Early results on Brexit show a very tight contest, with Leave and Remain going back and forth in the lead like the Warriors and Cavaliers in Game 7. But less than 4 percent of the vote has been counted as of this moment, and none of the London area vote has come in yet, and I suspect that it will be strongly in the Remain camp.
Stay tuned. . .
UPDATE 1 (9:15 eastern): The early vote shows very strong Leave votes from areas where its predicted strength is. A good sign for Leave, but a long way to go yet. One report says some London areas less strong for Remain than expected. Upset in the making?
JOHN adds: The Telegraph reports that based on early returns, “leave” is now the betting favorite:
With 71 out of 382 counting areas declared, Leave is now expected to be the most likely outcome, at least by those betting money on the outcome.
Oddschecker compiled betting odds now suggest that there is a 55pc chance of a Brexit result. For the first time, withdrawing from the EU is considered more likely than staying.
Let’s hope those bettors are right.
UPDATE: As of 3:00 a.m. in the U.K., Leave has 50.3% of the vote.
UPDATE: Another source sees Leave winning:
OK, probability of a Remain win being “zero” is way too optimistic. Still, it is good to see. A long way yet to go.
MORE: Here is the total vote so far, per the BBC. Leave is in the lead, by around 200,000 votes:
UPDATE (10:26 pm eastern): SkyNews has an “expert” forecaster saying Leave is going to win handily. Apply the usual caveats about “expert forecasters.”
For what it’s worth, I think Leave is going to win. But the night is young.
MORE: It is looking more and more like a Brexit sweep. The Telegraph:
Labour is now working on the assumption that Leave is going to win, a party source has told The Guardian.
Let’s hope so!
A lot more votes have come in to the BBC site rather suddenly. The current total has Leave pulling away, now leading by over 500,000 votes:
By the way, an interesting point: Scotland is going heavily for Stay. If it weren’t for Scotland, the vote would not be remotely in doubt. So if Scotland had voted to separate from the U.K. a year or two ago, England’s separation from the EU would be a done deal. In England, the vote isn’t even close, with Leave ahead by more than a million votes.
A MEMORABLE QUOTE: Via the Telegraph:
The 2016 EU referendum is set to the biggest uprising against the people who run the UK since the Peasants Revolt in 1381.
Heh. I hope so, but it isn’t over yet, by a long shot.
UPDATE (by Paul): As of 11:30 Eastern Time, this is still a contest but perhaps not that much of one. The British television coverage being broadcast on C-SPAN puts the probability of a “Brexit” at 80 percent.
The same coverage says that the vote has gone about as expected area-by-area except that turnout was considerably higher in the “leave” areas than in “stay” areas. This, apparently, is what made the difference.