Scotland says “NO!” to independence

Scotland has voted “No” to becoming independent from the United Kingdom and ending its 307 year old union with England and Wales.

With all results coming in from the 32 council areas, the “No” vote won with 2,001, 926 votes (55%) over 1,617,989 voting for “Yes” (45%).

The Yes campaign did enjoy four major successes, with 53% in Glasgow, the largest city, 54% in West Dunbartonshire, 57% in Dundee and 51% in North Lanarkshire. However the “No” campaign won over the 26 other local authorities, especially in areas where it was still unclear who would have won, such as Falkirk, Inverclyde, Eliean Star and Clackmannanshire.

First Minister Alex Salmond, on hearing the news accepted defeat and called for national unity.

“Whatever else we can say about this referendum campaign, we have touched sections of the community who have never before been touched by politics, these sections of the community have touched us and touched the political process…I don’t think any of us, whenever we entered politics, would have thought such a thing to be either credible or possible.” He said.

“The unionist parties made vows late in the campaign to devolve more powers to Scotland. Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course- as a reminder; we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by March 27th next year.”

Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that he had spoken to former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling, congratulating him on a “well-fought campaign”.

Mr Cameron said that all three unionist parties in Westminster would follow with their pledge to grant more powers to the Scottish Parliament, announcing that Lord Smith of Kelvin, who was in charge of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, would oversee the process, including new powers over tax, spending and welfare that would be agreed by November, and a draft legislation published by January.

“We will ensure that those commitments are honoured in full.” He said. “Now the debate has been settled for a generation, or as Alex Salmond has said: “Perhaps for a lifetime.”

“So there can be no disputes, no re-runs; we have heard the will of the Scottish people.”

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