Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tide Turns in Chair's Seat as Majority Back Vote

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tide Turns in Chair's Seat as Majority Back Vote

Article excerpt

Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Political editor

AMAJORITY of voters in Labour chair Ian Lavery's Wansbeck constituency want a second referendum on Brexit, according to a new poll.

And almost seven out of 10 Labour voters in the seat support a second vote.

The survey was conducted by Populus and YouGov on behalf of the People's Vote, which is campaigning for another referendum.

Labour says that it is keeping the option of supporting a so-called People's Vote "on the table", if MPs rejected Theresa May's proposed Brexit withdrawal agreement and if there is no general election.

However, it is believed that some members of Labour's Shadow Cabinet are less keen on the idea than others. Mr Lavery is said to be one of those who believes another referendum would be a bad idea, and would anger Labour supporters in the North who backed Brexit in the 2016 referendum.

The survey of 521 Wansbeck voters found that 52% would support a second referendum, if MPs reject Theresa May's deal, and 48% would oppose holding a second referendum.

Among people who say they plan to vote Labour at the next election, 69% support a second vote.

And support for the UK staying in the EU has grown sharply since the referendum in 2016, moving from a 12-point lead for Leave to an almost even split of 49 in favour of remain to 51 in favour of leaving - a swing of five points.

No less than two-thirds of Labour voters (66%) in Wansbeck would now vote to stay in the EU.

When voters in the constituency were asked how they would react if Labour ended up backing any form of Brexit deal alongside Conservative MPs, support for Labour plummets from 59% to 40% - with the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat party surging from 6% to 26%.

Mr Lavery said he wasn't aware of the poll.

He added: "I have been sticking by the fact that I was elected on a manifesto pledge to respect the result of a referendum in which 17.4m people voted.

"The result in Wansbeck was heavily in support of leave. …

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