LONDON The campaign to take Britain out of the European Union in a June 23 referendum has taken a 4 percentage-point lead, according to an online survey taken by the ORB pollster for The Independent newspaper published on Friday.
The poll, carried out on Feb. 24-25, showed support for the "out" campaign had risen to 52 percent from 48 percent a month ago, while support for the "in" campaign had fallen to 48 percent from 52 percent a month ago.
"Since last month we have seen a shift in opinion towards Brexit," Johnny Heald, managing director of ORB International, said in an email.
London Mayor Boris Johnson defied Prime Minister David Cameron last weekend and said he would campaign to leave the EU, but 60 percent of respondents in the ORB poll said Johnson's decision made them no more likely to vote to ditch membership.
Twenty-six percent said Johnson's decision made them more likely to vote to leave. Half agreed that the economy was a bigger issue than immigration when it came to deciding how to vote on EU membership while 37 percent disagreed.
ORB polled a nationally representative sample of 2,014 adults across England, Scotland and Wales online.
Britain's sterling currency fell to a seven year-low against the U.S. dollar on Friday, hurt by concerns about the country's possible exit from the EU as well as contrasting outlooks for economic growth in Britain and the United States. [GBP/]
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by William Schomberg)