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Pressure on Cameron as poll suggests voters edging towards Brexit

A new poll has suggested more Britons favour leaving the EU over staying in, with 45% supporting “Brexit” compared with 36% against, while a fifth remain undecided.

The YouGov poll for the Times was carried out in the two days after publication of an outline deal that David Cameron negotiated which could change the UK’s relationship with Brussels while keeping it within the European Union.

The poll suggested the number of voters wanting to quit had risen by three points on the previous week, the Times said.

Two polls in December indicated a closer race between the in and out camps, but there is an air of caution around published opinion polls in British politics after their failure to predict the 2015 general election result.

The publication of the poll comes as Cameron embarks on a fresh diplomatic dash around Europe to push for support from counterparts in Poland and Denmark ahead of a crunch meeting on the proposals later in February.

It follows a series of talks with leaders including the European council president, Donald Tusk, chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and the Polish prime minister, Beata Szydło, in the margins of the London conference on the Syrian crisis

Cameron is holding further talks with Szydło in Warsaw before heading to Copenhagen for a meeting with the Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, to seek support for reform.

The prime minister has agreed to meet the heads of the political groups in the European Parliament on 16 February, two days before the leaders’ summit.

Meanwhile, divisions have also emerged in Vote Leave, the main group campaigning for Brexit, with leaked emails showing infighting between key members and defection to rival groups.

Lord Rose, the chairman of Britain Stronger in Europe, said on Tuesday that he was confident of winning the referendum and suggested that publication of opinion polls should be banned in the weeks leading up to the vote.

The YouGov poll had 19% planning not to vote in the referendum to decide whether Britain stays in Europe, the Times said.


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