Liveblog: The UK has voted to leave the EU

Reactions to the vote from Britain and around the world

Welcome to our EU Referendum liveblog. We hope our readers will be involved, so please send your tips, stories and pictures to [email protected] or tweet me @niamhsquared.


12.00: That’s it for our referendum liveblog. We will, of course, continue to provide analysis of the major developments.

We can expect candidates for the Conservative leadership to start jostling for position over the weekend, and we’re likely to see a serious attempt to topple Jeremy Corbyn as well.

But while internal party politics will fill a lot of column inches over the next few days, the most important consideration – as Frances O’ Grady of the TUC has said – must be to shore up the economy and ensure that working people, and vulnerable communities, do not bear the brunt of this decision.

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11.45: Highlighting the failure of the UK government to fulfil its basic responsibilities in a situation like this, Nicola Sturgeon has also offered reassurance to both the markets and to the many thousands of EU migrants living in Scotland.

You can watch her speech here:



11.35: Nicola Sturgeon has made a statement, making it clear that given Scotland’s 62 per cent vote for Remain, she will take all necessary measures to keep Scotland in the EU and the single market. She confirmed that a second independence referendum is now highly likely.


11.30: Gove, Johnson and Stuart did not take any questions following their joint statements, feeding widespread concerns that they didn’t expect to win and do not have a plan.

You can watch Johnson’s statement here:


11.10: Boris Johnson, Gisela Stuart and Michael Gove have their serious faces on at their Vote Leave press conference.

11.05: Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the Leave vote, although her nation backed Remain by 54 per cent.

“I think this is a good result for the United Kingdom. Our nation state has made a clear definition as to where they want to go forward. They backed hope, they backed aspiration, they backed the future potential of the United Kingdom and I’m very pleased with the result.”

However, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has already called for a referendum on Irish unification, so there are turbulent times ahead for the power-sharing executive.


10.55: Our most-read post so far today is from the archives: Is UKIP a racist party? These 15 comments would suggest so

People seem to be concerned about Farage’s increasing prominence.

10.45: Nigel Farage has told Good Morning Britain that Vote Leave made a ‘mistake’ by claiming that the £350m a week allegedly saved by Brexit would be channelled into the NHS.

We’ve heard very little from the other major voices of the Leave campaign, although Boris Johnson is expected to give a press conference in the next half hour.

09.35 Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said Britain will remain in NATO and continue to fight Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

09.20 Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: 

‘David Cameron has become the latest Conservative leader to fall victim to his party’s dangerous obsession with Europe. The Conservative’s political maneuvering has taken our country to the brink, and today we have toppled over the edge.’


09.05 Reacting to David Cameron’s resignation, Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, said:

‘It is right that David Cameron has announced his resignation this morning. The UK requires fresh leadership after a bitter, divisive campaign. We must all work to bring communities that have been driven apart back together. That healing process begins this morning.

‘But it is important that the coming days are not dominated by Conservative manoeuvring at the expense of broader, wider and more long-term debates about Britain’s future.’


08.55 Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has made a statement to reassure the public (and the markets) that everything is fine. Phew.

‘It will take some time for the UK to establish a new relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. So some market and economic volatility can be expected as this process unfolds, but we are well prepared for this.

Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning and the chancellor and I have remained in close contact including through the night and this morning.

The Bank of England will not hesitate to take additional measure as required, as markets adjust.’


08.25 David Cameron has effectively resigned as prime minister, saying he wants a new PM in place by Conservative Party conference in October. 

Read more here.

08.14 The London Stock Exchanged has dropped seven per cent this morning after the Brexit vote.

The FTSE 100 index fell nearly 500 points to 5,858.17 when markets opened.

08.10 Here’s a map of majority votes across Britain 

Another vote on Scottish independence seems likely given these results. The SNP has pledged to hold another vote if Scotland is dragged out of the EU by English voters.

EU vote map

(Source: BBC)

08.00 Brexit has put smiles on all the wrong political faces. 

As the Leave vote became clear, right-wing politicians in Europe rejoiced.

Among the first was Geert Wilders, the anti-immigrant populist in Holland, congratulating Britain and saying his country should hold it’s own referendum next.

Marion Le Pen, scion of the infamous Front National in France, said simply:

Marine Le Pen herself added:

‘Victory for freedom! As I have been asking for years, now we need to have the same referendum in France and in the countries of the EU.’

05.23: We will be updating you on the reactions to this groundbreaking vote through the morning, and posting comment from Britain and around the world.

Already, Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that she considers it the will of the Scottish people to remain in Europe.

Northern Ireland has also voted Remain, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin has called for a referendum on the unification of Ireland.

The pound has dropped to its lowest level since 1985, the Tokyo Stock Exchange briefly halted trading and global markets are facing a period of extreme volatility.

Not only are the long-term implications of this decision impossible to fathom, it’s also near-impossible to say what will happen in the next 12 hours.

04.40: The BBC is now forecasting that the UK has voted to Leave the EU.

04.35: Birmingham has gone to Leave, Wales has rejected continued membership of the EU and with more than half of results in Leave has an advantage of more than half a million votes.


04.20: The full text of Farage’s quasi-victory speech. His claim that the outcome has been achieved ‘without a single bullet being fired’ has been met with particular disgust in light of the murder of Jo Cox.

“The dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom. If the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people. We have fought against the multinationals, we fought against big politics; we fought against lies, corruption and deceit…

“We will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired, we have done it by damn hard work on the ground…

“I hope this victory brings down this failed project… Let’s get rid of the flag, the anthem, Brussels and all that has gone wrong. Let 23 June go down in history as our independence day.”


04.00: Farage now speaking at Leave.EU party.

03.45: Vince Cable has predicted ‘a bloodbath in the financial markets’ tomorrow, while Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says that, if Leave wins, ‘the Bank of England will have to intervene in the morning’.

The pound is heading towards the largest slump in its history, having already dropped from over $1.50 to below $1.36.



03.30: Sheffield, which was predicted to go to Remain with about 52 per cent has just been announced for Leave, with 51 per cent. It is the largest centre so far to declare for Leave.

While representatives of both sides maintain it’s too close to call, Remain’s underperformance across Northern cities is difficult to reconcile.

Sterling has now dropped below $1.40.

But that’s just Project Fear again, right?


03.10: Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency of of Islington has recently reported, with 75 per cent for Remain and over 70 per cent turnout.

(Full disclosure, I’m also an Islington resident)

These are the kinds of numbers that Remain desperately needs to see, but also throw Britain’s social and political divisions into sharp focus, and particularly the divides within the Labour-voting population.

02.50: Sterling has suffered its biggest ever intra day swing, which Leave supporters seem to think is good news.

02.40: Remain performing better than predicted in London

Huge wins in London are now absolutely essential to Remain. In a brief burst of good news, the first results from London are better than expected.

Wandsworth and Lambeth backed Remain by 75 per cent and 79 per cent, respectively.



02.25: Glasgow has backed Remain by 67 per cent.

Every Scottish result (approx. 16) announced so far has been for Remain, starkly diverging from the rest of the country.

However, turnout is still low (in Glasgow 56 per cent) with about half of Scottish results in. Crucially, the result is not determined by the number of regions, but by the number of votes, so low turnout is extremely dangerous.

In Wales, all six places that have declared so far have backed Leave.

While Wales has benefitted hugely from EU funding, the Leave campaign seems to have effectively tapped into frustration with poverty and unemployment, particularly with regard to the steel crisis.

The loss of Swansea by 51.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent will be a particular blow to Remain, and may signal that Wales is heading for Leave.


01.45: With more results from Northern Ireland coming in, it seems that the vote is split along community lines, with predominantly nationalist communities (West Tyrone and Foyle) backing Remain, while predominantly unionist areas (North Antrim, Lagan Valley) are backing Leave.

The Guardian’s Henry McDonald has also reported significantly higher turnout in majority unionist areas, which bodes poorly for Remain’s chances in Northern Ireland.

The stakes are especially high for Northern Ireland, which many believe would suffer more than anywhere else post-Brexit. A particularly important concern is the status of the border with the Republic of Ireland.


01.15: As more results come in from London and Scotland, we’ll be learning a bit more about the rifts between different areas and demographics.

Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott played on this divide earlier today, claiming in an email to supporters that London and Scotland would mitigate against the wishes of ‘the heartlands of the country’.

Scotland London heartlands


Unfortunately, the latest reports suggest that Elliott is wrong — the BBC says that turnout in Scotland has been lower than in England, and that turnout in London has been lower than in the rest of the country.

Signs are that Remain will need very large wins in both regions to balance out the stronger-than-expected Leave results elsewhere.


00.55: A couple of results in from Scotland already, with Remain winning both Orkney (63 per cent) and Clackmannashire (57 per cent).

The first Northern Irish result has also been declared. Foyle backed Remain with a dramatic 78 per cent.

Swindon has also declared, with 55 per cent for Leave.


00.30: It’s not been a good night for Labour so far, with a lacklustre showing in Newcastle and big defeat in Sunderland — both Labour heartlands.

For detailed analysis of what these results mean for Labour, you can visit Conor Pope on the LabourList liveblog.



As predicted, Sunderland has backed Leave, but with a somewhat larger margin than expected.

Leave: 61 per cent

Remain: 39 per cent

Coupled with the disappointing result from Newcastle, this indicates that Leave is outperforming expectations.

And the pound has dropped as a result.



As predicted, Newcastle has voted for Remain, but with just 50.7 per cent of the vote. This will concern the Remain campaign, who would have hoped for a significantly much larger victory there.

These fears will be exacerbated if the results from Sunderland, which should come through soon, are strongly in Leave’s favour.


23.50: Nigel Farage has made yet another statement:

“If the vote is that we haven’t quite made it, we have a lot to look forward to as continued EU members….Next week, talks begin for `Turkey to join the EU. In July and August we will have the next Greek bailout.

. . .

“Win or lose this battle tonight, we will win the war…we will get our borders back.”

This is an early sign that Farage has no intention of winding down the dishonest and aggressive rhetoric that defined UKIP’s campaign.

Read: Has UKIP run a hateful referendum campaign? These 11 comments would suggest so


23.40: WE HAVE A RESULT. A cool 96 per cent of voters in Gibraltar have voted Remain.

It’s a nice start for Stronger In, but no other region is likely to offer this kind of resounding approval to either side.

What’s more, given that only 20,172 votes were counted in Gibraltar, so there’s a long way to go!


23.35: Polling stations have observed a minute’s silence in honour of Jo Cox, who was killed in her constituency last week.



23.30: We’ve got an official turnout figure from Newcastle — 67.6 per cent. That’s up on last year’s general election turnout of about 65 per cent. But the question is: who are these extra voters? A lot depends on what demographics they hail from.


23.10: For the second time today, the pound has hit a 2016 high, rising to $1.5018 shortly after polls closed.

This suggests that the markets are expecting a Remain vote, but also that if it goes to Leave the losses could be catastrophic.

Like politicos, bankers and traders have a long night ahead of them. The FT has a nice story about what their night will look like.


22.55: Ipsos MORI has also published a poll in the last few minutes:

Remain: 54 per cent

Leave: 46 per cent:

It’s not an exit poll — the data was gathered today and yesterday — and certainly no one will risk predicting a margin this big yet.


22.50: While we can’t be sure yet, it does seem turnout has been very high—at least equivalent to a general election—which will please both campaigns.

However, it does mean that official results will take a bit longer to come in, and the result will be a bit more difficult to predict.


22.30: After this initial flurry of activity, the tumbleweeds start to roll by as everyone tries to fill time before the first results come in around 12.30.

BBC Radio 5 Live, for example, has just broadcast from a boat carrying a ballot box somewhere in the North Atlantic.

If you’re looking for something to fill your time, you can read the best of Left Foot Forward’s referendum coverage and analysis here.


22.15: Meanwhile, Leave.EU is claiming that it has also conducted a poll and flips the YouGov prediction — 52 per cent for Leave and 48 per cent for Remain.

In other words, we really need to sit tight a while longer.


22.10: So, you will have already seen a range of poll numbers flying about. Let’s try and break some of them down.

We don’t have an exit poll, so all of these numbers need to be taken with a sizeable pinch of salt.

YouGov has published a poll based on data gathered from 4,000 respondents today. They’re calling 52 per cent Remain and 48 per cent Leave.

This is their polling trend over the last six months.



22.06: It seems Nigel Farage has already conceded, more or less.

Speaking on Sky News he said:

“It’s been an extraordinary referendum campaign, turnout looks exceptionally high and looks like Remain will edge it.”


22.00 – Polls are now closed! This is Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin, editor of Left Foot Forward, and I will be taking over the liveblog for the night shift.

I’ll be here until the result is announced which, all going to plan, should be around breakfast time tomorrow.


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