EU referendum
Could the UK's referendum on the EU trigger a domino effect across the continent? Getty

The UK's historic referendum on its membership of the EU could trigger a domino effect across the continent, with 45% of Europeans wanting their own say on their country's membership of the 28-nation-bloc.

The online Ipsos MORI poll, of between 500 and 1,000 people in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, UK and Sweden, also found support for a ballot on the EU varies across the nations.

A majority of voters in Italy (58%) and France (55%) back a referendum, while just 38% of people in Hungary want a vote on the country's EU membership.

When asked how they would vote, a third (33%) of Europeans in the selected countries say they would vote for their country to leave the EU. The research also revealed that just under half (49%) of the Europeans surveyed though that the UK would vote to "leave" the EU on 23 June.

Bobby Duffy, managing director of Ipsos MORI's social research institute, said: "Having heard so much about 'Project Fear', and the risks of leaving, it's interesting to see that internationally, the more common view is that the UK would suffer less than the EU from the break up.

"For Europeans, this possibly flows from their feelings about their own country's relationship with the EU – they tend to feel there is likely to be a ripple effect following the UK vote.

"The Italians in particular hope to have their own opportunity to go to the polls on their EU membership – which lends a sense that even if the vote is to stick with the status quo in June, it will not be the end of the EU's challenges."

French presidential candidate Bruno Le Maire has reportedly promised to hold a referendum on the EU by 2022 if he gains power next year. The former minister, who served in Nicolas Sarkozy's government between 2009 and 2012, wrote in Le Monde: "If I am elected president in 2017, a referendum will be held in the current five-year term on the treaty changes required for new European guidelines."

But Le Maire is just one of nine candidates hoping to secure the presidential nomination from the Republicans party, with a primary scheduled for the right-of-centre party in November 2016.

The latest opinion poll from Ifop, of more than 5,700 people between 29 March and 12 April, had former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe ahead of the pack.

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