As usual with Latvian referendums, people opposed to the referendum proposition are skipping the vote, to push the turnout below the legal threshold at which the referendum is valid. So, the result will be 95%-99% "yes" but the real question is the turnout.
For the law to pass, the turnout must be at least 1/2 of the turnout in the most recent parliamentary election. That means that we need 453,730 voters, which is 30.65% of all eligible voters, for the vote to count. According to the Central Election Committee, we have:
- a turnout of 0.59% in the first hour of voting (7am - 8am);
- a turnout of 9.50% in the first 5 hours (7am - noon).
- 41.8% of the final turnout in the Constitutional referendum a few weeks ago;
- 40.7% of the final turnout in the security laws referendum of 2007;
- 37.7% of the final turnout in the parliamentary election of 2006;
- 43.8% of the final turnout in the referendum on Latvia joining EU in 2003.
The next update on turnout is at 4pm. In previous referendums/elections, 4pm turnout was 69%-74% of the final one. 69% of the necessary 30.65% is 21.33%. If we are substantially below that at 4pm, we can be quite sure that the referendum has failed.
UPDATE (9:30pm): 8pm turnout numbers are out and, with only two hours left in voting (8pm-10pm), the turnout is 21%. It's now safe to say that the turnout is not going to jump to 30.65% in two hours. The referendum has failed.
UPDATE (3:00am): the turnout is 347044 or 23.45% of eligible voters. Everything has been counted, except for 4 voting places in Latvian embassies in America (due to time-zone difference), which should not affect the number much. Again, the referendum has failed and by a substantial amount. I will have a post-referendum post tomorrow.