Politics, Government & Current Affairs

What does the public think on ‘Brexit Day’?

With the UK leaving the EU at 11 pm tonight, Survation has explored what the public thinks about this historic occasion, looking both backwards to the 2016 vote and forwards into a future outside of the EU. Survation will ask the British public some of these questions again as the country adapts to this change and we will track how the public mood changes. Over the next week we will also be looking more deeply at how the UK feels about life after the EU with a particular focus on consumer confidence. 


Looking back to the vote in 2016, 46% think the UK was wrong to vote for Brexit while 43% say it was right. 11% said they didn’t know. Despite this, only 11% of those who voted leave in 2016 regret their vote while 86% said they do not. 



Although ‘Brexit day’ does not necessarily mark the end of negotiations with the EU, it does end a chapter that began with the vote in 2016. We asked respondents a set of questions to ascertain whether the vote had affected them economically. 29% said they felt less secure in their job than they did in 2016 while 19% said they felt more secure and 46% said neither. 29% said they were better off financially now than in 2016, 29% said less, 38% said neither and 4% said they did not know. Finally, 38% said that they were more pessimistic about the outlook for their industry now than in 2016 while 27% said they were more optimistic and 30% said neither more optimistic or pessimistic. 


We asked respondents how they would vote if the EU referendum was re-run today and found that 51% would vote to Remain and 49% to Leave. Moving forward Survation will explore whether there is appetite for rejoining the EU.


There are some planned events to mark the UK leaving the EU such as a celebration in Parliament Square. However, despite a campaign by Brexiteers to get Big Ben to chime at 11 pm, the House of Commons authorities turned down the request. This poll finds that the public supports this decision as 63% said the House of Commons authorities made the right decision and only 22% said they made the wrong decision. We also asked respondents whether they would be doing anything to mark the occasion and only 14% said they would be doing something, with three quarters saying they would not and 10% saying they weren’t sure.



Looking forward 42% said the UK is worse off outside the EU, while 38% said it was better off. 13% said it was neither better nor worse off and 8% said they didn’t know. When asked to think specifically about themselves and their family, 41% said the UK was worse off and 40% said better off, while 12% said neither and 8% said don’t know. 



In the coming months, there will be much discussion about what immigration system the UK will have with the Migration Advisory Committee recently exploring the merits of an Australian style points system for the UK. When asked whether they thought immigration after Brexit should be increased, decreased or stay the same 46% said it should be decreased. 35% said it should stay the same, while 11% said it should be increased and 8% said they didn’t know. 



In this Brexit day poll we also included our first Westminster voting intention of 2020. The results of which are below:


Headline UK Voting Intention (Changes versus 2019 Election)

[Base: Respondents likely to vote, weighted by likelihood to vote, with undecided and refused removed]


Conservative:                        44% (NC) 

Labour:                                   33% (+1)

Liberal Democrats:              10% (-2)

Green:                                     3% (NC)

Brexit Party                            3% (+1)

SNP:  5% (+1)  

Another party:    3% (-1)


Survation conducted an online poll of 1,015  people aged 18+ living in the UK. Fieldwork was between 30th-31st January 2020. Data tables can be found here.


 Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.



To learn more about Survation’s polling capabilities or to commission a poll, contact Harry Mason or John Gibb on 020 3818 9661 or email researchteam@survation.com.

Would you like to have your own views represented in Survation’s research work?

To join our paid consumer opinion panel, simply go to: https://panel.survation.com/ and register (1 minute) and we’ll credit your account with 50 points for simply confirming your email and allocate 100 points for taking a very short survey. Points convert to cash which can be withdrawn each time you reach the equivalent of £50.


< Back