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Third of voters believe immigration key issue in EU vote, poll reveals

By Staff Reporter

An exclusive poll has shown one in three voters believe immigration is a bigger issue in the EU referendum than the economy.

The survey of 2,000 people by ORB gave the Brexit campaign a remarkable 10-point lead over the Remain camp.

It also found that when considering how to vote, a third of people think mass immigration is a far more important factor than the effect on the economy - which has been the focus of the official Vote Leave campaign led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.

The alternative Out camp, Leave.EU, led by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, has focused on immigration. It has been accused of racism and stoking up fears about sex attacks and terrorism.

Mr Farage was heavily criticised for comments in The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend where he said the mass sex attacks in Cologne over New Year could be the "nuclear bomb" of the campaign.

Meanwhile, two members of the Vote Leave campaign, Labour MP Khalid Mahmood and Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston, revealed they would now join the Remain side because of the "racist" undertones of the Brexit campaign and its "post-truth" statements about the NHS.

Mr Mahmood told a newspaper he was "disappointed" by Mr Johnson's comments about Barack Obama's Kenyan father and the Vote Leave focus on the potential accession of Turkey. In this latest poll, 55% of respondents said the UK should leave the EU - a rise of four points since the last poll by ORB in April.

The figures are weighted to take account of people's likelihood to vote on June 23.

The online poll, taken on Wednesday and Thursday, suggests the Out campaign has begun to pick up momentum following a series of TV debates.

Despite this, respondents are still all too aware of the impact their decision will have.

Just one in five voters said there was "no risk at all" if Britain voted to leave and 40% agreed with the statement "whether we decide to leave the EU or to remain, the result won't have much impact on my daily life".

A further 69% said the campaign was too negative, but turnout is likely to remain key.

The ORB poll found that 78% of Leave supporters say they will definitely vote compared to only 66% of Remain supporters.

Belfast Telegraph


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