Sorry Remainers, this expert says you won't get a second Brexit referendum


Not to burst anyone's bubble, but one of Britain's top elections experts says a re-run of the EU referendum is pretty unlikely any time soon.

An online petition calling for a new vote has got more than 1.5 million signatures since Thursday and that number is growing fast.

But Professor John Curtice, whose exit poll was the only one to predict the Conservatives would win last year's general election, advises not to hold your breath on another Brexit ballot.

Anti-Brexit protesters took their message to Downing Street in central London after the UK voted to leave the European Union.
Anti-Brexit protesters took their message to Downing Street (Isabel Infantes/PA)

He says the subject is so divisive within mainstream political parties and their supporters that it would be unlikely to form a campaigning issue for some time - let alone spark another public vote.

Thursday's referendum saw 17.4 million (51.9%) votes cast to leave the EU, compared with 16.1 million (48.1%) for remaining part of the bloc, with a turnout of 72.2%, according to the Electoral Commission.

Curtice said: "How many people voted in favour of Leave? Seventeen million. One million is chicken feed by comparison.

"It's no good people signing the petition now, they should have done it before. Even then, these petitions don't always mean a great deal.

Supporters of the Stronger In campaign react after hearing results in the EU referendum at London's Royal Festival Hall.
Do you really want to go through it all again? (Rob Stothard/PA)

"It has passed the 100,000 mark for it to be debated in Parliament. All that means is that some MPs will say, 'It's a terrible shame', others will say, 'Hallelujah'. Then that's the end of it."

But the professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde did suggest that if the process of the UK extricating itself from the EU machinery was dragged out then the door could open a little for the British voters to have another say.

He said: "If Boris Johnson is running the Government and it (disengagement from the EU) is taking a long time to be implemented, two years down the line we could have another poll showing people actually want to reverse the decision and remain in.

"Then there could be a situation where the opposition party in a general election have a mandate to hold a new referendum on it."

Something tells us that a second showdown between the Remainers and BeLeavers won't be any prettier than the first.