Public would back Boris Johnson in shutting down parliament for Brexit, poll finds

Written by Matt Honeycombe-Foster on 13 August 2019 in News

A ComRes study for The Telegraph found that 44 per cent of the public would back the PM

House of Commons - image credit: PA

The public would back Boris Johnson if he shut down parliament in order to achieve Brexit, a new poll has suggested.

A ComRes study for The Telegraph found that 44 per cent of the public agree that the Prime Minister "needs to deliver Brexit by any means, including suspending Parliament if necessary, in order to prevent MPs from stopping it".

More than a third (37 per cent) were opposed to the move, while 19 per cent said they did not know.

Johnson has repeatedly refused to rule out the controversial move, sparking an outcry from MPs and warnings it would prompt a constitutional crisis.

But the idea was backed by more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of 2017 Conservative voters - while just under a third (32 per cent) of those who supported Labour at the last election agreed with the statement.

A quarter (25 per cent) of 2017 Liberal Democrat voters meanwhile agreed Johnson should achieve Brexit "by any means".

However, 51 per cent of respondents agreed that Brexit "should be halted if problems over the Northern Ireland border threaten to split the Union".

The Irish border has proved one of the most difficult elements of the talks over Britain's EU departure, with Johnson urging the EU to remove the "backstop" arrangement designed to reduce friction at the border if no future trade deal can be agreed.

The ComRes study also found widespread disillusionment with MPs themselves, with 88 per cent of those polled feeling parliament is "out of touch" with the British public.

Some 89 per cent feel MPs "ignore the wishes of voters and push their own agendas" on Brexit.

Meanwhile there was strong opposition to involving the Queen in Britain's deadlock over Europe, with more than three-quarters (77 per cent) saying she should "remain above politics and refuse to get involved in Brexit".

The poll also revealed that the Conservatives have widened their lead over the Brexit Party by 15 per cent since Johnson became Prime Minister.

The Tories are now polling at 31 per cent of the vote, compared to 27 per cent for Labour and 16 per cent each for the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats.

ComRes chairman Andrew Hawkins said: "With the largest Tory lead over Labour from ComRes this year, this poll is confirmation that the Boris Bounce is real and shows no sign of disappearing despite the Parliamentary break.

"Boris’s support has been boosted by him outperforming expectations, including among a third of Labour and Lib Dem voters.

"It will not be lost on Jeremy Corbyn as he contemplates attempting to call a vote of no confidence that Boris could win an election with barely a third of the vote because support is so fragmented across all the parties.

"If Boris can deliver Brexit, without too much collateral damage to the economy, he stands to win big.

"He is within touching distance of an overall majority even without the support of the one in five 2017 Tory voters who are still lending their support to the Brexit Party.

"If he can woo them back by delivering on his promise to leave the EU, apparently even if it means suspending Parliament, then he could well be on track to win a working majority."

ComRes spoke to 2,011 British adults between 9-11 August.

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