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'Brexit devastated me, but now I back the Tories': Re-leavers on how they will vote

The Guardian logo The Guardian 5/18/2017 Guardian readers and Rachel Obordo

Brexit has split the electorate into three groups, according to a YouGov survey: hard leavers, hard remainers and re-leavers - those who voted to remain in the EU but have changed their minds.

Among the 68% of the electorate that are leavers or re-leavers, Theresa May’s party is picking up the backing of more than 60% because they believe in the party’s plans for Brexit.

We asked readers for their thoughts on why they thought the Conservatives were the best party to carry out Brexit, or if they are “hard remainers”, who still want to try to stop Brexit, why the referendum result should be reversed. Some names have been changed to protect identities.


A Vote Leave poster is seen in a field. © Provided by Guardian News A Vote Leave poster is seen in a field.

Tom, 27, Tauton: The Conservatives are the only party ready to fight

Voted Liberal Democrat in the 2015 general election. Voting Conservative

The Labour party seems nice but very weak – as a Royal Navy medic I think it would leave British people defenceless. Labour is not strong enough to stand up for our country against Europe. I didn’t want to leave Europe – but now we are, and my country comes before a party every time. I decided last year that the Conservatives are the only party ready to fight. The NHS, education, housing, and so on are all secondary points to what is basically a national crisis.

Fred, 38, East Midlands: Who would I rather be in control?

Voted Labour in the 2015 general election. Voting Conservative

I am a former member of the Labour party, of 10 years, and I am very dejected by what has become of them. A week ago I decided to vote for the Conservatives, despite having profound differences with their plans for Brexit. Sadly, the Labour party does not offer voters any alternative for a “softer” one. I now believe there is now no chance of parliament being able to prevent a hard Brexit. As much as I respect Gina Miller, I do not believe that her plan to vote tactically for pro-EU candidates has any chance of working. So for me, the question comes down to this: who would I rather be in control of this crucial negotiation? A Labour party, led by a man who is so obviously out of his depth, which is at war with itself, and unable to fill its shadow cabinet, or the Conservative party?

Nate, 29, London: We ignore the people who voted to leave at our peril

Voted Conservatives in the 2015 general election. Voting Conservative

As deeply sad as it makes me, I feel they have a duty to take us out of the EU to address public anger at perceived inequality. We do not want to end up with a Trump. We ignore the people who voted to leave at our peril. Labour offers no alternative with its muddled positioning on Brexit and frankly dangerous manifesto.

Cal, 28, London: A coalition would be disastrous

Voted Labour in the 2015 general election. Voting Conservative

I was devastated by the Brexit result and furious at the Tories for allowing the referendum to happen. However, I’ve since resigned myself to the fact that we will be leaving the union in the next two years and believe the focus now needs to be on scraping together the best deal we can. My only interest in this general election is who I believe can best deliver that deal. Personally, I like Jeremy Corbyn. However, the fact of the matter is, he cannot command the respect of his own party, so how can he hope to command the respect of Brussels? How can he turn his attention to Europe when he can’t trust the people at his back?

As for the Lib Dems, the Greens and SNP, the only way any of them could gain control is by forming some sort of coalition. And I believe a coalition would be disastrous. The last thing we need is leadership that will need to negotiate and compromise with itself before it even gets to Brussels. As much as I hate the Tories, I will be voting with my head instead of my heart. I believe the Tories are the only ones who can gain a majority and negotiate effectively.

Hard remainers

Remain campaigners. © Provided by Guardian News Remain campaigners.

Mark, 53, Hertfordshire: I do not believe Brexit will happen

Voted Labour in the 2015 general election. Voting Labour

I think that Labour’s manifesto is overly ambitious, but is one I’d be happy to vote for. As a specialist in identifying and evaluating leadership talent (I’ve interviewed several former cabinet ministers for jobs over the years), I knew Ed Miliband wouldn’t win, but conducted my own enthusiastic campaign in support, even producing a short treatise on why people should vote for him irrespective of the “lack of appeal”. With Jeremy Corbyn, there is, sadly, no chance he will win nor even maintain Labour’s share of the vote. It sounds ridiculously fanciful, but I do not believe Brexit will happen. Quite how it will be stopped I do not know, but as time goes on and the realities bite, I think there will be a massive upwelling of support for another referendum. True, this would cause some unrest, but the original referendum fell far short of being conducted in an honest way.

Martin, 28, Cambridge: The Lib Dems might be able to prevent Brexit

Voted Conservatives in the 2015 general election. Undecided

I am pro-EU but the structural integrity of the UK is far more important. I have not decided yet on how I will vote. The only reason I am contemplating voting for the Liberal Democrats would be to prevent Brexit.

Eddie, 57, Suffolk: I want a party that recognises the referendum result as a fraud

Voted Labour in the 2015 general election. Undecided

I am torn between Labour and Green, while hoping I will soon hear the bugle call of a progressive alliance committed to remaining in the EU, funding the NHS and reintroducing mandatory grants for higher education. I want to vote for a party sensible enough to identify the result of the referendum as a fraud based on a false prospectus, and with a commitment to withdrawing the article 50 submission and to remaining in the European Union and retaining all the benefits of EU membership.

Graham, 69, Kent: I would like to prevent Brexit

Voted Conservatives in the 2015 general election. Voting Liberal Democrat

I would like my vote to prevent Brexit but I suspect it won’t. We will have to go through with it before the country wakes up to the dire consequences. I will be voting Lib Dem in my constituency and have already been out canvassing with the candidate three times. The sitting Tory was a staunch remainer until he discovered how the wind was blowing under the new regime.

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