'In' lead cut to just one point ahead of UK's European Union vote - poll
The campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union has seen its lead over the rival "Out" camp cut to just one point, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time), two days before the country's historic EU membership referendum.
The poll, conducted by Survation for spread-betting firm IG, put support for "In" at 45 percent ahead of "Out" on 44 percent, IG said.
The findings seemed to wrong-foot some investors after several other recent opinion polls suggested that momentum had swung back towards the "In" camp after the killing of a British lawmaker who supported EU membership, and that voters were becoming more nervous about the economic risks of a Brexit.
News of the poll erased some of the recent gains for sterling and pushed up the price of safe-haven British government bonds.
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Survation's previous poll, for the Mail on Sunday newspaper and published late on Saturday (Sunday NZT), had shown In ahead of Out by three percentage points.
The new Survation poll was conducted by telephone on Monday, IG said.
Excluding the 11 percent of respondents who answered "don't know", it gave "In" a lead of 51-49 percent, IG said
Two other opinion polls published late on Monday (Tuesday NZT) gave contradictory signals about the likely outcome of the referendum as one showed In moving further ahead while the other put Out back in the lead.
"We've got two days to go with the campaign. It would exaggerate the ability of 1000-sample poll to say this is a callable situation. It is too close to call," said Damian Lyons Lowe, chief executive of Survation.
"The comparable event would be the Scottish independence referendum, and ... we never showed a 'Yes' lead. It looks to us much tighter and it will come down to factors such as turnout and the last days of the campaign and where public opinion shifts in the final moments," he added.