Last month, we looked back to our final members’ panel survey before the EU referendum, which showed 71 per cent of respondents either definitely for Leave or leaning to Leave, and 27 per cent either definitely for Remain or leaning to Remain.
We cite it again to remind readers how consistent the survey is. It would be simplistic to claim that the Leave-backing 71 per cent of 2016 represents more or less exactly the same people as the 72 per cent who now oppose the Prime Minister’s draft Brexit deal – and that the same applies to the Remain-backing 27 per cent of 2016 and the deal-supporting 25 per cent now. None the less, there will undoubtedly be a very significant cross-over.
In short, our headline finding is that over seven out ten Party members believe that Conservative MPs should oppose the deal. There can be little doubt that most Leavers among them are against it and most Remainers among them for it.
That said, Downing Street has a platform to build on. The other survey response in this section finds that almost a third of respondents believe that Tory MPs should back her in the lobbies. The total doing so is 30 per cent. So five per cent of our respondents don’t back the deal…but believe none the less that Conservative MPs should vote for it. 68 per cent think that they should vote against it.
So it is way to go for Theresa May. With less than a fortnight left until the “meaningful vote”, she has little time to change hearts and minds. All in all, the survey finds no evidence for rising support for the deal from Party members. And suggests that less than a third of them back her push to get Conservative MPs onside.