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2.6 million Leave voters have abandoned support for Brexit since referendum, major new study finds (The Independent)

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Analysis shows Labour voters driving shift amid public concern over prospect of no deal, in finding likely to raise pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to shift stance

More than 2.6 million people have abandoned their support for Brexit and now back staying in the EU, a major study has concluded.

If the huge number of Britons who have changed their mind had voted to stay in the EU in 2016, the referendum would have delivered a clear Remain verdict.

The data will add to the debate about whether the country now needs a new referendum, with millions having second thoughts about their Leave vote amid growing fears about Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal.

In a key finding that will particularly intensify pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to take a tougher stance against Brexit, the study found the overwhelming majority of those changing minds are Labour voters in seats the party currently holds.

It comes as Conservative divisions over Brexit deepened, with Theresa May attempting to slap down Boris Johnson after he wrote another article attacking her approach.

The Independent has launched its own campaign for a Final Say referendum, with almost three quarters of a million people having signed our petition demanding one so far.

The new study was carried out by data analysis experts Focaldata for pro-EU campaign group Best for Britain. It was based on two YouGov polls that together surveyed more than 15,000 people.

In total, it concluded that 2.6 million Leave voters have switched their support to Remain, while 970,000 have moved the other way – a net gain for the pro-EU side of 1.6 million.

The majority for Leave in 2016 was around 1.3 million, meaning if all those who have now switched their allegiance had acted in accordance with their new view at the ballot box, Remain would have won the vote by a greater margin.

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