The EU Referendum – the last word

So Britain will leave the EU and Boris Johnson will be the favourite to become Prime Minister. Who would have thought it? Apart from Boris, obviously.

On the positive side, 72 per cent turnout is a very healthy sign for a participatory democracy. About ten per cent more people voted in the referendum than usually vote in general elections.

The Leicester Centre for Journalism team will sign off now after nearly 20 hours of coverage through the polling hours and then into a long night and morning.

Thank you for sharing this dramatic and historic night with us. It remains to be seen how this decision will affect Britain.

Cameron resigns

David Cameron resigns as Prime Minister. He tied himself so clearly to the Remain camp that his departure was inevitable, it was just a case of when. Many of his own MPs wanted him to stay, but it’s his decision. He gambled and he lost. He resigns with dignity.

He pledges to stay on to steady the ship in the short term but wants a new PM in place by October. He is 49 years-old.

So what happens next?

Top politicians talking ‘calm’ and ‘stability’.

Cameron due to make statement at 8.15. On one hand he has lost the argument and should resign, on the other, given the inevitable instability the result will cause, the country needs to have a Prime Minister and a government in place.

Expect to see him stay in the short term but leave as soon as the situation settles down.

Good to see ex-BBC Leicester political reporter Eleanor Garnier leading the national news bulletins reporting on this biggest story right through the night.

The DMU Journalism team will stay on to cover the PM’s statement, expected in a few minutes.

Final result

All votes now in. 17.4m to 16.1m. 52-48 per cent. England and Wales vote to Leave. Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to Remain. 1.2m votes in it.

London was only English region to vote Remain. Leicester also solidly Remain, though East Midlands overall was second highest regional Leave vote.

The world’s media now camped outside Downing Street to see how Cameron jumps. BBC says he will urge calm and stability and urge his party to reunite but most people will want to know what he personally will do.

And it’s going to rain today.

Referendum aftermath

All the speculation is now over what David Cameron will do. Will he stay on to try to unify a country split down the middle, or having led the losing argument, is his position untenable?

Brexit Tories seem to want him to stay but he may feel he can’t. He can be accused of high stakes gambling to put this issue to bed and get his party back, but losing everything as the result went against him.

Boris Johnson would be hot favourite to succeed him. Michael Gove will be prominent for the Tories in the future. An interesting question is what happens to Nigel Farage and UKIP now they have what they want.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron says he’s ‘gutted and heartbroken’ but accepts the result. Accuses Jeremy Corbyn and Labour leadership of ‘utter spinelessness’ in failing to convince normal Labour supporters to stay in Europe.