Polling stations are opening for Britain’s historic referendum in which turnout is a crucial factor, and the nation’s capital is waking to appalling weather.
Overnight thunderstorms and localised flooding have caused chaos on London’s public transport network on the morning of the vote. This status report from Transport for London shows Tube and other services are experiencing delays and some are even suspended:
Britain’s Met Office is warning of potential “torrential downpours” today, and further thunderstorms in the afternoon. Pollster Sir Lynton Crosby has been cautioning for months that the result in today’s historic referendum could hinge on turnout, especially if likely Remain voters believe there is sufficient support on their side to secure victory.
“As identified in previous ORB polls, high expectations of a vote to stay in are dangerous for the Remain camp as they could serve to dilute both the urgency and importance of the vote, thereby negatively affecting turnout,” Crosby wrote in May.
While the wild weather will miss most of the rest of the country, London is a crucial factor here as it is a bastion of Remain support. Here’s a taste of what locals in London are reporting:
— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) June 23, 2016
Weather here in London MAD. Tropical rainstorms
— Paul Gilluley (@PGilluley) June 23, 2016
— Natalie Evans (@NatalieEvans85) June 23, 2016
And locals are alert to the potential effect on turnout:
Serious rain hammering London this morning. Should dampen voter turnout a bit. Could weather help decide Britain's future?
— Simon Robinson (@iron_emu) June 23, 2016
Here is the weather forecast for the rest of the day in London from the UK’s Met Office:
Heavy showers and thunderstorms, with some torrential downpours possible, will gradually clear northeast during the morning. It will then be a muggy day, with warm sunny spells, before further heavy and thundery downpours spread north during the afternoon. Maximum Temperature 24 °C.
The forecast is better for other major cities, with Birmingham and Leeds expecting a fine summer’s day.
Published polls as well as betting and financial markets have been pointing to a win for the Remain campaign in the vote.
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