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EU referendum: Final TNS poll shows Leave taking narrow lead

The poll shows Leave with a narrow lead

Jon Stone
Wednesday 22 June 2016 18:45 BST
The final poll from the firm is one of the last in the campaign
The final poll from the firm is one of the last in the campaign

One of the final polls before the EU referendum has shown Leave with a narrow lead.

TNS found Leave two points ahead of Remain in the poll published early on Wednesday evening.

Follow the latest live updates on the EU referendum

On Thursday voters across Britain will go to the polls to decide whether their country should remain in the EU.

A survey from pollsters Opinium released late this afternoon found Leave just one point ahead.

A polling average curated by Number Cruncher Politics found Leave and Remain on a dead-heat of 50 per cent apiece.

That could change later this evening however with two polls expected at 10pm from YouGov and ComRes.

Seven areas that could swing EU referendum

TNS said turnout at the referendum would be crucial to determining the result, which was currently unknown.

“With many members of the public still undecided or not planning to vote there is uncertainty around the outcome of the referendum," Luke Taylor, head of social and political attitudes at TNS UK said.

“Our latest poll suggests that Leave is in a stronger position than Remain but it should be noted that in the Scottish Independence Referendum and the 1995 Quebec Independence Referendum there was a late swing to the status quo and it is possible that the same will happen here”

“Clearly, with a race as close as this, the turnout level among different demographic groups will be critical in determining the result. For example, the 18-34 age group is strongly in favour of ‘Remain’ [50%-28%] but in general elections they tend to turn out at lower levels than older people (who lean towards leaving the EU).

However, this referendum is not a general election; it is an event without precedent. If turnout does reflect the general election, it could mean a victory for Leave even if opinion among those registered to vote is almost evenly split.”

The TNS poll sampled 2,320 people between 16 and 22 June - a longer period of interview than for most polls.

YouGov will release a so-called "re-contact survey" where it polls people on how they voted once polls close.

This method is not a full exit poll but should give some indication of turnout.

The European Union referendum takes place on Thursday. The deadline to register to vote has already passed.

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