These are politically turbulent times – nobody knows where we are going and people are both very concerned and aghast at the chaos that Mr Johnson and his cohort seem to be unleashing on the country.
Brexit is Breaking Britain and we need to for a way to fix it. So, on Saturday we asked shoppers in Sevenoaks Town whether they thought we needed to go ahead with No Deal, with May’s Deal, with Johnson’s Deal or whether we should Remain in Europe (which is of course the Deal that we have now).
Despite heavy rain at the start of our three hour slot, when the weather brightened up people were generally receptive to taking one of SSTIE’s leaflets about the European elections. A small number of people expressed a view that they wouldn’t be voting and one or two said they would vote for the Brexit Party. There was a greater number at the other end of the spectrum who were very keen to vote for a Remain-supporting party, and some who wanted to sign up to our group to help us campaign to Remain in the EU. The atmosphere was civilised and friendly, even with some of the committed Leavers who were happy to shake hands after an impassioned exchange of views. In general there was a positive attitude about voting in the European Parliament elections and a number of people indicated that they would be voting Change/Lib Dem/Green. There was a positive comment about the Lib Dems’ new slogan; and of course there was the usual mixture of bizarre comments.
It was half term and Sevenoaks was extremely quiet for a Saturday; our pitch was not great as with Tesco now closed the footfall at that point is very low and really very little more than those walking up or down the High Street. But our team of 11 was well spread out in other locations too.
On balance I would say a relatively pro-remain day – but then it was in Sevenoaks.
In a rather chilly and windy Sevenoaks on Saturday 26th Jan 2019 SSTIE had 16 members and supporters out leafleting and canvassing for a people’s vote. We were also collecting signatures for the PV petition; 108 signatures were gathered which is a record for us in terms of interest in signing this petition and is a marker for the increasing interest in a People’s Vote.
Members reported another excellent morning on the streets of Sevenoaks – with a big majority of passers-by accepting leaflets.
While parliament debates the Governments withdrawal agreement, Remain groups from across the country today took their Brexitometer results to a protest in Westminster to showcase the growing public shift towards Remain.
SSTIE have been conducting Brexitometer opinion-polls in towns across West Kent since spring 2018. During this time we have seen a growing shift in public opinion, not just against the specific withdrawal plans and arrangements, but also against the overall process of Brexit. This culminated last weekend in Sevenoaks, in which 89% of responders rejected the Withdrawal Agreement, and 81% wanted a vote on the final deal.