No fewer than 46.5 million people across 41,000 polling stations were expected to take part in yesterday’s historic referendum on whether Britain will stay or leave the European Union.
Reports said torrential rains caused flooding in London and the South of the country, causing travel headaches and soaking people as they went to cast their ballots in a referendum that could send shockwaves around the 28-country block and the world. The weather could have an effect on the Brexit referendum, whose results were expected to be close.
“Actually I do think we are in with a very strong chance, I do genuinely,” Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party and an outspoken leader of the exit campaign, said. “But it’s all about turnout and those soft remainders staying at home,” he added.
A final poll published by the Evening Standard newspaper that was conducted on Wednesday showed 52 per cent wanting to stay in the EU, against 48 per cent wishing to depart. However, 12 per cent said they might change their mind at the last minute. A last-minute survey conducted for the Daily Mail newspaper and broadcaster ITV put the remain vote on 48 per cent, leave on 42 per cent and 11 per cent undecided.
Bookmakers have also given remain a higher chance of victory than Leave.
“The bookies usually get it right,” British Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn said as he arrived to cast his ballot in London. Although, political rivals, opposition chief, Corbyn and conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had both campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU.
Much of the debate focused on the economy and EU migration, particularly in the last few weeks before the referendum. The Remain camp argues that an exit from the EU’s common market would hurt the British economy and would cost jobs.
This is a view that is shared by other EU countries, as well as by leading economists around the world.
In addition, financial markets could be thrown into turmoil if Britons vote the EU’s second largest economy after Germany out of the bloc.
It would be the first time that a country decided to leave the EU.
Cameron, under pressure from those in his own Conservative party and a rising euroscepticism among British voters, had promised in 2013 to hold a referendum on EU membership. He called the referendum in February after negotiating a package of reforms with the bloc that he said gave Britain a “special status.”
Polls were open until 10 p.m, with first local results expected in the early hours of today.


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