North East now split on Brexit says new poll

The European Union flag and national flags outside the European Parliament.
The European Union flag and national flags outside the European Parliament.

The North East is now an exact 50/50 even split about whether to leave or stay in the EU, according to a new poll.

Despite the region voting overwhelmingly for Brexit in 2016 by a 16-point margin, polling by YouGov for the People’s Vote campaign, suggests that it opinion is now split on the issue.

South Tyneside saw one of the biggest ‘Out’ votes nationwide, with 49,065 people voting Leave and 30,014 Remain - a resounding 62%-38% win.

Today’s poll comes as the People’s Vote campaign publishes a detailed impact study on how Brexit would affect the North East.

It claims the region is expected to lose 10% of GDP over the next decade under a “no deal” scenario, meaning every man, woman and child in the North East would be £3,000 a year worse off.

Publication today of the poll of almost 1,000 adults across the North East shows strong support in the region for a People’s Vote on any final Brexit deal which is now favoured by a margin of 40 to 35%.

But if talks break down, or there is no agreement on a Brexit deal, 54% would back the public being given the final say against just 22 per cent who say MPs should the take the decision.

The disappearance of the Leave campaign’s 16-point margin of victory appears to have been driven by younger voters with those aged under 50 dividing two-to-one for staying in the European Union while voters over 50 are still two-to-one in favour of Brexit.

Other key findings from the poll include:

*A total of 84 per cent of voters in the North East think “the process of leaving the EU so far has been a mess”.

*Almost three-quarters - 72%- say “it’s likely that many of the promises made by politicians in favour of leaving the EU will be broken”.

*Only 13 per cent of voters in the region expect the Britain to get a good deal in the Brexit talks with the EU. Even Conservatives in the region are doubtful, with just 27% expecting a good deal.

*Almost two-thirds of people in the North-East, 64%, think a bad deal would be mainly the fault of the British government.

*By almost two-to-one, 41-22%, voters in the region expect Brexit to be bad for the economy.

Peter Kellner, a former president of YouGov, said: “The swing in the North East is higher than the national average; and there is a clear reason for this.

“The region is more strongly Labour than any other: the party has 26 of the North East’s 29 MPs.

“And while the views of the relatively small number of Conservative voters towards Brexit are virtually unchanged, Labour voters have moved from 59% to 68% Remain.”