So .. the beginning of a huge week for the UK, and once again there seems to have been a change in sentiment with regards to the way people are likely to vote in Thursday’s UK EU Referendum. In the opinion polls over the weekend and the first since the awful killing of the MP. Jo Cox, the "Bremain” camp looks as though it has moved back into the lead. Over the weekend there has been widespread reporting in the media that the Labour MP’s death would lead to public opinion moving away from a vote to Leave.
Nigel Farage, who although is not an official part of the Leave campaign team, does have a leading voice, said yesterday "We did have momentum until this terrible tragedy, it has had an impact on the whole campaign for everybody.” Adding "When you are taking on the establishment, you need to have momentum. I don't know what's going to happen over the course of the next three to four days, but this was the action of one person with serious mental issues. What we saw was an act of terrorism."
Of the polls conducted over the weekend, two were very close, with the Opinium poll saying 44% Leave, 44% Remain and the YouGov giving us 43% Leave, 44% Remain with 9% undecided. However the only poll to be fully carried out after the death of Jo Cox, shows a marked jump in those wanting to stay in the EU. The Survation poll showed support for staying jumping to 45% versus 42% to leave, with 13% undecided.
Over the next few days, political heavyweights in both camps will be lining up in a final push to get votes. As it currently stands, the implied probability of the UK staying within the EU is hovering around the 73% mark, which is a big move upwards from the latter half of last week. At one point on Thursday the odds for staying were as low as 61%.
Interestingly, there will be no official exit polls for Thursday's vote. The main reason for this is the exit polls produced for general elections cannot be copied in this referendum. When it comes to General Elections the exit polls try to gauge the swing in the vote, people are asked how they have just voted and whether this was different to the previous election. However, as it is illegal in the UK to reveal how someone else has voted, asking for a basic in/out answer is out of the question.