Of the three new polls published last night, the research from NatCen adopted a new methodological approach, testing a new approach to polling that was recommended by the inquiry into the performance of the opinion polls in last year’s General Election. While conducted primarily over the internet, respondents were selected for interview at random rather than from amongst people who had volunteered to participate. Those who initially failed to respond were followed up by phone, while interviewing was conducted over an extended four week period, with multiple attempts made to make contact with hard to reach respondents.
Writing about the latest ORB poll, Sir Lynton Crosby said the result is still uncertain, despite the upturn in support for the Remain campaign in the last few days.
FT poll of polls: Remain 44%; Leave 44%; Don’t Know 12%
Remain odds: 1/4 (76% chance of winning) UP 3%
Leave odds: 3/1 (24% chance of winning) DOWN 3%
Professor Curtice: 40% chance of Brexit
Professor John Curtice, President of the British Polling Council, has said that the likelihood of a Brexit vote is approximately 40%-45%. Curtice told Newsnight that bookmakers offering odds of 3/1 were not reflective of the polls which showed the race is still very close with just two days of campaigning to go.
Hilton: Cameron was told migration target was impossible
The Prime Minister’s former Director of Strategy Steve Hilton has claimed that civil servants warned David Cameron back in 2012 that it was “impossible” for the Government to meet the Conservative Party manifesto promise of reducing net migration below 100,000. Downing Street rejected the story saying “We simply do not recognise this story”. Writing in the Daily Mail, Hilton said “We were told, directly and explicitly, that it was impossible for the government to meet its immigration target as long as we remained members of the EU”.
George Soros warns of potential ‘Brexit crash’
The investor George Soros has written in The Guardian about the potential economic shock in the event of the UK voting to leave the EU. “It is reasonable to assume… that after a Brexit vote the pound would fall by at least 15% and possibly more than 20%, from its present level of $1.46 to below $1.15”, Soros warns, adding “A vote to leave could see the week end with a Black Friday”. Leave campaigner Michael Gove told the Today programme “forecasters like Soros have got things wrong in the past”.
Farage says EU is “doomed” even if UK votes to stay
In an interview with the BBC, UKIP and Leave.EU leader Nigel Farage said the EU project is “doomed” even if the UK votes to stay on Thursday. He told the BBC that the migrant crisis has “divided” northern Europe and the Euro has “ruined” the south. Farage also defended his party’s much-criticised “Breaking Point” anti-EU poster, which showed a long queue of migrants, saying “I didn’t invent that picture. The picture was real, the picture was on the front pages of all our national press last year”. He said, however, that it was “unfortunate timing” that it was released within hours of the tragic killing of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Pensions expert warns over continued EU membership
Professor David Blake, Director of the Pensions Institute at the Cass Business School, has written a paper outlining reasons why staying in the EU ranges from “pretty bad to very, very bad” for pensions. Blake highlights a possible move to introduce solvency capital for pension funds at the “insistence of French insurance companies”, adding “This would have raised the cost of UK companies of providing British pensions by £500 billion”. Blake added “We are in very real danger that we will end up with no secure pensions in either the state or private pension systems”.
EU leaders mobilise to urge Britain to Remain
A number of interventions in favour of a Remain vote have been made by European politicians, media outlets and businesses. Hungary’s Prime Minister took out a full-page advert in the Daily Mail urging the UK to vote Remain, while France’s largest companies took out adverts across the UK press calling for a Remain vote. The advert is signed by companies such as Airbus, BNP Paribas, Engie, Ingenico and Safran. Meanwhile, channelling Abba, Sweden’s biggest financial daily urged Brits “to take a chance on EU”.
Pound surges as Brexit opinion polls show neck-and-neck race
Following a rise in polls showing rising support for the Remain campaign, the British pound surged yesterday, carving out one of the biggest rallies of the past decade. Sterling initially rose more than 2 per cent to peak at $1.4671, making it the best performing major global currency against the US dollar. By mid-afternoon, the pound was up 2 per cent to $1.4648. Stocks also moved higher in the UK and across the globe. The FTSE 100 was up 3.3 per cent, with the broader and more domestic-focused FTSE 250 rising 3.5 per cent.
David Beckham comes out in favour of Remain
David Beckham has announced that he will be voting to stay in the EU, declaring “Together as a people we are strong”. Writing on Facebook, Beckham said that it had been a “privilege” to play and live in European cities over the course of his professional football career. Brexit campaigner Michael Gove countered, telling Sky News that Vote Leave had the backing of former England defender Sol Campbell and winger John Barnes.
The Day Ahead
11:00 – Nigel Farage campaign event in Clacton; Ed Miliband campaign event in Luton
12:00 – Neil Kinnock campaign event in Cardiff
12:00 – Electoral Commission publishes details of pre-poll donations and loans in the run-up to the EU referendum campaign
15:30 – Alan Johnson and Margaret Beckett campaign event in Derby
17:00 – Gordon Brown to deliver a speech in Glasgow
19:00 – Grassroots Out rally in Stafford with Bill Cash, Owen Paterson, Chris Grayling and Steven Woolfe
20:00 – BBC One – Live EU Referendum debate broadcast from the Wembley Arena with Sadiq Khan, Ruth Davidson, Frances O’Grady, Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Andrea Leadsom