LONDON — A feeling of uncertainty and anguish hung over Friday's commute after Britian's historic decision to sever ties with the European Union, and many younger people seemed especially distressed.
"I think we made a very rash decision," said one young woman living in north London.
"My parents voted 'Leave' and I love them. But it's my future, and I'm scared now," said another young commuter who was on her way to work.
Most Londoners wanted to remain in the European Union, according to polling. With 11 million inhabitants, the capital has a significant electoral impact on British elections. More than 40 percent of all Londoners were not born in the city.
According to a survey conducted by YouGov on Thursday evening and published after polling stations had closed, 75 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 voted to remain in the European Union.
Researchers had expected such an outcome among younger Brits: A recent Pew Research Center survey had shown that only 38 percent of the British older than 50 view the E.U. favorably — compared to 57 percent of younger voters.
The generational split has become particularly defining in London. One London-based voter, who identified himself only as James, said on Friday that he had yet to find a party to celebrate the referendum outcome. "It's not that easy to celebrate this here in London," he said. "Many colleagues at work were rather depressed today."
The mood among younger British or migrants who moved to the U.K. from continental Europe was clearly visible on Friday: At Camden Market in northern London — where many younger E.U. migrants work — some people appeared to be depressed.
Recent polls had suggested that many voters had lost trust in their politicians over the course of the last months. The anger of many younger voters now targets those politicians who are believed to be responsible for leading the country out of the European Union.
When one of the leading pro-Brexit campaigners, Boris Johnson, left his house Friday, some protesters booed and shouted at the former London mayor.
Chaos as Boris Johnson is greeted by loud jeers and boos when he leaves his househttps://t.co/iTiobFMTVS
— 5News (@5_News) June 24, 2016
Johnson can expect to play a major role in the next British government, after Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plans to step down.
Cameron — a staunch supporter of Britain remaining a member of the E.U. — had repeatedly said he would not resign in the case of a Brexit. However, his resignation had been widely expected following the "remain" campaign's loss.
One of his potential successors could be Johnson. His opponents, however, have argued that Johnson embraced the "leave" campaign mainly for his own career advantage.
That sentiment turned into aggression on Friday, as angry cyclists blocked Johnson's car.
Boris Johnson got blocked off by cyclists on the way to give his speech pic.twitter.com/cFFwJerS26
— Andrew Hart (@AndrewProjDent) June 24, 2016
Tensions had already risen on the streets of London ahead of the vote. Following the slaying of Labour Party politician Jo Cox last week, some Brexit-supporters in London said they had been asked to be more careful about their campaigning. Some canceled events, even after campaigning resumed last weekend.
Cox's killing forced the nation to reflect on the last months that were driven by a strong divide between Brexit supporters and opponents.
Those ideological clashes were reflected Friday morning, about six hours after polls had closed, when a group of about eight people were assembled around a TV screen at Leicester Square.
"I'm going to need a visa to visit my family in Spain," said an English-accented man in his 20s. He then turned to the others and demanded to know if they had voted "in" or "out," saying that he was going to punch the "outers."
All of those present said they had voted "in."
Karla Adam contributed to this report.