© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
UK Decides on EU Today
Voting has begun in a historic referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or not.
According to provisional figures from the Electoral Commission a record 46,499,537 people are expected to take part in the exercise.
Polling stations opened at 7:00 am local time and will close at 10:00 pm.
It is the third nationwide referendum in UK history and comes after a four-month campaign by politicians for or against BREXIT – a term that means UK’s exit from EU.
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, 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 areas in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.
Results from these areas will then be declared throughout the night, along with result totals from 11 nations and regions.
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.
The last nationwide referendum took place five years ago, when voters rejected an attempt to change the way MPs are elected.
The first one was in 1975, when the country was asked whether the UK should continue to be a member of what was then called the European Economic Community.