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In opinion shift, poll says most Britons would vote to stay in EU

Published on May 16, 2014 1:45 AM

LONDON (REUTERS) - British public opinion on Europe has shifted in the last year and a half with most people now wanting to stay in the European Union rather than leave it, a poll published a week before European elections showed on Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to give Britons an in/out EU membership referendum in 2017 if re-elected next year as he tries to fend off an electoral challenge from the surging anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Thursday's survey, by Ipsos MORI, showed that 54 per cent of Britons would vote to remain in the 28-nation bloc if a referendum was held today, while 37 per cent would vote to leave.

Last time the pollster asked the same question, in November 2012, 48 per cent said they would vote to leave the EU and 44 per cent said they would elect to stay in.

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