The campaign to keep the UK in the European Union has a clear lead with just days to go before the vote, according to a new poll.

The exclusive UK-wide BMG telephone poll for The Herald found Remain ahead by almost 7 points.

The results show that ‘shy Remainers’, similar to the 'shy Nos' who were crucial to the outcome of 2014’s independence vote, could help keep the UK in the EU.

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But the poll also suggests that ‘lazy Labour’ voters could change the result and deliver a Brexit just by sitting at home.

The phrase was coined after last year's General Election to describe those who said that they intended to back the party and then did not vote.

The results will come as a relief to Downing Street following a spate of polls suggesting the Leave camp is in the lead.

A resulting panic wiped billions off the stock market value of the UK’s biggest companies.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also revealed that she has ordered officials to draw up contingency plans for a second independence referendum should the UK vote to leave the EU against the will of Scots.

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The BMG poll found Remain on 53.3 per cent, with Leave on 46.7 per cent.

The results include those who say that they will vote but have either yet to decide how or don’t want to say.

Excluding this group from poll results can suggest that they will split 50/50 for the two options.

So BMG created a set of questions designed to give an idea of how they will vote in reality.

The results suggest that they will break 2:1 in favour of Remain, with 66 per cent voting to stay in the EU and 34 per cent to leave.

BMG did detect growing support for the Leave campaign as worries over immigration rocket.

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Asylum and immigration was by far the biggest single biggest issue of concern to voters.

The poll also found a strong class divide, with less affluent groups more likely to back Brexit and with greater conviction.

Labour voters were significantly more likely to be in favour of staying in the EU than leaving.

But if a significant minority do not vote that could secure victory for the Leave camp.

Michael Turner, research director at BMG, said: “Our polling suggests that, although there may have been a strong shift towards a vote to leave the EU in recent weeks, the Remain camp are still very much ahead.

"BMG currently estimates around a one in nine chance of Brexit on June 23rd, but this could change considerably between now and polling day."

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Labour voters could decide the outcome, he added.

There are fears the party is failing to win over many of its traditional voters.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been accused of running a half-hearted campaign for a Remain vote because of his own reservations about the EU, while senior party figures quarrelled openly this week about the automatic rights of EU worker to come to the UK.

Mr Turner said: "If we see a 'lazy Labour’ effect at the polls again, that could very easily change the result."

The telephone poll surveyed 1,064 UK adults between June 10 and 15.

Another poll by BMG carried out at the same time, this time online, found Leave on 55.5 per cent, with Remain on 44.5 per cent, once so-called ‘don’t knows’ were excluded.

BMG says its phone poll is a much more accurate reflection of public opinion as it includes a better cross-section of the population as well as how ‘don’t knows’ might actually vote.

The polling industry is currently divided over whether online or telephone polls are more accurate.

An analysis by the Political Betting website suggests phone polls were much more accurate during the last UK-wide referendum, 2011’s Alternative Vote (AV) poll.