The United Kingdom is little more than a week away from the country’s biggest decision in a generation. British voters will head to the polls on June 23 to decide whether the country’s future lies within or outside of the European Union. While opinion polls have placed the two sides of the campaign neck and neck for the past few months, a series of new polls put Boris Johnson’s Brexit side firmly ahead as the United Kingdom looks almost certain to leave the European Union.
According to the Independent, two new polls released on Monday evening from the ICM and YouGov give the Leave campaign a firm lead with little over a week to go before the incredibly important referendum. The former gives Leave a six-point lead and the latter places seven points between Leave and Remain. For the Remain campaign, which is largely comprised of establishment figures within the United Kingdom, this is undeniably a harsh setback that could very well affect their chances next week.
Before now, the Remain campaign was largely believed to have momentum on their side, meaning that voters would inevitably choose the status quo over a leap into the dark on June 23, however, the newly released polls suggest that opinion is shifting in the UK and voters might be ready to take that risk.
Many on the Remain side have been accused of not throwing their full support behind the campaign, including, most prominently, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The leader of the UK’s official opposition is radically different to Prime Minister David Cameron and, as such, has been reluctant to share a stage with the prime minister and make the case for Britain remaining in the EU. However, according to the Guardian, Jeremy Corbyn will today drastically change his approach by urging his party’s supporters to vote to remain.
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The fear amongst many British pollsters is that the result of the referendum will be drastically affected by the turnout. The referendum’s voting demographic is likely to be dominated by the elderly, who are more likely to vote to leave the single market. On the other hand, younger voters, who are more likely to want to remain an EU member state, are far less likely to vote in the referendum because of a general disinterest for politics amongst young people in the UK.
Leading the campaign to leave the EU is Conservative party cabinet member and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Johnson is a close friend of Prime Minister David Cameron and is seen as the most likely to benefit from a leave vote, with suggestions that he could be preparing to take the party leadership from Cameron and become prime minister.
At the beginning of the EU referendum campaign, it was widely believed that the Remain campaign would easily win. However, in recent months, the Leave campaign has picked up a good deal of momentum, today gaining the endorsement of the country’s biggest newspaper, the Sun. Voters in the United Kingdom regularly look to the media when it comes to making important political decisions, which means the Sun’s endorsement of the Leave campaign is likely to influence many voters.
Britain will make its final decision over whether or not to leave the European Union on June 23, with the final result expected to be announced the following day. Whichever way the UK votes in the referendum is likely to mean drastic effects for the international political scene.
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