Brexit referendum live

Adam Bienkov By

18:02 - OK, we'll bring it to a close for tonight. See you tomorrow for more fun and games. Just a few more hours to go folks.

17:45 - Glorious bit of nonsense with Michael Gove and former England footballer John Barnes. The justice secretary reacted to the news that David Beckham was backing Remain this morning by telling Sky News that Barnes and Sol Campbell were for Brexit. That alone is a bit weird. No offence to either of them, but they're not exactly an answer to someone of Beckham's celebrity status. Anyway, it turns out he doesn't even have them, because Barnes has told Sky News he's for Remain.

This is the secnd time Gove has had a factual cock-up in the campaign, although it's somewhat less personal than the last time, when his dad called the Guardian to tell them that he had not lost his business due to the EU's fisheries policy, contrary to what the justice secretary was saying. That was quite the embarrassment for Gove, given he'd been laying it on a bit thick when talking to Sky's Faisal Islam ("don't belittle the pain caused by the job-destroying machine of the European Union").

In fact, in general Gove has had a bad campaign. He started as the cerebral ancient-English-liberty wing of the Brexit camp but as the core message on immigration came to dominate the campaign, he was driven into making several statements which go completely against the liberal open-minded persona he'd cultivated until now. But then, that's nothing new. Boris has been eating his pro-immigration words all campaign too.

16:56 - Good piece here by Adam on why Brexit is more likely than people seem to think it is (I don't agree, I still think it's very unlikely). There's four key points: that the polls are very close, Leave voters are more motivated, the late swing has been exagerrated and immigration played better than the economy. We don't have that much longer to wait to find out which one of us is right (I'm right).

14:57 - Hi, Ian Dunt taking over here. A short while ago David Camerton strode out of Downing Street and did a version of his basic stump speech on the EU - economic risk, don't gamble with the economy, all that jazz. You'll have mostly seen it before. But there was something interesting there.

Firstly, he was clearly trying to use the paraphenalia of power to bolster his case: the Downing Street door, the podium, the prime ministerial gravitas. This will incence some people about the strict interpretation of the purdah rules. If you haven't heard of purdah, continue to make that case and enjoy your well-developed emotional and social life. If you have, then you know what this means. I don't really know the purdah rules in detail but I suspect those people are right. If it wasn't against the purdah rules it was certainly against the spirit of the rules. But, you know, who cares? The answer ot that question is: About 12 people.

The other interesting aspect was his direct appeal to people of his generation and, I suspect, older. They are less likely to vote Remain. His message was to 'think of the children'. Interesting appeal. Probably won;t work. But if the race is as tight as we think, every vote counts.

None of this is game changing, but it is a sign of a Remain campaign fighting until the bitter end and utilising every little thing at its disposal. Most of all it reminded me of Cameron in Scotland at the end of that referendum, telling them not to vote for independence just to give the Tories kicking. There was that same sense of trying anything. The desperation is setting in.

11.30 - We have two top EU referendum comment pieces for your reading pleasure today. First up is this article by former Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott about the ongoing claims by the Leave campaign that Turkey is about to join the EU. He's not convinced.

"The extent to which Turkey's imminent entry remains unlikely can be seen clearly by anyone taking the trouble to read what the EU actually says about it. Occasionally the European Commission publishes progress reports on Turkey's internal reforms, and the latest ws characteristically hostile. It stated clearly that Turkey fails the EU's criteria for membership, including full democracy, human rights, a free media and reliable rule of law.

"This could not be any clearer. Despite what Vote Leave say, Turkey is nowhere near being in a position to join the EU. When Cameron says that Turkey’s membership is not on the horizon, he is right."

Next up is our editor Ian Dunt with a powerful piece on the attempts by the Leave campaign to squash any political discussion of Jo Cox's death.

"Brexiters aren't just scared the death will have an impact on the referendum. They’re scared it will force a change in how we talk about immigration. An expectation might develop that the debate be discussed moderately, with as little emotion as possible, and on the basis of facts.

"That would be a disaster for the anti-immigration lobby, which is very good at telling stories designed to trigger an emotional response, particularly in those who are struggling to get by. 'This family of seven just arrived in Britain and now they're in the council home you didn't get' - that type of thing. Sometimes the stories are true. Mostly they are false. But they are all based on highly emotive and divisive attempts to turn the public mood. They reached a pinnacle - for now, if we're lucky - in the Nigel Farage 'Breaking Point' poster.

"For those two reasons - Brexit and the continuation of an aggressive anti-immigration debate - Jo Cox's death needed to be stripped of its political context. It could not be treated as a political killing of a political person, with political causes and political repercussions. It had to be turned into a simple story of personal tragedy. Nothing more."

Read on here.

10.00 - Boris Johnson has been live on LBC taking questions about the EU referendum. He dismissed expert warnings (see 09.40 update) about an economic hit to jobs and the pound caused by Brexit. However he agreed that if his confidence proved to be misplaced and Britain did go into a recession, he would publicly apologise. Well that's alright then!

You can watch Boris's comments from about 09.45 minutes in below.

09.40 - Polls suggest many voters have become pretty immune to the conveyor belt of warnings about the harm that Brexit will cause to the economy. However, there were two interventions today that should cause pause for thought. First up was leading financial investor George Soros, who warned that the pound will "decline precipitously" if Leave wins on Thursday. Soros made a fortune by betting against the pound on Black Wednesday and believes something similar could happen again.

He was joined by leading American economist Nouriel Robouni who warned that Brexit could tip the UK into recession. He warned that the hit on consumer confidence would be "severe" and added there would be a "sharp currency fall" and a "sudden stop of capital following Brexit". Roubini was one of the few significant figures to predict the 2008 financial crash.

09.20 - The most startling finding from today's polls is the fact that almost half of all Leave voters, believe that the EU referendum vote will be "rigged" by the authorities, with three-in-ten saying the MI5 are involved.

Don your tin-foil hats and read the full story over here.

09.15 - Good morning and welcome back to our daily live blog running up to Thursday's historic EU referendum vote. We'll bring you all the day's important referendum-related news, analysis and commentary. To start off with let's take a look at the latest opinion polling. 

Last night we saw three new polls which show a very mixed picture. First up was a unique poll by social research agency Natcen. They conducted a combination online and phone poll over an unusually long four week period in order to identify the broadest possible range of voters. Overall they found a six point lead for Remain.

Next up was an ORB poll for the Telegraph. This was rather contradictory. Among all voters, they found a move to Leave, with Remain's lead down to just two points. However, when only looking at those 'certain to vote,' Remain's lead extended to seven points. Their finding that Remain voters are more likely to vote than Leave voters, contradicts most previous polling we have seen.

Finally we had another of YouGov's regular polls for the Times. In contrary to their last poll over the weekend, which showed a big move back to Remain, their latest poll found Leave back ahead by a two point margin.

With all these polls it's important to look at the trend, rather than individual findings, and from that it's clear that after a week in which Leave appeared to have built up a substantial lead, the race is now back to being neck-and-neck, if not with Remain slightly ahead. This graph from YouGov, using all their data over the past week, shows how things have moved.

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