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    Brexit: Interpreting the opinion polls - Commerzbank Sandeep Kanihama

    Peter Dixon, Research Analyst at Commerzbank, suggests that Brexit opinion polls are not always the most accurate predictor of future events.Key Quotes“Despite the fact that it should be statistically possible to generate a representative panel which reflects a true cross section of the electorate, opinion polling is in practice an inexact science.We average across polls to try and eliminate many of these problems and a 10-poll moving average currently suggests that Remain are polling at 45%; Leave at 42% and Undecided at 12%. But whilst the bookmakers are assigning a probability of well above 70% to the likelihood that the UK will remain in the EU we need to treat this with caution, particularly because a decisive factor in the result will be the turnout.Broadly speaking, the higher it is, the more likely is the electorate to vote Remain. The reason for this is that a high turnout likely reflects greater participation by younger voters, who are more disposed towards Remain. For the record, voter participation in the 2015 general election was around 66% - well below the record 84.6% recorded in Scotland in 2014. The online electoral calculator produced by YouGov4 suggests that a turnout of 66% will require Remain to have a poll lead of five percentage points ahead of the big day.There is a view in certain parts of the market that this race is run, but nothing could be further from the truth, and the ongoing decline in sterling risk reversals suggests that the currency markets remain on edge. The outcome of the referendum is likely to be very close, and with two key political debates to come this month, on 15 and 21 June, there is still plenty of scope for additional twists.”


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