AFP/Getty Images/Twitter

Nigel Farage likes to claim Labour has “abandoned” its voters by not backing a Brexit deal in parliament.

The former UKIP leader has repeatedly said that his Brexit Party will target the “five million people” who voted Leave in 2016 and voted for Labour in 2017.

However, while that claim may make for a nice slogan, it’s not very accurate – here’s why…

Firstly, there is no precise figure to show how the Brexit vote split in 2017.

We know that 35 per cent of Labour voters from 2015 voted Leave in 2016, according to YouGov.

But as the 2017 ballot paper did not ask people about their views on Brexit and we know polling varied wildly throughout that period, it is hard to say exactly what the number would be now.

Various studies have attempted to work it out.

A survey by the British Election Study estimated 30 per cent of Labour voters in 2017 also voted leave in the referendum – which is around four million people.

But because the survey has a margin of error – four percentage points – it means the exact figure could be 26 per cent (3.3 million voters) or 34 per cent (4.4 million voters).

Other estimates show the number of Labour Leave voters as around 3.1 million people (Ipsos-Mori) or 3.2 million people (Lord Ashcroft polling).

YouGov also did some more research and estimated that 29 per cent of voters who chose Labour in 2017 also voted Leave in 2016 – making the figure around 3.5 million Labour-Leavers.

Whatever the answer, it seems unlikely that Farage’s five million figure is correct.

The high-end of the range is 4.4 million and most estimates show between three and four million voters.

The “betrayal” narrative has another problem – if you assume that Labour should follow approximately 30 per cent of its voters who picked Leave, what about the 70 per cent who didn’t?

As second referendum campaigner Femi Oluwole explained (using YouGov’s research):

And as this three-way polling for a deal, no deal and Remain (from YouGov again) shows, Labour supporters back Remain by a huge margin.

It would be impossible for Labour (or any major party bar UKIP) to completely satisfy their voters on Brexit because the referendum did not split down traditional party lines.

It's unclear how Farage came up with his five million figure but based on the evidence that is available, it looks like he's out by a few million votes.

HT: BBC Reality Check

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)