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UK Insights

Conservatives 5 points ahead as May makes statement on Brexit deal negotiations

Luke Taylor

Head of Social and Political Attitudes

Politics 12.02.2019 / 14:00

thames parliament river london

The February Brexit Barometer from Kantar Public also shows how people say they would vote if a new referendum was held.

Kantar Public voting intention polls (7th Feb – 11th Feb 2019) show Conservative 40% (+5 vs Jan 2019), Labour 35% (-3 vs Jan 2019), Lib Dems 10% (+1), UKIP 3% (-3), SNP 4% (no change), Green 4% (nc), PC 1% (nc), Other 3% (nc).

Public preparations

When asked how likely are they to take action ahead of the UK’s departure date from the EU, 25% of those currently in employment (-1 vs Jan 2019) said they are likely to or have looked for a different job, and 1 in 3 people said they have already or will reduce spending on leisure activities or eating out (33%, +3 vs Jan 2019). 1 in 5 people said they are likely to or have already stockpiled food or medicine (20%, +3 vs Jan 2019).

How would the people vote if a new referendum was held?

Latest Kantar Public data (“If a new referendum was held on the UK's membership of the European Union, how would you vote in this referendum?”): Leave 35% (no change vs Jan 2019), Remain 43% (-1), No vote/Don’t know 22% (+1). 

Public opinion on the government’s management of the economy and Brexit

Four in ten think that the UK government’s management of the UK economy is ‘poor’ (41% nc vs Jan 2019), while one in five (19%, +1) rate the government as doing a good job. Perceptions of how the government is managing Brexit negotiations are more clear cut, with over 6 in 10 Britons (66%, nc vs Jan 2019) rating the government’s performance as poor and 23% (+2 vs Jan 2019) rating their handling of the negotiations as well.

With less than 50 days to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union, when asked about the impact Brexit will have on jobs, NHS care, schools, living costs and peoples’ local area, 43% (+1 vs Jan 2019) of the British public believe that Brexit will have negative effects with no positive effects. This compares to 19% (-2 vs Jan 2019) who believe it will have positive effects with no negative effects.

When asked if the UK should consider re-joining the EU if the general economic situation turned out to be a lot worse after Brexit, 1 in 3 people said yes (33% +1 vs Jan 2019), 32% said no (-4 vs Jan 2019) and 22% said maybe (+3 vs Jan 2019).



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According to February’s Brexit Barometer, the British public’s (sometimes contradictory) priorities for the UK’s exit agreement are:

  • Over three quarters of the public want the UK to continue collaborating with the EU on science, research and technology initiatives (78%, +2 vs Jan 2019) and (78%, -2 vs Jan 2019) on security and policing.
  • 66% of the public want British companies to have tariff-free access to the EU markets (-2 vs Jan 2019) while 56% want European companies to have the same tariff-free access to UK markets, including services (-2 vs Jan 2019).
  • Almost 7 in 10 Britons (68%, +1 vs Jan 2019) want the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to remain ‘soft’ without any passport control. Whilst 19% said they ‘don’t know’ (nc)
  • 6 in 10 Britons (64%, +2 vs Jan 2019) want the UK to draw up its own rules and regulations, even if they clash with EU rules and regulations and for there to be no further contributions to the EU budget (59%, -3 vs Jan 2019)
  • 6 in 10 (59%, -3 vs Jan 2019) of the public want unrestricted rights for UK citizens to live in the EU. Whereas 47% (+1 vs Jan 2019) of Britons want to deny the same unrestricted right for EU citizens to live in the UK.
  • 6 in 10 (58%, -2 vs Jan 2019) want the UK to be part of a customs union with the EU to ensure no checks on goods at UK/EU borders, including with Ireland.


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Source : Kantar Public

Editor's Notes

Methodological information

The survey data and further details on the methodological approach can be found here.

A total of 1,145 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between 7th and 11th February 2019. 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. Any use of this research must cite Kantar Public as the source.

About Kantar Public

Providing the insights for public policy. Innovative consulting and research solutions. For a better public realm. Kantar Public is a global consulting and research business, providing public policy services to government, the public sector, and corporations. Kantar Public operates across the world, with permanent, fully staffed offices in every continent, to share global best practice through local expertise. As an operating brand within Kantar and the WPP group of companies, we are one of the world’s leading social research and consulting partners to governments.

For more information please visit www.kantar.com/public or @KantarPublic

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