Welcome to our Brexit results blog, where we’ve been following all the action from the EU referendum emerges, with Britons voting to Leave the EU by 1,269,501 votes. Britons have voted for Brexit in a momentous decision that has sent shockwaves around the world.
That’s all, folks
We’re winding up our live coverage now after the UK voted to leave the EU by 52 per cent to 49 per cent, or 1,269,501, votes in a “crushing decision” that has the world in turmoil.
MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz has called the Brexit a “crushing, crushing decision”, telling the BBC “it’s a terrible day for Britain with immense consequences.”
Bill Muirhead, the Aussie ad guru, behind the “Remain” campaign admitted “we didn’t take the gloves off enough and maybe there was too much caution, maybe too much concern about attacking each other in terms of not launching hits in the campaign.”
Meanwhile, the pound has dropped to its lowest since 1985, Japan has called crisis meetings over its stock market and experts have warned of challenges across the world for those who trade with the UK and EU.
Commentators are predicting the end of the UK, with Scotland now likely to leave and Irish republican party Sinn Fein calling for a referendum on a united Ireland. Other European countries may also be spurred on to leave Europe.
British Prime Minister David Cameron may now have to step down as the blame game begins over why the “Remain” camp failed in such spectacular fashion.
The loss has come has a huge shock for the world, with the bookies 90 per cent sure Britain would stay in the EU as the polls closed.
Visit our homepage for all the latest reaction or scroll down to follow events as they unfolded.
Abbott calls Brexit vote ‘brave’
Tony Abbott has called this a “momentous decision by the British people.”
‘Sad day for Europe and Britain’
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is sobering news.
“It looks like a sad day for Europe and for Britain,” Mr. Steinmeier said.
Udo Bullmann, leader of the German social democrats in the European Parliament, warned the average British household would lose “thousands of pounds a year” through losing access to the EU internal market, the FT reports.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen hailed Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and called for a similar referendum in France.
“Victory for Freedom! As I have been asking for years we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,” the National Front (FN) leader tweeted.
Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Friday called for the Netherlands to hold a referendum on whether to leave the EU.
UK’s divorce from EU sees sterling suffer biggest one-day fall
Britain is leaving the EU after 45 years of membership, with the vote count complete and the shockwaves reverberating across the globe.
With 374 out of 382 regional results declared, there were 16.8 million votes for “Leave” and 15.7 million for “Remain”, making it mathematically impossible for “Remain” to win.
Prime Minister David Cameron, head of the Conservative government, is expected to make a statement, most likely outside his official residence at 10 Downing Street.
Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has not indicated when he will speak about the “leave” campaign success, but UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who spoke several times late Thursday and early Friday, plans a further statement Friday morning.
Mr Cameron’s defeat in the referendum represents a political earthquake that may re-shape the Tory party leadership, which was deeply split by the Brexit issue, and could cost him his job.
“He’s almost certainly got to go,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London. “There are too many people who will see him as someone who lost his legitimacy and … was outplayed by an opponent who wants to take over as a leader.”
World financial markets dived as sterling suffered its biggest one-day fall of more than 10 per cent against the dollar, hitting a 31-year low on market fears the decision will hit investment in the world’s fifth largest economy.
The vote will initiate at least two years of messy divorce proceedings with the EU and raises questions over London’s role as a global financial capital
— With wires
A new era is dawning in Britain.Source:AFP
Aussie ad guru admits he ‘didn’t take the gloves off enough’
The Australian advertising guru behind the Prime Minister David Cameron-led Remain campaign has conceded he perhaps should have gone harder in convincing people to stay within the EU.
London-based M&C Saatchi executive director Bill Muirhead ran a tough campaign, criticised in some quarters for being too critical and negative of opposing views and stoking unfounded fear.
But Mr Muirhead, who is also South Australia’s agent general in London, said the unexpected result of the referendum showed he didn’t go hard enough.
“Yes you would have to say it didn’t work and I think that obviously we will have to wait and see what the consequences are,” he told News Corp Australia of the Remain campaign loss.
“Obviously we didn’t take the gloves off enough and maybe there was too much caution, maybe too much concern about attacking each other in terms of not launching hits in the campaign. Obviously there will be a big wash up, with the vote now saying we are out then there isn’t going back so a whole new world will unfold.”
One of those “harder” campaigns could have been a dramatic poster that was never realeased as it was seen as inappropriate that depicted a giant hand grenade with the caption about not pulling the pin or else.
Just hours before the poll Mr Muirhead was confident the argument had been made in simple terms based around the theme of the fear of the unknown.
He said there were many complexities in the in-out argument but he believed enough had been down to simplify the message.
“I think the simple message was leaving, so a negative message in the way, was too uncertain,” he said just prior to the results known. “The uncertainty created by that was too much for people so fear was one of the big factors that will led to the success.”
— Charles Miranda
UK VOTES TO LEAVE
The win for Brexit is now guaranteed.
Celebrations and commiserations
Scenes of jubilation among the Brexiteers create a sharp contrast with the sheer misery in the Remain camp.
The images say it all:
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) Nigel Farage reacts at the Leave.EU referendum party at Millbank Tower in central London.Source:AFP
Stronger In campaigners as hope slips away. HQ is now all but abandoned.Source:AFP
Realisation dawns in the Remain camp.Source:AFP
This is it, Britain.Source:AFP
Key late results with Leave close to win
Let’s look at some of the final important results from around the UK.
• The official turnout for the referendum is a mammoth 72.2%.
• All 32 areas in Scotland backed Remain with a total of 62% of the vote
• Wales backed Brexit in 17 out of 22 areas to the shock of campaigners in Labour heartlands, by a margin of 52.5%.
• More than one million people voted in Northern Ireland, which backed Remain with 56% of the vote.
• Leave pulled off a shock triumph in Birmingham with 50.5% of the vote.
The final countdown
This is it: the end is in sight with just 32 areas left to declare and Leave ahead by 52 per cent to 48 per cent and more than one million votes.
The Brexit has reignited calls for independence elsewhere in the world, with Texas asking, why not a Texit?
Irish republican party Sinn Fein has said this could renew a push for a united Ireland, with Northern Ireland voting to Remain.
UK Green Party leader Caroline Lucas says: “People have been told a sort of snake oil — they’ve been told leaving the EU will solve a whole lot of problems.”
The pound is at its lowest since 1985.
‘Beginning of end for UK’
Prominent commentators are predicting the death of the UK with it looking likely this would trigger another Scottish referendum.
After Scotland voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remain, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status.
“And while the overall result remains to be declared, the vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.”
History in making with world thrown into chaos
Many major news outlets are now calling it for Brexit, including the New York Times.
Pundits are predicting a 52 per cent to 48 per cent win for Leave, which translates into a million votes.
With 319 out of 382 results in, here’s where we stand:
Remain: 12,991,972 (48.4 per cent)
Leave: 13,842,109 (51.6 per cent)
In a volatile start to trading that is expected to continue for most of the day, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 1.3 per cent, while Australia fell 2 per cent and South Korea 1.2 per cent.
TV networks call vote for Leave
UK media is calling it for Brexit, with Leave on 52 per cent and Remain on 48 per cent.
The BBC, ITV and Sky News are forecasting a vote for Brexit, and the UK Telegraph is calling it for a Leave victory.
The TV networks are forecasting Leave.Source:Supplied
The BBC, ITV and much the UK press is calling it for Brexit.Source:Supplied
Sky News calls it for a British exit.Source:Supplied
The world reacts with Leave almost a million votes ahead
Leaders across the world are reacting to a shocking situation in Britain with the vote for Brexit almost a million ahead of Remain.
Malcolm Turnbull said the vote showed the need for strong leadership. “It is a reminder that there are always going to be challenges in the global economy and that is why you need to have strong and stable government here in Australia,” he told reporters.
He said if the UK did vote to leave the EU, it would be a “big shock” and Australia needed a “strong majority government” to ensure it was resilient and able to deal with unexpected challenges that arise.
Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australia could withstand any fallout from a Brexit. “The fundamentals of the Australian economy are solid,” he said. “But what it does show is the importance of having a long-term plan for transitioning Australia from the mining boom.”
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt called the results “beyond comprehension”.
Japanese finance minister, Taro Aso, has announced he will be giving a press conference in just under an hour, after the Yen strengthened against the US dollar.
Respected pollster John Curtice says: “If things carry on as they have been for much longer then it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Leave has won.”
Birmingham, the UK’s second biggest city, has just voted to Leave.
West Oxfordshire, where prime minister David Cameron’s constituency lies, has voted Remain, but only by 35,236 votes to 30,435 for Leave.
Former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell has said the UK is entering “uncharted territory.”
World reeling as Leave appears imminent
The outlook in Britain is a shocking turnaround from earlier today, and it’s throwing the world into chaos.
Ukip’s Nigel Farage is giving a victory speech, saying: “Let’s get rid of the flag, the anthem of Brussels and all that has gone wrong.”
Some are blaming a London-centric British media and political class for totally misjudging the sentiment of ordinary Britons.
Bristol has declared for Remain, making some inroads on Leave’s lead, and Wandsworth in south-west London — one of the most pro-remain areas in the country — came in at 75 per cent for staying in the EU.
But it doesn’t look like any of this will be enough, with markets “hitting the ejector button”, according to the Financial Times.
Sterling has reached a 30-year low against the dollar, below $1.35, while the yen, a classic retreat in times of stress, is soaring.
Pound drops to lowest level since 2009 as Remain odds drop to 10%
The pound has dropped to its lowest level since 2009, falling to $US1.37 — a drop of more than 7 per cent from its highs of $US1.50 just hours ago.
The odds on a Remain victory have plunged to just 10 per cent on Betfair. When the polls closed, the odds were over 90 per cent.
“Despite the close nature of the count, markets are on the move,” Bill O’Neill, head of UK investment at UBS Wealth Management, told the BBC. “We are clearly seeing a very dramatic flight to safe-havens across markets in Asia.
“Sterling has fallen very sharply and is struggling to hold 1.40 against the US dollar. US Treasuries are showing substantial declines in yields.
“Gold has risen by about two per cent overnight. We are also seeing advances in so-called safe haven currencies such as the Yen and Swiss Franc. Stock market futures have also registered significant falls.”
UKIP leader ‘dares to dream’
Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party leader and Leave campaigner, has changed histune yet again, after initially giving it to his opponents.
Remain camp ‘running out of options’
Things are changing rapidly, with Leave now ahead by 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent (438,370 votes) and 206 out of 382 areas announced.
And Remain is running out of options. They still have Cambridge to come which is pro-EU and is a sure “Remain” vote.
Leeds and Bristol are two big cities still to come, and pro-EU Edinburgh could make a difference.
Birmingham is one of the big cities but it is leaning towards a Brexit and cannot be relied on for a ‘Remain’ vote.
Also to come is pro-Brexit rural Cornwall which has the fifth largest electorate.
What happens if Britain votes Leave?
Searches have spiked on Google as everyone starts seriously wondering what happens if the a Brexit goes through.
We’ve put together this vital guide to everything you need to know in case of a British exit.
If the Leave vote prevails, the pressure will be on for politicians to take action and it could also means prime minister David Cameron will step down.
It could mean a host of unforeseen consequences, as businesses may change where they invest their money, and some people may move countries sooner.
It will also result in the repeal of all sorts of laws and will impact where people can live and work and how trade with other countries is conducted.
Concerned expression fom two classically British-looking young men at the Stronger In Campaign results party at the Royal Festival Hall in London.Source:AFP
Where we stand
Here is the state of play in the EU referendum after 347 of 382 turnouts declared and 61 of 382 results:
Remain has received 2,053,897 votes, or 50.8% of the total.
Leave has received 1,987,753 votes, or 49.2% of the total.
Based on the turnouts reported so far, the estimated winning post is 16,801,763 votes.
This means Remain would need 14,747,866 more votes to win.
Leave would need 14,814,010 more votes to win.
Based on the number of votes cast so far, the estimated winning post is 16,159,287 votes.
— Charles Miranda in Europe
Horrified faces in the Remain camp.Source:AFP
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband looks shellshocked.Source:AFP
Too close to call as London vote begins
The London vote is streaming in, with Barking & Dagenham in the east choosing Leave by 24 points — far above the eight points expected.
West London Aussie enclave Hammersmith & Fulham has voted Remain by 40 points, slightly above the 30 points expected.
As more than 30 million people voted Leave or Remain today in the biggest turnout for a nationwide election for decades, politicians on both sides are suggesting the Labour party has lost touch with working class Britain.
Across North East England, voters have backed Leave — with Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesborough showing big margins of victory for quitting Brussels.
Labour MP and Leave campaigner John Mann slammed the party as “out of touch” with voters on immigration.
Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb, a Remain campaigner, said he’s “not surprised” by many areas of Wales voting for Brexit.
“What you’re seeing … is the same phenomenon as in the north-east of England and old industrial, white working class areas of England”, he told the BBC.
Voters “don’t trust the message” of Labour or the government that the EU is good for the UK, he said.
Fun way to follow the voting
An even more exciting way to follow the Brexit results is here after New Yorker Toph Tucker invented the Brexit game.
Stay up to date on where the vote is going and test your UK geography at the same time.
This is especially recommended if, like Colin Moriarty, you can’t tell “if these are real places or Game of Thrones cities.”
Remain grabs the lead back
And just as everyone was starting to think the Leave camp had it, Remain has taken the lead with 51.50 per cent to 48.5 per cent.
Leave bookies’ favourite to win with British PM in jeopardy
The Leave campaign is now the bookmakers’ favourite to win, with the pound down 5.5 per cent at $1.408.
Sir Vince Cable, former Liberal Democrat business secretary, told BBC that if leave win, David Cameron’s days as prime minister will be over.
Leave.EU campaign co-founder Aaron Banks says he thinks they’ve won, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg reports.
Swansea has voted for Brexit in a massive blow to the Remain campaign in Wales.
The South Wales city was expected to vote to stay in the EU.
Remain 58,307 (48.49%)
Leave 61,936 (51.51%)
Remain supporters cheer as the first EU referendum result from Gibraltar is announced in their favour.Source:AFP
It’s a very different sight among despondent supporters of the Stronger In ccampaign as the Leave campaign races ahead.Source:AFP
Share markets dip as Remain confidence fades
Concerns are growing as the “Leave” campaign powers ahead, currently on 53.36 per cent to Remain’s 46.64 per cent.
With the results now flowing in, see each area’s outcome as it is announced in this handy spreadsheet.
It’s still early days, with around 10 per cent of the vote in, and London — expected to be strongly pro-EU — still to be counted.
But there has been a clear shift in mood, with the previously confident “Remain” camp growing increasingly concerned as Leave campaigners such as Ukip leader Nigel Farage become more buoyant.
The stock market is reflecting these fears, with wild swings following the early flurry of pro-Brexit results. FTSE futures are down 5 per cent and the Dow down two per cent.
The Australian share market has given up early gains as confidence that Britain will remain part of the European Union slips amid early results, AAP reports.
The benchmark index rose nearly one per cent in the first few minutes of trade, but soon slid into negative territory as investors fretted about a close vote in the UK.
“We are starting to see a reversal on indications that it may not be as clean-cut a victory as many had expected,” CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said.
“If there is one thing certain today, it’s that we will see a volatile trade for the next couple of hours.”
England voting to leave, Scotland to remain
Every council area in Scotland has so far voted in favour of Remain, but low voter turnout is causing concern.
The vote for a Brexit is forging ahead, with the pound plummeting in response to early results.
Turnout in “Leave” strongholds has been huge, while it has struggled in one of “Remain’s” most important areas, The Mirror reports.
That’s a real problem for the campaign, as low turnout will mean thousands fewer votes.
Turnout is a measly 56.2 per cent in Glasgow City, which is supposed to be the third-biggest area in the UK with 449,731 people eligible to vote, and seventh-biggest Remain stronghold with a 39-point lead.
The highest turnout so far has been 76 per cent in Kettering, where six out of ten people voted for a Brexit.
Brexit-voting Swindon has also recorded a turnout of 76 per cent, while in Newcastle, where Remain won a narrow victory, turnout was just 68 per cent.
Eilean Siar (Scotland)
Remain: 8,232 (55.2% )
Leave: 6,671 (44.8% )
Dundee City (Scotland)
Remain: 39,688 (59.8%)
Leave: 26,697 (40.2%)
East Ayrshire (Scotland):
Lagan Valley (Northern Ireland)
Remain: 22,710 (46.9%)
Leave: 25,704 (53.1% )
How to Brinvest after Brexit or Bremain
As the votes are counted, we’ve put together a simple investment guide explaining what to do with your money in the event of either result.
Leave in the lead with ten results now in
The Leave camp is ahead with the results pouring in.
Ten areas have announced and the vote stands at 52.49 per cent for a Brexit and 47.51 per cent for Bremain.
Bloomberg is reporting that the results so far suggest a closer race than the opinion polls had implied.
“We said it was early days and the early optimism of the YouGov poll at 10 p.m. has evaporated almost instantaneously,” said Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First UK
There are also concerns that a London vote, expected to be storngly in favour of Remain, was hampered by bad weather and severe transport delays.
Remain: 317,741 (38.0%)
Leave: 353,978 (62.0%)
Remain: 287,727 (56.5%)
Leave: 304,913 (43.5%)
Remain: 21,030 (39.0%)
Leave: 32,877 (61.0%)
West Dunbartonshire (Scotland):
Remain: 26,794 (62.0%)
Leave: 16,426 (38.0%)
North Antrim (Northern Ireland):
Remain: 18,782 (37.8%)
Leave: 30,938 (62.2%)
Lindsay Lohan weighs in
At last, Lindsay Lohan has weighed into the Brexit debate, but we’re not entirely sure what she’s trying to say.
Responses to the Mean Girls star’s concern over the plummeting sterling include, “EU what mate?” and “you okay hun?”
The troubledformer child star then added some more detail on her concerns about a win for Leave, calling out the BBC for a lack of insight and urging small shops to “pay more attention.”
We’re still confused.
Commuter towns vote Leave
The commuter belt town of Swindon, in South West England, has become the second area to vote Leave — not by the 15-point landslide the British Electoral Survey predicted but with a 9 point gap.
Broxbourne, another commuter town in Hertfordshire, just north of London, also voted to Leave. That was also expected, since it’s the 13th-biggest Brexit stronghold in the country.
Remain 51,220 (45.34%)
Leave 61,745 (54.66%)
Remain: 17,166 (33.7%)
Leave: 33,706 (66.3%)
UK Independence Party leader and Leave campaigner Nigel Farage’s hopes are rising.Source:AFP
More votes for Remain
A strong vote for Remain in Derry, Northern Island, and a mini one from the Isles of Scilly, near Cornwall.
Foyle (in Derry, Northern Ireland)
Remain: 32,064 (78%)
Leave: 8,905 (22%)
Isles of Scilly (off the southwestern tip of Great Britain):
Remain: 803 (56.39%)
Leave: 621 (43.61%)
London vs the rest of Britain
Volatility continues on the global share market, with the pound “taking a hammering”, down 6 per cent against the dollar.
A Labour source told the BBC we are seeing “more divergence than expected”, with “bigger leads than expected for Remain in likely Remain areas but also bigger leads for Leave in likely Leave areas.”
With the capital leaning strongly towards staying in the EU, are we set to see London (and Scotland) versus the rest of Britain?
The Press Association reports that turnout stands at 71.5 per cent after 50 counting areas out of 382 report numbers.
Vote counting staff at The Royal Horticultural Halls in central London.Source:AFP
Brits angry after system glitches left them unable to vote
On top of the issues with the government website crashing and wild weather cutting them off from polling stations, some voters report being turned away from election booths.
They were told their names were not on the register, despite in some cases having recieved polling cards.
Becky Timmons told The Guardian she and her husband received polling cards after registering in September, but only he was able to vote.
Kieran Robertson, in North Oxfordshire, said he’d received an email saying he was registered, but when he turned up, he wasn’t in the system and was unable to vote. “It leaves you thinking about our status as a democracy,” he said.
Ballots are counted at the Glasgow count centre at the Emirates Arena. Picture: Robert PerrySource:AFP
The vote count gets under way at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.Source:AFP
Ballot boxes are brought in to the counting at the Glasgow count centre at the Emirates Arena.Source:AFP
Doubt sets in for Remain camp
Clackmannanshire in Scotland has also voted Remain, but doubt is setting in among previously confident campaigners.
The pound is continuing its dramatic slide as Leave campaigners celebrate winning by a huge 30,464 votes in Sunderland.
The turnout in Scotland is 70 per cent, the BBC reports, lower than for the Scottish referendum.
Remain: 14,691 (58%)
Leave: 10,736 (42%)
First Leave result
Sunderland has voted for Britain to leave the EU, as expected. The 61 per cent “out” vote is a strong result for the “Leave” camp.
This isn’t looking as comfortable for “Remain” as predicted. The UK-wide result is now Remain 49.5 per cent, Leave 50.5 per cent.
Remain: 51,930 (61%)
Leave: 82,000 (39%)
Newcastle result causes jitters on global stock market
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne was expected to be an easy win for Remain, so the close margin of less than 2000 people is a worry for those who hope Britain will stay in the EU.
As well as causing jitters among the campaigners, it saw sterling take a tumble after it had been climbing overnight as the market grew in confidence.
Aussie dollar gives up early gains
This from Reuters:
Remain wins in Newcastle by tiny margin
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is a win for Remain, by a far closer margin than expected.
Remain: 65,404 (50.7%)
Leave: 63,598 (49.3%)
Orkney Islands, off Scotland, have also voted to stay in.
Even if Remain edges it, the anti-Europe rhetoric swirling in Britain may have lasting effects.
‘The Eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle’
UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader and “Leave” campaigner Nigel Farage is already trying to prepare for a lose, saying: “Whoever wins the battle, one thing I’m absolutely certain of is we are winning this war.
“The Eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle.”
While he told Sky News as polling closed he thought “Remain will edge it”, he insisted he wasn’t conceding during a speech tonight at the Leave.EU party in London.
He blamed a possible lose on the government extending the application deadline by 48 hours after its website crashed and young voters who signed up at the last minute.
“I hope and pray my sense of this tonight is wrong,” he said.
Landslide for Remain in Gibraltar
Gibraltar, the British territory in southern Spain, is the first area to declare and it’s a landslide for “Remain”.
It was expected to be Remain, but this is a dramatic result.
Remain 19,322 (95.91%)
Leave 823 (4.09%)
Remain maj 18,499 (91.83%)
Electorate 24,117; Turnout 20,145 (83.53%)
Referendum workers at Gibraltar University count ballots after the closing of polling stations an hour before mainland Britain.Source:Getty Images
Mathias Cormann weighs in
Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann says this is a matter for the Brits but Australia would like to see a vote for Remain.
We think this very pretty campaign move could be the most persuasive argument.
Smart money on Remain in tight race
The polls have been closed for an hour on a momentous day in Britain after voting in the EU referendum on whether to “Leave” or “Remain” in the European Union.
But with just 4000 respondents, this was much smaller than the typical exit polls from general elections, with a spokesman admitting it was “still too early to know.”
In 2014 at the Scottish referendum, YouGov’s poll came within one percentage point of the result, but at last year’s general election, the poll predicted a hung parliament when in fact the Conservatives gained a majority.
As the polls closed, Ukip leader and “Leave” campaign leader Nigel Farage told Sky News: “Looks like Remain will edge it.”
His camp appears to have conducted its own polling.
Bishop: Britain staying inside EU ‘in Australia’s interest’
Julie Bishop has spoken about the Brexit on the Today Show, saying: “I believe that a strong Britain inside the EU would be in our interest.”
The Foreign Minister added: “Clearly we’re watching the event very closely, it’s a matter for the British people.
“But we are prepared for any contingency, that’s why we’ve focused so heavily during this campaign on a strong economic plan so Australia is in a position to withstand any fallout from the Brexit vote.
“Either way, Australia will continue to work with the European Union, we will continue to work with Great Britain, the question is whether Britain will be in or out of the EU.”
She said “an ally, an indispensable friend within the European Union” was important because the EU is “one our most important trading blocs” and “the stronger the EU is, the better for Australia.”
Early turnout report high
Voting is over, and the first turnout report is in, from the British territory of Gibraltar in southern Spain, where polls closed an hour earlier because of the time difference with the mainland.
The Press Association reports that the turnout in the British enclave was 83.65 per cent.
The area was ceded to Britain in 1713 by Spain but many fear a Brexit could threaten its British sovereignty.
Tony Blair’s meme mistake
When former British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced he had voted by holding up a large “Remain” sign with an equally huge grin, the response was swift.
Internet users quickly turned him into a meme, with things rapidly descending into a series of insults.
A warning for other politicians.
Stock markets braced for Brexit result
With just under an hour until the polls close, global stock markets began to climb as traders keep a wary eye on Britain.
Sterling, government bonds and stocks around the world moving with opinion polls. While recent polls have suggested a tight race, the betting markets have been more confident the “remain” campaign will win and US stocks rallied in a sign investors have increasingly placed their trust in bookmakers to price in Brexit odds.
After a choppy trading session, sterling — a reflection of trader sentiment on the referendum — closed up 0.8 per cent at $1.4823, the Financial Times reports. Against the euro, the pound strengthened 0.2 per cent to 76.59p.
“From the polls, it’d appear to be a coin toss. But the market has clearly embraced the bettors,” said Ronald Sanchez, chief investment officer of Fiduciary Trust Company International.
Risk assets such as stocks and oil have typically gained when polls suggested the UK would stay, while haven assets have been favoured as polls tilted to “leave”, Dow Jones reports.
Traders and investors have described the market as being held captive to Brexit in recent weeks. “I don’t think there’s anything else on anyone’s minds at the moment,” said Barry James, chief investment officer of James Investment Research.
However, if “Leave” wins, the trend could be dramatically reversed.
Traders bracing for the Brexit outcome at the New York Stock Exchange.Source:AFP
Stabbing at Yorkshire polling station
A 19-year-old man has been arrested after a stabbing at a polling station in Huddersfield.
West Yorkshire police said officers found a man suffering from serious injuries around 5:15pm.
“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,” a statement said.
The polling station was briefly closed to contain the scene but is now open again.
Aussie architect behind “difficult” Remain campaign
The Aussie brains behind the Remain campaign’s strategy said he tried to focus on a message of “brutal simplicity” in a complex debate.
South Australian advertising guru Bill Muirhead, who leads M&C Saatchi, said the death of Jo Cox had a similar affect to the death of Princess Diana, forcing both sides to take stock and changed the tone of the debate.
The company had worked with Remain strategists to lend an Australian directness to the UK vote.
“Our mantra is that it is much easier to complicate than it is to simplify and that brutal simplicity is the thing that drives us forward in all marketing and advertising, not just in the political things we do but our clients as well.
“That is an Australian thing as well, I think we tend to be more direct sometimes than our friends over here in the UK and tell it like it is. But it is very difficult to simplify things and particularly like in this issue with the referendum where you have got so many complex issues and picking on one and trying to highlight that is difficult.”
South Australian advertising guru Bill Muirhead is the brains behind the “Remain” campaign.Source:News Limited
Rain causes commuter chaos
A day of downpours across the south of England has wreaked havoc for commuters and those trying to get into polling stations.
This video was filmed just inside Westminster station right next to the Houses of Parliament.
And bear in mind, this is summer.
Conspiracy theories abound at ballot box
Pens have become surprisingly contentious as Vote Leave supporters claim they are the only way to make sure votes are not tampered with. Others have mercilessly mocked them online, calling them conspiracy theorists and joking about tinfoil hats.
A video on the Facebook page of Jacqui Jackson shows a policewoman taking down notes after she apparently offered her pen to voters.
“I’m lending a pen…I have never told them or asked them which way they are voting,” she said.
“I was asked to come here and hold dogs today and offer people the use of a pen.”
Vote Leave supporters have called on people to use a pen to vote for fear that pencils could be rubbed out by the powers that be.
Meanwhile others have mocked the notion that there are secret service agents sitting in a hall filled with erasers as a particularly low tech way of rigging a vote.
More than 46 million people will cast a vote today in 382 voting areas around the country with the national county to be held in Manchester.
Twitter field day with 93-year-old mum meme
A man by the name of Keith Adams is the latest unwitting tweeter to become an internet meme, along with his 93-year-old mum.
It all began when he said he was taking his mother to vote and she opted for ‘out.
The conversation quickly descended into a torrent of insults calling him a liar. However Keith defended his statement and other users quickly shared their version of how it could have done down.
‘We’re no longer speaking’
Who said politics was boring? Experts say the EU referendum has split families, friends and lovers, with restaurant bookings down and dates on hold as people adopt a “Brexit brace position.”
The campaign has been littered with high-profile wars between family members. Most famous perhaps is Boris Johnson leading the ‘Out’ campaign with his father Stanley firmly on the ‘In’ hustings.
Treasurer George Osborne has also been publicly feuding with an auntie, Jennifer Little, over pro-EU claims he has made and she has branded “ludicrous”.
A poll by a British newspaper of more than 6500 people yesterday asking whether Brexit was dividing the family found thankfully most British households, 57 per cent, were internally of the same view with 35 per cent agreeing to disagree with 8 per cent claiming “we’re no longer speaking”.
Earlier this week pundits feared a war could be brewing at home between David and Victoria Beckham after he came out for Remain and old comments of hers appeared to put her in the Brexit camp. However later that day she also outed herself as a remainer.
GP and founder of an online medicines service Laurence Gerlis said it could also be worse with high stress levels leading to voters to drinking more which could lead to heightened sexual behaviour and possibly more sexual diseases.
A separate poll for The Times claimed that 10 per cent of people had seen friendships split over the vote while 26 per cent had clashed with a family member.
The Evening Standard reports anecdotal evidence of house sales on hold and wages being frozen because of the vote.
David and Victoria Beckham are both in the Remain camp, but it’s not so rosy for all family members. Picture: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Germany trolls Britain with front page promising sunburn
Bravo, Germany. One of the country’s most popular newspapers Bild has released a tongue in cheek message begging the UK not to leave, saying it would even sacrifice certain jokes and football players to make the UK stay.
“We won’t make any more jokes about Prince Charles’ ears,” the paper said. “We won’t wear sun cream on the beach, in solidarity with your sunburn.”
The paper also pledged to recognise a critical 1966 World Cup goal that is one of the most controversial in history and said they would go without their goalkeeper at the next penalty shootout to “make it more exciting”.
It also promised to:
• Introduce tea time, with buckets on the beaches of Majorca.
• Willingly provide the villain in every Bond film.
• Start “ticking” like you and put our clocks back by an hour.
• Put through an EU directive which forbids foam on our beer.
• Reserve sun loungers around the pool for you with our towels.
• Jogi Löw [German football coach] will guard your crown jewels.
• Come to your Queen’s 100th birthday.
Who said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?
German leaders have called for Britain to stay in, while one newspaper has trolled the Brits with their tongue in cheek promises. Picture: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber.Source:AP
Thunder, lightning and hundreds of calls to fire brigade in 90 minutes
The wild weather in London and the South East of England has seen vehicles submerged, homes and businesses flooded and lightning hitting properties.
London Fire Brigade said it received 300 calls between 1.30am and 3am local time, the same number it normally gets in a day, Sky News reports.
prompted hundreds of calls to emergency services this morning, more than they normally receive in a day.
With suspensions on the Tube, London Overground and rail lines, and some roads and car parks flooded, some may struggle to reach the polls today.
In a part of Britain that skews towards “Remain”, the torrential rain could have a real effect on the vote.
“Never seen anything like this!” Usman Shah tweeted. “So much rain in London! And then thunder. And then lightning. And then POWER CUT. And then my bedroom floods!”
Carl Mortimer added: “Looks like I’m not driving into London this morning then. Floods, everywhere!”
A car is abandoned under a bridge in Battersea, London, after getting stuck in floodwater following overnight thunderstorms in the south of England.Source:Getty Images
Glastonbury revellers could be crucial
Could 200,000 people wallowing in mud on a Somerset farm hold the key? Glastonbury organisers have urged people to use a postal vote for the referendum which coincides with the opening days of the festival.
Yesterday thousands faced 12-hour traffic jams as they tried to get into the site amid bad weather and plenty of mud.
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell has urged those who haven’t voted to go tomorrow and use their chance to have a say.
Festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis have thrown their weight behind the Remain campaign.
Around 200,000 people at the Glastonbury site could be critical in the vote. Picture: AFP /Andy BuchananSource:AFP
How the Brexit could affect Game of Thrones
We feel it’s our duty to keep you informed of the Game of Thrones link to the EU referendum. There had to be one.
If voters cast their ballots in favour of a Brexit, the popular drama will be harder and costlier to produce, Foreign Policy reports.
Some of that money for it comes from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, created to spur economic growth across the European Union.
Peter Chase, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Brussels office, said a Brexit would “absolutely” put financing for shows like Game of Thrones at risk.
It could also affect other British film and TV projects that received $42 million over the past seven years from organisations like Creative Europe, including Oscar-nominated British or British-American movies Carol, Brooklyn, and Shaun the Sheep and documentary Amy.
Winter is coming, Jon Snow. Picture: HBOSource:Supplied
What you need to know about the Brexit
Today is the culmination of months of heated debate on whether Britain should stay within the 28-member European Union or leave — a question Britons haven’t been asked since 1975.
The “leave” and “remain” campaigns are neck-and-neck in the polls, with four polls yesterday split evenly between the two camps. One in 10 Brits say they are still undecided on how to vote.
Australian businesses and those wanting work or student visas may be affected over the medium-to-long term if the vote favours a so-called “Brexit”.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is lobbying for the “Remain” camp, along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. They say the EU is vital for the economy and free flow of trade as well as national security.
Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage and senior figures from Mr. Cameron’s Conservative Party are in the “Leave” side, claiming the EU is bureaucratic, its regulations burdensome and is exacerbating an immigration problem.
Australian British Chamber of Commerce chief executive David McCredie says Aussie businesses with operations in the UK and EU could face two years of uncertainty as the pair unwind treaties and negotiate ground rules for their future.
However, Brexit could make it easier for Australian students and workers to obtain UK visas.
Both sides have been heavily campaigning Down Under, since there are 1.2 million British nationals (yes, Brexpats) in Australia and 250,000 in New Zealand, so the southern hemisphere has the potential to swing this close-fought race.
If you’re still confused about what the Brexit is, check out our handy guide to everything you need to know about the EU referendum and why Australia is at the centre of the debate.
And if you are convinced a Brexit is a type of biscuit, we can also recommend John Oliver’s hilarious (pro-Remain) take on the issue:
John Oliver addresses some of the key points of ‘Brexit.’ Courtesy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver…
John Oliver addresses some of the key points of ‘Brexit.’ Courtesy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver