THE marathon EU campaign is finally over and today Brits will have their say at the ballot box on the biggest political decision facing this country for decades,The Sun reports. The last polls have the two camps almost neck and neck, with experts saying the race is simply too close to call. The average of four polls puts Remain on 51.25% and Leave on 48.75%.
A huge five million voters are yet to make up their minds on which box to tick as they head to polls with the result on the knife edge. Will the wet weather swing it for Brexit? The pound hit its highest level of the year late last night as traders bet on Britain voting Remain.
Sterling hit 1.48 US dollars, building on its rise all through the week after opinion poll data showed a narrow lead for the Remain camp. It has since eased to 1.47 US dollars. However, experts believe that it is bookmakers’ odds that currency traders are following.
The pound has now surged by 4% over the past seven days, helping it reclaim all its losses seen since the start of the year. On Monday, sterling notched up its biggest one-day gain against the dollar for nearly eight years.
Currency analysts expect volatility whichever way the vote goes. Asked if he was feeing confident the Labour leader smiled and said: “Extremely, it’s a very good day.” On the outcome of the referendum he joked: “You could either check the wind or check the bookies,” adding, “the bookies usually get it right”.
Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha have cast their votes this morning at their local polling station Central Methodist Hall near Downing Street – unlikely to be the busiest count of the day
Ignoring questions from reporters about the weather, he issued one last plea on social media to voters to choose a “brighter future”: Paranoid Leave supporters are urging voters to take a pen with them to the ballot box to stop their vote being rubbed out.
One of the dastardly ruses they fear is their pencil votes being rubbed out by those suspicious looking officials at polling stations… The Ukip leader look happy as Larry this morning despite pulling out of last night’s final EU debate for “family reasons”.
It later emerged he was just having dinner with his son who he hadn’t seen for nine months. This morning he posed for the cameras holding up his copy of The Sun. Like him or loathe him, Nigel Farage is in part responsible for the EU referendum taking place in the first place.
Well with 41,000 polling stations across the country open until 10pm don’t expect a quick count. Some poor counting officers had to set off yesterday to reach the farthest flung corners of the UK. Charles Repkke had to board a ferry last night to reach the 122 voters on the Isle of Gigha.
All the votes will be collected and taken to 382 local counting centres who will declare the results as the night goes on. Sunderland is expected to be first with its result at 12.30am while sleepy Arun and Waveney will finally be finished at 7am.
Strap in for a long night. Read our full guide here. The Times calls it the “Day of Reckoning” in its wraparound, we go for “Independence Day” and the Mirror pleads with its readers “don’t take a leap in the dark” – it’s all rather apocalyptic this morning in the papers.
The prize for best front page though might go to the Bild in Germany which pleads with voters to choose Remain, saying they’ll finally admit Geoff Hurst’s goal did cross the line. The Met Office issues weather warnings overnight, with flashfloods predicted across London and the south east. The capital is expected to see a month’s rainfall in the space of a few hours.
Will the torrential downpours affect voter turnout as polling stations opened across the country this morning at 7am. Brexiteers will be hoping it does. A lower turnout is expected to favour them with more of their supporters intent on voting.
The average of four polls puts Remain on 51.25% and Leave on 48.75%. Opinium’s final poll put Leave ahead by a slither, by 51% to 49%, when the undecideds are stripped out. YouGov’s poll for The Times showed a swing in the other direction with Remain on 51%, and Leave on 49%. A poll late last night for the Mail and ITV put Remain slightly further ahead don 48% to Leave’s 42% but said 11% of voters were still undecided.