Scotland has voted to remain in the United Kingdom, but the country is split down the middle.
The result was an incredibly close one, however, not as tight as some recent polls have predicted.
A five point swing to the ‘Yes’ side could have won it for Alex Salmond’s campaign. The final vote split 55.30% to 44.70% in favour of the union.
Turnout was 84.59% of the 97% registered voters. Just over 2 million Scots voted ‘no’, whilst 1.6 million voted ‘yes’.
The final results are in, with the Highlands being the last to declare. A slim majority won for Better Together in this council area.
Whilst the vast majority of councils voted to remain in the union, many were split almost 50-50, but most interesting is the divide between the cities.
Out of Scotland’s five largest cities, Dundee’s results were announced first.
The Yes campaign declared victory in Dundee as 57% of its population voted for independence, compared with the 43% who opposed it.
At the other end of the spectrum, Edinburgh massively rejected independence. 61% voted ‘no’, a figure considerably higher than the 39% favouring independence. Additionally, 59% of voters in Aberdeen voted to remain in the union, with 41% wanting a change. Stirling also rejected independence (60%-40%).
As for Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city voted for independence, however, the result was much tighter than in the other cities: 53.5% voted ‘yes’ and 46.5% voted ‘no’.
On the issue of independence, Scotland’s cities are divided. And with a 55%-45% split, the whole country is split.
Hopefully this will not get in the way of future decision making. Hopefully the divide felt in Scotland today will not become a permanent scar and the country will get on with things, particularly with the promise of new powers.
Meanwhile other events are unfolding. Alex Salmond has admitted defeat and thanked the almost 1.6m Scots who voted for independence for their efforts. No doubt calls for his resignation will occur, but with Yes doing far better than originally expected this might not come to anything.
Alistair Darling has accepted victory, tweeting: ‘An extraordinary night. Humbled by the level of support and the efforts of our volunteers.’
In another referendum update, Nigel Farage has been tweeting from the sidelines, saying: ‘We need a serious debate on funding as the Barnett formula doesn't work anymore, even the founder Joel Barnett agrees’. He also said: ‘England needs a voice!’ perhaps echoing calls for the creation of an English parliament.
Now that Scotland has voted ‘no’ it is up to Westminster to deliver on its promise of more powers. Scotland might be divided, and one side is incredibly disappointed, but both sides should be pleased with the incredible exercise of democracy undertaken: a turnout of 85% is a winning result for all sides.
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