The people of Scotland have voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. Voters came out in unprecedented numbers to have their say on independence – and an emphatic majority decided that separation is a step too far.
By 6.15am, with 31 of 32 counts declared, Better Together has 1,914,187 votes while Yes Scotland has 1,539,920 – an unassailable lead.
Edinburgh’s result was declared just before 6am (picture above), and despite predictions that the result would be close, a clear majority of the capital’s citizens voted to remain part of the union. Edinburgh voted No: 194, 638 (60.19%), Yes: 123,927 (39.81%).
Many people believed that the Better Together campaign was too negative and handed the initiative to a vibrant Yes Scotland bandwagon, but voters agreed with the unionist parties that ‘it’s not worth the risk’.
First Minister Alex Salmond will make a statement later this morning, but Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC of a “real sense of disappointment that we have fallen narrowly short of securing a ‘Yes’ vote”.
While the result will be a bitter disappointment for almost half of the nation, there are positives to be taken from the campaign, whatever side of the debate you’re on. All across the country people have engaged in politics once again. This was the campaign where the people took democracy back.
And now, at the end of a gruelling thirty-month campaign that has split the country, it’s time to build bridges. One of the few things on which politicians of both sides agree is that politics has changed forever, and it’s to be hoped that all of the energy, positivity and enthusiasm that was poured into the campaign can be harnessed for the collective good of our nation. There’s an awful lot of work to be done.
Yes, the people have spoken – and this time the politicians really had better listen.