Since David Cameron announced the date of the EU Referendum in mid-February, there have been 92 published polls on the subject. While the outliers, those polls that give a clear lead to one side or the others, have gained the greatest media coverage (and have moved the financial markets) there is a fairly consistent picture from the polls.
While the polling is close and the proportion of voters saying don’t know has steadily declined, Remain have enjoyed a – very – slight lead for much of the campaign. Today, on the final day of the campaign, the polls suggest Remain has the smallest of advantages over the Brexit campaign.
But the headline hides clear, systematic differences between those polls conducted online, which tend to favour Leave, and those conducted by telephone, which tend to flatter Remain. Because online polls are published more frequently, made possible because online surveys can be conducted more quickly and cheaply than their telephone (or face-to-face) counterparts, the narrative of the campaign has been dominated by these.
Below, we break the telephone polls from the online ones. The, less frequent, telephone polls show a Remain campaign with a clear, albeit shrinking, lead throughout the campaign and continuing today. The, more frequent, online polls show a Leave campaign now enjoying a small lead, a reversal of their position at the start of the referendum campaign. Those interested in understanding the differences between the Telephone and Online polls may enjoy our investigation Polls Apart.
Populus isn’t making a results prediction, our role as pollsters and strategists to one of the official campaigns would make this inappropriate, but we’ve summarised the latest predictions below: