Scotland rejects independence in historic referendum

Last Updated 19 September 2014, 06:17 IST

Scots today rejected independence in a historic referendum and decided to remain in a 307-year-old union with the United Kingdom, in a relief to Prime Minister David Cameron.

With 30 out of Scotland's 32 council areas having declared, the "No" side has an unbeatable lead of 1,877,252 votes to 1,512,688, official results confirmed today.

The winning total needed was 1,852,828 and nationally, the margin of victory is about 55 per cent to 45 per cent.

This margin of victory is some three points greater than that anticipated by the final opinion polls.

The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign and talks will now begin on devolving more powers to Scotland, which had joined the United Kingdom in 1707.

Glasgow, Scotland's largest council area and the third largest city in Britain, voted in favour of independence by 194,779 to 169,347, with Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire also voting "Yes".

But Edinburgh, the nation's capital, rejected independence by 194,638 to 123,927, while Aberdeen City voted "No" by a margin of more than 20,000 votes.

There have also been big wins for the pro-UK campaign in many other areas.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I've spoken to Alistair Darling (head of the pro-UK Better Together campaign) – and congratulated him on a well-fought campaign."

He will make official statement on Scotland's decision in a live televised address following the final result.

Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC a no vote would be "a deep personal and political disappointment".

"There is an appetite of change in Scotland, this country has changed forever," he added.

After votes have been tallied, the chief counting officer, Mary Pitcaithly, in Edinburgh, is set to officially declare the result followed by a statement by Queen Elizabeth II.

The people of Scotland had been queueing up to register their vote in the historic referendum yesterday to decide their future as part an independent country or the UK.

They had a simple "Yes" or "No" choice to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" Nearly 97 per cent of the electorate, adding up to 4,285,323 people, were registered to vote at 2,608 polling places across the country.

(Published 19 September 2014, 04:59 IST)

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