Lib Dems move ahead of Labour in the polls days after pledging to cancel Brexit

David Harding
Leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson delivers her speech at the yearly party conference in Bournemouth, Britain September 17, 2019.   REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

The Lib Dems have jumped ahead of Labour in the latest opinion poll just days after pledging to cancel Brexit.

The You Gov poll, published in the same week as the Lib Dems held their annual party conference, puts the Lib Dems on 23%, up four points on the previous poll.

Labour stand at 21%, two points down.

The Conservatives are on 32 per cent, unchanged on a week ago.

Earlier this week, the Lib Dems pledged to cancel Brexit if they come to power at the next general election.

New Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson speaks on stage at an event annoucing the result of the leadership contest in central London on July 22, 2019. - Jo Swinson, Vince Cable's deputy for two years, was unveiled as the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Jo Swinson (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Currently they have 18 MPs.

Members voted for the new policy at their party conference in Bournemouth by an overwhelming majority.

Previously, the party has backed a second Brexit referendum.

"We will do all we can to fight for our place in Europe, and to stop Brexit altogether,” said Jo Swinson, who became the party’s new leader in July.

YouGov says the boost for the Lib Dems is fuelled by support among Remainers, with 41 per cent of those who voted against Brexit in 2016 backing Swinson’s party.

However, the new EU policy has been criticised by some as an attack on democracy by ignoring the result of the 2016 referendum and potentially angering many voters.

The poll will be seen as bad news for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour - with many of the supporters moving to the Lib Dems.

Mr Corbyn said earlier this week he would remain “neutral” on Brexit and let the people decide.

The Labour leader set out a “sensible” Brexit deal he would negotiate with the EU, and pledged to carry out whatever the people decide in a second EU referendum as prime minister.

However, former PM Tony Blair on Thursday warned the current Labour leader about the impact of the Lib Dems.

“You only have to look at the Liberal Democrats now and their party conference. For the first time in long time, they are looking a much more serious group of people.

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“Why is that? Because people have come from the Labour party, come from the Conservative party, and they have got a coherent argument.

“If I was the two main parties at the moment, I would worry about that.”

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