Scotland Votes No To Independence

Submitted by edg on Fri, 19 Sep '14 7.07am

Scotland has voted No to independence by a clear margin - 55% to 45% (2,001,926 No votes to 1,617,989 Yes votes). The pro-union camp took the lead with the first of the results to come in from Clackmannanshire and, save for a few minutes early in the night, remained solidly ahead as the counts were declared through the night.

Yes support was strong in Dundee (57% of the vote), West Dumbartonshire (54% of the vote), and in Scotland's biggest city Glasgow (where 194,779 or 53.5% voted yes), but the trend was with the No camp who won more than half of the vote in all but four of the local counts.

As expected Edinburgh voted No and reflecting its significant position as a centre of finance and banking, it voted No by a wide margin. During the campaign doubts had been raised about the number of jobs that would flow south as Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Clydesdale among others moved south of the border in the event of a Yes vote. The No camp won 61% (194,638) to 38.90% (123,927) for Yes in the Scottish capital.

There was a stunning voter turn-out, of over 84.5% nationally, both a reflection of the importance of the vote for Scotland's future and how the hard-fought campaign of the last month has engaged virtually every level of Scottish society. As in the national vote, Edinburgh had an 84% voter turnout.

Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, accepting defeat in Edinburgh, called the referendum process "a triumph for the democratic process and participation in politics".

Salmond thanked the 1.6 million voters who backed independence, calling it "a substantial vote". He added that Scotland expected unionist party vows made late in the Referendum campaign "to be honoured in rapid course."

Better Together leader Alistair Darling, speaking in Glasgow, told jubilant supporters that "the silent have spoken."

Echoing the feeling that many people are looking for change, Darling said: "Every political party must now listen to their cry for change, which could be echoed in every part of our United Kingdom but had the opportunity to express itself first in Scotland."

Both leaders spoke about the need for unity amongst all Scots after what Darling called "a campaign that has energised and divided".

Prime Minister David Cameron made a statement from Downing Street, shortly after the Referendum result was declared.

"Now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together and move forward," he said.

"A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement - fair to people in Scotland, and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."

The Referendum is over, but the wrangling over constitutional change continues.