EU Referendum

Reality Check: Is Labour overwhelmingly supporting EU?

Jeremy Corbyn saying: "The Labour Party's overwhelmingly for staying in."

Jeremy Corbyn said on Thursday: "The Labour Party's overwhelmingly for staying in."

That's clearly true among Labour MPs. The vast majority of them are backing Remain, with only eight supporting leaving the EU.

But what about the wider party and its supporters? Kate Hoey, one of the Labour MPs who backs Brexit, claimed that beyond Westminster the picture was different. "We are in a minority in Parliament but we're not a minority in the country in terms of Labour supporters."

So who is right?

Looking at opinion polls it seems that it's the party leader. All polls on the EU referendum break down voters by voting intention or how participants voted at the General Election. In any single poll, the number of Labour voters is probably too small to draw firm conclusions, and there will always be uncertainty about the precise figures, but over many polls a clear pattern emerges.

In the last 10 published EU referendum polls the figures for Labour voters break down as:

Remain: 60%

Leave: 26%

Don't know/won't vote: 14%

(Sources: BMG, ICM, Opinium, ORB, TNS, YouGov)

Excluding "don't knows" that makes it 70:30 in favour of Remain. The equivalent figures for Conservative voters are 54% to 44% in favour of Leave.

There was also one poll in February of Labour Party members and registered supporters. That reported an even more one-sided picture: 81% for Remain, 11% for Leave, with 8% unsure. Again, we should treat the precise figures with caution but it's a pretty emphatic result.

(YouGov, 11-15 February 2016, sample: 1,217 Labour Party members and registered supporters)

Reality Check verdict: We have all learned to be suspicious of polling data, but it seems Jeremy Corbyn is right that he leads a party whose members and supporters back Remain by a large margin.

Read more: The facts behind claims in the EU debate

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