U.S. Markets

Ethnic minorities could hold key to Britain's EU vote: survey

A man looks through a telescope opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, in central London in this file photo taken May 6, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s ethnic minorities could hold the key to deciding the outcome to the June 23 referendum on membership of the European Union, with non-white voters strongly in support of staying in the bloc, according to a survey.

However, ethnic minority groups are far less likely to vote, according to the findings by the British Election Study which were reported by Channel 4 News on Tuesday.

Channel 4 said the full results of the British Election Study survey would be published at the end of the month.

The survey of more than 22,000 Britons between April 14 and May 4 found that white voters were divided evenly on the issue but opinion among ethnic minority groups was split by 2 to 1 in favor of staying in the 28-nation bloc, putting the “remain” camp ahead by 43 percent to 40.5 percent.

However, once the results were filtered to only include those very likely to vote, the result changed to 45 percent backing an exit and 44.5 percent wanting to stay.

That was because 80 percent of white voters were certain to vote compared with only 57 percent of Indian or Black Caribbean voters.

Other opinion polls have given a very mixed picture, with telephone surveys giving a comfortable lead to the “remain” camp and online polls suggesting the result is too close to call.

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Kate Holton