A survey shows the EU “no” camp in front for the first time ahead of a referendum on Britain’s membership of the 28-nation bloc.
A majority of Britons now favour leaving the European Union amid concerns over immigration, according to an opinion poll.
The survey, by polling firm Survation for the Mail on Sunday, found that if a referendum was held tomorrow 51% would vote to quit the EU against 49% who would vote to remain.
The findings contrast with a previous comparable poll carried out in July which gave the “in” camp a 54% to 46% advantage.
The survey is likely to set alarm bells ringing in Downing Street ahead of David Cameron’s promised referendum, which is due to take place by the end of 2017.
But it will provide a boost for the “out” campaign ahead of a possible Commons rebellion by Eurosceptic Tories when MPs return to Westminster following the summer break on Monday.
Survation said the margin in favour of leaving could grow if the migrant crisis gripping Europe continues, with 22% of those who said they would vote to stay indicating they could change their minds if the situation worsened.
The latest poll was conducted between 3 and 4 September and heard the opinions of 1,004 adults, a smaller sample size than the previous poll.