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Brexit Campaigns Running Neck-and-Neck Hours Ahead of Historic Referendum

Progressive crooner Billy Bragg says ' leaving the EU will damage the UK'

Andrea Germanos

As the Remain and Leave campaigns make their final pushes in the hours before the so-called "Brexit" referendum, recent polling shows the British public near evenly divided on whether or not to leave to European Union.

  • The latest YouGov poll for The Times on Sunday showed Remain at 42 percent and Leave at 44 percent.
  • An ORB poll for The Telegraph published Monday showed Remain at 53 percent and Leave at 46 percent.
  • An Opinium poll for The Observer published Sunday had both sides at 44 percent.
  • An IG/Survation poll published Tuesday found Remain at 45 percent and Leave at 44 percent.

Looking at the last six polls, CBC News reports, "the Remain side has averaged 45.5 per cent support. The Leave campaign follows less than two points behind at 43.8 per cent." The Financial Times also offers a current polling average and breakdown of the different polling results.

Pro-EU lawmakers including conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Kahn have taken to social media to urge support for voting to remain; noted progressives were also taking to Twitter to highlight what they see as compelling reasons to stay in the EU:

The Guardian's editorial board argues in favor of remaining, writing, "Economics, foreign policy and Britain's idea of itself are all on the ballot." Describing the lead-up to the voe, they write, "The backdrop has been the most unrelenting, unbalanced and sometimes xenophobic press assault in history."

Economist Mark Weisbort writes that "it seems the question from a pro-human point of view is whether Europe can steer away from its continuing, long-term neoliberal failure more quickly by trying to democratize the eurozone and the EU, and thereby change their policy agenda — as former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is now campaigning to do; or by trying to change the agenda at the national level first, where possible."

For Alex Scrivener, policy officer at Global Justice Now, the answer is clear.  He argues:  "The frightening truth is that many of our struggles for a better world would be much more difficult if we were to leave the EU."

Voting takes place Thursday 7 AM to 10 PM. Results are expected Friday.

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