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What to look out for as the EU referendum results come in

Your hour-by-hour guide.

It’s that time again, folks:  your handy guide from the New Statesman to when you can expect results from the European referendum and what they mean for the overall results.

First: a disclaimer. We haven’t had a referendum on European membership since 1975. We have no idea what turnout will be and crucially if turnout will be wildly different throughout the country. The margin for error here is large, but these are useful hitching-posts throughout the night – or, at least, as useful as I can make them at this stage.

22:00: Close of poll. There will not be a lot to report on at this stage.

There won’t be an exit poll although I imagine a few of the pollsters might decide to chance their arms on doing an on-the-day one. However, these are very far from the all-singing, all-dancing exit polls that the BBC, Sky and ITV pay for on election night and are much, much less reliable. So don’t start celebrating/mourning/selling sterling just because Survation or whoever suggest that we’ve voted to Leave.

My advice is to use this time to stock up on vital supplies: fast food, dips, fizzy drinks and hard liquor. (And also, given the increasingly Leavy-y tilt of the polls, canned goods and bottled water.) Also open the New Statesman liveblog and switch onto ITV. I will be popping up on both throughout the night.

23:00: There’s an old joke from Spitting Image that will be appropriate at this time. “Nothing has happened,” opines the Conservative early on in election night. “That’s not true,” exclaims his Labour counterpart, “A lot has happened.” “It’s the same old two-party story,” sighs the Liberal Democrat, “Actually, a little bit has happened.”

Tell it at home and have them rolling in the aisles.

0:00: Results from Gibraltar and the Isles of Scilly will come in. Although the actual numbers of votes are very small, in percentage terms this ought to be Remain’s high watermark. As far as victory margins are concerned, it will be all downhill from here.

00:30: Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne will declare. Leave should be well clear of Remain in Sunderland if Brexit is indeed going to happen. Anything short of a seven-point gap between Leave and Remain in Sunderland is very good news for Britain Stronger In Europe.  Newcastle is finely balanced but ought to be better for Remain than Sunderland.

It is entirely possible that Leave could lead at this point and still lose.

00:45: Remain ought to get a big win out of City of London – that is, just the area around London Wall and the City, not the whole city, which will declare in stages throughout the night. London’s financial district has just 7,000 permament residents but they trend Remain. 

The bigger prize in terms of votes Swindon, a marginal in general elections but a fortress as far as Brexit is concerned. At this point in the evening, I'd expect a Leave lead.

01:00: Oldham and Darlington will declare. It’s not necessarily all over for Leave if they don’t have an overall lead at this point but it would be a bad sign for them if they weren’t ahead at this point.

01:30: Peak Leave? In percentage terms, at any rate, they should be well up by the time that Basildon, Hartlepool, North Hertfordshire, Stockport, Salford and Merthyr Tydfil  declare. Only the tiny, in population size if not in length of name Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar is likely to return a Remain lead, and that should be more than cancelled out by results elsewhere.

I can’t say with absolute certainty that if Leave don’t lead at this point in the night they’ve lost, but their chances of victory will be narrowed if they aren’t out in front at this point.

02:00: The first big batch of Scottish results, from Clackmannanshire, North Ayrshire, Stirling, the Shetland Islands, East Ayshire and Angus ought to get Remain back in contention. Also likely to run up the score for Remain: Wandsworth, Westminster and Warwick.

Keeping Leave in the race should be Denbighshire and Blaenau Gwent, Neath Port Talbot, Dover, Pendle, Hart, Tamworth, South Tyneside, and Wrexham.

Anyone with a clear lead at this point can feel cheerful but not home and dry just yet.

02:30: We should start to be able to say who’s winning the referendum around about now, as areas around the country start to declare. Wth looking out for Crawley, Enfield, while Castle Point is in contention to provide Leave with one of its largest margins of victory.

03:00: Results will be coming thick and fast, including Jeremy Corbyn’s stomping ground of Islington. The winner should be clear unless it’s a nail-biting finish although I doubt the broadcasters will feel safe in saying so for a few hours. Oxford, one of the contenders for Remain’s biggest victory margin of the night, declares.

03:30:  Edinburgh and Cambridge will duke it out to be the biggest Remain backers. Elsewhere, expect conversations to turn to David Cameron’s coming reshuffle or the looming Boris Johnson premiership depending on which sideis ahead at this point.

04:00: My birthplace of Tower Hamlets is increasingly riddled with hipsters, which means it should give Remain a fairly big win. But the big contender for Remain’s best area – at a tempting 16/1 with the bookmakers – is Brighton and Hove.

04:30: The bulk of Britain’s remaining big cities to bolster my metropolitan snobbery by voting for Remain by a heavy margin unless it is a landside for Leave.

05:00: Most of London will have declared by this point – if it is close, this could be the moment when Remain wins, or it could be the moment when the many balding men of Brexit can breathe a sigh of relief.

06:00: Allegedly Bristol will declare at this point. Bristol counts are notoriously slow so I am dubious. We will know who has won by this point, regardless.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.

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The rise of the green mayor – Sadiq Khan and the politics of clean energy

At an event at Tate Modern, Sadiq Khan pledged to clean up London's act.

On Thursday night, deep in the bowls of Tate Modern’s turbine hall, London Mayor Sadiq Khan renewed his promise to make the capital a world leader in clean energy and air. Yet his focus was as much on people as power plants – in particular, the need for local authorities to lead where central governments will not.

Khan was there to introduce the screening of a new documentary, From the Ashes, about the demise of the American coal industry. As he noted, Britain continues to battle against the legacy of fossil fuels: “In London today we burn very little coal but we are facing new air pollution challenges brought about for different reasons." 

At a time when the world's leaders are struggling to keep international agreements on climate change afloat, what can mayors do? Khan has pledged to buy only hybrid and zero-emissions buses from next year, and is working towards London becoming a zero carbon city.

Khan has, of course, also gained heroic status for being a bête noire of climate-change-denier-in-chief Donald Trump. On the US president's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Khan quipped: “If only he had withdrawn from Twitter.” He had more favourable things to say about the former mayor of New York and climate change activist Michael Bloomberg, who Khan said hailed from “the second greatest city in the world.”

Yet behind his humour was a serious point. Local authorities are having to pick up where both countries' central governments are leaving a void – in improving our air and supporting renewable technology and jobs. Most concerning of all, perhaps, is the way that interest groups representing business are slashing away at the regulations which protect public health, and claiming it as a virtue.

In the UK, documents leaked to Greenpeace’s energy desk show that a government-backed initiative considered proposals for reducing EU rules on fire-safety on the very day of the Grenfell Tower fire. The director of this Red Tape Initiative, Nick Tyrone, told the Guardian that these proposals were rejected. Yet government attempts to water down other EU regulations, such as the energy efficiency directive, still stand.

In America, this blame-game is even more highly charged. Republicans have sworn to replace what they describe as Obama’s “war on coal” with a war on regulation. “I am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion, and to cancel job-killing regulations,” Trump announced in March. While he has vowed “to promote clean air and clear water,” he has almost simultaneously signed an order to unravel the Clean Water Rule.

This rhetoric is hurting the very people it claims to protect: miners. From the Ashes shows the many ways that the industry harms wider public health, from water contamination, to air pollution. It also makes a strong case that the American coal industry is in terminal decline, regardless of possibile interventions from government or carbon capture.

Charities like Bloomberg can only do so much to pick up the pieces. The foundation, which helped fund the film, now not only helps support job training programs in coal communities after the Trump administration pulled their funding, but in recent weeks it also promised $15m to UN efforts to tackle climate change – again to help cover Trump's withdrawal from Paris Agreement. “I'm a bit worried about how many cards we're going to have to keep adding to the end of the film”, joked Antha Williams, a Bloomberg representative at the screening, with gallows humour.

Hope also lies with local governments and mayors. The publication of the mayor’s own environment strategy is coming “soon”. Speaking in panel discussion after the film, his deputy mayor for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues, described the move to a cleaner future as "an inevitable transition".

Confronting the troubled legacies of our fossil fuel past will not be easy. "We have our own experiences here of our coal mining communities being devastated by the closure of their mines," said Khan. But clean air begins with clean politics; maintaining old ways at the price of health is not one any government must pay. 

'From The Ashes' will premiere on National Geograhpic in the United Kingdom at 9pm on Tuesday, June 27th.

India Bourke is an environment writer and editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

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