Is Gareth Southgate pro-EU? Remainers seem to think so

Remain voters back the England manager to lead the country. 


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Gareth Southgate is a Remainer, at least as far as the voters are concerned. That’s the striking finding from a new survey by the pollster Deltapoll, which tested whether British voters thought Britain would be better off if one of five “leaders” – Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Gareth Southgate – were running the country instead of Theresa May.

Only Merkel commands a net positive rating, with more than a third of voters backing the German Chancellor to do a better job running Britain than its present government. But the more interesting performers are Trump, Macron, Putin and Southgate.

All four get the thumbs up from around a fifth of the population. Voters backing Putin or Trump are older, more conservative, and concentrated in social brackets C2 through to DE. As you would expect, given that demographic breakdown, these chunks are also more pro-Leave than the country at large. And the Macron chunk is younger, more likely to vote Labour and more likely to occupy the ABC1 social brackets: and, as you’d expect from that, it is also more pro-Remain that the country at large. Merkel performs well in the same sections of the electorate as Macron – but achieves a net positive because she does even better among ABC1s, Labour voters and the young than Macron, perhaps because she is better known.

But the fun thing is Southgate’s performance. There was a great deal of speculation about whether or not Southgate was a Remainer – and what is clear is that Remainers regard him as one of their own. He does very well among the young, among Labour voters, and ABC1s.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.