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UK Insights

British public still unconvinced on post-Brexit Britain

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

Politics 18.02.2018 / 00:02


More than half of British adults think the government is doing a poor job in Brexit negotiations

Although nearly two years have passed since David Cameron announced the EU referendum date, nearly one third (31%) of British adults still do not have a preferred Brexit outcome.

Of those with a preferred outcome, the most popular choice is for the UK to stay in the Single Market, with free movement of labour but with some additional constraints on access to UK benefits. This is the choice of one-third (36%) and is more than twice as popular as a ‘No Deal’ scenario (16%). Opinion is markedly split according to how people voted in the referendum. Remain voters favour staying in the single market, while Leave voters are much more divided in their views.

KPUK - 18 Feb 2018 Preferred Scenario Table

The British public is currently in a pessimistic mood about the likely consequences of Brexit. Less than half (43%) of those with a preferred scenario believe that Brexit negotiations will result in their preference being achieved (down from 46% in November). Furthermore, the majority of the public (56%) rate the government’s handling of the Brexit negotiations as poor or very poor.

Kantar’s Brexit Confidence Index draws together the public’s expectations for life after Brexit across a range of areas: the NHS, job and career opportunities, the mix of people in the UK, the quality of education and the cost of living. Balancing those who think there will be positive effects (and no negative effects) in these areas against those who think there will be negative effects (and no positive effects), the February 2018 Index shows a -22% rating, compared to a -21% rating in November 2017. 

KPUK - 18 Feb 2018 Confidence Index

These findings represent challenging news for the British Government and illustrate how difficult it will be for them to obtain an outcome that is acceptable to the public. Not only do the British public think the government is doing a poor job on their behalf in the Brexit negotiations, but almost three-in-five expect the final outcome of Brexit negotiations to be different to their preferred scenario.

Kantar Public’s latest UK Opinion Monitor shows that Labour has the highest level of support among the general public (40% compared with 35% for the Conservatives). However, based on our assessment of likely turnout patterns, this puts the Conservatives and Labour on level pegging (on 39%) ahead of the Lib Dems on 8% and UKIP on 4%.

Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

The survey data and further details on the methodological approach will be available to download from 11am on Monday 19 February from here.

2,448 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between 6 and 12 February 2018. Interviews were conducted using the Kantar TNS Research Express Online Omnibus, which uses the Lightspeed access panel as its sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, working status, 2017 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election.

Since our last poll, we have slightly changed our weighting; we now control for vote in the 2017 General Election by country. It should be noted that his change has almost no impact on the headline voting intentions. Without this change they would have been have been Conservative (40%), Labour (39%), Lib Dems (9%) and UKIP (4%).

Any use of this research must cite Kantar Public as the source.


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