Scottish referendum

The latest results, reaction and analysis as Scotland votes No to reject independence

Fiach Kelly, Colin Gleeson, Genevieve Carbery and Ronan McGreevy Thu, Sep 18
 
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  • This event has now ended
  • 16:59

    Will it be aye or nay? Will tonight mark the end of the 307-year-old union between Scotland and Britain? Will we have a Littler Britain by sunrise?

    As Scotland decides its future we’ll be live blogging into the wee hours. Political Correspondent Fiach Kelly will begin the coverage at 8pm, Colin Gleeson will take over in the very wee hours and we’ll still be here (with added coffee) tomorrow morning when Genevieve Carbery will keep you up to speed.



    London Editor Mark Hennessy and Colm Keena will be covering events from Scotland. We’ll bring you all the results as we get them as well as the best tweets, colour, analysis and photos from the streets and the count through the night.


    Full live blog coverage begins at 8pm. Polls close at 10pm.

  • 17:18

    While we await full coverage of it @ 8pm, here are a few things to keep you bonnie bairns entertained.


    There were some very dramatic front pages from British papers today.


    Daily Mirror: Don’t Leave us this way, The Guardian and the Scotsman chose the same headline “ Day of Destiny”, The Times: D-Day for the Union, The Herald: Scotland's day of reckoning.


    The Daily Telegraph opted not for a headline but an 18th century poem as it quotes Scot Robert Burns from 1795 “Be Britain Still to Britain True, Amang Ourselves United, For Never but by British Hands, Maun British Wrangs be Righted

  • 17:25
  • 17:36
    Anoraks will be closely watching the turnout in some of Scotland's poorer districts. Names like  Shettleston, Castlemilk, Drumchapel and Easterhouse may become famous for tonight where turnout has traditionally been 10% but where the Yes campaign has been working hard.  
  • 17:42

    If you see a strong Yes vote coming in from Dundee tonight, don't proclaim Och! and presume the game is over. It has  been described as the Yes capital of Scotland, with some housing schemes showing up to 80 per cent support.  

  • 17:52
    There's another important vote in Scotland today.... the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is deciding on whether to finally allow women members... results expected in the next hour or so. More here
  • 17:57
    In one of our most-read stories at the moment former taoiseach John Bruton says Ireland could have followed the same peaceful path towards independence that Scotland is considering today...
  • 18:01
    Will it be game, set and match for Andy Murray, Britain and Scotland’s  No.1 tennis player who this morning tweeted his support for the Yes campaign? Some people have reacted negatively to him and think it’s pure haver (nonsense talk).  You can read our compilation of more famous Scottish folk tweeting here.  
  • 18:05
    One Irish Times columnist may be walking 500 miles tonight...... followed by 500 more .....  
  • 18:14
    <p>What do you do when waiting for the biggest result of you political career, drink a cuppa of course. Surely SNP leader Alex Salmond is   a Lipton-man not Tetleys?   Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Gettys</p>

    What do you do when waiting for the biggest result of you political career, drink a cuppa of course. Surely SNP leader Alex Salmond is  a Lipton-man not Tetleys?  Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Gettys

  • 18:43
    If you're way behind on the Scottish referendum issues...John Oliver has some help...kind of...
  • 19:03
  • 19:04
    Could Flower of Scotland be actually better than Ireland's call? Sorry we're getting a little emotional...
  • 19:23
    A former council leader has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged assault at a polling station. PA is reporting that Marie Rimmer (67) a former leader of St Helens council in Merseyside, was arrested this afternoon after a woman was allegedly assaulted near Shettleston Community Centre in Glasgow.
  • 20:28
    Not long now before polling stations close their doors... get the match sticks out and stay with us
  • 20:34
    Hello there, Fiach Kelly here manning the blog - with the aid of a coffee or five - until 2 am.

    So it's really squeaky bum time now, in the words of that famous Scot, Sir Alex Ferguson (Ferguson, a staunch Labour supporter, has declared for No, incidentally).

    All of us political anoraks have gorged on the Scottish referendum in the past few weeks, all the more so since one opinion poll put the Yes side ahead.

    That poll, by YouGuv for The Sunday Times, sparked panic in Westminster and set the campaign alight. Subsequent polls ebbed and flowed, but confirmed the campaign was very, very tight.

    But here's a thought - what if the pollsters were wrong? The polling companies know they are under the spotlight too, and BBC had an interesting piece on the subject in recent days.
  • 20:49

    Poor Ed Miliband. Not only will the Labour leader see a huge number of the party's Westminster seats disappear if Scotland opts for independence, he could find himself north of the boder himself.

    The Telegraph had an interesting piece today about an ancient Scottish claim on Doncaster, where Miliband's Commons seat is located.

    Given the amount of grumbling about Miliband, maybe some in Labour secretly wish it would happen.

  • 20:52
  • 20:53
    A useful map from the London School of Economics below, with the expected reporting times for the various Scottish regions.
  • 20:59

    Of course, governments across Europe are keeping a close eye on things tonight, wary of their own regions with aspirations of independence.

    The Spanish and the Basques, Flanders in Belgium and, of course, our own Donegal. Don't think we haven't noticed the results of our referendums, all you up there. It'd make the All-Ireland fairer too.

  • 21:03
    Another note before polls close in an hour: there is no exit poll tonight, so we won't have an idea of how it is  going  until the real counting gets underway.
  • 21:05
    Sky News reporting turnout in Dundee - a SNP and Yes stronghold - could be as high as 90 per cent.
  • 21:08

    One of the best read pieces on irishtimes.com in the past two weeks has been this one: If Scotland says Yes, what will Ulster say?

    If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance.

  • 21:22

    Thanks to @msaoife  for suggesting this handy guide to help you weigh up what the votes from different parts of Scotland mean as they tumble in through the night.

  • 21:26

    Ah sure we may as well go home now. The markets have spoken!

  • 21:29
    Patrons having a drink in Dirty Dick's pub in Edinburgh as they await the results in Scotland's referendum on independence  . Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
    Patrons having a drink in Dirty Dick's pub in Edinburgh as they await the results in Scotland's referendum on independence  . Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters
  • 21:35

    So if the leader of what was the  Conservative and Unionist Party were to resign if the Union fell apart on his watch, how would he do it?

    An angry Jonathan Foreman of The Spectator imagines how.

  • 21:40
  • 21:43

    As you can see in the video below, Groundskeeper Willie has  shown his hand on Scottish independence  but -  even better - so has WWF Wrestler Rowdy  Roddy Piper. Take that financial markets!


     

  • 21:53

    The always superb Michael White of The Guardian has been out to gauge the last minute mood.  


    "Both sides have been accused on scaremongering, rightly so in their more extremes claims. But the yes camp stands accused of something far more powerful, more uplifting and potentially disappointing: hopemongering," he says. Read it here,

  • 21:54
  • 21:56

    Sky News is in serious danger of running out of returning officers to talk guff here.

    Just five minutes until polls close, though.

  • 22:03

    Polls now closed, boxes will open soon. Still  a few more hours until we know the result of the 307 year itch, as the London Indy memorably put it this morning.

  • 22:08

    Sky News reporting the Queen is "watching this very closely" and is "taking a personal interest". She is also being kept "abreast of everything" by her advisers.  

    Prince Philip, for his part,  wore a sporran and kilt today, giving Alex Salmond a final boost.

  • 22:09
  • 22:20
    Sighs of relief from Westminster, say the experts, but is PM Dave still in trouble?
  • 22:28

    Our own Mark Hennessy has provided excellent coverage of the referendum campaign.  He's on Twitter @MarkHennessy  and here's his piece from this morning.

  • 22:31
    Dave and George feeling confident in Downing Street, reports Sky's Joey Jones.
  • 22:34
  • 22:35
    Tweet below: YouGov, the polling company which put the willies up the Unionists two weeks ago with that Sunday Times poll, are predicting the Noes have it by 54-46.
  • 22:42
    This just in from Mark Hennessy in Edinburgh:

    Set your alarm clocks, according to preference - these are the estimated times for results from each Scottish local authority in the independence referendum. Subject to change, obviously .

    East Lothian: 2.00am
    Inverclyde: 2.00am
    Moray: 2.00am
    North Lanarkshire: 2.00am
    Orkney Islands: 2.00am
    Perth and Kinross: 2.00am
    Western Isles: 2.00am
    Clackmannanshire: 2.30am
    West Dubartonshire: 3.00am
    Stirling: 3.00am
    South Lanarkshire: 3.00am
    Renfrewshire: 3.00am
    Falkirk: 3.00am
    East Renfrewshire: 3.00am
    East Ayshire: 3.00am
    Dundee: 3.00am
    Dumfries and Galloway: 3.00am
    Angus: 3.00am
    Aberdeenshire: 3.00am
    West Lothian: 3.30am
    South Ayrshire: 3.30am
    Shetland Islands: 3.30am
    Midlothian: 3.30am
    East Dunbartonshire: 3.30am
    Argyll and Bute: 3.30am
    Highland: 4.00am
    Fife: 4.00am
    North Ayrshire: 4.30am
    Scottish Borders: 5.00am
    Glasgow: 5.00am
    Edinburgh: 5.00am
    Aberdeen: 6.00am
  • 22:43
    YouGov's Peter Kellner on Sky now saying the Noes were more determined because they felt they "had more to lose".
  • 22:43
    "If Yes win, we and other pollsters have got things badly wrong," he says. "I can't see No losing this now."
  • 22:45
    If the Union is to be saved, what chance an impromptu performance of the BBC Proms? Union Jacks at the ready....
  • 22:47
  • 22:52
    Will we see scenes like this in Glasgow in the wee hours?
  • 22:52
    So did this guy save the United Kingdom? Betcha he thinks so.
    So did this guy save the United Kingdom? Betcha he thinks so.
  • 22:55
  • 22:56
    In case you missed it, here's Gordon Brown's widely praised speech from earlier this week.
  • 22:57
  • 22:58
    Tweet below: well done CNN, well done.
  • 22:59
    Maybe even Gillian Duffy, the woman Brown called "bigoted" during the 2010 election campaign will forgive him now. Hmm...wonder if we can find that video.....
  • 23:00
  • 23:02
    Aha! Here it is, and never fails to entertain. "My father, even when he was in his teens went t'free trade hall to sing The Red Flag..."
  • 23:06
  • 23:08
    After the YouGov poll, the BBC's Nick Robinson, who has hopped off Alex Salmond a few times during the campaign, strikes a note of caution in the tweet below.
  • 23:20
    <p><span style='color: black; font-family: 'Verdana','sans-serif'; font-size: 7.5pt;'>The Queen will make a statement tomorrow, reports Sky. Our exclusive pictures capture the jubilant scenes in Balmoral. </span></p>

    The Queen will make a statement tomorrow, reports Sky. Our exclusive pictures capture the jubilant scenes in Balmoral.

  • 23:22

    Turnout in Edinburgh 89 per cent, reports say. Massive.

     

  • 23:23
    Correction: that's 89.6 per cent for the Edinburgh postal vote.
  • 23:34
    The Spectator, the conservative magazine, is also sounding cautious. Fraser Nelson, its editor and a Scot, says a high turnout (as in 90 per cent high)  in SNP and Yes leaning Dundee could yet cause trouble for the Noes.
  • 23:40

    All the UK papers run with holding splashes for first editions.


    Best holding headline? "On the brink..." of what exactly? Nobody can tell, that's the genius of it.

  • 23:46
    First result in North Lanarkshire expected at 12.45, says La Burlers on Sky News.
  • 23:52
  • 23:55
  • 00:00

    Tweet below sums up the dilemma for David Cameron and  Westminster if No is victorious. Scotland has been promised a more muscular Home Rule by all three main parties, with extra controls over tax and welfare policy.


    This would then, as one analyst had it in recent days, awaken the "sleeping giant" of English resentment. Tory MPs in particular, with Nigel Farage slurping his pint and pulling on his smoke just over their shoulders, will become restless.


    For a start, you can bet they will want Scottish MPs in the Commons deprived of their right to vote on English taxes, which could then lead to a multiplicity of other demands.

  • 00:01
  • 00:02
    Tweet below: it has started already.
  • 00:05
  • 00:17

    The Dirty Digger has spoken (tweet below). Rupert Murdoch played a curious role in the campaign, initially flirting with Alex Salmond and the SNP, leading to suggestions he could throw his Scottish Currant Bun behind the Yes campaign.

    One tweet summed this up. "Wrestling with Scottish vote," he said. "Scottish Sun No 1. Head over heart, or just maybe vote lead to the same conclusion."

    Murdoch and Salmond are known admirers of each other, and the mogul is certainly no fan of Cameron, seeking revenge on the  Westminster  establishment over the hacking affair.

    Yet, a few days ago, Murdoch's tune began to change. Yet again, he made his feelings known through his Twitter page. Salmond was still described as a "friend" but his allies - "far left socialists and greenies" - were causing "worry", not to mention the SNP's desire to join the hated EU.

    Even though he seemingly relished launching that infamous YouGov Sunday Times poll two weeks ago, Murdoch rarely finds himself on the losing side in these contests.

    Was he doing his own research, and were his tweets the first indication the referendum was swinging to the Noes?

  • 00:24
    Huge turnout throughout Scotland.
  • 00:29
    Prime Minister David Cameron to make a statement first thing in the morning, following result declaration. Ming Campbell of the Lib Dems has said he should make specific reference to Super Gordon and his efforts.
  • 00:31
  • 00:42

    Allegations of electoral fraud in Glasgow. Seems a few people were voting early and often.

    "You are wearing gloves now, to do what?" asks Kay Burley of an election official.

    Serious looking man says the gloves  are for handling the offending ballots.

    They're blue plastic - the gloves, not the ballots -  Kay tells us. Glad that's cleared up then.

  • 00:48

    Unconfirmed reports Begbie from Trainspotting despatched across Glasgow to find out what, er, person is responsible for the fraud.

  • 00:49
    Alex Salmond not attending the count, accoring to reports. Doesn't scream confidence, does it?
  • 00:50
  • 00:51
    Someone send Alastair Campbell up to  Adam Boulton to spice things up. Another 2010 classic.
  • 00:53
  • 01:03
  • 01:03
    More from our own Mark Hennessy:
  • 01:08

    Wow, Dundee turnout 78.8 per cent. While high by usual standards, it does not live up to predictions of a 90 per cent turnout, or more.

    Remember, Dundee is strong Yes and SNP territory. The No side will be happy with those turnout figures.

  • 01:09
  • 01:11
  • 01:12

    Never mind the first count of votes, I want to know when the first chicken will be counted. Lib Dem's Danny Alexander very evasive on the issue there with Adam Boulton. Has anyone done a poultry tally?

     

  • 01:18
  • 01:31

    Hello there. Colin Gleeson here taking over our live blog for the results of yesterday's historic Scottish independence referendum.

    You can tweet me @ColinGleesonIT if you’d like to get involved.

    First results are just starting to roll in so bear with us.

  • 01:33

    It’s first blood to the No side as 19,039 voters in Clackmannanshire elected to vote No, while 16,350 voted Yes to independence.

    That’s 53.8 per cent against 42.2 per cent.

    Early days yet though.

  • 01:40

    Word from our very own Colm Keena who is at the count centre in Dundee where turnout was 78.8 per cent.

    He says a fire alarm went off a short time ago and the centre had to be evacuated. He thinks people are being allowed to re-enter as we speak.

    There’s drama for ye! Imagine if all the ballots had gone up in smoke..

  • 01:42
    Results from Orkney expected shortly where turnout was 83.7 per cent.
  • 01:45


    The turnout really does magnify just how significant a day this has been for Scotland – and democracy generally.

    None of your ‘och sure what does it matter who/what we vote for’ here. This is history in the making, something that clearly wasn’t lost on the Scots.

  • 01:48

    On the electoral fraud in Glasgow, according to Sky News, “a lady” has been taken away by police because she was “too close” and was “taking a video on her camera”.

    The horror.

    They’ve taken her away to have a look at what she videoed, apparently.

  • 01:51

    Turnout in Glasgow is just 75 per cent, which is much lower than other parts of the country.

    Too many Celtic fans made the trip to Austria for their match with Salzburg obviously.

  • 01:54

    Somebody has just tweeted that it’s “game over” in the referendum after the Clackmannanshire result.

    Relax there.

  • 02:02

    Whatever happens, you have to admire the romanticism of the Scots. Polls close, counting starts immediately, and they just keep going.

    None of your ‘right it’s 5pm –count resumes tomorrow at 9am.’ We could learn a thing or two from these people.

  • 02:04

    It’s a bit of a landslide in Orkney.

    The No side have it by 10,004 votes to 4,883 or 67.2 per cent to 32.8 per cent.

  • 02:05
    The returning officer tells us that some of the votes were rejected. One of the reasons for which was some geniuses who ticked both boxes.
  • 02:08
    Orkney is one of the smallest parts of Scotland so those of you hoping for a Yes vote shouldn’t give up the ghost just yet.
  • 02:14

    According to Edinburgh's chief counting officer Sue Bruce, one woman who voted in person today was celebrating her 100th birthday.

    I wonder how she voted?

  • 02:22

    The YouGov pollsters called the referendum in favour of the No side much earlier by a margin of 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

    If you were wondering how they can possibly know what they’re on about in the absence of exit polls, they based their prediction on the responses of 1,828 people after they voted, together with those of 800 people who had already voted by post.

    Today’s respondents had previously given their voting intention earlier this week. By recontacting them, they could “assess any last-minute shift in views”.

    “Today’s responses indicate that there has been a small shift on the day from Yes to No, and also that No supporters were slightly more likely to turn out to vote,” say YouGov.

    Sounds awfully like an exit poll to me but they got around it.

  • 02:23
  • 02:23

    YouGov also asked people whether they had encountered active supporters of the Yes and No campaigns at their local polling station and, if so, whether the campaigners had acted reasonably.

    Big majorities said that any campaigners they encountered behaved reasonably; but 10 per cent of No voters said they had encountered unreasonable behaviour by Yes campaigners, while 5 per cent of Yes voters said they encountered unreasonable behaviour by No campaigners.

  • 02:24
  • 02:27

    On the electoral fraud story, a Police Scotland spokesman has said: “Police Scotland takes the safety and security of the independence referendum extremely seriously and is working with partner agencies including local authorities and the Chief Counting Officer to ensure the integrity of the ballot.

    “Any crime committed will be investigated appropriately.”

  • 02:29
    Colm Keena says Andrew Marr is on TV wondering if the opinion poll in the Sunday Times two weeks ago, showing a majority in favour of independence, spooked supporters of the union and has prompted them to come out and vote.
  • 02:33

    A spokesman for the Scottish Socialist Party is trying to keep the Yes chins up. He correctly points out that only two electoral areas have declared official results, and that he is waiting to see what comes out of Glasgow and Dundee before getting too worried.

    He says he’s confident of a Yes vote in Glasgow.

  • 02:36
    A result from Shetland is expected in ten minutes.
  • 02:38
    Better Together campaigners celebrate the Clackmannanshire 'No' result at the Marriott Hotel Better Together Referendum Night. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
    Better Together campaigners celebrate the Clackmannanshire "No" result at the Marriott Hotel Better Together Referendum Night. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
  • 02:40

    The Guardian are reporting that Scotland first minister Alex Salmond has pulled out of attending his nearest referendum count centre in what is being interpreted as an early sign that he may be expecting defeat.

    The SNP leader's staff had told the Guardian on polling day that the plan was that he would spend the day at his home in the north Aberdeenshire village of Strichen before attending a count centre in Aberdeenshire.

    However, SNP sources have now confirmed to them that Salmond would be spending the night in Strichen and, in line with one part of the original plan, go to Edinburgh in the early morning.

  • 02:44

    It’s another win clocked up for the No side in Shetland.

    Some 9,951 No votes (63.71 per cent) to 5,669 Yes votes (36.29 per cent).

  • 03:05

    It’s another blow for the Yes side.

    The Western Isles, where the Yes side would have been expected to win, have come in at 10,544 (53.42 per cent) votes to 9,195 (46.58 per cent) in favour of the No side.

  • 03:06
    Colm Keena in Dundee says another fire alarm has gone off and they are all outside again.
  • 03:09

    A bit of cheer for the Yes side.

    There are bundles of Yes and No votes in batches of one thousand on tables in Dundee and a Yes campaigner has told Colm Keena that he counted them and there are 54,0000 Yes votes and 39,000 No votes.

  • 03:16

    This referendum really has captured the imagination of the whole world, with international media keeping a close eye on goings on.


    A piece today by Alan Cowell of the New York Times set the scene nicely:


    “With the future of the United Kingdom in the balance, Scottish voters streamed to polling booths on Thursday at the culmination of a spirited, emotional, and divisive campaign that will determine whether they maintain their union with the rest of Britain or secede.


    “If the Yes campaign seeking independence for Scotland secures a majority, it will herald the most dramatic constitutional change in Britain since the two countries united in 1707. The repercussions would be momentous, creating the world’s newest State and ending a union that once triumphed in two world wars.


    “Voters remained divided to the very end.”

  • 03:19
    Unfortunately for the romantics, after that result in the Western Isles, there is now speculation that the margin of victory for the No side may be greater than that which was predicted by pollsters earlier.
  • 03:22

    Hilariously, as a sky news correspondent is giving the presenter a run down on the situation in Dundee, as in all the fire alarms and counting and what not, another fire alarm goes off!

    “Not again!” the correspondent wails in exasperation. Comedy gold.

  • 03:23
    Incidentally, a result is expected in Dundee shortly.
  • 03:33
    Ballots are counted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the Scottish referendum in Aberdeen, Scotland. PA/ROBERT PERRY
    Ballots are counted at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre during the Scottish referendum in Aberdeen, Scotland. PA/ROBERT PERRY
  • 03:36

    We have a result from Inverclyde and it’s a photo finish with just 86 votes separating the two sides.

    But it’s another win for the No side.

    They polled 27,329 votes (50.08 per cent), while the Yes side reined in 27,243 votes (49.92 per cent).

  • 03:45

    A Westminster Cabinet minister has declared that he believes the United Kingdom is “safe”.

    Conservative chief whip Michael Gove, a close ally of the Prime Minister, was asked if Scotland had voted to remain in the UK, and said: “It does look as though — and I’m keeping every limb crossed — the United Kingdom will be safe.”

    Mr Gove said that Mr Cameron was “anxious to ensure that, after this referendum campaign, we can bring the United Kingdom together”.

  • 03:47

    Dennis Canavan, chairman of Yes Scotland, has refused to give up the ghost.

    He has said: “I am conceding nothing at this stage because less than a handful of local authorities have declared so far, and these local authorities are not exactly a representative body of Scotland, in the sense that they are very, very small populations.

    “We could have, say, one big local authority declaring in the next hour or so and we could be running neck and neck again. “So at this stage I am still optimistic, I am still hopeful, and we will see how it goes.”

  • 03:50
    Better Together campaigners celebrate early poll results at a party in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
    Better Together campaigners celebrate early poll results at a party in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
  • 03:58

    We have a result from Dundee and there is hope for the Yes side.

    The Saint Andrew's Cross is plain to see as Scottish flags are held aloft and the pro-independence supporters finally have something to cheer about.

    The Yes side polled 53,620 votes (57.35 per cent), while the No side has 39,880 votes (42.65 per cent).

    “Thanks for your forbearance with the fire alarm interruptions,” the returning officer tells the crowd.

  • 03:59
    The Yes side were expected to win in Dundee but the margin of victory, in the first of the really populated constituencies, might make a couple of unionists squirm for a while.
  • 04:01
    The overall score at the moment is Yes on 49.09 per cent and No on 50.91 per cent.
  • 04:03

    Alex Salmond has been pictured in the back of a car making his way to campaign headquarters. He looks a bit shook to be honest.

  • 04:10

    There is a result in from the constituency of West Dunbartonshire where the Yes side has secured another victory.

    In what is a Labour stronghold, the Yes side polled 33,720 votes (53.96 per cent), while the No side amassed 28,776 votes (46.04 per cent).

    Gordon Brown’s speech obviously didn’t make much of an impression in this neck of the woods.

  • 04:13

    Just in case any Yes supporters out there were about to get carried away with themselves, we have a result from Midlothian where normal service has been resumed.

    The No campaign takes it with 33,972 votes (56.3 per cent) to 26,370 (43.7 per cent).

  • 04:21

    Just when you thought it might be shaping up for a photo finish, there are two thumping wins for the No side.

    First of all in East Lotham where 44,283 (61.72 per cent) have voted No as against 27,467 (38.28 per cent) who voted yes.

    There is no respite in Stirling where 37,153 (59.77 per cent) have voted No and 25,010 (40.23 per cen) have voted Yes.

  • 04:23

    In Falkirk, it’s yet more heartache for the Yes side and yet more encouragement for the unionists.

    There are 58,030 votes (53.47) for No and 50,489 for Yes (46.53 per cent).

  • 04:31

    The national monument to one of Scotland’s main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence, William Wallace, is in Stirling where voters rejected independence.

    I wonder what he would make of that? It’s complicated, William, to be fair.

  • 04:35

    In Argus, the No side have polled 45,192 (56.32 per cent) and the yes side have polled 35,044 (43.68 per cent).

    In East Ronfrewshire, it’s more woe for the Yes side.

    Just 24,287 votes (36.81 per cent) to the No side’s 41,690 (63.19 per cent).

  • 04:38

    In Aberdeen, considered one of the more significant constituencies, the No side has won by 84,220 votes to 59,390. That's 59 per cent for No and 41 per cent for Yes.

    Turnout was 81.7 per cent.

  • 04:39

    So the gap is widening and it’s not looking too rosy for the Yes camp.

    The overall standings are now at 43.75 for Yes and 56.25 for No.

  • 04:42
    A result is expected shortly in Glasgow, another key constituency, where the Yes side is expected to win.
  • 04:44
    Here comes the returning officer... hold on to your hats.
  • 04:47

    In North Lanarkshire, the Yes vote has clawed back almost 5,000 votes.

     

    The Yes side polled 115,783 (51.07 per cent) versus 110,922 (48.93 per cent) for the No side.

  • 04:47
    Glasgow result in the next five minutes we're told.
  • 04:49
    In Perth and Kinross, it’s 41,475 for the Yes side and 62,714 for the No side.
  • 04:51

    In South Lanarkshire, No wins by 121,800 votes to 100,990.

     

    That's 55 per cent for No and 45 per cent for Yes.

  • 04:52

    Former Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan, who has been campaigning for the Yes side, has told BBC Scotland: "It is not looking good to be honest. I am feeling almost broken-hearted.

  • 04:53
    It's a win for the Yes side in the huge constituency of Glasgow, Scotland's biggest city.
  • 04:54
    Some 194,779 voted Yes as against 169,347 who voted No.
  • 04:55

    Sky News are now calling the referendum.

     


    "Scotland has rejected independence and will remain with the United Kingdom," says the broadcaster.

  • 04:58
    It's not mathematically done and dusted just yet, but even the most optimistic Yes siders must surely be currently in the process of unscrewing caps off bottles of whiskey.
  • 05:02

    The overall count is now at 1,055,716 Yes votes versus 1,256,378 No votes.

    That’s 45.66 per cent versus 54.34 per cent.

  • 05:08
    Lib Dem MP and former Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has told the BBC that "Scotland is divided", adding: "We're going to have a job of work to get things healed afterwards".
  • 05:09
  • 05:11

    Campaigners on the Yes side are now beginning to concede defeat.

    One, asked why the No side had won, said it was a case of “fear triumphing over hope”.

  • 05:15
  • 05:17

    The BBC has added its voice to Sky News and called the referendum.

    “Referendum result projected to reject independence.”

  • 05:29
    Supporters from the 'No' Campaign react to a declaration in their favour, at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
    Supporters from the "No" Campaign react to a declaration in their favour, at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
  • 05:33
    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the BBC the projected result is "a deep personal and political disappointment" but argues that "the country has been changed forever".
  • 05:35

    Word has it there will be a statement from Alex Salmond from his official residence at 10am.

    That’s sure to be a barrel of laughs.

  • 05:40

    On that note, I will take my leave and pass the baton to my very capable colleague Genevieve Carbery who will bring you all the reaction to this historic vote as it comes in over the next number of hours.

     

    Thanks for reading.

  • 05:43

    Good Morning, Genevieve Carbery taking you through the aftemath of this Nay vote. You can contact me on twitter @genevievecarber

     

  • 05:44


    David Cameron wakes up (if he slept much)delighted that his last-minute basket of goodies to the Scottish people has paid off.  

  • 05:52
    Former Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Hain has told BBC that Cameron and party leaders need to seize the opportunity and make radical decisions because there are strong feelings throughout the UK  against the way politics is being done.  
  • 05:56
    Alex Salmond has not spoken yet but he has just tweeted. Not a happy night for him. He congratulates Glasgow which had a strong Yes vote.
  • 05:58

    We should hear from Better Together leader Alistair Darling soon (I don't think it was the daft name of the campaign that won it for the no side)  

  • 06:02
    Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire have both just voted No and rejected independence. It shows the divide between he two largest cities in Scotland, with a strong Yes vote from Glasgow.  
  • 06:11
    Cue dramatic music on Sky News. Scotland has officially rejected independence . The latest result in Fife has taken the no campaign over the line. The overall result stands at 44.95% 55.05%.  
  • 06:15
    We'll be hearing from a very relieve, wiping sweat off his forehead, David Cameron in less than an hour.  
  • 06:16
    Meanwhile here's a defeated Scottish leader Alex Salmond addressing a cheeering crowd in Edinburgh.  
  • 06:19
    ALEX SALMOND  “Thank you to Scotland for 1.6m votes to Scottish independence.” He describes it as a “substantial vote” for Scottish independence.

    “Scotland has decided not at this stage to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all the people of Scotland to accept the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland." He describes an 86% turnout as a “triumph” for the democratic process.

  • 06:21
    ALEX SALMOND:  On Westminster party promises late in the campaign to devolve more powers:  “Scotland expects these to be honoured in rapid course”.  
  • 06:25

    ALEX SALMOND: We have touched sections of the community who have never before been touched by politics, they have touched us. I don’t think that will be allowed to go back to business as usual politics again.  


    As we bring Scotland together let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short but on the distance we have travelled...... that will bring us forward as one nation.

  • 06:28

    Overall a gracious, positive, composed concession speech from Alex Salmond. He has put it up to leaders at Westminster to fulfil the promises on devolution quickly. He is due to talk to Cameron shortly. He hasn't ruled out Scotland ever becoming independent.  


     

  • 06:35

    That contrast between Edinburgh and Glasgow is clear when you look at the numbers:  Edinbudgh voted 61% No, Glasgow voted 53.5% Yes.

  • 06:38
    Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg also relieved....Scottish independence would have had major implications for prospects of majority left Government sitting in Westminster again.

  • 06:41
    Alex Salmond pictured during his concession speech. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
    Alex Salmond pictured during his concession speech. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA
  • 06:44
    No campaign leader Alistair Darling is giving his victory speech:  By confirming our place within the union we have reconfirmed all we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken.
  • 06:47

    No campaign leader Alistair Darling   also makes a plea for Westminster leaders to fulfil commitments: "I am clear that all parties which made shared commitments to change must turn that in commitment to action."
    "I recognise the debate created deep divisions in our country. Those divisions now need to be addressed. That requires leadership."

  • 06:50
    The line from Darling which will resonate "The silent have spoken."
  • 07:01

    Even before dawn broke in Scotland the focus of politicians had already begun to move onto the next horizon - the new powers that Scotland has been promised it will get.


    Yes campaigners believe that the promises will disappear like snow off a ditch in the face of a refusal by English Conservatives to concede more ground to Scotland.... Irish Times London Editor Mark Hennessy has filed his analysis from Scotland. You can read it  here.    


  • 07:04
  • 07:04
  • 07:11
    David Cameron:  Now it is time for our United Kingdowm to come together and move forward.
  • 07:12

    David Cameron:  To those in Scotland sceptical of promises ..... the three pro-union parties have made clear commitments of further power for Scottish parliament and will ensure these promises are kept in full... Cameron promises draft legislation by Janaury. He also promises changes for Wales, NI and England

  • 07:16
    The main meat in Cameron's early morning speech (by the way - how he looks so awake and well-dressed at 7.05am I don't know),is that he will keep those promises made in the last days of the election...not only bringing change for Scotland but change for other parts of UK.  
  • 07:23
    So Cameron was talking about "English votes for English laws" and about answering the West Lothian question. Is this a chance to get some ground back from the rising tide of right-wing nationalist parties in England? What is the West Lothian question -"A debate  over whether members of parliament from outside England – from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – can vote on matters that affect only England"  (thanks Wikipedia)
  • 07:28
    While Alex Salmond did not close the door to another Scottish independence vote, David Cameron firmly said the debate has been "settled for a generation".
  • 07:31
    Here's Cameron speaking at 7.05am. 7.05am not a hair out of place or a crease on his shirt.   Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
    Here's Cameron speaking at 7.05am. 7.05am not a hair out of place or a crease on his shirt.  Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
  • 07:34
    Reaction coming in from Northern Ireland.  
  • 07:36
    Here's part of what Cameron said about Northern Ireland:  "Just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish parliament on their issues of tax, spending and welfare, so too England, as well as Wales and  Northern  Ireland should be able to vote on these issues."
  • 07:43

    Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage said he was upset leaders made financial promises to Scotland . “I don’t think English taxpayers should be bound by last minute promises by the prime minister. England has had a rotten financial deal on this,“ he told BBC in the past few minutes.


    Cameron put it up to parties like Ukip with his “English laws for English people” promises in this morning's speech.  Farage said this matter can’t be dealt with as quickly and needs a constitutional convention.

  • 07:44
  • 07:55
    The financial markets are "breathing a sigh of relief"  after a No vote.  
  • 07:58
    The Northern Ireland first minister is also relieved.  
  • 08:20

    We finally have all of the results - the final constituency is the aptly-named Highland. It's the 32nd to declare and it's a No (53%) with Yes(47%). That gives a final result of 45% Yes to 55% NO.

     

  • 08:25

    We haven't yet heard from Britain's Queen Elizabeth, who  it turns out will not become the last Queen of Scotland.

    She is at her Scottish castle in Balmoral where she surely spent a sleepless night (would she have found herself on an unofficial state visit if the people had voted Yes? Would her husband have woken up at the former Duke of Edinburgh?).


    She is expected to make a rare comment on the result later today.  

  • 08:28
    One of the No vote's biggest non-political supporters was Harry Potter author JK Rowling. She seemed to work her magic overnight. For full reaction coverage read here.  
  • 08:37

    Here's the final vote breakdown. The full turnout was 84.59% or 3.6m people  (a higher % than the Good Friday agreement in the Republic).  There were more than 2million No votes (2,001,926) (55.3%) and 1.6m votes for Yes (44.7%).  


    That's a 383,000 difference between the No and Yes vote.  


    Just four council areas voted Yes overall - Dundee, Glasgow, North Lankarshire, and West Dunbartonshire. The strongest No vote came from the remote Orkney islands at 67.2%. The strongest Yes vote was Dundee city at 57.35%.  


    Ok that's enough with the numbers for a little while.  

  • 08:40
    Here's the best figure we've heard all morning as just announced by the returning officer.  
  • 08:51

    Expecting Labour leader Ed Miliband to make a statement shortly. He must be even more relieved than Cameron - a Yes vote would surely have sealed the fate of Labour as an opposition party for many years.  Here's what he has had to say on Twitter so far today.  



  • 09:06

    The people of Scotland must be relieved. Taoiseach Enda Kenny says Ireland will “respect their democratic decision that Scotland should remain as part of the United Kingdom.”

    “We are committed to deepening and strengthening the already close relationships across these islands.  

    On devolution changes spoken of by Cameron– which could have implications for Northern Ireland too he said: “Attention will now turn to the changes likely to take place following the referendum, particularly in terms of devolution of powers. This process will be closely followed in Ireland.”

  • 09:09

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan will also be watching how this impacts the North  “We will be in close contact with London, Edinburgh and other administrations as discussions proceed on enhanced devolution for Scotland and on the political changes across the UK as outlined by Prime Minister (David) Cameron in his statement this morning," he said.  


    Just to remind you of Cameron's comments early today on Northern Ireland : " Just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish parliament on their issues of tax, spending and welfare, so too England, as well as Wales and  Northern  Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues," he said. "And all this must take place in tandem with and at the same pace as the settlement for Scotland."

  • 09:22

    One good result from this vote for the Irish economy - the pound has reached a two-year high. That's great for our exports and for attracting British visitors as it makes us and our goods cheaper (but will make our imports from Britain more expensive  :O)


     


  • 09:32

    Labour leader Ed Miliband is speaking: “This was a vote for change. Change doesn’t end today. Change begins today. ....We will deliver on stronger Scottish powers, a stronger Scotland. “

  • 09:35
    Ed Miliband is clearly trying to get back some of those Scottish Labour voters who have been wooed by Salmond's SNP in recent months : "This Labour party is determined to show over the coming years that we can be the vehicle for your hopes, dreams and aspirations for a better life for you, Scotland and whole of the UK".  
  • 09:47
    This referendum has given several tweeters in the "real capital" some notions.  
  • 09:49
    Our second Proclaimers reference of the blog. Any excuse (You'll have this stuck in your head all day too!)
  • 09:50
  • 10:04

    While the Pandora’s Box of Scottish independence remains closed, it has opened up serious legislative and political questions for the European Union, our Europe Correspondent Suzanne Lynch has written this morning.  


    She notes that  the defeat of the ‘yes’ vote makes it more likely that Britain will stay within the Union, given the higher proportion of pro-Europeans in Scotland.  

  • 10:15
    Speaking of the EU. Here's a man who woke up with one less headache.  
  • 10:22
    This tweet from Scottish satirist Armando Lannucci has been retweeted more than 700 times in the last hour, perhaps reflecting fears that Scotland has been left divided.
  • 10:33

    Anticipating Queen Elizabeth II's statement on the No vote from Balmoral, Press Association  notes "It is thought unlikely she stayed up through the night." But it says she has been "following the referendum very closely".

    Don't expect anything too radical though, PA notes "Any statement will be carefully timed to ensure all political leaders have already made their comments on the outcome, as well as carefully worded."

  • 11:09
    This vote has ripples as far as Spain where separatists in Catalonia had hoped for a Yes vote to help their calls for an independence referendum.  Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said today the Scots had "chosen the most favourable option for everyone; for themselves, for all of Britain and for the rest of Europe."
  • 11:10
    Is this the end or the start? That's the question posed by Denis Staunton in his special Irish Times World View podcast just pubished. You can listen to it here.  
  • 11:13
    For number crunching enthusiasts. The Economist has produced a heat map of the vote which shows that the strongest No vote, perhaps not surprisingly, was at the border with England. See it here.  
  • 11:19
    Not surprisingly the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland has welcomed the result. "There can be no doubt that the Union we cherish has been altered by the referendum campaign; and so there is an onus on those in Government to take notice of the concerns and issues raised".  You can read the full statement here.  
  • 11:23
    The Welsh government has been tweeting, it's clearly seeking a share of those sweeties (powers) promised to Scotland. "Wales deserves to be treated as an equal partner in this family of nations."
    "The old union is dead. We need to forge a new one...now is the time to sit together, all four nations, & work this through"..."I want to make clear now that promises made by 3 UK party leaders have to be delivered. Any reneging would be a gross breach of faith." it said in tweets sent in the past few minutes.  
  • 11:46

    You'll be hearing a lot of debate about the Barnett Formula - one of those dangling sweeties Cameron promised the Scots he would maintain late in the campaign.  So what is it?  


    It is the system that sets public spending in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. One of the reasons it is so controversial is that it has led to public spending per head being typically 20% higher in Scotland than in England. Read more of the Guardian's excellent explainer here.  

    Not surprisingly there's a lot of opposition.
  • 12:08

    The people of Cornwall are looking for a piece of the devolution max pie. I'm sure you'll have heard of the  Mebyon Kernow party! "This has huge constitutional significance and it would now be hypocritical for Cameron, Miliband and Clegg to deny the opportunity of devolution to Cornwall through its own National Assembly."  Read more of its statement here.    


    There's a genie in the bottle that  can't go back in.  

  • 12:16

    Pro-independence Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle has been...erm...colourful on Twitter today...like a bear with a sore paw he tweeted (I’ll have to edit him here).  “I should have expected this, because if you'd asked me to estimate how many (INSTERT PROFANITY) there were in Scotland I'd have said about 2 million”

  • 12:56

    Gerry Adams has reacted to the Scottish referendum seeking a poll on the Border and more fiscal powers. In a statement the Sinn Fein president said the  Good Friday Agreement provided for a Border Poll. "It is time for the people who share this island to have a respectful and informed debate with regard to Irish Unity or continued partition."



    “It should be noted that the imposition of Tory welfare cuts on the people of Scotland was an issue in the referendum. There is a need for the administrations in Scotland and the North to have full control over these matters and protect the most vulnerable in society," he said.

    Adams also said: The union is no longer fixed, it is in the ownership of the people.
  • 13:12

    Here's a round up of some reaction from publications around the world:  


    SPAIN EL Pais : Scotland says no to independence- “For the Prime Minister, David Cameron, it has been a clear victory, but not without bitterness, “


    FRANCE Le Figaro: Scotland’s referendum a “lesson” -” French politicians have welcomed the results of the independence referendum in Scotland as a lesson in democracy”


    GERMANY Die Welt: Now the UK Faces and “English Problem” -  “Scotland is staying in the United Kingdom but the co-ordinates of British politics have shifted.”


    UNITED STATES Washington Post: In decisive vote, Scotland rejects independence-  “Given a historic chance to go it alone as an independent nation, Scottish voters chose to stick with the United Kingdom following a campaign that was marked by extraordinary turnout and profound division”


    INDIA Times of India: Scots spurn independence -“Scotland has chosen to stay in the United Kingdom, spurning independence in a historic referendum that had worried allies and investors,”

  • 13:21

    Conservative Lord Ashcroft has polled 2000 voters to try and figure out why the referendum result turned out the way it did. Among the interesting results are that  older voters were the most opposed to independence, with nearly three quarters of those aged 65 or over voting No.

    The No campaign won among men (by a six-point margin) as well as women (by twelve points).  Read his blog here.    and see his tweets with charts here.  

  • 13:33
    Who in their right mind would grant the currently pretty dysfunctional Northern Executive such additional powers when according to its First Minister it is “not fit for purpose”?, asks our Northern Editor Gerry Moriarty. You can read his analysis piece here.  
  • 13:50

    The Welsh first minister has called for the voting age of 16 to be allowed in all UK elections (it was reduced in Scotland ahead of the poll).  


    Carwyn Jones said the Scottish  referendum showed that votes at 16 could work. Reducing the age to 16 for presidential elections is one of the issues Ireland is due to vote on in a referendum next year.  

  • 13:56
    Back to Catalonia in Spain where president Artur Mas says Catalans want the same chance as Scots who were given the right to vote for independence. . “What happened in Scotland and the United Kingdom is not a setback for us because what we really want in Catalonia is to have the chance to vote, the same possibility,” he said today.
  • 14:05
    So that stronghold of democracy, Russia, is criticising the conduct of the Scottish count.  "Russia has said the conduct of the Scottish referendum "did not meet international standards", with its observers complaining the count took place in rooms that were too big and that the procedure was badly flawed,"the Guardian reports.  ***chokes on coffee*** Read the Guardian story here.  
  • 14:17
    More interesting results from that Lord Ashcroft poll of 2000 Scottish voters. He found  Yes  voters most motivated by anti-Westminster feeling and the NHS; while No voters were motivated by the currency and pensions.  Perhaps surprisingly he found that Yes voters were most likely to have made their decision late.  More details on this revealing poll on his website here  and on his twitter account here.
  • 14:23
    There's plenty more yet to unfold on this story. We haven't even heard from the surviving Queen of Scotland yet.  I'll hand over now to Ronan McGreevy who'll keep you up to date here in the coming hours.  
  • 14:29
    Says it all really.
  • 14:34
    William Wallace is trending in Ireland. Hardly surprising given that Braveheart was filmed here. What would Wallace have made of his country's decision? You can watch the famous freedom scene here.
  • 14:35
  • 14:55
    Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has called on the Taoiseach to fully commit to an active role in any future negotiations on the status of the Northern institutions.
    He says there will be a lot of constitutional change in Britain as a result of the Scottish referendum and the Government here is ill-prepared for it.
    “This disengagement has led to the partisan interests of Sinn Féin and the DUP presiding over drift, disillusionment and rising tensions.
    “The concrete outcome of Thursday’s Scottish referendum is that there will be a substantial change in the balance of powers within the United Kingdom. Scotland will receive significant new powers and it appears likely that the same will happen for Wales and England.
    “Clearly the powers and role of the Northern Assembly and Executive are also up for discussion."
  • 14:58
    US President Barack Obama has just commented on the result of the Scottish referendum. He was a very public no figure and is understandably pleased at the result. He said: "We welcome the result of yesterday’s referendum on Scottish independence and congratulate the people of Scotland for their full and energetic exercise of democracy.
    "We have no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and we look forward to continuing our strong and special relationship with all the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as we address the challenges facing the world today."
  • 15:02
    A lot of people online are commenting on the White House support for a Scotland no vote. How would the founding fathers have felt if they had known Scotland turned down the peaceful chance to be an independent country? Have they forgotten 1776 and all the rest?
  • 15:22

  • 16:14

    Alex Salmond has resigned. The man who did more than anyone else to bring Scotland to the brink of independence will step down in November.

  • 16:15
    Alex Salmond  says Scotland can "still emerge as a real winner. For me as a leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.  
  • 16:17
    Salmond stunned the world by winning an overall majority for the SNP in the 2011 Scottish assembly elections. He is now likely to be replaced by his deputy Nicola Sturgeon who is more personally popular than he is.  
  • 16:19
    Salmond is doing a press conference as we speak. He is sounding tired and emotional (and not in the figurative meaning of that expression). "I shall do everything I possibly can to contribute to that cause (Scottish independence).
  • 16:22

    He believes Scotland will achieve independence in his lifetime. The time is "redolant with opportunity," he says. He is being asked if he  will take  responsibility. He has responded by stating that  "45 per cent or 1.6 million voters is a remarkable political development". He is taking political responsibility by standing down. He is being asked who he will support as his successor. It is "entirely appropriate" in a leadership contest for the leader to nominate anybody else, he responded. The SNP membership will vote on a new leader.

     

  • 16:24
    Salmond has had a parting shot at David Cameron stating that the UK Prime Minister is already backsliding on commitments to further devolution for Scotland saying that he has not given a time for further discussions in the House of Commons about it.
  • 16:33

  • 16:38

  • 16:41

    During the campaign, the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was credited with steadying the ship for the no side. He was given a mandate by the Westminster parties and  promised that Scotland would get extra powers  and there would be  a strict timetable. Currently a  new devolution bill has had its first reading in the House of Commons.  Mr Salmond says David Cameron has not committed to a  second reading in the House of Commons which was due to happen in March.

  • 16:44

  • 16:55

    The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has just intervened in the debate. The man tipped to be the next British Prime Minister after David Cameron says there is now a "democratic deficit" at the heart of the settlement offered by Mr Cameron in return for a no vote. He says: "You can't endlessly redistribute to Scotland without addressing the constitutional fairness which it throws up for the rest of the UK".

     

    more financial and fiscal powers to Scotland unless we look at at the whole package. Large number of people would argree with.

  • 16:58
  • 17:01

  • 17:11
    Alex Salmond has been leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) for 20 out of the last 24 years, a remarkable record by any standards, only surpassed by Gerry Adams.
  • 17:15

    SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon, who is the unbackable favourite to replace Alex Salmond, paid tribute to him on her website. It states:

    "Alex Salmond's achievements as SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister are second to none. He led the SNP into government and has given our country a renewed self-confidence."

     

  • 17:17

    Labour leader Ed Miliband says the UK needs constitutional change including devolution to the regions, reform of the House of Lords and  a written constitution.

  • 17:19
    Mr Miliband says he is going to deliver on extra powers for the Scottish Parliament by March next year.  Time is running short as March 27th is the last sitting date for the current  parliament before the next British general election.    
  • 17:25

  • 17:26

  • 17:30
  • 17:40
  • 17:47

     


  • 17:56

    Tributes to Alex Salmond are being paid by a number of his former political foes. David Cameron stated: "Alex is a politician of huge talent and passion. He has been an effective first minister and always fights his corner. While we disagree profoundly about his goal of a separated Scotland, and many other things, I respect and admire his huge contribution to politics and public life."

  • 18:01

    Alistair Darling who had two memorable debates with Alex Salmond, paid tribute to an opponent who was a "ormidable political figure. He transformed the SNP into a party of government and delivered their referendum on independence which they had craved so long. Today he has accepted Scotland’s verdict, recognising that it is for others in his party to take the SNP forward.

    "e has rightly said that the referendum was a once-in-a-lifetime event and that we all need to work to bring Scotland together. e can look back with pride on being the longest-serving first minister and to the huge contribution he has made to public life in Scotland. I wish him well in the future."

  • 18:05

    Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has paid tribute to Alex Salmond. He described him as a "successful and inspirational leader of the people of Scotland". Salmond was a "giant in the political life of Scotland and its people". Mr McGuinness added that Mr Salmond had stood "shoulder to shoulder" in meeting with David Cameron about welfare cuts.  

     

  • 18:20
    And that's it folks from our marathon coverage of the Scottish referendum. Thanks for bearing with us. The dream of Scottish independence has died for this generation and maybe for our lifetime. It has also seen the resignation of the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, by common consent, one of the most remarkable politicians of his generation. All politician's careers end in failure is how Enoch Powell famously put, but could you say that about Alex Salmond? He has, he hopes, secured much greater powers for Scotland within the UK.