More voters in Boris Johnson’s own constituency think a no-deal Brexit would be bad for Britain and their family income than think it would be good, according to data analysis of a new national mega poll of voters.
The study, commissioned by campaign group Hope Not Hate and shared with HuffPost UK, also found similar views in the parliamentary seats of leading Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith.
A Hope Not Hate/FocalData analysis of a Panelbase poll of nearly 8,000 people, conducted in recent days, found that overall 46% of those questioned believed quitting the EU without an agreement with Brussels would be bad for the UK.
Just 20% felt no-deal would be good for the nation, and 19% felt it would make no difference.
Regardless of the economic impact, 45% overall said they were against no-deal versus 34% who were for it.
With MPs gearing up this week to vote on radical moves to block Johnson from exiting on October 31 with no EU agreement, Hope Not Hate claimed its findings showed it was not a ‘Parliament v People’ but a ‘Government v People’ showdown.
Using American data analysis techniques, Hope Note Hate also hired Focal Data to assess the poll’s possible implications for individual constituencies across the country.
If concluded that not a single constituency in the UK has more people who think a no-deal Brexit would be good for the country than those who think it would be bad.
And just 35 out of 650 parliamentary seats nationwide - including only three Labour seats (Grimsby, Doncaster North and Bassetlaw) - have more voters who think the no-deal outcome would leave their families better off.
In the prime minister’s constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip, 42% of people believe a no deal Brexit would be bad for the UK, compared to 27% who think it will be good and just 18% who think it will make no difference.
Johnson won re-election in the seat in 2017 with a majority of just 5,000 votes over Labour and it is being aggressively targeted by the party for the next election.
In Rees-Mogg’s seat of North East Somerset, 48.3% think a no-deal exit it will be bad and just 23.5% think it will be good. In Iain Duncan Smith’s seat of Chingford and Woodford Green, the figures are 48% to 24%.
In the Hastings seat of cabinet minister Amber Rudd - who joined Johnson’s government despite her previous opposition to no-deal - the figures are 44% to 20%.
Constituencies of Labour MPs with strong Vote Leave sentiment also show a reluctance to back no-deal. In Gareth Snell’s Stoke Central, 41% think it would be bad to 19% good.
Attempting to dig into localised constituency opinion is notoriously difficult for pollsters, as sample sizes in national polls tend to be far too small to produce reliable results.
However, Focal Data use a statistical technique called ‘Multi-level Regression with Post-stratification’ (MRP) for estimating public opinion in small geographic areas or sub-groups using national opinion surveys.
Hope Not Hate says the technique can produce highly accurate results, pointing out similar studies came within 0.7% of the eventual result in the Peterborough by-election.
The data analysis has findings that will interest those Labour MPs considering backing the government’s no-deal Brexit plans.
Almost twice as many voters in Rotherham (held by Labour’s Sarah Champion) think leaving without a deal would be bad for the UK as those who think it would be good.
In Caroline Flint’s seat of Don Valley, 38.8% of voters think a no-deal would be bad for the UK, compared to 23% who think it would be good.
However in Flint’s seat, some 28% of people think they and their families will be ‘better off’ economically if the UK quits without an agreement.
More broadly, more voters in 463 constituencies oppose no deal Brexit than support it, with only 166 constituencies seeing the reverse.
Nationally, many more respondents (57%) thought no-deal would make it much more likely that Scotland will go independent, compared with just 11% who didn’t, and a third (33%) who didn’t have an opinion.
Hope Not Hate CEO Nick Lowles said: “A no deal Brexit would have a devastating impact on communities across Britain, especially those already struggling after a decade of austerity. The fallout from no deal would create a fertile breeding ground for the far right.
“No 10 have either misjudged the mood of the country, or they don’t care that most people think a no deal Brexit would be bad.
“The message for MPs is clear: if you oppose Boris Johnson’s mad dash for a no deal, you’ll be in tune with public opinion.”
* The PanelBase poll for Hope Not Hate surveyed 7,795 people and was conducted between 19 and 29 August. Focal Data conducted the MRP analysis.