UK EU Referendum: Polls neck and neck on last campaign day

As the last day of campaigning draws to a close, prediction polls suggest the EU Referendum could go either way.

Tomorrow the United Kingdom heads to the polls to decide whether or not it remains part of the European Union. With both sides putting everything into their final hours of campaigning, pollsters put the results at neck and neck.

Can we trust the pollsters?

A number of polling bosses predicted that “Remain” will win the referendum today, speaking to BuzzFeed News. It is suggested that the vote will follow the trends of the 2014 Scottish Referendum and 1995 Quebec Referendum and swing towards the status quo at the last minute.

Despite this, no polling agency correctly predicted the outcome of last year’s General Election. This has lead pollsters to be brought into question.

Although improvements have allegedly been made, it is yet to be seen if the opinion poll’s reputation will be salvaged.

Bookmakers back “Remain”

It was reported earlier this week that betting exchange firm, Betfair have put the chances of “Remain” winning the referendum at 77 per cent whilst head of pre-match at rival exchange firm, William Hill, said that “Remain’s” chance were more in the region of “86-87 per cent”.

Despite this, bookmakers also failed to call the General Election last year and so some are sceptical as to how reliable this consensus actually is.

A ‘Jo Cox effect’?

Following the murder of pro-EU, Labour MP Jo Cox last Thursday, polls conducted over the weekend showed a shift towards a vote for “Remain”. Although many think the swing in votes is purely a coincidence, the halting of campaigning over the weekend and the charging of far-right leaning, Thomas Mair for Cox’s murder may have proved damaging for the “Leave” campaign.

Despite this, Arron Banks, Leave.EU’s largest donor said that a survey conducted by the campaign had found that the Labour MP’s killing had little effect on voting intention.

Whether Jo Cox’s death has had an effect on the referendum’s outcome will likely remain speculation. Despite this, there is no doubt that Thursday’s events have changed the tone of the debate.

It would seem that both campaigns are yet to regain the momentum they had last week as the British public reflects on how heated the referendum debate has become.

Ava Forbes

Journalism student aspiring to become a political journalist and the co-founder of a media platform, ‘Generation:What?’, that aims to give young people a platform in politics. @Ava_Forbes @Generation_What