Two new opinion polls suggest that support is growing for Britain to leave the European Union. Today’s Daily Telegraph reports on an ICM survey which shows that half of voters back Brexit, if the undecideds are excluded: the first time since 2013 that voters are evenly split. But when the undecided voters are included, it is a much tighter split: 42 per cent would vote to stay in, compared to 41 per cent for leaving.
It’s a similar story in a Survation survey in today’s Daily Express, which has a five-times larger 10,000 sample size. This survey reports that 42 per cent want to leave the EU, compared to 40 per cent who would vote to stay in. Taking out the undecided voters, 51 per cent currently back Brexit, while 49 per cent want to stay in.
Although many of these figures are within the margins of error, the Leave campaigns will be buoyed that they appear to be making progress, particularly when certain issues are raised. The ICM poll shows that when ‘freedom of movement’ is mentioned as something that would remain unchanged, 45 per cent would vote to leave, five points ahead of staying in. Almost two thirds of those voters who described themselves as ‘enthusiastic’ about the referendum are in the Eurosceptic camp too. The Survation poll shows that 46 per cent are ‘more likely’ to back leaving the EU as a result of the migrant crisis, while 59 per cent think the EU was wrong to allow Turkish citizens access to the EU without visas.
But it’s worth noting that neither of these polls show a clear majority in favour of Brexit. The internal research for both the Remain and Leave campaigns suggests that the playing field has yet to significantly change: roughly a third of the British public will vote to remain in come referendum day, another third will vote to leave and the final third are undecided. What happens to this latter group is the most crucial element of deciding Britain’s future relationship with the EU.