(Adds word "on" in headline")
* Fake web page appeared overnight, gave "Leave" camp 4 pct
* BMG says hoax either malicious or someone "over-excited"
* Sterling recovers slightly from Tuesday's two-month low
By Freya Berry
LONDON, June 15 Pollster BMG Research said on
Wednesday a web page purporting to show a press release
describing its latest polling on Britain's European Union
membership referendum was a hoax.
The fake page, which is still available online, showed a
four percentage point lead for the "Leave" camp. It included
supposed quotes from BMG's research director Michael Turner and
contacts for the company.
"Yes it is a hoax. We don't know whether or not it was
malicious, or someone getting over-excited on Twitter," Turner
"It's certainly a hoax, it took place in the early hours of
the morning while we were all asleep. We were alerted to it by
yourselves this morning and we've put a statement out," he said.
The fake figures were picked up by some media outlets and
were widely published on Twitter. The web page, entitled "BMG
PRESS RELEASE" linked to BMG's website and included genuine
telephone numbers for the pollster.
BMG asked some Twitter users who had quoted the fake poll to
disassociate BMG from the figures.
BMG's last published poll, on May 25, showed that 45 percent
of those questioned supported leaving the bloc, against 44
percent who wanted to stay in.
Markets have grown increasingly jittery in the run-up to the
June 23 referendum. Sterling has reacted sharply to opinion
polls which have painted a contradictory picture of voting
The currency hit a two-month low on Tuesday after a TNS poll
put the "Leave" camp ahead. It rose 0.3 percent against the euro
and the dollar on Wednesday after a ComRes poll for Britain's
Sun newspaper gave the "Remain" camp a 1 point lead.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Robin Pomeroy)