London, June 23 (IANS) The pro-European Union (EU) ‘Remain’ vote has taken the lead in a historic referendum on Thursday on whether Britain should stay in or exit the EU.
According to MarketWatch, an Ipsos Mori poll conducted for the Evening Standard showed 52 per cent of the respondents in the ‘Remain’ camp compared with 48 per cent supporting the ‘Leave’ camp.
The pound sterling gained ground following the poll, trading at $1.4866 compared to $1.4835 just ahead of its release.
A survey by London-based market research consultancy ComRes for the Daily Mail and ITV News gave ‘Remain’ a 6-point lead over ‘Leave’ — on 48 per cent compared to 42 per cent, the Mirror reported.
But the phone poll of 1,032 people on June 17-22 also underlined the confusion among voters as 11 per cent of people said they were still undecided.
The final global market research firm, YouGov survey for The Times, which quizzed a massive 3,766 people online on June 20-22, had each side in a dead heat with 45 per cent.
Yet far more of the 8 per cent who were ‘don’t knows’ said they would probably end up picking ‘Remain’ — meaning it gains the lead in the final result, 51 per cent by 49 per cent.
A YouGov spokesman said: “Our current polling suggests the race is too close to call, but the recent trend has been towards ‘Remain’, just as other referendums in the past have shown late movement towards the status quo.”
“In this poll we asked people who said they didn’t know how they would vote, which way they were leaning, and re-allocated them on that basis, an adjustment that increased the position of Remain by a point.”
But the spokesman warned: “It is still possible that people will change their mind on the day.”
An estimated 46,499,537 people — a record number for a British poll — are entitled to take part in the vote that started earlier on Thursday.
The registered voters include Britons from England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. These represent all 380 local government area in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.
British citizens living abroad have already cast their vote by mail.