On Thursday, June 23, the United Kingdom will decide whether or not to stay in the European Union. Recent polls for this very important referendum have the “Leave” side well ahead, by as many as 10 points according to The Independent. But at press time, the “Stay” camp is favored at –160 on the props market.
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The prevailing wisdom is that voters who are leaning toward a “Brexit” from the EU will get cold feet once it’s time to mark their ballots. This tends to happen anytime there’s something truly fundamental on the line. However, the “Leave” camp (+120) has been gaining momentum, thanks in part to Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid coming out in support. The Sun is the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK at 1.7 million readers.
Other forces pointing at a Brexit include the rise of the radical right-wing UK Independence Party, which won 12.7% of votes during the 2015 general election, and growing concern over the European refugee crisis. The seriousness of the push toward “Leave” can be seen in the Euro Stoxx 50 index, which has dropped 7% since last Friday, and with portfolio managers recommending their clients switch to lower-risk assets.
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