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2/24/16

Brexit: UK PM Cameron has edge over London mayor Johnson in fight for EU swing vote says poll - by Estelle Shirbon

Prime Minister David Cameron, campaigning for Britain to stay in the European Union, has the edge over London Mayor Boris Johnson, the most popular figure in the "Out" camp, in trying to sway the key group of undecided voters, a new poll indicated.

Evidence on which camp was ahead from another poll taken after Cameron's deal on new EU membership terms for Britain struck on Feb. 19 showed both sides were neck and neck.

The ruling Conservative Party is deeply split on the EU issue to be decided in a June 23 referendum, with Cameron and Johnson the figureheads of the opposing camps vying in particular for the support of moderate Conservatives, regarded as the pivotal, swing group of voters.

Overall, the latest ComRes telephone poll for the Daily Mail found that the "In" camp was ahead by 12 points at 51 percent, though its lead had narrowed since details emerged of Cameron's deal with the other 27 EU heads of government in Brussels.

An online YouGov poll for the Times found the sides were neck and neck, reflecting a trend that has been apparent for several months whereby phone polls have found "In" far ahead while online polls have found much closer results.

The YouGov poll, which had the "Out" camp one point ahead at 38 percent, suggested a drop in support for the "Brexit" option, which had been ahead by nine points in a poll published on Feb. 5, before Cameron's deal was finalised.

ComRes interviewed 1,000 people between Friday and Monday, while the YouGov poll of 3,482 people was conducted between Sunday and Tuesday. Both straddled key news developments.

Cameron clinched his EU agreement late on Friday night and announced on Saturday that the official government position was to campaign for an "In" vote. Britain has been in the EU since 1973 and has its second largest economy.

Six members of his cabinet defected to the "Out" side on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday Johnson, who is not in the cabinet but has far greater popular appeal than those who are, came out for Brexit in a blaze of publicity


Read more: UK PM Cameron has edge over London mayor Johnson in fight for EU swing vote: poll | Reuters

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