Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WE WANT TO STAY IN EU, VOTERS TELL PM; Boost for Cameron as Poll Reveals 66% of Britons Want to Remain membersSupport for Staying in Europe Is at 24-Year High

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WE WANT TO STAY IN EU, VOTERS TELL PM; Boost for Cameron as Poll Reveals 66% of Britons Want to Remain membersSupport for Staying in Europe Is at 24-Year High

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor exclusive

DAVID CAMERON'S referendum gamble today looked set to succeed as an exclusive Ipsos MORI poll revealed that Britons want to stay in the European Union -- by an overwhelming three to one.

If the historic in-out referendum were to be staged now, 66 per cent say they would vote to remain members and 22 per cent would vote to quit. Excluding the don't knows, at 12 per cent, the result is an emphatic 75 to 25.

It comes amid a rising tempo of referendum preparations. As the Prime Minister held talks with his Slovak counterpart ahead of a Brussels summit next week, seven Eurosceptic MPs from Labour, the Tories and Ukip announced moves to form the Out campaign.

Chancellor George Osborne said in Luxembourg that Britain must "prepare for the worst" if Greece quits the euro, which would send financial markets into turmoil.

The survey for the Evening Standard used the exact wording expected to be on voting slips in the poll, due to be held by the end of 2017. In addition, half the 1,005-strong sample was asked a second question with a wording used on Ipsos MORI surveys over four decades: "If there were a referendum now on whether Britain should stay in or get out of the European Union, how would you vote?" It found another huge majority to stay in, of 61 per cent to 27. That included 63 per cent of Conservatives and 76 per Continued on Page 2 Continued from Page 1 cent of Labour backers who want to stay. Almost all Ukip supporters would leave, however.

The results indicate the highest support for EU membership for 24 years. If the mood does not change, the referendum would end doubts about Britain's future in the EU for years to come.

The last time support was higher was in 1991, before the Maastricht Treaty renamed the European Community a "Union" and triggered years of Tory civil war. …

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