The UK’s membership of the EU was hanging in the balance tonight after Brexit scored a series of shock victories in early results from the historic referendum.
GLOBAL SHOCKWAVES AS ENGLAND LEAVES THE EUROPEAN UNION: Ukip leader Nigel Farage has hailed a ‘victory for real people’ after the EU referendum delivered stunning backing for Brexit. Projections show the Leave campaign will prevail in the historic ballot after stacking up votes in England and Wales – despite massive support for Remain in London and Scotland. The direction of the battle started to become clear with a shock result in Sunderland which saw the Out camp win by 61 per cent to 39 per cent. A surprise victory for Brexit in Swansea, where the pro-EU side had been expecting to romp home, signposted a disastrous showing for Remain across Wales. With around a quarter of the declarations in, analysts and betting firms are now forecasting that the Leave campaign will come out on top. The Pound – which soared in value earlier after Nigel Farage admitted he thought Brexit had lost – has nose-dived against US dollar to its lowest level for 31 years. source
Sunderland recorded a massive 61 per cent to 39 per cent win for Leave – stunning the Remain side which had been voicing confidence about its prospects for victory overall.
There was also a surprise victory for Brexit in Swansea, where Stronger In had been expecting to romp home.
The Pound – which soared in value earlier after Nigel Farage admitted he thought Brexit had lost – immediately nose-dived against US dollar again. Betting firms also slashed the odds on the UK quitting the bloc.
LIVE Coverage of the Brexit Referendum Results:
A senior Labour source said it was looking for bigger wins for Remain in some areas than people had predicted, but they would be offset by bigger victories for Brexit in other areas.
The dramatic developments so far include:
- Sunderland voted by a massive 61 per cent to 39 per cent for Brexit – far higher than expected. In Swansea, where Remain had been forecast to win by 10 percentage points, Leave ended up by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
- Remain also only won by 51 per cent to 49 per cent in Newcastle, less than many had anticipated.
- The results sent the Pound plunging against the US dollar, while betting firms have slashed their odds on us cutting ties with Brussels. Ladbrokes said Brexit was now favourite.
- Seconds after the polls closed Mr Farage admitted that Remain looked to have ‘edged’ the referendum, although he later backtracked and said he hoped his ‘sense’ was wrong.
- Boris Johnson reportedly told a passenger on the Tube that his side had lost the referendum battle.
- A final Ipsos Mori poll gave Remain a clear advantage by 54 per cent to 46 per cent, while YouGov research for Sky News put the pro-EU side on 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
- More than 80 Tory Brexit backers wrote to David Cameron urging him to stay on in Downing Street whatever the outcome.
The extent of the Sunderland result startled Remain supporters. Analysis before the referendum had suggested Leave could be on track to win if they were more than six percentage points ahead. In Swansea, where Remain was forecast to win by 10 points, Leave actually came out on top with 52 per cent.
Newcastle was less clear cut for the pro-EU side than they had hoped, seeing them sneak home by just 51 per cent to 49 per cent.
There was also a heavy win for Brexit in Broxbourne, by 66 per cent to 34 per cent. But Remain performed better than many analysts predicted in Swindon, losing 55-45.
But there were big chunky wins for the pro-EU side in London, Scotland and Oxford – with Wandsworth in particular piling in with a massive 77 per cent in favour of staying. The high population of the capital means that it will offset many of the smaller Leave wins. There are rumours that the massive Lewisham borough has gone 80 per cent pro-EU. source