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New poll shows Lib Dems could overtake Labour, Ukip if politics polarises over Brexit

November 18, 2016 11:27 AM
By Mark Pack

The noises from Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are increasingly pro-Brexit. The Liberal Democrats, by contrast, are taking a hard line over what any legislation authorising the Article 50 process must say - including giving the British people a vote on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

Which makes this new poll from YouGov particularly interesting

YouGov Poll On Voting Intentions In Different Brexit Scenarios

All polling questions need their margins of error remembering, and hypothetical ones need taking with a further degree of caution as the actual course of events means issues play out that may have only briefly, if at all, flitted through people's minds when responding to the polling question.

For example, a scenario in which Labour has a pro-Brexit general election manifesto would both attract a lot of media attention for its policy - and also cause a lot of internal dissension in Labour ranks. The idea of a left-wing Labour leader insisting his party must support a right-wing Conservative government on the major issue of the day is so at odds with the usual widespread Labour line of 'Tories are evil and don't have anything to do with them' (see coalition years, passim) that it is hard to predict how the fractures would play out. But they do therefore point to the risks for Labour - and opportunities for the Liberal Democrats - of the resolution being even more stark than the current hypothetical polling.

Only if, of course, Brexit is indeed the top issue on the minds of voters in the way that the YouGov polling question put it top of mind for the people it polled. Polarising politics around Brexit may finally trigger the long-talked about realignment of British politics.