Betting firm tips Sunderland to be first to declare in EU referendum - and to vote Leave

The EU Referendum takes place on Thursday
The EU Referendum takes place on Thursday
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Sunderland is expected to win the race to declare in the EU referendum, according to leading political spread betting company.

Sporting Index is running Brexit markets and predicts Wearside will report at 11.30pm that Leave has won 53.5 per cent of the vote.

They predict Remain will be seven per cent behind Leave after Sunderland’s ballots are counted - but say heavy backing for the Remain campaign in the past 48 hours has seen their predicted national vote share rise above 53 per cent for the first time in a fortnight.

Sporting Index’s political trading team expect turnout tomorrow to be 70.5 per cent, four points higher than last May’s General Election.

Sunderland’s counting team has won the race to declare in the previous six general elections, with Houghton and Sunderland South announcing Labour’s Bridget Phillipson had been duly elected just 50 minutes after polls closed last May.

Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Without the aid of a national exit poll, both the Remain and Leave camps will need to wait for results to come in to judge how effective their campaigns have been.

"Sunderland has won the race to declare at every general election since 1992, and we think they will be equally speedy on Thursday by announcing the result of their count just 90 minutes after polls close.

"We believe the Wearside count will see Leave receive 53.5 per cent of the vote – any less than that and it could signal that the Remain campaign will be the ones celebrating in the early hours of Friday morning."