The latest edition of the Polling Matters podcast contains a return to its regular polling question, asking whether voters want to see a referendum on the terms of a Brexit deal:
UK public opinion seems to be steadily edging towards support for a second referendum on EU membership. Opposition to another vote still leads by 7 points (48%-41% against) but this is down from a 19 point deficit in December.
(You can listen to the full podcast episode here.)
When it comes to future Liberal Democrat policy on Europe this highlights two things. First, that public opinion can shift, especially on this issue where there is a large chunk of voters who are pessimistically accepting of Brexit. They would rather it didn’t happen but currently see it going ahead as the least worst option given the 2016 referendum came out the way it did. The more successful a clearly pro-European party is, the more opportunity there is to win such people over with a plausible alternative future.
Second, that 41% is both a minority and more than large enough a pool for the Liberal Democrats to be fishing in and still make huge progress based on where the party is. If, that is, the party is happy to pitch for some voters in the knowledge that the pitch also puts others off. That’s something the party has often been very reluctant to do in the past, but it is only dictators who aim for 100% support .