'Remain' eight points ahead in ICM phone poll ahead of Britain's EU referendum

Reuters News
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Posted: May 16, 2016 12:23 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - The "remain" camp held an eight-point lead over its "leave" rivals in Britain's EU referendum campaign, according to the latest telephone poll from ICM for the Guardian newspaper, published on Monday.

The poll found that support for remaining in the union stood 47 percent, whilst that for the so-called "Brexit" option was at 39 percent and 14 percent were undecided.

But the pollster also issued the results of an online poll it had conducted at the same time, which found that "leave" was on 47 percent, "remain" on 43 percent and 10 percent were undecided.

Britons will vote on June 23 on whether their country should remain in or leave the 28-member bloc.

Both polls were conducted on May 13-15. The telephone poll surveyed 1,002 people, while the online poll had 2,048 respondents. The questions, sampling method and other methodological details were as similar as possible, the Guardian said.

There has been a long-running trend in opinion polls on the EU referendum issue whereby telephone polls have tended to find a comfortable lead for "remain" while online polls have suggested a closer race, with "leave" ahead in some cases.

Experts have put forward various hypotheses as to the causes of the discrepancy.

The entire British polling industry failed to predict the Conservative Party's outright win in last year's general election.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Stephen Addison)