Has Stevenage Changed its Mind?

Views on Brexit are shifting in Stevenage, according to recent polling, with a decided move in favour of remain in the previously leave voting constituency.

At Broadwater Day on Sunday 1 September 2019 the local Liberal Democrats set up a Brexitometer in which nearly 100 people answered a series of simple questions on how they felt today given the proposal to suspend Parliament and the implications of leaving the EU without a deal.

Neil Brinkworth, Chair of the local branch, said “We were visited by a broad cross-section of people from all over Stevenage and reflecting all opinions expressed in the referendum 3 years ago. We invited them to give their views on some direct questions by putting stickers on a board, but we were careful not to influence them in any way.

Over 3 years ago the Stevenage Constituency had a 73.8% turnout, with over 59% of voters wanting to leave the EU and about 41% opting to remain.
On Sunday it seemed that opinion may be changing, with around 65% of people giving their opinions that we should stay in the EU and about 33% that we should leave. That figure dropped to 26% when people were asked whether we should leave with no deal.

Lisa Nash, who was the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Stevenage at the 2019 general election, was at the event. She said “It really seems that people are realising what the implications of Brexit – and particularly a “no deal” Brexit – would be. Because of this, they are changing their minds about the wisdom of leaving. We asked people about their support for suspending Parliament and over 71% said this was wrong. I think the message to Boris Johnson and his Conservative government is clear. Rather than prorogue Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit he needs to ask for a further extension in order to hold a People’s Vote. We could then see if the country still supports leaving and, if so, with or without a deal.

Neil added “The Liberal Democrats firmly believe that, as long as we remain part of the EU – the second largest trading bloc in the world, the UK will be better off for jobs, funding of public services and the rights of our people. It is just a shame that our Government is not being truthful with voters about what Leave really means for ordinary people.


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