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Brexit warning: Big ‘realignment’ of politics inevitable says pollster ‘Visceral reaction’

A RISING tide of anger against politicians for their failure to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum need to be addressed by a wide-ranging “realignment” of UK politics involving electoral reform, a written constitution and a shake-up of Parliament after Brexit, a pollster has suggested.

PUBLISHED: 08:51, Sun, Oct 13, 2019 | UPDATED: 08:52, Sun, Oct 13, 2019

March To Leave: Kate Hoey warns May the public will ‘fight back 



ComRes director Andrew Hawkins was commenting on research undertaken in the run-up to the party conferences last month, which he said had revealed increasing levels of distrust and disillusionment in the institutions of Government. The research, which involved interviews with 2025 people, quizzed respondents on their attitudes towards  and political parties in the UK.

Significantly, 895 of those interviewed – 44 percent – classified themselves more in terms of being a Leaver/Remainer than as supporters of any particular party. 

The online poll was carried out between September 6 and 9.

Brexit politics MPs


British politics will need to “realigned” after Brexit said Andrew Hawkins (Image: GETTY)

John Bercow

Andrew Hawkins said Speaker John Bercow was “at odds with the polls” (Image: GETTY)

Mr Hawkins suggested British politics had been fractured by Brexit in an unprecedented fashion.

Four-way splits between the Tories, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party were now commonplace in many parts of the country, he explained, with the addition of the Scottish National Party north of the border.

In addition, what he termed the “promiscuity” of Lib Dem and Brexit Party voters in terms of who to vote for – 54 percent of the former and 57 percent of the latter disagreed with the statement: “I generally vote for the same party in every General Election” – gave a clear indication of the sheer volatility of the situation.

Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (Image: GETTY)

Mr Hawkins pointed out that post-war British politics has undergone significant upheaval in the past, not least the Suez Crisis in 1956 which finished the career of then-Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Black Wednesday in 1992 which seriously undermined the authority of PM John Major, and the financial crisis of 2008, which dogged the brief Premiership of Gordon Brown.

However, he added: “There has been nothing that has led to such a visceral reaction to the way the politics has played out.”

The research has suggested many people “don’t trust Parliament”, Mr Hawkins said.

It’s time f

Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to deliver Brexit by October 31 (Image: GETTY)

Politics UK Parliament

Andrew Hawkins said there had been a “visceral reaction” to politicians (Image: GETTY)

Levels of public anger are such that this has to be significant

Andrew Hawkins

“Levels of public anger are such that this has to be significant.

“Electoral reform, devolution, Parliamentary reform and possibly a written constitution all have to be considered.

“We have hangovers from 17th century laws in our Parliamentary system.

Brexit flowchart

A Brexit flowchart (Image: Daily Express)

In some ways Brexit has acted as a “catalyst”, Mr Hawkins said, but it had also resulted in a gap opening up between the expectations of people who voted Leave and the reality three years after the referendum.

He added: “When you look at the language by Speaker John Bercow about protecting the sovereignty of Parliament, it’s at odds with the polls.”

Mr Hawkins said public “frustration” came through “loud and clear” in ComRes research, including that of Remainers who believed democracy now needed to take its course.

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