Brexit as it happened: Britain has officially voted to leave the EU

Leave has secured more than 13 million votes

Ballot papers are being counted across the country in the EU referendumGetty

Will Britain Leave or Remain? We bring you the latest results from polling stations across the UK.

With 308 of 382 voting areas reporting: Leave: Remain:
Percentage: 51.9% 48.1%
Total votes: 17,410,742 16,141,241

The latest so far

  • The UK has voted to leave the EU.
  • Leave won 51.9% of the votes counted so far, with an eventual 52/48 split expected.
  • There was a turnout of 72.2%, as 33.6 million people took part in the referendum
  • Britain votes to Leave EU in historic referendumIBTimes UK

This concludes IBTimes UK's coverage of the EU referendum. Keep up to date with the latest developments following the Brexit vote and the reaction from Westminster and around the world to Britain's historic poll at IBTimes UK.

Labour MPs reportedly instructed to reassure electorate politicians on all sides will respect Brexit decision.

Far-right French politician Marine Le Pen has called for Frexit as the UK announced the results of its referendum. Le Pen, the leader of the National Front in France, tweeted: "Victory of freedom! As I ask for years, it is now necessary to have a referendum in France and the countries of the EU MLP".

The UK has voted to leave the EU

Following a call for a likely Brexit win, and immediate drop in the pound, Leave.EU co-founder and co-chairman Richard Tice said: "The blame on sterling drop and market turmoil lies at Downing Streets door

"When looking for reasons the pound has dropped after we voted to leave the European Union we need look no further than number 10 and 11 Downing Street and their complicit international institutions.

"Their scare stories weren't enough to panic the British public into voting remain but they most certainly have been enough to concern investors unnecessarily in the short term.

"The U.K. Is a strong economy with fantastic hard working people and we can continue to go from strength to strength.

"This will flow through into the markets in due course, sooner than the scare stories would have you believe."

Reactions to the Brexit vote have begun rolling in, with people including Harry Potter author JK Rowling commenting on the apparent Leave win.

Sinn Fein has reportedly said the likely Brexit vote will "intensify the case" for having a referendum on a united Ireland.

Will other countries follow the UK? The leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom has called for a Dutch EU referendum

Dozens of bankers have arrived at Canary Wharf as the financial implications of a likely Brexit vote become apparent. The pound is currently at its lowest level since 1985, and the markets already reflect the impact of yesterday's vote.

Dozens of bankers arrive at Canary WharfLewis Dean

Nigel Farage has been speaking at the Leave EU headquarters in central London.

Nigel Farage: Let 23 June go down as our Independence DayITN

The result is razor thin but at 13.4 million votes it seems that Leave is on track to hit the 16.8 million that it needs to win. Remain is now almost one million votes behind with only 69 results left to declare.

BBC says that there is no way that Remain can win: 'We're out,' said David Dimbleby.

Vince Cable has warned of a 'financial bloodbath' if Britain leaves the EU.

Vince Cable warns of financial bloodbath if Britain leavesITN

Brexiter Liam Fox has said there will be a "period of disentanglement" following a Brexit.

The Conservative MP - and one time party leader hopeful - also gave his backing to David Cameron remaining prime minister until the next general election.

"Clearly he should stay because there will be short term volatility," he added.

"As the prime minister who gave us a referendum he is best place to see us through [this period]."

Nigel Farage has now called for David Cameron to quit immediately, if the Leave campaign triumphs. Ian Silvera reports.

The pound is now at its lowest level for 30 years: it is down 9% against the US dollar and 6% against the Euro.

Nigel Farage is having his moment.

Manchester votes Remain by 60% to 40%. Bexley 60% to 40% to Leave. Slough 54% to Leave.

Leave now ahead by almost 500,000 votes - squeaky bum time for the Remain campaign

Bookmaker Ladbrokes says there is now an 86% chance of a Brexit.

Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg say it is not impossible to have an quick election after this referendum. 'It depends how the government reacts [to a possible leave result]' he says, cryptically.

Bad news from Sheffield for Remain, where voters have gone 51% Leave when it was expected to go 52% the other way.

Labour donor and Leave campaigner John Mills said the party should have been more critical of the EU on the campaign trail.

"The mistake the part made was being so strongly in favour rater than being critical, which Labour voters would have related to.

The entrepreneur added it was "not entirely" Jeremy Corbyn's fault but conceded "so many people have not voted for Labour policy...and that is not good news."

Things are getting rowdy at the Leave party in central London, where supporters have been buoyed by the closeness of the race. Ian Silvera is there.

Leave now ahead: 50.39% to 49.61%

Voting from conurbations like Liverpool and London are giving some succour to Remain, but is the turnout matching the rest of the country? Lots of English shires to come in. Pretty much a dead heat at the moment. Keep swigging that coffee and don't head off to bed just yet.

John Crowley, Editor-In-Chief, IBTimesUK

Another London borough has declared: Richmond Upon Thames has come out 70% vote Remain.

There are concerns among Remainers, however, is that turn-out in London is not as high as expected.

Although it was a staggering 82% in Richmond, it was less than 70% in Islington and Hammersmith and Fulham. That's extremely high, of course, in comparison to the general election, but every vote counts - will there be enough people in London to stem the Leave tide?

Mole Valley votes Remain (53.1%) but Castle Point overwhelming backs Leave (72.7%), along with the Isle of Wight (61.9%), Richmondshire (56.8%) and Surrey Heath 51%

Islington (75.2%) and Liverpool (58.2%) both go for Remain

Four more results, all going to Leave...

Peterborough - Leave: 60.9% (53,216)

Allerdale - Leave: 58.6% (31,809)

Rhondda Cynon Taf - Leave: 53.7% (62,590)

Rugby - Leave: 56.7% (33,199)

JP Morgan calls it for Leave

Number crunching

Crunching the numbers per region – with only 50 of 382 regions to declare – we have Scotland at 61.8% Remain, Northern Ireland on just about 50/50 and Wales at 45% to 55% Leave, a result that has surprised some.

Prior to the referendum as a region reliant on European firms that create hundreds of thousands of jobs, Wales was expected to be pro-Remain but appears to have been far more pro-Leave.

London, as expected is so far 70% Remain, but critics point out that there is a clear difference between the central boroughs and the outskirts. Watford, for example, saw a narrow Leave victory.

Orlando Crowcroft, IBTimes UK World Editor

They just keep coming...

Pendle votes Leave: 63.2% (28,631)

Moray narrowly to Remain: 50.1% (24,111)

Nuneaton and Bedworth - Remain: 66.0% (46,095)

Another narrow win in Uttlesford - Leave: 50.7% (26,324)

Corby - Leave: 64.2% (20,611)

Nuneaton and Bedworth - Leave: 66.0% (46,095)

South Lanarkshire - Remain: 63.1% (102,568)

South Bucks just about goes to Leave: 50.7% (20,647)

Belfast South - Remain: 69.5% (30,960)

Gosport - Leave: 63.9% (29,456)

Hyndburn - Leave: 66.2% (26,568)

Hammersmith & Fulham continues the trend in London - Remain: 70.0% (56,188)

Hang Seng market opens down 0.7%

Quick fire results coming in:

Conwy - Leave: 54.0% (35,357)

Caerphilly - Leave: 57.6% (53,295)

Torbay - Leave: 63.2% (47,889)

Wrexham - Leave: 59.0% (41,544)

East Lothian - Remain: 64.6% (36,026)

North Ayrshire - Remain: 56.9% (38,394)

Knowsley - Leave: 51.6% (36,558)

Belfast North just about goes to Remain: 50.4% (20,128)

East Dunbarton continues the trend north of the border: Remain: 71.4% (44,534)

Can Remain win in the dense urban London areas? The 79% win for Remain in Lambeth is some much needed news for them. Wandsworth is 75%.

John Crowley, IBTimesUK Editor-In-Chief

Bracknell Forest - Leave: 53.9% (35,002)

London to swing it for Remain?

Wandsworth - Remain: 75.0% (118,463)

That's another huge victory for In from the capital...

Stevenage - Leave: 59.2% (27,126)

Remain pulls ahead...

Glasgow City - Remain: 66.6% (168,335)

Boost in London for Remain

Lambeth - Remain: 78.6% (111,584)

Oxford - Remain: 70.3% (49,424)

North Warwickshire - Leave: 66.9% (25,385)

Isle of Anglesey narrowly votes Leave (50.9%)

St. Helens - Leave: 58.0% (54,357)

Angus - Leave: 44.7% (26,511)

Deputy Labour Leader, Tom Watson Christopher Furlong/ Getty Images

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has said it is far too early to draw conclusions as Leave gets its noses in front. The West Bromwich East also said the West Midlands could prove for Remain's fortunes.

"The Midlands is a battleground where voters have concerns about the labour market...It will be a knife-edge result, for me."

Regardless of the result, Watson said "The country seems more divided at the end of the process than it did at the beginning of the process."

A senior Labour source has conceded to BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg that Leave will ultimately romp to victory:

"Is this a key moment? A senior Labour figure says "I believe #Leave will win," she tweets.

The North East is standing out as beacon for Leave as it stands. Otherwise, other counts are going along Remain/Leave lines, with one significant caveat: where Leave are winning, they are winning slightly better than expected. Buckle up for a fascinating evening ahead.

John Crowley, IBTimesUK Editor-In-Chief

A few results to catch up with and they've all gone the way of Leave:

Blaenau Gwent - Leave: 62.0% (21,587)

Flintshire - Leave: 56.4% (48,930)

Swansea - Leave: 51.5% (61,936)

Wellingborough - Leave: 62.4% (25,679)

The City of London has declared with 78.26% Remain

Ian Silvera speaks to Brendan Chilton, spokesman for Labour Leave, about the results so far.

More results are in.

In Basildon, 68.62% have voted Leave and Hartlepool, almost 70% Leave.

West Tyrone: 66.85% Remain vs 33.15% Leave

Labour MP Chris Bryant has threatened to 'punch' Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader: "I might go and punch him because he's a tosspot and he left the party in the state it's in."

Will London and the affluent South East come riding to the rescue of Remain? The campaign certainly needs a fillip right now. The SNP's Alex Salmond, in his first TV appearance tonight, tells the BBC it is going to be a 'nip and tuck' result. Conservative MP David Davis agrees and says the trend he has identified so far is of erstwhile, disenfranchised Labour voters that have voted Leave in big numbers.

John Crowley, IBTimesUK Editor-In-Chief

A few more results for you...

North Antrim and Lagan Valley have voted Leave and Dundee City to Remain.

South Tyneside has gone for Leave with 62.05% of the vote.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell believes Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's views on Europe are in tune with the majority of the British electorate.

He called Corbyn "Extremely pragmatic", adding: "I think he is where the British people are: Eurosceptic to an extent but for Remain."

He told Sky News that the declarations so far were "Exactly as predicted, pretty close whatever way"

On the "Save Dave" letter written by Tory MP Robert Syms and calling for David Cameron to remain as prime minister regardless of the outcome, McDonnell said a Leave vote would render Cameron "a hostage to the right of his party".

Ed Miliband has said it is far too early to say which way this referendum will go. The former Labour leader said it would be a "long night" and that he did not know "where we will end up at the end of the night".

"If it is Remain it is a vote to remain in the EU but not the status-quo," he told Sky News. "Whatever happens the country will have to reunite."

Two results from Scotland...

Shetland: 56.51% Remain/ 43.49% Leave

West Dunbartonshire: 62% Remain/ 38% Leave

IBTimesUK's Editor-In-Chief John Crowley gives his view on the results so far

Still very early days, but the positive Leave votes in Newcastle and Sunderland have given the Brexiteers a fillip. Meanwhile, Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tells Sky News he has fears over a Remain victory. 'I'm hoping Remain will win,' he says with some uncertainty.

Kettering: 39.01% Remain and 60.99% Leave

A comment from Piers Corbyn, the brother of Jeremy, from our roving reporter Ian Silvera:

'The British people have woken up to the fact that the EU is not what it's made out to be. My brother, as leader of the Labour Party, has been more reasonable than other politicians in how to cope with the change.'

Lindsay Lohan has waded into the debate with a some idiosyncratic comments on the fall of of the pound... Any takers?

Another result, from Broxbourne, pushes Leave ahead on 50.66% of the national vote.

Swindon votes 54.66% Leave and 45.34% to Remain

Isles of Scilly has cast its 1,424 votes, with 56.39% to Remain and 43.61% to Leave.

Highland authority counting agent escorted from the building in the Isles of Scilly for... drinking too much.

Another result is in, from Foyle in Northern Ireland, which has had a 78.26% win for Remain with 21.74% to Leave - turnout was 57%.

Things are hotting up at the Leave EU headquarters - Ian Silvera in the thick of it.

IBTimesUK's Orlando Crowcroft has some analysis on the result in Newcastle.

"Even as the pro-EU camp celebrate their first real win of the night, the result in Newcastle should worry Remain. Newcastle is a Labour city with a huge student population that should have seen a much more comfortable win for Remain. A 50.7% win in Newcastle suggests that this will be a very close contest."

Clackmannanshire

Remain: 14,691 (57.78%)

Leave: 10,736 (42.22%)

Turnout: 37,841 (67.19%)

Sterling plummets

Sterling has dropped significantly since declarations started

Sterling is down six cents in the matter of minutes. It sailed as high as $1.50 earlier (the highest it had been since December) but has since slumped after Remain narrowly won in Newcastle and romped in Sunderland.

Sunderland

Remain: 51,930 (61%)

Leave: 82,394 (39%)

Turnout: 134,400 (65%)

Orkney Islands

Remain: 7,189 (63.2%%)

Leave: 4,193 (36.8%)

Turnout: 68%

Newcastle

Remain: 65,404 (50.7%)

Leave: 63,598 (49.3%)

Turnout: 129,072 (68%)

Nigel Farage poses in front of the poster during the campaign for Britain to leave the EUGetty

On the subject of Nigel Farage and Ukip, the MEP sparked controversy with the now infamous "Breaking Point" poster.

Douglas Carswell, the party's only MP, has torn into the image. Speaking to the BBC, Carswell invited news anchor David Dimbleby to ask him about it. He replied: "It was wrong. Angry nativism does not win elections."

Carswell, who represents Clacton in Essex, claimed he did not want to take over Farage as leader of the party.

It remains too close to call, according to Opinium:

Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), makes his final speech of the EU referendum campaign, in London, Britain June 22, 2016.REUTERS/Toby Melville

Nigel Farage: We might lose battle, we will win war

A defiant Nigel Farage has vowed to fight on if the polls are right and Remain wins the EU referendum.

Speaking in central London, the Ukip leader praised Leave supporters for "defying party political leaders, the establishment, the elite and the big boys".

He predicted "Maybe just under half, maybe just over half of the country has voted to leave the European Union", adding ironically that Remainers could look forward to Turkey's accession and a third Greek bailout.

Clarifying that he had not conceded defeat, Farage said the Government's registration scheme and the 48-hour extension "maybe tipped the balance" to Remain.

On the future he said the EU is "doomed" and that while he might have lost the battle, he would "win the war".

Gibraltar

Remain: (96%)19,322

Leave: (4%) 823

Turnout: 20,172

(Eight people marked both!)

People hold banners of murdered Labour Party MP Jo Cox, during a special service at Trafalgar SquareToby Melville/Reuters

Counting has stopped momentarily in Leeds where volunteers have remembered the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed outside her Batley and Spen surgery last week.

Is champagne on ice for the Remain campaignGetty

Those YouGov and Ipsos Mori polls appear to have given bookmakers reason to be bullish. Betfair is saying there is a 90% chance of a Remain winning the referendum...

Gibraltar is set to disappoint Sunderland and be the first centre to announce its result. The peninsula, which juts out into the Alboran Sea in the south of Spain, has 24,000 eligible voters and has recorded a whopping 84% turnout.

We could have the first set of results within the hour...

David Davis has told LBC that he would not join 84 Conservative MPs from the pro-Leave camp in signing the "pledge of allegiance" letter to David Cameron because it was "grovelling".

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed the letter - which calls on David Cameron to stay on even in the event of a Brexit - but Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "I don't sign grovelling letters and I don't sign threatening letters. That falls into grovelling.

"I'm of the view that Cameron should stay on in either circumstance. But why should I put that in a letter. I've said it in public, I'm not going to put it in a letter in somebody else's words."

Labour MP Kate Hoey has said the issue of EU membership will not go away regardless of a Brexit or not.

Speaking on Sky News, Hoey said she was "not interested" in the Ipsos Mori poll pointing to a Remain victory adding she was confident "we will be pretty close to winning".

Of the Leave campaign, Hoey said: "One year ago no one would have thought we would come close to leaving the EU...it shows the country is very divided on this issue and it will not go away."

IBTimesUK's video team have put together this on whether the rockers and ravers squelching around at Glastonbury right now have voted - and if so, who for?

Did Glastonbury goers vote in the EU referendum?IBTimes UK

A new poll from Ipsos MORI has Remain at 54% and 46% Leave.

The Tweets are coming in from political leaders on both side of the debate, including Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

IBTimesUK columnist and Remain backer Alastair Campbell told the BBC.

'I'm still a little bit nervous to be honest... I have met an awful lot of people today who said they were going to vote Leave or have voted Leave.'

Read Alastair's work for IBTimesUK here.

A letter by Conservative MP Robert Sim on behalf of 84 Vote Leave Tories has been handed to Number 10 thanking him for referendum and pledging support for him to remain as PM.

Writing on his blog, Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov, has given some analysis on the various polls that have come out in the last half hour.

Let's assume the polls haven't screwed up completely, and the true eve-of-referendum position, including Gibraltar and expatriate voters, was Remain 51.2-55.3%, Leave 44.7-48.8%. Adding in on-the day effects that hover between neutral and a 2 point lift for Remain, the final UK result should be somewhere in the range of Remain 51.2-57.3%, Leave 42.7-48.8%

This gives us a mid-point prediction of an 8.5% lead for remain, or a majority of around 2.5 million of votes cast. But don't be surprised if the gap is less than one million – or as much as four million. And if the phone polls have been systematically overstating support for Remain throughout the campaign, then a victory for Brexit is perfectly possible.

My apologies if that is not precise enough for you. If you need a more exact forecast, I suggest you toss a coin or ask an astrologer.

The pound is up to its highest on the dollar since December (at $1.50) and also on the Euro.

A bit more from YouGov on that poll...

YouGov now saying that a poll of 5,000 people has Remain at 52% and Leave at 48%.

Sky News is now reporting that Nigel Farage expects the Remain camp to 'edge it'.

Last-minute voters attempting to have their say in the EU referendum have been met by chaotic scenes at train stations and airports. Torrential rain deluged London and the South East on Wednesday night causing widespread flooding in the area.

Lewis Dean reports here.

Leave.EU has conducted a nationwide poll of over 10,000 people over the last 48 hours. The results are as follows:

Leave 52%
Remain 48%

The poll was conducted between 6pm on June 21 and 6pm on June 23rd and suggests a narrow Leave victory.

The poll excludes those that said they would not be voting or undecided.

A dog waits for its owner outside a polling station for the Referendum on the European Union in west London, Britain, June 23, 2016REUTERS/Toby Melville

So that's it, polls are officially closed although there will be those still in line voting for the next ten minutes or so.

We are expecting the first result at between midnight and 12.30, starting with Sunderland, and then a steady flow of 382 counting centres from across the country.

And now rumours from a chap who claims that Boris conceded defeat on the tube as he rushed home to cast his vote...

Boris Johnson cutting it fine with just ten minutes to go until the polls close in Islington.

Ian Silvera has bagged an interview with Arron Banks, co-founder of Leave.EU. Check it out here.

The latest trend on Twitter is #SuggestAJobForFarage given, of course, that Britain does vote to Remain in today's referendum.

Here are a few ideas as we kill the last 20 minutes until the polls close.

Little doubt now that there will be a lot of London commuters unable to get home in time to get to the polling stations, given today's travel chaos in the capital.

The Electoral Commission is reminding British voters that as long as they are in line by 10 pm, they will still be allowed to vote.

Another update from our man-on-the-ground Ian Silvera, who said that the Leave camp is optimistic with 35 minutes until the polls close.

Leave.EU sources are optimistic with less than an hour before polls close, but their mood contradicts that of a well placed source in the Grassroots Out group, who yesterday was bearish on Leave's chances.

Kirklees Council has announced that its polling station at Waverley Road in Huddersfield has re-opened after being closed earlier this evening because of a stabbing.

A statement from police earlier about the attack, said that it was not linked to today's vote.

Police were called to reports of man with a stab wound collapsed in the street in the Waverley Road area of Huddersfield at 5.15pm. Officers attended and found a man who had suffered what are believed to be serious but not life threatening injuries. This incident is not linked to the European referendum and it is believed the incident took place in Greenhead Park and the victim has then walked to the Waverley Road area.

#IVotedLeave now the number one trend on Twitter UK...

Massive turnout in Scotland by the looks of it, which will be a boost to the Remain camp.

Our reporter Ian Silvera is at the Leave headquarters in London's Millbank Tower . Ian is following the vote in the final hour before the polls close and beyond. Follow him at @ianjsilvera

Financial traders in London and across Europe are set to bed in for the nightGetty

'It's like Black Wednesday all over again'

It's going to be a long night for London's financial traders, who have been booking hotel rooms, ordering takeaway and bringing in their sleeping bags in anticipation of market turmoil in the event of a Brexit.

JP Morgan, whose European headquarters are in London's Canary Wharf financial district, has booked nearby hotels while Barclays employees were seen arriving at work with sleeping bags.

Banks across the continent have built bunk beds and some bankers have been given time off in the build-up to the vote to re-charge their batteries for frenetic trading.

Enda Homan, a senior FX trader at Allied Irish Banks in Dublin, described how the night would play out to Bloomberg.

"It is a unique opportunity for traders, probably not seen since 1992 Black Wednesday. I will also make sure that there is plenty of freshly brewed coffee to get us through the quiet bits while awaiting the results."

A woman carries an umbrella past a pub being used as a polling station for the Referendum on the European Union in west London, Britain, June 23, 2016REUTERS/Toby Melville

It's been bucketing down in the South East but voters should defy the sogginess to cast their vote.

That's the message from Stronger In, who in an 11th-hour mail shot said:

"We know the weather's bad in some areas – but we can't let the rain decide this referendum.

"Even if it's pouring down in your area, please make the effort to go and vote – this is your only chance to have your say in the most important decision in a generation.

"If we vote to leave, there is no going back.

"So please – get out and vote Remain, and if you can, offer a lift to any neighbours or family members who might be struggling to get to the polling station.

"In these final few hours, every vote will make the difference."

People queue outside a polling station for the Referendum on the European Union in north LondonReuters

With less than three hours until polling station close, it seems tens of thousands of voters have left it a little late to find out where they can put a cross on their ballot paper.

"Where do I vote" is currently trending on Google with more than 20,000 searches.

A 19-year-old man has been arrested after a man was stabbed outside a polling station in Huddersfield.

West Yorkshire Police were called to Waverley Road at 5.15pm to reports a man was collapsed in the street.

The victim suffered what are believed to be serious but not life threatening injuries.

Detectives quickly denied any link between the attack and referendum.

The polling station was closed for 30 minutes following the stabbing.

There is also an IBTimes UK Cassetteboy-style video to add some humour amid all the misery while we wait for the polls to close.

EU referendum remixed: A video mashup of the great British Brexit debateIBTimes UK

This has been a very bitter referendum from both sides of the argument which everyone will be frankly glad will soon be over. Luckily, the Press Association has complied a short video of the lighter moments from the seemingly never ending campaign.

According the Betfair, the EU Referendum has become the the biggest political betting market in their history, trading in a total of £63m on the market , including £12m that has been traded today.

The betting company says the biggest single bet on the market for remain has been £315,000 whereas the largest amount for Leave is £194,000.

Betfair Spokesperson, Naomi Totten said: "The sheer volume of money being traded on this market is phenomenal with over £63m now matched and £12m of that being traded today alone. The largest betting market in Betfair Exchange history is £102m on a World Cup cricket match in 2015. It is unlikely that the Brexit market will surpass that, but we are predicting that it will sit comfortably in the top 10 markets of all time."

From one of our entertainment reporters Lucia Binding, we look at how celebrities including David Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch and Cara Delevingne have helped push the Remain vote to a younger audience.

Binding Writes:

It's hard to ignore the abundant support for the Remain campaign from glamorous celebrities. While some famous people have spoken about supporting Leave – including Joan Collins, Duncan Bannatyne and Katie Hopkins – it is figures in popular culture, from reality television stars to YouTubers, that often have the biggest impact on new voters.

See the full article here.

Cara Delevingne is one of the British celebrities to come out in support of RemainReuters

Just on the site, we have voters from both sides of the argument talking to our reporter Harriet Sinclair on why they are voting for either Leave or Remain.

From the Leave camp:

The biggest single problem with the European Union is the Eurozone and the single currency. Whilst the Euro exists, the Southern European nations are trapped without sovereign control over their monetary policy and cannot have a sustained economic recovery without creating economic distortions in Germany.

As a result Spanish and Greek youth unemployment is persistently above 40% - feeling trapped and desperate, far-left wing politics emerges and you then get large migration from the Southern European countries to the North.

And from the Remain:

From an economic perspective, to be a self-supporting island we would need our own power, water, food, basic goods and strong defences. For power we have recently closed our second biggest source of power down (or are in the process of doing so). Rather than build UK power stations we have built interconnectors to Europe. We will effectively have to buy our power from Europe.

A Vote Leave supporter shows off his t-shirt on the first day of the Royal Cornwall Show on a Vote Leave information stand at the Royal Cornwall Show near Wadebridge, CornwallMatt Cardy/ Getty Images

During a miserable day of weather across the UK, which even forced the closure of some polling stations, the IB Times UK asked an expert how much adverse weather could affect the result of the vote.

In short, not really. Anthony Wells, YouGov's research director, added: "Common sense obviously suggests that people are less likely to go out in the pouring rain, but the actual evidence doesn't back it up very well. In past elections in this country when we've had different weather in different parts of the country, it hasn't produced a big difference in turnout."

Lightning flashes in the night sky over South LondonGetty

The bookies are continuing to suggest that remain will be the winner in this historic referendum.

According to our report, Ladbrokes are offered odds of 5/1 that a Brexit would win the vote, down from 4/1 and 9/2 earlier in the day. Elsewhere, while odds on Remain being victories have shortened from 1/3 to 1/8.

However, the pound has fallen against the Euro this afternoon after being on a 2016 high at the start of the day.

The Vote Leave campaign have been accused of attempting to "divide the country" by sending out a panicky email warning that London and Scotland – where there is a predicted high turnout for Remain - despite the "heartlands of the country" voting to leave.
The full email reads:

Labour's Chuka Umunna condemned the email. He said:

Vote Leave are ending this campaign as they began it – by seeking to divide our country not unite it, turning regions, nations and communities against one another.

Londoners and Scots have as much right to exercise their democratic choice as anyone else. Implying that our votes are somehow less legitimate than those cast in other parts of Britain is utterly disgraceful.

The choice is as clear as ever. There are just hours left until the polls close. Today, reject division and vote Remain for a united, tolerant, decent Great Britain.

Voters brave the rain to register their votes in the EU referendum at their local polling station, in Farthing Downs parkGetty

We also have a piece from one of columnists Steve Busfield who looks at how the Euros in France has united the continent while the EU Ref has split us down the middle.

The referendum – and how the UK reacts whichever way the vote goes – will be a key moment in our relationship with Europe and the world. As with the European championships, the bigger picture is brighter than the sometimes misleading snapshot.

Read the rest of the column from Busfield here.

Elsewhere on IBTimes UK, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has suggested his country should hold a Brexit-style referendum or whether they should continue attempting to apply to be in the EU.

He said "We would ask, 'Should we continue the negotiations with the European Union or should we end them?' If the people say 'continue,' then we would carry on."

Full story here.

Yet another poll, this time for SurveyMonkey, once again has this referendum too close to call.

Voters will be opting to remain or leave the EU today based on a number of factors - with the economy coming in as one of the issues voters are most worried about.

EU Referendum: How would a Brexit affect the UK economy?IBTimes UK

Poor weather has hit polling stations up and down the country, with a polling station in Dover experiencing complete power outage during last night's storm. It was up and running by the time the first voters arrived but is continuing to run on a generator.

Former prime minister Tony Blair has been mocked on social media after he posted a photo of himself holding up a piece of white card with the words "I voted Remain".

After Twitter users spotted the picture, several changed the white card to read a variety of different messages, including "I am Becky with the good hair" and "I hate Tim Peake".

Many also pointed out the lack of foresight from Blair in holding up a piece of card that could be so easily doctored on social media.

#TakeAPenToVote is gaining popularity on Twitter as voters muse whether or not their democratic contribution is likely to be rubbed out by anyone who opposes their view if they write in pencil.

Top Tweets on the subject include the comments: "duct tape pen to house key or back of mobile phone" in order to vote in pen, and "The #TakeAPenToVote thing is a new level of paranoid. I'm going to vote using my own blood".

Fed up with the real EU referendum? An independent developer has created an interactive fiction game that paints a bleak picture of a post-Leave Britain.

Paper Brexit – available to download for free on both PC and Mac – puts the reader/player in the shoes of a journalist discussing the fallout of the referendum with his editor. During the story it is revealed that a far right-wing government has taken power and President 'Drumpf' controls the White House.

Still having trouble deciding whether to vote Leave or Remain? Check out 10 reasons to leave from our columnist Michael Toner and 10 reasons to remain from IBTimes UK reporter Harriet Sinclair.

Floral tributes for MP and Remain campaigner Jo Cox, who was murdered outside a constituency surgery last week, have been left outside the polling station in her constituency.

The majority of people believe David Cameron was right to call a referendum, according to the latest poll by Ipsos MORI.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said: "Our final poll suggests it is very close, and even though remain has had more momentum this week, probability models suggest Leave still has a one in four chance to win.

"The referendum has revealed clear splits among the British public – they themselves just about expect remain to win, but many simply don't know – even as one in eight could still change their minds. Despite all of this, two in three think calling the referendum was the right thing to do."

Will Straw, executive director of Stronger In has made a last ditch attempt to round up extra Remain voters as people make their way to the polls.

In an email sent round to Stronger In supporters, he wrote: "You and your friends will decide this referendum.

"With polls close, every vote counts – so please: think of 5 friends or family members and then text, call, email or message them and make sure they're going to vote, and vote Remain."

He urged Remain voters to come out and support the campaign if they had any free time, also encouraging them to share a graphic on social media to let their friends and family know they were voting Remain.

Britain's bookmakers have witnessed a surge in betting as voters across the UK go to the polls and punters attempt to predict the result of the EU referendum.

A poll by Populus has put Remain ahead with 55% to Leave 45%, backing up the recent Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard that also showed a Remain victory, but with a slightly closer result of 52% Remain to 48% Leave.

The Ipsos MORI poll predicts a close result, with the continuing bad weather also possibly affecting the eventual outcome.

As voters leave the polling stations and share their votes on social media, Remain tweets are outstripping Leave tweets, according to a Twitter-tracking platform developed by digital agency Blueclaw.

However, this is likely to reflect the fact that young people are more likely to vote Remain and more likely to use Twitter rather than an indicator of the election outcome.

Remember you don't need your polling card to vote. In fact, you don't need to take a polling card if you are proxy voting for someone else - your details will be held by the polling station if someone has registered you as their proxy.

Which results should you be watching this evening and tomorrow morning for early indications of whether Brexit is happening?

Several polling stations have been closed due to flooding, with Kingston Council in Surrey telling voters one of their polling stations has been relocated following heavy rain.

It said: "Due to the bad weather, the Devon Way polling station has had to close. This polling station has been moved to the Hook Centre, Hook Road, Chessington."

It is also believed to be closing another polling station in the area, as people donned wellies to get in to vote. Any residents whose local polling station is closed will be advised where to go to cast their vote.

Meanwhile several other polling stations have become increasingly hard to reach, with flood water making it difficult for voters to get to the ballot box without getting wet.

Boris Johnson has shared pictures from his final days campaigning to leave the EU, posting a message and photos to his supporters on social media.

He wrote about the people he had met on the campaign trail and the culmination of months of lobbying: "For me this campaign has been about democracy: who do we want to rule us.

"It is we who want to give power back to people. It is we who want to stand up against the corporatist and elitist system that will never admit its mistakes. That is why we believe in democracy – because it is the best way humanity has found of correcting the errors of our rulers; and we would be crazy to throw it away.

"Now is the time to believe in ourselves, and in what Britain can do, and to remember that we always do best when we believe in ourselves. Of course we can continue to provide leadership and support in Europe – but intergovernmentally, outside the supranational control of the EU system.

"Today, I hope you will Vote Leave, and take back control of this country's destiny; and if we Vote Leave, then all our votes will count for more in the future.

"Let's make today our Independence Day."

Brexit has just a 14% chance of success according to bookies Betfair's latest odds - putting Remain to win at an 86% chance.

Betfair Spokesperson, Naomi Totten said: "Remain has been backed hard again this morning with the price coming in from 1.3 (1/3 or a 77% chance) to 1.17 (2/13 or an 86% chance) on the back of £4m traded.

"There was nearly £10m traded on the day of the Scottish Referendum so the market will be worth watching closely as polling day continues."

Those betting on percentages are putting money on Remain to win by between 50-55% or 55-60%.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has cast his vote in what he said was "the simplest ballot of my life"

The thought of a UK outside of the European Union might worry or elate you, but what about Scotch whisky made outside of Scotland? Food and drink around the UK and Europe is given special protected status by the EU but that could change with Brexit, writes IBTimes UK reporter, James Tennent.

Over 60 UK products have either 'protected designation of origin' or 'protected geographical indication' – meaning that only products made in that region, to a certain quality and using traditional methods can use the name. So after Brexit, if the UK were to get rid of EU legislation, Plymouth Gin wouldn't have to be made in Plymouth and Scotch whisky could be produced in, say, Wales.

It's not just booze – anywhere in the world could call their cheese Stilton without worry of legal challenge in the European market; your Cumberland sausage may no longer be made in Cumbria. The UK could, of course, create their own protected status but that would not stop companies in other countries picking up the names for themselves and selling them elsewhere.

If you think using a destination in the name already signifies that it's made there, think again – the title London dry gin is only regulated by the production process, not location. Tanqueray London Dry, for example, is distilled in Scotland.

EU referendum debate: Boris Johnson, Ruth Davidson and Sadiq Khan lock hornsIBTimes UK

Watch our politicians debate on the future of Britain in Europe.

Opinion polls were split last night ahead of the historic vote today, with Leave and Remain on level pegging according to two conflicting polls showing victories for each side.

Not sure where to vote? Simply type in your postcode at wheredoivote.co.uk and get the details of the polling station you are registered at.

Details of your polling station are also on your polling card - although you do not need the polling card to cast your vote.

Italian winemakers fear Brexit could undermine sales of Prosecco and other forms of 'spumante' in the UK.

Britain has become the world's biggest market for Italian sparklers, with reports warning that the rising demand for Prosecco could outstrip supply and lead to a shortage.

Research group Nomisma warned, among other things, Italy's manufacturing sector would also be undermined if the UK leaves Europe. "A UK exit from the EU would not be an apocalyptic event but in the short term the shocks to the [Italian] economy would not be insignificant," the association said in its latest report.

The group also pointed out British tourists who visit Italy could see their spending power diminished by the recession some predict in the event of Brexit.

-IBTimes UK reporter Ludovica Iaccino

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said today's rain could give Leave a lead, telling PA: "Actually I do think we are in with a very strong chance, I do genuinely. But it's all about turnout and those soft Remainers staying at home."

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn jokingly suggested people turn to the bookies for a good idea of the vote's outcome, telling PA reporters as he cast his vote this morning: "You could either check the wind or check the bookies," and adding that"the bookies usually get it right".

David and Samantha Cameron cast their votes this morningReuters

The Prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron were pictured going to cast their votes this morning. The pair voted at London's Methodist Central Hall polling station, where Samantha Cameron proudly displayed an 'IN' badge.

Want to know where and when to find out the results of the EU referendum?

EU referendum: When and how the vote result will be announced?IBTimes UK
EU Referendum in a nutshell: Why should you vote to leave or remain?IBTimes UK

If you're yet to cast your vote and are unsure whether to Remain or Leave, check out our video outlining the key arguments for both sides of the debate.

The pound has reached its highest level this year during Asia trading, as the UK heads to cast their votes in the EU referendum.

The British currency gained 0.9% against the US dollar, rising to a year-high of $1.4844 on Thursday morning (23 June) in Asia, before relinquishing some ground and trade at $1.4780 by 8.25am BST. The latest gain means the sterling has now climbed more than 4% against the greenback over the past seven days.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast his vote this morning, for Remain, stating "The EU provides the best framework to meet the challenges of our time".

Will the weather actually make a difference to voting behaviour? It's commonly believed so, but Anthony Wells, Research Director at YouGov, told IBTimes UK: "Common sense obviously suggests that people are less likely to go out in the pouring rain, but the actual evidence doesn't back it up very well. In past elections in this country when we've had different weather in different parts of the country, it hasn't produced a big difference in turnout."

It seems everyone is enjoying the pictures of dogs at polling stations as much as we are, with #dogsatpollingstations now trending on Twitter.

We agree Josh! Here is another dog, having a serious think about the referendum while its owner uses their right to vote.

A dog is tied to railings outside a polling station waiting for its owner to cast their vote on the EU Referendum on June 23, 2016 in Saltburn-by-the-SeaIan Forsyth/Getty Images

German newspaper Bild said it would acknowledge England's controversial goal in the 1966 World Cup if Britain remains in the EU.

Front pages of UK papers this morning are taking the opportunity to hammer home their respective EU stances and encourage their readers to get out and vote.

Commuters braving inclement weather and the morning rush face delays and cancellations across the Hammersmith and City, District, Circle and Metropolitan lines as Transport for London grapples to bring flood waters under control.

As to whether transport disruptions might continue into the day and put voters off casting their ballots in the EU referendum, TFL told IBTimes UK: "The good news is that across the whole Tube, rail and road networks, the problems are in specific areas. It is not like the whole network is submerged and we can't move. The network is running and services are moving."

A woman carries an umbrella past a pub being used as a polling station for the Referendum on the European Union in west LondonREUTERS/Toby Melville

Following the hashtag #CatsForBrexit and #CatsAgainstBrexit, here's a dog getting involved in democracy.

A dog waits for its owner outside a polling station for the Referendum on the European Union in west London, Britain, June 23, 2016REUTERS/Toby Melville

If you're intent on keeping an eye on which way the vote is swinging, your best bet is to stay up and watch the results come in as, unlike in general elections, there will be no public exit polls conducted in the EU referendum.

Exit polls, which have accurately predicted election outcomes in recent years, work by surveying people as they leave polling stations at different points around the county and comparing their answers to previous polling data to see if there has been any change.

However, given that the last referendum on Europe was more than 40 years ago and there were no exit polls then, there is nothing to compare exit polls with.

But private financial institutions are believed to be conducting their own exit polls to get an early idea of how the markets will be affected.

Voters have reported busy polling stations this morning, with some people lining up to get in before the doors opened at 7am. The wet weather doesn't seem to have put off those eager to vote.

The hasthtag #iVoted has begun trending on Twitter, with many people taking the opportunity to get their vote in early in the day.

Several shared their votes, with some taking pictures in the polling booths, and both campaigns encouraging people to get out and vote - despite the terrible weather this morning.

London has been hit by travel chaos following heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight. Several underground stations including West Ham have been closed for part of the morning due to flooding. There have also been delays on Greater Anglia trains into London and disruption on the roads as drivers battle the rain.

It is expected to become hot and humid later in the day as warm air from France moves in, leading to unsettled weather.

Typically, poor weather affects voting behaviour, with undecided voters less likely to venture out to cast their votes in the rain.

Welcome to the IBTimes UK coverage of the EU referendum polling day. We'll be here all day and through to the results tomorrow morning, so stay with us for live updates on everything referendum related.

Polls are now open, with votes being cast from 7am this morning, and will remain open until 10pm on 23 June.

Severe weather warnings from the Met Office could have an impact on voter behaviour if the fluctuating weather continues, with drizzle this morning and hot, humid spells predicted later in the day.

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