Stay camp regains lead in Brexit debate

2016-05-18 18:59
Demonstrators hold placards as they march during a protest against the Conservative Government and it's austerity policies in London. (Tim Ireland, AP)

Demonstrators hold placards as they march during a protest against the Conservative Government and it's austerity policies in London. (Tim Ireland, AP)

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London - The campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union has regained the lead with just a few weeks to go to the June 23 referendum, latest opinion polls suggested on Wednesday.

A telephone survey by Ipsos MORI for London's Evening Standard newspaper gave the "Remain" camp its biggest lead for three months, with 55% compared to just 37% backing "Leave".

An online YouGov survey for The Times also put Prime Minister David Cameron's camp in the lead, with 44% compared to 40% for "Leave", the highest lead since August last year.

The remainder either do not know or will not vote.

The findings reflect an ORB poll for the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday which gave "Remain" 55%, up four points on the previous month, with 40% backing "Leave".

Confusingly, however, two polls by ICM for The Guardian newspaper published this week, with the same questions but carried out online and on the phone, resulted in markedly different results.

The telephone poll put "Remain" on 47% and "Leave" on 39%. The online poll found "Leave" is winning with 47%, compared to 43% for "Remain".

Separately, Channel 4 News reported preliminary results from the latest British Election Survey, which questions 22 000 voters, ahead of its publication later this month.

It gave "Remain" a small lead with 43%, compared to 40.5% for "Leave".

But if this is narrowed down to those who say they are very likely to vote, "Leave" takes a slight lead with 45%, compared to "Remain" at 44.5%.

Pollsters have emphasised that around a fifth of the electorate remains undecided and the result will depend heavily on turnout, with Brexit supporters generally seen as the more motivated voters.

A poll of polls average compiled by the What UK Thinks research centre on Wednesday put "Remain" at 52% and "Leave" at 48%.

The percentages had been 50-50 on Monday.

Read more on:    uk  |  brexit

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