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New Brexit poll shows 'Leave' camp ahead by 10 points

Paul Faith, AFP | A "No To Brexit" sign is pictured on the outskirts of Newry in Northern Ireland on June 7, 2016.

The UK’s Brexit campaign is polling ahead for the fourth time this week after an online survey for The Independent newspaper showed the "Leave" camp extending its lead to 10 percentage points.

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ORB's online survey of 2,000 people, conducted June 8-9 for The Independent newspaper, suggested that 55 percent of people were set to vote "Leave" versus the 45 percent in the "Remain" camp.

It’s the largest poll lead for Brexit since research firm ORB began conducting its polls a year ago. Back then it was a different story with "Remain" polling ahead by 10 points.

The trend away from wishing to remain in the EU is also reflected in projections by British bookies agency Betfair, which on Saturday released betting odds showing a 70 percent probability Britons will vote to stay in the EU, which is down 8 points from earlier in the week.

Nevertheless, the official "Vote Leave" campaign said on Twitter: "We don't believe the ORB online poll, our data suggests it's closer to 50-50."

Britons will vote on June 23 on whether to leave the world's largest free trading area, a decision with far-reaching implications for politics, the economy, trade, defence and migration in Britain and the rest of the EU.

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that a Brexit would "destabilise Europe".

“A Brexit would generate a seismic shift in Europe,” he said. “We need to rekindle the European project not just through technical means but political means.”

The poll found that 78 percent of "Leave" supporters said they would definitely vote, while only 66 percent of those favouring "Remain" said the same.

The latest poll results have heightened financial market jitters with the pound sinking 1.4 percent to $1.4250 on Friday, its lowest drop since polling began.

'Please don't go!'

Meanwhile, Germany's top selling weekly Der Spiegel begged Britons to stay in the European Union, publishing a special issue on Saturday with the cover headline, "Please don't go!"

"Why Germany needs the British," the 23-page special dubbed "the Brexit issue" sets out to explain.

"The choice is between a moment of pride and a new future built together," wrote the magazine's editors in chief Klaus Brinkbaeumer and Florian Harms.

In an interview with the magazine, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned Friday that Britain would no longer have access to the single market like non-EU members Norway and Switzerland do, should voters opt out.

"In is in. Out is out," he said. "I hope and believe that the British will ultimately decide against Brexit. The withdrawal of Britain would be a heavy loss for Europe."

Overall, the pendulum has been swinging both ways with some recent polls showing 'Remain' narrowly ahead, others placing 'Leave' in the lead. Those conducted online, like the ORB poll, have tended to show ‘Leave’ doing better than in those conducted by telephone.

The British polling industry is under pressure over its surveys on the EU referendum question after it failed to predict the Conservative victory in last year's general election

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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