'Remain' camp regains lead in Britain's EU debate: polls

18th May 2016, Comments 0 comments

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 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 percent compared to just 37 percent backing "Leave".

An online YouGov survey for The Times also put Prime Minister David Cameron's camp in the lead, with 44 percent compared to 40 percent 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 percent, up four points on the previous month, with 40 percent 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 percent and "Leave" on 39 percent. The online poll found "Leave" is winning with 47 percent, compared to 43 percent 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 percent, compared to 40.5 percent 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 percent, compared to "Remain" at 44.5 percent.

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 percent and "Leave" at 48 percent.

The percentages had been 50-50 on Monday.

© 2016 AFP

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