So it actually happened. At 04:45 we received confirmation that the British people have voted to leave the European Union.
The victory was announced with about 70 results yet to declare, and with a turnout that could exceed 71%.
We had an early indication that we were on course for Brexit when Newcastle, the second result to announce, showed a very tight Remain victory when a much larger margin was expected. As the dust settles it would appear that strong turnout in working-class northern areas was key, which predominantly voted for Brexit. The turnout in London and Scotland, areas strongly in favour of Remain, were typically weaker, and this seems to have swung the result.
Despite a sense of momentum gained on their side by focussing on immigration in the latter half of an exhausting referendum campaign, the result is perhaps beyond the wildest dreams of Messrs Johnson, Gove, Farage, and the worst nightmares of the Prime Minister.
A momentous result though it is, in many ways the events of the last 24 hours raise more questions than they have answered.
How the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will play out and the future links between our country and the continent will be sketched out in the coming weeks and months, but most likely will be decided over a number of years.
Indeed, which political figures will oversee that process remains to be seen, as domestically the landscape of party politics has been turned upside down by the defeat of a Remain campaign that boasted the support of the leaders of all but one of the UK’s major political parties.
The future of David Cameron and George Osborne, the status of Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour Party and the SNP’s stance on the union between pro-EU Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom will be under intense scrutiny in the coming days.
The campaign is over and the voice of the people has been heard loud and clear. Their wish is for Britain to leave the European Union. However, as far as the political ramifications of this landmark result are concerned this is very much, only the beginning.