During May’s statement to the House of Commons on Monday, she pushed back on the idea of holding a second referendum. May said that:
“I fear a Second Referendum would set a difficult precedent that could have significant implications for how we handle referendums in this country – not least, strengthening the hand of those campaigning to break up our United Kingdom… I do not believe there is a majority for a Second Referendum.”
Do MPs Support a Second Referendum?
In Parliament May recently said she didn’t believe a majority of MPs supported holding a second referendum. However, others disagree and some are calling for a series to indicative votes to show what MPs really want. These votes wouldn’t be binding and would just be an opportunity for MPs to vote for the type of Brexit outcome they would support. This way the government would be able to see if any route has a majority of MPs supporting it.
So who would actually support a no deal?
An estimated 71 Labour MPs are very likely to support a second referendum. On top of that, you have around 150 Labour MPs who are likely to follow official party policy. So if Labour were to officially support a second referendum, around 220 Labour MPs would probably vote to support a second referendum.
Labour supporting a second referendum isn’t completely impossible. On Tuesday (22nd January) Labour announced that they wanted MPs to be able to vote on a second referendum. This is a major shift in Labour policy and could lead to more Labour MPs supporting a ‘peoples vote’.
You can add to that all the MPs from smaller opposition parties – such as the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru. All 51 of these MPs are almost certain to support a second referendum.
Even a small number of Conservative MPs are expected to support a second referendum, around 10. A similar number want to block a no deal Brexit at all costs, so if that meant a second referendum, they could be persuaded.
If we add together these MPs there are around 292 MPs who could possibly vote support a second referendum. That’s not enough to reach the 320 votes the proposal would need but it’s getting close. What would really swing it, is if the Conservatives supported a second referendum. If the government advocated for the vote then a large number of Conservative MPs would likely follow suit and usher in a second referendum.
What Do Our Viewers Think?
When we create videos in our Opinionated series we always make sure to ask our viewers to tell us what they think about the topic. During our second referendum video (above) we include some data about what our viewers think. We will be releasing a full breakdown of the survey and exit poll results exclusively for Patreon backers. However, I prepared some other stats that didn’t make the final cut of the video and I thought I’d share them with you.
As we said in the video, these numbers are likely skewed, as the sample is mainly TLDR viewers. We will be using professional techniques to ensure all of the stats are as representative as possible for the other Opinionated topics.
We asked all survey resondents how they thought brexit would end; the UK leaves with a deal, the UK leaves with no deal or the UK doesn’t leave.
No one seems confident in the government’s ability to get a deal passed. Only 12% of those who object to a second referendum think the UK will get a deal, and 25% of those supporting the referendum. Both groups think the most likely outcome is that the UK will levae withoiut a deal; 50% of referendum supporters and 65% of referendum objectors.
We looked at the regional differences surrounding Brexit. Based on our audience, the region most in favour of Brexit is Scotland (83) followed by people from other EU countries (75%). Of all the UK nations, people from Wales are the least likely to support a second referendum (62%). However, respondents from countries outside the EU are the least likely to be supporting, with only 42% in favour of a second referendum.
If you want to get more stats and deeper breakdown become a backer on Patreon.