Voting will begin at 7am (BST) and end at 10pm (BST) on Thursday with official results announced by the Electoral Commission early Friday morning.

The British and European Union flag flutters side by side.
The British and European Union flag flutters side by side. (TRT World and Agencies)

Britain's biggest vote since 1975 will happen Thursday June 23, 2016.

It will vote on whether to remain in the European Union (EU) or not.

Voting will commence at 7am (BST) and end at 10pm (BST).

The official results will be announced by the Electoral Commission early Friday morning.

According to The Telegraph, the reason results will take so long is because the entire voting area has now been divided into 382 counting areas.

Each area will first verify all ballots individually, before announcing the turn-out.

Only then will the actual counting begin.

The special feature by The Telegraph explains these results will then be collated and fed by local counting officers to regional counting officers in 12 electoral regions, who will only announce their results when all the areas have concluded their counts.

The Electoral Commission is forecasting that turnout could be as high as 80% and are encouraging people to cast their votes early.

Vote Remain vs Vote Leave

Polls by various organiations and think tanks are suggesting different outcomes.

But what are British people on the ground thinking and how will the results affect them?

We posed these questions to two Brits and got the following response:

Saheem Suleman, an Economic Analyst from Dewsbury says the UK should remain in the EU.

Financial Manager from West Yorkshire, Gareth Laycock, says UK citizens should not lose the privilege of having to travel and work in any country in the EU.

Muslim community

With a population of over 3 million, the Muslim community's vote is something both Remain and Leave camps are trying to win over.

Messages have been circulating on social media while pamphlets are being distributed near mosques and Islamic schools.

British Muslims, a majority of them from immigrant backgrounds, will need to think long and hard before voting as the result will be a turning point for a religion already under the global spotlight.

This, along with immigration, remains one of the important issues at the forefront of the referendum.

But, just like the rest of Britain, Muslims are also split into two.

One of the many broadcast messages sent out via Whatsapp to Muslim voters says the following:

Reasons why we Muslims must.Vote Leave On 23 June.1. British Born Muslims and those that arrived here from other countries total
3 million over 50 years.
East European immigration is over 3 million in the last 5 years.!! And is expected to reach 6m in the next 5years.!!
How does this affect you??
Well they are all followers of the Orthodox Christian Church. And they have always battled against Islam from the time of the Sahaba upto the Ottoman Khilafa.Staying in EU will give us:-a) More Off Licencesb) More Betting Shops c) More expensive housingd) More people in Churchese) Less value to our votef) overcrowded school classesg) more strain on the NHSh) an increase in the current £350million per week EU bill we pay.
i) Forced to introduce future EU wide laws such as a ban on Hijab. And controls on Juma khutbah.UK is the best place for Muslims. And staying in we will be get into a lot of trouble in the future.Let's help take Britain to a better path with our support as the Muslim community.Please VOTE LEAVE IT IS BETTER FOR UK AND FOR OUR Future generations

But a prominent activist from the Bolton Muslim community believes otherwise.

Salim Bhorat says if the UK leaves the EU, the British government will increase pressure on Muslim communities since it doesn't need to comply to EU human rights criterias.

"Britain would continue to veer further and further away from justice and human rights, needing only to use security and the threat of terrorism as a reason."

"Who questions any actions the Government take when the word 'terrorism' or 'radicalisation' is uttered?"

He's encouraging as many Muslims as possible to Vote Remain.

The Turkey factor

A point which the Vote Leave camp tried hard to stir up is on the question of more immigrants and its consequence on the local job market.

This is when Turkey became a target for them.

It was during this time that Turkey was negotiating its visa-free deal with the EU, which would allow its citizens easy access into EU countries.

British politicians backing the Leave camp were quick to grab on to the opportunity and made Turkey central to the entire debate.

The debate had to do with the perception that Turkey's inclusion in the EU would allow millions of people easy access to the United Kingdom.

But the way this point was exploited was at times funny too.

It all culminated with this poster issued by the Vote Leave camp:

(TRT World and Agencies)

But it didn't stop there and politicians have since made absurd statements like insisting that many Turkish travellers would be murderers, terrorists and kidnappers.

Even birth rates were used to make a case against Turkey.

The Vote Leave camp said Turkish people bring more babies into the world than the British, insisting that's something that could alter the demographics of the UK.

Source: TRT World