New Brexit survey shows why we need to make Corbyn prime minister as soon as possible

Jeremy Corbyn
Ed Sykes

A new academic survey suggests there are deep divides in Great Britain over Brexit which make many voters think some level of violence against MPs may be a “price worth paying” to get their way. The report, from researchers at Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh, apparently found such feelings on both Leave and Remain sides of the debate.

In this environment, it seems more important than ever that we put a peacemaker in Downing Street. And Jeremy Corbyn is the person who best fits that bill.

Worrying statistics

The survey’s co-director, Prof Richard Wyn Jones, said he was “genuinely shocked” at the findings:

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Based on polling by YouGov, the survey found that 71% of Leave voters in England, 60% in Scotland,and 70% in Wales, believed the risk of some level of violence towards MPs was a “price worth paying” for Brexit. Among Remain voters, meanwhile, 58% in England, 53% in Scotland, and 56% in Wales considered the risk of some level of violence towards MPs to be a “price worth paying” for Britain to stay in the EU.

Voters on both sides also said the risk of protests in which members of the public are badly injured was a “price worth paying” to secure their desired outcome. Among Leavers, it was 69% in England, 62% in Scotland and 70% in Wales. On the Remain side, it was 57% in England, 56% in Scotland and 57% in Wales.

YouGov surveyed 1,594 adults aged 18 and over in England, 1,503 in Wales, and 1,006 in Scotland. Polling was conducted online between 27 September and 3 October.

Criticism of the survey

One Twitter user asked about the “degree of risk” and the “degree of violence” in question, something that the survey didn’t appear to mention. In other words, it wasn’t totally clear what people considered to be acceptable violence; and the question of “risk” added in an element of doubt (i.e. people could perceive it as ‘possible violence’ rather than ‘guaranteed violence’). They clarified:

 

Hardline Leave and Remain positions

Overall, Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters were those most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to get their way.

In England, results showed that Conservative voters were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to leave the EU:

Liberal Democrat voters, meanwhile, were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to stay in the EU:

In Wales, results showed that Brexit Party and Conservative voters were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to leave the EU:

And again, it was Lib Dem voters who were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to stay in the EU:

In Scotland, results again showed that Conservative voters were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to leave the EU

Meanwhile, SNP and Lib Dem voters were most likely to think the risk of violence was “worth it” to stay in the EU:

Bring in the peacemaker

In short, the division in Britain seems to be clear and concerning. And politicians aren’t helping.

Boris Johnson has long been pushing for an unpopular, elitist no-deal (with the back-up of a hard-right Brexit deal). And he and his supporters have been spouting divisive, warlike terminology – echoing the dangerous rhetoric of a violent and empowered far right.

Lib Dems, on the other side of the Brexit divide, have been promising to revoke Article 50 and just ignore UK voters who opted to leave the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, is trying to unite British people by pledging to let them choose between a sensible Brexit deal or remaining in the EU. He is also a politician who has consistently stressed “I don’t do abuse”, and has famously won numerous peace prizes. And in a country where around half of the population don’t feel strongly about either Leave or Remain, he has been trying to focus voters’ minds on his bold and exciting policies on the issues that most people really care about.

Democracy, at its best, is about being able to listen to everyone’s concerns and reach sensible compromises. But today, hardline positions on Brexit seem to have created a deep and volatile divide across Britain. And with this in mind, there has possibly never been a more important time to put a tried and tested peacemaker in Downing Street.

Featured image via Sophie Brown, with additional content via Press Association

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    1. Taken at face value the survey results are worrying. In addition to criticism mentioned in the article there are other factors to consider.

      For a start, a sample of 1,594 people whilst reasonable for polling voting intentions before an election may be inadequate for fine-grained analysis of sub-samples in England, Scotland, and Wales. Of considerable importance when interpreting the findings is the proportion of people approached for the survey declining to take part; if large, it is necessary to establish that their characteristics do not differ markedly from people who responded.

      Also, for consideration is the chosen sampling frame(s). For surveys of this nature there is no ideal sampling frame and researchers must make their choice with open eyes. Then there is the matter of the sampling method. Simple random sampling, stratified random sampling (e.g. with nations as strata), cluster sampling, or other variants?

      May we assume the investigators did not engage in the worst kind of sampling, a method sometimes used in market research, that is ‘quota sampling’?

      Was statistical advice sought? Was a study-size calculation undertaken at the outset and how?

      Criticism mentioned in the article leads to suspicion that questions were bunged into the survey without careful thought. Such criticism could have been avoided by a preliminary study of how people interpreted ‘candidate’ questions; focus groups might suffice.

      The points I raised are not intended as carping. They arise because this particular survey purports discovery of very disturbing opinions in a broad swathe of the population at a time of highly charged political crisis. For most surveys conducted for marketing purposes, opinion ascertainment, and academic social research, it hardly matters a jot if the findings are untrustworthy.

      This survey has gained national and international attention. Taken at face value its findings are at variance with how the British generally engage in political disputation. If true, they are important and need level headed assessment by news media, ‘opinion formers’, and the political establishment. . If false, they are dangerous because simpletons egged-on by devious operators may be under the impression violence is acceptable.

      In my opinion, a ‘no-deal’ scenario would result in strong protest, possibly violent, arising from a multiplicity of grievances. Johnson’s putsch cabal has sufficient nous to anticipate this. Hence Operation Yellowhammer, this directed by ministers skulking in what they believe to be a safe bunker under Whitehall. One way or another politicians in need of bunkers risk being toppled in a nasty manner.

      Mr Corbyn is the only political leader capable of mitigation unintended consequences flowing from the Brexit débâcle.

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      Released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international license (sic).

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      Author’s email: atlanticcouncil@protonmail.com

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      Bitcoin appreciation to:

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    2. Is not Brexit a false flag by The City of London Corporation and international financial interests, mostly based in the US, to use “Shock Capitalism” (Naomi Klein) to exacerbate existing neoliberal neocon fault lines in order to destabilize the UK and stampede Britons into unknowingly abandoning its sovereignty and letting pure brownshirt fascism sneak in past the post? To negotiate the UK surrender to Trumpian America? To make the UK the colonized rather than the colonizer?

      That is the way the Nazis sneaked past the accommodating Democratic Socialists and into power by general election in 1932.

      The current tyrannical Prime Minister has essentially asserted his Divine Right to Rule by a slim majority in but one referendum … and to rule by whim and by decree and by shameless lying .

      Will England again sleep? (“Why England Slept” by John F. Kennedy).

      If Corbyn is not PM sooner rather than later, and if the whacko LibDem leader Swinson keeps Corbyn from being PM, then Excaliber will be seen finally and forever sinking beneath the waves.

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