TODAY the power to make the biggest decision a lifetime on whether we remain in or leave the European Union passes to voters across East Lancashire and the rest of UK.

Campaigners on both sides are urging Lancashire Telegraph readers and their friends and families not pass up this crucial 'once in a generation' vote.

The big-hitters have been out and about in the county after it was identified by the University of East Anglia (UEA) as one area where the actual vote may indicate how the nation decides.

Leave campaign figurehead Boris Johnson was in Nelson, Altham and at Gisburn Auction Mart selling 'a beautiful cow' for £960 to bang the drum for 'Leave' and the economic boom he believes would follow quitting.

Former Labour Cabinet Ministers Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls brought the 'Remain' battlebus to Burnley and Blackburn to warn of the impact of 'Brexit' on the economy and public services they claim would follow departure.

The question of 'should we stay or should we go?' has become the talk of the streets, shops and pubs across the area and the country.

Prime Minister David Cameron has put his leadership and the unity of his party on the line by strongly advocating 'remain' in a campaign dominated by the economy, immigration and who makes our laws.

A 'YouGov' poll identified Blackburn with Darwen as the fifth most Euro-sceptic borough in the UK, just behind Blackpool.

The remaining 12 boroughs of Lancashire are poised on a knife-edge in the opinion survey.

The UEA research predicts that Pendle, Hyndburn, Burnley, Ribble Valley and Rossendale will all vote decisively to leave with Chorley not far behind.

As after the General Election, all eyes will be on East Lancashire tomorrow morning to discover how the political wind is blowing.

The Lancashire Telegraph's own online and social media poll yesterday had 781 votes cast when we went to press showing a majority of 489, 63 per cent for Leave, against 245, 31 per cent for Remain, with 30 'Don't Knows' and 17 non-voters. (UPDATE) Blackburn with Darwen Labour agent Phil Riley, trying to mobilise the 'Remain' vote, said: "Our borough is reputedly a pro-Brexit area.

"So if 'Remain' wins or it is a close vote, it would suggest 'Remain' are doing well.

"But we want everybody to vote, whichever side they support, in this vital decision."

Paul White, North-West regional director for 'Vote Leave', has a different perspective.

The senior Pendle councillor said: "This affects every one of us.

"It's about our future and I hope everyone casts their vote.

"I predict we in the North West are going to give the Prime Minister a big wake up call."

The issue has split East Lancashire MPs with Blackburn's Kate Hollern, Rossendale and Darwen's Jake Berry, Burnley's Julie Cooper, Hyndburn and Haslingden's Graham Jones all supporting 'Remain'.

Pendle's Andrew Stephenson, Ribble Valley's Nigel Evans and Chorley's Lindsay Hoyle are are for 'Leave'.

Mrs Hollern said: "This is the biggest decision of our lives, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I urge every Lancashire Telegraph reader, their friends and family to take this opportunity to vote."

Mr Stephenson said: "This is a decision about not just those who can vote but their children and grandchildren's futures.

"The Prime Minister has given the Lancashire Telegraph's readers and everyone else in East Lancashire the power to change the future, and I hope every single person uses it."

Pendle council Tory group leader Joe Cooney yesterday announced on Facebook he had swung from the 'Remain' camp to 'Leave'.

He is the latest political figure to switch sides with former Armed Forces boss Lord Guthrie going the same way over a possible EU army and Tory GP and MP Sarah Wollaston heading from quit to stay over the impact of Brexit on the NHS.

It is a campaign which has seen unlikely public figures recruited to the cause with David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand backing 'Remain' this week, while fellow soccer player Sol Campbell and 'Monty Python' and 'Fawlty Towers' star John Cleese firmly in the 'Leave camp'.