The probability of Britain voting to leave the European Union on June 23 is currently less than 20%, according to polling analyst Matt Singh.
Singh, the polling analyst behind Number Cruncher Politics (NCP), said in his latest blog post that while some of the results of polls published this week have been dramatically varied, they don’t change the overall picture of Remain being the most likely victors.
In fact, according to his updated forecast, the probability of Britain voting to leave the EU is just 19.6%.
Singh is an interest rates trader turned polling analyst who rose to fame in the world of politics last year when he correctly predicted a Conservative majority in the general election. Business Insider spoke to him on Monday about his success.
His EU referendum forecast model is based on in-depth analysis of opinion polls. It is live on the NCP website and is tweaked according to ongoing research.
The graphs below illustrate what Singh’s model is showing at the moment. On the left is an average he has taken of recent opinion polls. But more importantly, on the right is a graph showing how likely each outcome is.
There’s a massive 80.4% chance of Britain voting to remain in the 28-nation bloc on June 23. This means that the probability of a Brexit is less than 20%.
The opinion polls released this week have said wildly different things about how the vote will turn out on June 23.
The Ipsos MORI and ORB phone polls showed huge leads of 18 and 15 points for Remain.
However, surveys conducted online suggested much closer contests and in some cases slight leads for Leave. The TNS online poll, for example, said the Brexit campaign was actually leading by three points.
Business Insider asked Singh on Thursday morning why online and phone opinion polls published this week have produced such different results.
He said: “There are two main reasons: One is that they tend to deal differently with undecided voters. Online polls normally offer a “don’t know” option on the screen, whereas phone polls only take verbatim “don’t know” responses. The evidence suggests that this hurts Remain more than Leave in online polls.
“But more fundamentally, the two modes seem to be getting hold of different people, with different attitudes. This can vary even from pollster to pollster, but in general, phone samples seem to be more socially liberal (and pro-Remain), whereas online samples tend to be more socially conservative (and pro-Leave).”
Business Insider attended an event last week where a panel of polling experts and data journalists said that it wasn’t convinced that the projections of referendum opinion polls will match the final result.
Peter Kellner, former YouGov President, said: “I am not at all confident that the final average poll will be within 2-3 points of the final poll.”
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