Dodds (Leader of Welsh Liberal Democrats), Hywel Williams MP (Plaid Cymru), Helen Rogers (Royal College of Midwives), Sally Stephenson (Local business owner), Helen Wales (Cardiff for Europe campaigner) and Gwyneth Sweatman (President, National Union of Students Wales/UCMC). More  details can be found here: