Public thinks EU referendum was bad idea, says poll

More than half the public – 55% – now think it would have been better never to have held the EU referendum given the difficulties of reaching an agreement on Brexit, according to the latest Opinium/Observer poll.

Strikingly, more Conservative voters (49%) now think the referendum was a bad idea than believe it was the right thing to have done (43%).

Among Labour supporters, 72% believe it would have been better never to have staged the vote, while 18% say it was worthwhile.

The Conservatives are down 3 percentage points on 26% compared with a fortnight ago and continue to trail Labour (also down 3pts on 33%) by seven percentage points. Nigel Farage’s newly formed Brexit party, meanwhile, has established itself in a clear third place on 17%, having been included in the national poll for the first time.

The Liberal Democrats are down 2 points on 6%, the SNP unchanged on 5%, Ukip down 7 on 4%, the Greens unchanged on 4%, Change.UK (also included for the first time) is on 4% and Plaid Cymru is unchanged on 1%.

Which party will you vote for in the European Parliament elections?

When voters were asked how they intended to vote in the European elections, the news was even better for the Brexit party.

Support for Nigel Farage’s new party and Labour stands level at 28% – double that for the Conservatives, on 14%. The pro-remain Liberal Democrats and ChangeUK parties both stand on 7%, while the Greens are on 6%, the SNP 5%, Ukip 3% and Plaid Cymru 1%.

If a second referendum were held between the options of leaving the EU on the prime minister’s deal or remaining in the EU, 46% say they would vote to remain (unchanged on a fortnight ago) while 34% would vote to leave (down 4%).

Nearly half of those polled thought Theresa May should resign either once the withdrawal agreement has been passed or sooner, with only 14% believing she should continue as prime minister and lead the second phase of the Brexit negotiations before resigning.

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