New data from YouGov is packed with fun nuggets. For Liberal Democrats, the key point is that only just over half of voters know that the party is anti-Brexit. There’s a reason why the party keeps on pushing this message…
Also worthy of note is that the Lib Dem figure, at 53%, is significantly higher than Change UK’s number (38%) and also higher than the Greens (46%). The big political battle over opposing Brexit is captured, however, by the Labour figure: 42% of voters think Labour is anti-Brexit, even though Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly said he wants Brexit. Brexit on his terms, but still Brexit.
These findings are from just one poll but they are in line with what other polling has found on Brexit. They are also in line with other findings about general political knowledge – including 1 in 5 voters not knowing in late May 2017 (after a general election had been called by Theresa May) who the leader of the Conservative Party was.
It’s a reminder too why it is nearly a cast iron law of politics that when a party supporter says, ‘everyone knows we support X, we shouldn’t keep on banging on about it’ they are almost always wrong.
Claiming voters overall know something about a party is a bit like claiming I won’t eat chocolate tomorrow. It may be true. It sometimes is true. But it is always a pretty improbable claim to make unless you’ve got a really good piece of supporting evidence. You being bored with hearing something doesn’t count.
Or as Joseph Napolitan put it:
Never underestimate the intelligence of the voters, nor overestimate the amount of of knowledge at their disposal.
This data also illustrates why, in a Twitter thread a few days ago about what smaller political parties need to do, I made this point about political messaging…
Or, to put it another way – becoming known as a single issue party isn’t a problem for the Liberal Democrats, it is progress.