Scotland votes 'No' and Cameron promises to deliver

by
19 September 2014

by Tim Wyatt in Edinburgh

PA

Jubilant: 'No' voters celebrate the Scottish referendum result, in the early hours of Friday morning 

Jubilant: 'No' voters celebrate the Scottish referendum result, in the early hours of Friday morning 

SCOTTISH voters have rejected the opportunity to become an independent nation: 55 per cent of them chose to remain within the UK in the referendum yesterday.

The result became clear shortly after 6 a.m. today, as the returning officer in Fife - the third largest electorate in Scotland - announced that the No side had won there, meaning that it was mathematically impossible for the Yes votes to win. The final tally was: No - 2,001,926; Yes - 1,617,989. The turnout was 84.5 per cent.

Speaking after the result outside Downing Street, David Cameron said that he was "delighted" at the result, but that it was now time for the UK to "come together and move forward".

He went on: "The people of Scotland have spoken. It is a clear result. They have kept our country of four nations together. I am a passionate believer in our United Kingdom: I wanted more than anything for our United Kingdom to stay together.

"But I am also a democrat. And it was right that we respected the SNP's majority in Holyrood, and gave the Scottish people their right to have their say. We now have a chance - a great opportunity - to change the way the British people are governed, and change it for the better."

He said that promises made during the campaign to devolve more powers to the Scottish Parliament would be honoured in full. The process will be led by Lord Smith of Kelvin, who chaired the Glasgow Commonwealth Games organising committee.

The SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, had said earlier that he accepted that the people of Scotland had made their choice: "I accept that verdict of the people, and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland."

Advertisement

He also said that the referendum had engaged the electorate in Scotland as never before, culminating in the unusually high turnout. "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."

Mr Cameron said that further devolution to Scotland would have to be coupled with more powers being handed to Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. These calls were echoed by the leader of the House of Commons, William Hague, and the leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage.

"The question of English votes for English laws, the so-called West Lothian question, requires a decisive answer," Mr Cameron said. "So just as Scotland will vote separately in the Scottish Parliament on their issues on tax, spending, and welfare, so, too, England, as well as Wales and Northern Ireland, should be able to vote on these issues."

The result of the referendum unfolded through the early hours of the morning. Clackmannanshire was the first area to declare a result - a 53 per cent win for the No vote. It gradually became clear that the Nos were in the lead across Scotland, and the anti-independence campaign won strongly in places such as Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, and Aberdeen. In Edinburgh, 61 per cent of voters chose No.

There was a majority for Yes in four local-authority areas, including the country's largest city, Glasgow, where 53 per cent of the electorate opted for independence. The strongest vote against independence came in the Orkney Islands - only 33 per cent of those who cast a ballot did so for Yes.

 

Forthcoming Events

5 September 2019
Church Times Cricket Cup Final
Join us at the Walker Cricket Ground in London for the Cricket Cup Final.  More details

8-10 September 2019
The Festival of Preaching
Tickets have now sold out.  Join the waiting list

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)