For the first time since November 2014 more British people want to leave the EU than remain a member
Until September support for remaining in the EU had been in positive territory for 8 consecutive months. Between June, the last time we asked the referendum question, and September, opinion has shifted slightly – now leaving the EU has a two point lead.
This coincides with the European refugee crisis and problems in Calais over the summer, but we can't be sure if this has caused the shift in mood. British people have been wary of accepting more refugees, and they may be concerned continued membership of the EU could increase our exposure, but Britain has so far exempted itself from EU migrant quotas.
The research puts the 'In' camp at 38%, down 6% since June, and 'Out' at 40%, up 6%. Until around the time of the European Parliament elections in 2014, when EU membership became more of a reality in people's minds due to increased coverage, 'Out' had had a fairly steady lead.
The question wording has been altered in September's poll to match a slight change advised by the Electoral Commission – now the answer options are 'Remain a member of the European Union' / 'Leave the European Union' rather than 'Yes' / 'No' to membership, which had received criticism for giving the pro-EU camp the advantage of optimism.
Our monthly Eurotrack poll, which has used the same question wording since it began in 2012, has shown the same shift in mood over the summer. July had a lead for 'Stay' of +8; in August 'Stay' led by +2; and in September 'Leave' leads by +3.