Brexit: EU referendum 'too close to call', say opinion polls

Image via Shutterstock

Britain's referendum on leaving the European Union (EU) is "too close to call" as a string of polls showed neither 'ayes' nor 'noes' clearly ahead.

Four separate polls released on Thursday gave differing pictures, with two putting the 'Leave' campaign ahead and two giving the pro-EU 'Remain' side the lead, The Telegraph reported.

Britons on Thursday morning went to the polls to cast their ballots in the historic referendum. An estimated 46,499,537 people are entitled to take part in the vote - a record number for a British poll.

The result will be decided based on which campaign gets most supporters and how floating voters divide, according to polling experts.

Around one in 10 voters remains undecided despite months of campaigning and could only decide when he enters the polling booth.

Older voters are more likely to back Brexit, with almost twice as many people aged over 65 set to vote for leaving the EU than those under 35.

There were also signs that those backing Brexit (the common term used for Britain's exit) are more energised to vote, with the 'Out' campaign given a seven-point lead by one poll.

Britain's most trusted polling expert said there was little sign of the swing back towards staying in the EU that had been expected in the last week.

Professor John Curtice, President of the British Polling Council whose exit poll at the 2015 general election revealed the Conservatives would win a majority, said there was little gap between the sides.

"(Remain) has grabbed some of the ground that it seemed to have lost in last week's polls -- but it's certainly not grabbed back all of the ground," he told BBC Two's Daily Politics programme.

He added that "so far at least there isn't any clear evidence" of the swing back to the 'Remain' vote.

The new polls suggest that trends in recent months remain unchanged as Britain votes in what has been dubbed the biggest decision the country will take for a generation.

Opinium Research's final poll before the referendum, which asked around 3,000 people for their views, put 'Leave' on 45% and 'Remain' on 44%.

Adam Drummond, a polling analyst for the company, said: "This really is 'too close to call' territory with undecided voters holding the balance of the vote in their hands."

However, two polls released on Wednesday evening put the 'In' campaign ahead. YouGov put 'Remain' on 51% and 'Leave' on 49%, while ComRes had the numbers at 54 and 46 - an eight-point in lead.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel