Brexit: Odds favour Remain as UK vote in referendum
The BBC reports that an estimated 46,499,537 people are entitled to take part in the vote – a record number for a UK poll.
It is only the third nationwide referendum in UK history and comes after a four-month battle for votes between the Leave and Remain campaigns.
The referendum ballot paper asks the following question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.
After the referendum polls close at 22:00 BST, sealed ballot boxes will be collected and transported to the count venue for each of the 382 local counting areas.
These represent all 380 local government area in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.
Individual areas’ results will then be declared throughout the night, along with regional results from 11 regional counts.
Depending on how close the poll is, the result may become clear before the final national result is officially declared by the Chief Counting Officer, who will be based at Manchester Town Hall.
The Electoral Commission estimates a final result “around breakfast time” on Friday.
Exit polls had tilted on the balance for months but the murder of congresswoman, Jo Cox, a Remain advocate tilted the momentum in favour of Remain as many Leave campaigners reportedly changed camp in view of the hate killing of Mrs. Cox.
Chief Remain campaigner, PM David Cameron, has told UK citizens that there was no going back on the matter once the referendum takes. “ If we vote Leave, we must stay out, no coming back to EU”. Many vocal power blocs in the EU have also echoed the same sentiment, warning UK to note that “once out means forever out”.
The referendum will go down in history as the most fractured election in the UK as the campaigns had been vicious.