EU referendum
Opinion polls show equally poised status on EU referendum iStock

The result of the upcoming EU referendum could shift either way with polls showing the Remain supporters having only a slight edge over the Leave voters. A recent survey by research company ORB for the Independent shows that about 51% of the respondents of the poll want UK to stay in the European Union, while 49% want an exit. Another survey by market research firm Ipsos MORI shows that 49% of its respondents would vote against Brexit on 23 June, while 41% would choose to leave.

The Ipsos MORI survey of 1,023 British adults, conducted between 19 March and 22 March, found that 48% of the respondents think Prime Minister David Cameron should resign if UK votes to leave the EU, while 44% think he should continue. The poll also shows that there has not been a major change in the last month with regards to people's voting choices — two in three respondents said they have definitely made up their mind, while only one in three said they may change their mind at the time of the referendum.

Of the 2,002 people surveyed between 24 March and 28 March by ORB, the young seemed more in favour of staying than leaving the common-currency bloc, with 77% of the respondents aged 18 to 24 and 60% aged 25 to 34 wanting to remain in the EU. On the contrary, 55% of the respondents aged 45 to 54, 53% in the age group of 55 to 64 and 60% aged more than 65 favoured leaving the EU. Similarly, women respondents were more inclined towards staying than men, with 53% of the total female respondents voting in its favour and 47% voting for a Brexit, while 51% of the total men surveyed in the poll preferred UK out of the EU.

The survey covered several other aspects that could impact the EU referendum. When asked if they agreed that the terrorist attack on Brussels highlights the need for all EU nations to unite in the fight against terrorism, 81% responded in the affirmative while only 10% disagreed and 9% were not sure.

On the recent budget announced by Chancellor George Osborne, 57% disagreed with the statement: "Overall George Osborne is doing a good job in managing the UK economy," while 28% agreed with the statement. A total of 69% said they opposed to further welfare cuts while 20% disagreed to the statement: "I oppose further cuts in welfare."

In reply to the question, "Which of the following Conservative MP's would you prefer to see become the leader of the Conservative party if David Cameron were to step down?" London Mayor Boris Johnson emerged as the most preferred leader to replace the prime minister with 38% of the respondents voting for him. Home Secretary Theresa May was backed by only 16%. Osborne's budget apparently struck him off the favourite list of many as only 9% voted in his favour.

Revealing the party that the respondents voted for in the 2015 general election, 29% said they voted for the Labour party, 28% for the Conservative party, 13% for UK Independence Party and 7% each for the Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party.