LONDON (Bloomberg, Reuters) - The British referendum on whether to leave the EU remains too close to call, according to a rash of opinion polls released on Monday (June 6).
The ORB poll for the Daily Telegraph, surveying people who say they will definitely vote in the June 23 referendum, showed Britons planning to vote to remain in the EU at 48 per cent, compared with 47 per cent intending to vote to leave the bloc. The ORB poll surveyed 800 people by telephone.
An earlier poll conducted by the Times and YouGov, which also didn't specify whether it was conducted online or by telephone, showed the "Remain" camp at 43 per cent and those backing "Leave" at 42 per cent. Its survey was taken on June 5-6, sampling 2,001 respondents.
The results of the latest Times/YouGov survey indicates a slip in support for "Leave" since its June 1-3 online sampling, which showed 41 per cent for the "Remain" camp and 45 per cent for "Leave".
The public divide on the referendum has increased the pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron in a battle that's split the ruling Conservative Party.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has stepped up warnings of the economic consequences of quitting the EU, while former premier John Major took to the airwaves over the weekend to condemn the "squalid" Brexit campaign.
Telephone polls have generally shown "Remain" ahead by a comfortable margin while online polls have pointed to a tighter race that "Leave" could win, making it difficult to predict the outcome of the referendum.
Two online polls published on Monday by pollsters YouGov and ICM showed a swing towards "Out" as both campaigns seek to win over undecided voters with warnings over the economy and immigration.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Lynton Crosby, the political strategist behind Prime Minister David Cameron's election victory, said that "Remain" had improved its overall performance according to ORB but when the findings were weighted according to the likelihood to vote, "Leave" was catching up.
"The clear trend over the course of ORB's polls for the Daily Telegraph shows that Leave campaign has a turnout advantage over the Remain campaign," he said.