POLITICS
22/09/2018 21:00 BST | Updated 24/09/2018 10:12 BST

Exclusive: 58% Of Voters Would Back New Party, Poll Reveals

HuffPost UK survey finds 42% of people identify as centrists, not right or left wing.

A majority of voters are prepared to abandon old allegiances and back a new political party, a poll commissioned by HuffPost UK reveals. 

As Brexit continues to tear Labour and the Conservatives apart, our poll found 58% would consider backing a new force in British politics at the next election. 

Of more than 1,000 people polled by BMG, 42% also said they identify as centrists, rather than varying degrees of left (30%) or right wing (27%). 

The startling research follows months of speculation that a new breakaway party could form, with unhappy MPs on both sides of the Commons increasingly frustrated at the direction their leader is taking. 

However, a majority (53%) said Labour MPs should stay put and make the case for change to Jeremy Corbyn from inside - and this figure rose to 57% among Labour voters. 

 

Austerity 

More Brits think that austerity has been a bad thing for the country (34%) than a good thing (24%) according to the poll.

People said cutbacks’ most striking impact was on hospitals, with 55% saying they had noticed they had got worse or significantly worse. For policing, that figure is even higher at 56%, whereas for schools it was 37% and GP surgeries 49%. 

The state of social care is also seen to have been significantly damaged by austerity, with 51% reporting services have got worse. Meanwhile, 43% said they had seen mental health services get worse. 

It comes after HuffPost UK published a series of reports on how austerity has devastated individuals, communities and services ten years on from the financial crash of 2008. 

 

Election and leadership 

Almost half (48%) of Britons said that allegations of antisemitism had damaged Corbyn’s leadership. Among Labour supporters, 38% felt the controversy had worsened public support for him, with 30% feeling it had not made a difference and 8% felt it had improved his standing..

Were he to stand down, voters (12%) thought London Mayor Sadiq Khan would be the best replacement, with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell second on 8% and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry third (6%).

Khan, however, was also Labour’s most recognisable politician, with 74% aware of who he is, followed by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott (70%), followed by backbencher Yvette Cooper (51%) and McDonnell on 47%.

When viewed as a leadership candidate, McDonnell, a figure very prominent in this year’s conference and rumoured to be a leadership contender, is most popular with those in households earning under £20,000.

A majority (50%) of those surveyed said they were in favour of a general election should Parliament vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, while 29% said they were against the idea and 21% did not know.

 

Westminster voting intention 

Our poll of more than 1,000 Brits also showed the two parties neck and neck, with the other parties failing to break through. 

 

CON 38%

LAB 38%

LIB 10%

UKI 5%

OTH 9%

 

* BMG interviewed a representative sample of 1,006 adults living in Great Britain online, on the 21st & 22nd September. Data are weighted. BMG are members of the British Polling Council (BPC) and abide by their rules. Full results at www.bmgresearch.co.uk/polling

 

CORRECTION: Some of the language in this article has been amended to clarify more accurately the results of the poll. Where 42% was previously described as “most” we’ve changed the language. We have also made clear that “More Brits think that austerity has been a bad thing for the country (34%) than a good thing (24%)”, rather than previously describing this as “most Brits”.