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Those claiming that the “will of the people” equates to no deal should be treated like snake oil salesmen

February 27th, 2019

July 2016 ComRes polling that had 42% of Leave voters prioritising staying in the single market.

Any politician trying to assert that what they propose, as we enter the final month of Article 50 process, is the “will of the people” should be treated like a snake oil salesman.

It is now nearly three years since the referendum and things have moved on in all sorts of ways particularly in understanding what a possible deal would look like. So I’d suggest that we look back at the immediate post referendum polling to get a sense of people’s perception of what the June 23rd 2016 vote meant.

One useful poll was carried out by ComRes just over week later and one of the key findings is feature above. Then the sample was asked about the key priority and 42% of Leave voters responded by saying staying in the single market should be paramount.

I cannot find a similar poll from the immediate post-referendum period that looks as the expectations of voters at the time. One thing is clear – the idea of a no deal was not contemplated.

Mike Smithson