‘Brexit’ Campaign Takes Huge Hit From Assassination Of MP

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The murder of Jo Cox, an anti-Brexit member of parliament, appears to have helped the “Remain” campaign ahead of Thursday’s referendum vote on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union.

The “Leave” campaign held a significant lead in a majority of the polls before Cox was shot and stabbed to death during a campaign event in Bristall. The suspect, Tommy Mair, is linked to right-wing extremist groups and claimed his name was “death to traitors, freedom for Britain” when he appeared in court Saturday. (RELATED: British Member Of Parliament Dies After Being Shot, Stabbed)

The first polls since the assassination show that “Remain” has closed the gap and even taken the lead. YouGov gives “Remain” a one point lead in one poll, while a telephone poll by Mail On Sunday shows a three-point lead in favor of staying in the EU. The “Leave” campaign was up by as much as six points in a poll released on the day of Cox’s murder.

“The results should be taken with a degree of caution, but across all emotions, reactions to a Leave vote was more negative after 2 p.m. on Thursday,” Andrew Hawkins, chairman of polling company Comres, told The Independent of the reaction to the murder.

The British pound surged against the dollar when banks opened Monday as a result of the new numbers. The 2.35 percent climb is the strongest one-day shift since the financial crisis in 2009.

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Jacob Bojesson