Political

Voters still confused about what any party stands for over Brexit

As Left Foot Forward reports of BMG’s latest polling:

Labour come out the worst on the ‘lack of clarity’ scale – ten points clear of the Tories…

The polling reveals 54% of voters say Labour’s position is unclear – with just 25% saying it’s clear and 23% ‘don’t know’. The 54% figure is unchanged from January, despite Labour’s commitment since then to stay in a customs union.

Even young people are split on Labour’s stance, with 35% saying the party’s position is clear, to 35% unclear (30% simply don’t know).

And 36% of Labour voters themselves say their party’s stance is not very clear or not clear at all…

Voters are more certain about the Conservatives’ stance on Brexit – but the figures aren’t exactly inspiring for May. 44% of people say their position is unclear, to 37% clear (19% don’t know). The 44% stat is within the margin of error of the 46% who said their stance was unclear in January…

49% say Lib Dem stance not clear, to 26% who think it is, and 26% who don’t know. Again, the number who think their position is clear is unchanged from January.

Worryingly for the anti-Brexit party, 37% of 18-34 year olds don’t know their position (a fresh vote to ‘Exit from Brexit’). And 39% say it’s unclear.

BMG Brexit polling March 2018

A reminder as ever that when a political activist says, “My party talks far too much about our policy X” that should almost always be followed by the refrain, “But the public have barely noticed we talk about it at all”.

A reminder too that a policy which takes more than a sentence to explain is rarely a policy that comes over clearly to most voters. Policies need to be able to stand up to not only the first, but the second, third, fourth and more questions from journalists. But they also need to be simple enough to communicate to voters who in non-trivial numbers don’t even notice who the Prime Minister is.

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7 responses to “Voters still confused about what any party stands for over Brexit”

  1. It is hardly a reflection on the political parties, particularly not the Liberal Democrats. The blame for this lies solely with the media.
    We are the one party with copious amounts of policy, a policy on most subjects which gets revised regularly. We have policy generated by our membership, and our members feel, more than members of other parties, that they have a definite power to influence the direction of policy. We are rarely reported, and even more rarely fairly.
    It seems that the media are intent on making it all sound boring and tedious, which turns people off (even me) and that has a depressing effect on voter turnout. We are constantly told we have a democracy, yet clearly we haven’t. The press demand the freedom so that they can scrutinise, yet they concentrate on the scurrilous and headline grabbing issues, and show no responsibility for serving the public with objective information, almost always preferring to try to tell us what we should be thinking. No surprise then that the public are un-clear on any given issue, and even when they do feel ‘clear’ they have often got the wrong end of the stick.
    So blame the press first, then the broadcasters who lazily set their agendas by what is in the papers.. and remember that on the subject of ‘Europe’ it was always well down the list of voters priorities. So they are unclear across the board because they don’t really care enough to unravel any of the nonsense and lies that politicians spout… and the so-called democratic referendum was simply a majority vote in favour of the NHS.. the simple question was ‘should we take some money off EU and give it to NHS.?’ , so the result was really no surprise.. Which newspaper did any analysis of what leaving the EU would mean? Didn’t they all run the pictures of the red bus, didn’t they all run the lies and counter lies, and just stood on the sidelines when they should have been in there scrutinising and reporting..?

  2. Do we know if those who think that the parties’ policies are clear are actually correct as to that party’s policy is?

  3. “A reminder too that a policy which takes more than a sentence to explain is rarely a policy that comes over clearly to most voters. Policies need to be able to stand up to not only the first, but the second, third, fourth and more questions from journalists. But they also need to be simple enough to communicate to voters who in non-trivial numbers don’t even notice who the Prime Minister is.”

    This is, of course, why I and others called for the core of out policy to be a simpler, punchier, and more honest “Exit from Brexit” campaign and leave talk of second referendums out of our main public positioning as a secondary issue of mechanisms. Doing only about a point better than Labour on the above metrics makes it increasingly clear, I think, that we were right, despite being rather aggressively savaged from the podium by members of the party’s leadership at the time for suggesting the idea.

  4. It seems to me that our policies should be spelt out in one sentence on ALL focus leaflets (backed up with further info. either when door knocking or via other communications. I am amazed that people do not know our ‘exit from brexit’ and remain stance. WE MUST PUT THIS ON ALL OUR FOCUS LEAFLETS. It is CERTAIN the media will not help us . Therefore it is up to the party to get our message across.

  5. Nigel Hunter something like this?

    We have to understand that people prefer positive messages of hope and an understanding of how they can affect change or understand policy quickly and I agree that we can over complicate our messages, which are generally meaningful well thought through and argument winning over time.
    Most electorate what to know as much as possible in the time of an advert not the full length feature film.
    Here is my attempts at two key questions.

    1st Read
    Exit from Brexit
    2nd Read
    – I am a UK citizen concerned for the EU deal and I want a say on the final deal or no deal.
    3rd Read …..give more detail…..

    1st Read
    Properly fund the NHS
    2nd Read
    – I am a UK citizen concerned for the funding of our NHS and I want a fair means of revenue to increase to support our NHS teams.
    3rd Read
    – Add 1p to income tax, ring fenced ,to properly fund our NHS

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