UK may have voted Remain but EU is still doomed: UKIP's Farage

Britain may have voted to remain in the European Union at a membership referendum on Thursday but the bloc is doomed regardless, the head of the anti-EU UK Independence Party said on Thursday.

Nigel Farage said he thought Britain had voted to remain in the EU, possibly because of an extension of a deadline for people to register to vote.

"The eurosceptic genie is out of the bottle, and it will now not be put back," he told supporters, in comments carried on local television.

"If we do stay part of this union it is doomed, it is finished anyway. If we fail tonight it will not be us that knocks out the first brick from the wall, it will be someone else."

Britain extended the voter registration period for its June 23 referendum by 48 hours earlier this month after a late surge in applications crashed a key website shortly before an original deadline.

"I hope and pray that my sense of this tonight is wrong," Farage said.

"My sense of this -- and no I am not conceding -- but my sense of this is that the government's registration scheme, getting 2 million voters, the 48-hour extension, may be what tips the balance."

Farage repeated his forecast that Remain would narrowly win even after official results which showed a better-than-expected performance for Leave in two northern cities, Sunderland and Newcastle, that nudged his camp just ahead of the Remain camp with five out of 382 areas declared.