Two polls give Britain's 'In' campaign a slender lead ahead of EU referendum

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 06, 2016 5:40 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Support for Britain staying in the European Union has fallen slightly but still maintains the narrowest of leads over those wanting to leave the 28-member bloc, according to two opinion polls on Wednesday.

The ICM and YouGov online surveys both gave "In" a one percentage point lead over "Out." Britons vote on June 23 to decide on Britain's EU membership.

"Neither side has managed to stir up enough interest to break the impasse during a relative lull in media attention," Will Dahlgreen from YouGov said, adding that the latest scores are within one point of their average for 2016 so far.

The YouGov poll of 3,754 voters, carried out between March 29 and April 4, found 39 percent backed remaining in the EU with 38 percent wanting to leave and 23 percent either undecided or saying they would not vote.

That was a fall of one point for the "In" campaign and a rise of one point for "Out" since the last YouGov poll.

ICM's survey of 2,000 people, carried out between April 1 and April 3, had the "In" campaign on 44 percent, down a point compared to its last poll using the same methodology, and "Out" unchanged on 43 percent with 13 percent undecided.

Meanwhile a TNS poll found overwhelming support for staying in the EU among voters in Scotland, although many remained unsure of how they would vote.

The face-to-face survey of 1,004 people found 51 percent wanted to remain in the bloc and 19 percent favoring an exit with 29 percent saying they did not know.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) and other senior British politicians have said that if Britain voted to leave the EU but Scots strongly backed staying in, that could trigger another referendum on Scottish independence.

Scots voted 55 to 45 percent against independence in 2014 but since then support for the pro-EU SNP has risen and it won almost all the seats assigned to Scotland in the parliament at Westminster in the 2015 national election.

TNS said the high number of undecided voters reflected a current focus on elections to Scotland's devolved parliament in May, and that turnout for the referendum could be very high with 72 percent saying they were certain to vote.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce and Michael Holden, editing by Stephen Addison)