British public continue to be more satisfied with Johnson’s approach to Brexit than Corbyn’s as majority see a no-deal Brexit outcome as likely

New research from Ipsos MORI shows that a majority of GB adults aged 18-75 think it is likely that Britain will leave the EU without a deal.

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
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  • GB adults aged 18-75 think a no-deal Brexit is more likely than a deal, second referendum or Brexit being cancelled without another vote.
  • 4 in 10 are satisfied with Johnson’s approach to Brexit, compared to just 15% for Corbyn – 7 in 10 are dissatisfied with Corbyn’s approach to Brexit.
  • British public continue to be divided over their preferred Brexit outcome.
  • Majority trust Corbyn to tell the truth regarding Brexit ‘not very often’ or ‘never’.

New research from Ipsos MORI shows that a majority of GB adults aged 18-75 think it is likely that Britain will leave the EU without a deal. A majority (55%) think this outcome is either ‘very’ or ‘fairly likely’ with 29% saying the outcome is ‘very’ or ‘fairly unlikely’ and 16% saying they don’t know. A full list of outcomes tested is found below. Note – we did not specify a timeline for when these outcomes would take place. Meanwhile, 4 in 10 (39%) are satisfied with Johnson’s approach to Brexit whilst 72% are dissatisfied with Corbyn’s.

Looking at support for these different Brexit outcomes compared to when they were last asked by Ipsos MORI in August 2019:

  • 40% support Britain leaving the EU with no deal being agreed and 43% oppose. This represents only a very small increase in support for a no-deal Brexit from August when 37% supported this outcome and 46% opposed.
  • 44% of GB adults aged 18-75 support an immediate General Election and 27% oppose. These numbers are similar to August where 43% supported an immediate election and 32% opposed.
  • 36% support leaving the EU ‘but only if a deal has been agreed with the EU on the terms of Britain’s departure’, 34% oppose. These numbers are virtually identical to August, when 37% supported this outcome and 34% opposed.
  • Ipsos MORI did not ask about support for a second referendum with Remain on the ballot or cancelling Brexit without another referendum in our August poll. However, this month 41% support another referendum with Remain on the ballot (44% oppose) and 30% support Brexit being cancelled without a referendum and 53% oppose.

Party leaders’ approach to Brexit

  • Public satisfaction with Johnson’s approach to Brexit has shown small signs of improvement since August. The proportion of GB adults aged 18-75 that are satisfied with his approach has increased 5 points (from 34% to 39%), with his net satisfaction rating improving from -15 to -9.
  • Meanwhile, 7 in 10 (72%) are dissatisfied with Corbyn’s approach, with just 15% satisfied, representing a net satisfaction rating of -57.
  • 65% of Leave voters are satisfied with Johnson’s approach to Brexit compared to 66% of Remain voters that are dissatisfied with Jeremy Corbyn’s.
  • Both Jo Swinson (20%) and Nigel Farage (28%) have greater proportions of GB adults satisfied with their approach. 53% and 51% are dissatisfied with Swinson’s and Farage’s approach respectively.

Trust in Party leaders: in general, and regarding Brexit

Our poll also asked whether GB adults trusted different politicians to tell the truth generally ‘all of the time’, ‘most of the time’, ‘about half the time’, ‘not very often’, ‘never’ or whether they didn’t know.

  • 11% of GB adults trust ‘MPs in general’ ‘all or most of the time’ compared to 53% that trusted them ‘not very often’ or ‘never’. Trust in ‘my local MP’ is slightly better, 22% trust their local MP to tell the truth ‘all or most of the time’ and 35% ‘not very often’ or ‘never’.
  • Levels of trust towards Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn generally are comparable to each other. Just 22% trust Boris Johnson to tell the truth ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ compared to 19% for Jeremy Corbyn. Similarly, 48% trust Johnson to tell the truth ‘not very often’ or ‘never’ and 53% say the same about Corbyn.

However, when asked whether they trust Johnson and Corbyn to tell the truth regarding Brexit specifically, Johnson’s numbers remain consistent but Corbyn’s worsen.

  •  23% trust Johnson to tell the truth regarding Brexit ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ and 48% trust him to tell the truth ‘not very often’ or ‘never’. Numbers are virtually the same as those achieved when the public are asked to rate the Prime Minister’s trustworthiness generally.
  • Just 15% trust Corbyn to tell the truth ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ regarding Brexit (compared to 19% generally) and 57% trust him to tell the truth ‘not very often’ or ‘never’ (compared to 53% generally).
  • 31% of Remain voters trust Corbyn to tell the truth ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ generally but this falls to 24% when considering Brexit specifically. Likewise, 36% of Remainers trust Corbyn to tell the truth ‘not very often’ or ‘never’ generally compared to 43% when it comes to Brexit specifically.
  • However, a similar pattern is observed among Leave voters too. Generally, 9% trust Corbyn to tell the truth ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’ and 72% trust Corbyn ‘not very often’ or ‘never’. When considering Brexit specifically, these numbers are 7% and 78% respectively.

Commenting on the findings, Ipsos MORI Research Director Keiran Pedley said:

As the latest round of Brexit talks gather pace, the British public continue to be divided on what should happen next and a majority see a no-deal Brexit as a likely outcome, regardless of what happens this week. Looking ahead, Prime Minister Johnson will be encouraged that public satisfaction with his approach to Brexit is improving and is significantly better than it is for Jeremy Corbyn. Meanwhile, the Labour leader will want to improve perceptions around his handling of Brexit quickly as a potential General Election looms.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,074 adults aged 18-75 across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted online: 11th-14th October 2019.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs

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