Saturday 21 April 2018

Brexit tide turns as 'stay' voters show slim poll lead

David Cameron: ‘Project Fear’
David Cameron: ‘Project Fear’

Peter Dominiczak in London

David Cameron's campaign to warn voters about the dangers of leaving the European Union is beginning to win the argument ahead of the referendum, according to a new poll.

The exclusive poll for the 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper finds that the "Remain" campaign now has a narrow lead after trailing last month, in a sign that Downing Street's tactic - which has been described as "Project Fear" by its critics - is working.

Despite concerns that the steel crisis and the Brussels terror attacks could influence the referendum result, the poll finds that they have had little or no effect on how people intend to vote.

In an analysis of the ORB poll, Lynton Crosby, who masterminded the Conservative Party's general election victory, says that "the outcome of the referendum will hinge on which side can better turn out their supporters".

The poll finds that 51pc of voters now support Remain - an increase of 4pc from last month. Leave's support has decreased five points to 44pc.

Crucially, only 5pc of voters said they are undecided, with those who currently say that they do not know how they will vote more likely to back the Remain campaign on June 23.

When certainty to vote is taken into account, the campaigns are virtually tied, with Remain on 49pc and Leave on 48pc.

The UK Prime Minister will tomorrow attempt to reinvigorate the campaign to stay in the EU after a series of damaging Tory splits over Europe which have seen Cabinet ministers openly criticising each other.

Mr Cameron today warns that a "Brexit" would be "an act of economic and political self-harm" which would badly damage British airlines, car manufacturers and financial services companies.

The prime minister says that leaving the single market would "hit our service industries hard" and would be "needless and reckless".

The poll finds that Leave voters are still more likely to say that they will definitely vote (70pc) in the referendum, a fall of 9pc in the last month.

The proportion of Remain backers saying that they are certain to vote has also fallen 11pc to 61pc.

This leaves the Remain campaign with a narrow lead of 1pc. Last month, when certainty to vote was taken into account, the Leave campaign was forecast to win with 52pc of the vote, with remain trailing on 45pc.

The results find that 39pc of voters now believe that the Remain campaign is "more credible and trustworthy", with Leave trailing on just 32pc.

Downing Street believes the out campaign does not have a consistent message and undecided voters will back Remain. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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