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Tories don't want second Brexit vote, but everyone else does
[LONDON] The overwhelming majority of members of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party don't want there to be a second referendum on Britain's EU membership, according to a survey published Thursday. For the other main UK parties, the opposite is true.
Just 14 per cent of Conservatives favour holding a second vote that might reverse Brexit, according to the YouGov survey of political party members for Queen Mary University of London. By contrast, the proportions for the opposition Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Democrat parties are 78 per cent, 87 per cent and 91 per cent respectively.
Can Brexit be reversed? Yes, says the man who helped write rule book The data illustrate that Mrs May is beholden to her party members, which make up just a fraction of the electorate, which was split - 52 per cent to 48 per cent - in favor of Brexit in the referendum in 2016.
They also show how the country remains divided, with the Tories also poles apart from the three opposition groups when asked whether they wanted to stay in the single market, and whether austerity has gone too far.
"Britain's party members are the lifeblood and the foot-soldiers of our democracy," said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary.
"That doesn't necessarily mean they look like or think like their parties' voters - or, indeed, look or think like each other. The Tory grassroots in particular are something of a breed apart from their Labour, Lib Dem and SNP counterparts."
A quarter of Tories favour staying in the EU's single market, compared to 87 per cent of Labour members, 95 per cent of Scottish Nationalists and 96 per cent of Liberal Democrats.
On austerity, just 11 per cent of Conservatives said the government's cost-cutting measures have gone too far, compared with 98 per cent of Labour members, 93 per cent of Scottish Nationalists and three-quarters of Liberal Democrats.