It’s official, Scotland has decided to remain part of the United Kingdom! Thanks for everyone who stayed up and followed our live blog last night. Below is a map showing the results for each local authority area.
It’s clear that the No vote has won even before the remaining six councils so in the interests of getting some sleep we will call it. We’ll be running a reaction piece later in the day. Thanks for reading!
East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire have also voted No.
North Ayrshire also goes narrowly No by 51-49%.
Meanwhile the Borders has voted No (67%). Although Yes has won in Glasgow, the size of the winning total is not large enough to change the direction of this referendum which now looks almost certainly like it will end in a No victory.
The big one… Glasgow has gone for Yes by a margin of 53-47%.
South Lanarkshire (55%) and Perth and Kinross (60%) both go for No.
North Lanarkshire goes for Yes (51%).
Now 17/32 councils have declared, 32.1% of the total. No has the lead at 56.2%. Big councils still to come.
Another result in. East Dunbartonshire votes No by a wide margin (61.2%)
Flurry of results just now! All for No.
Dumfries & Galloway: 65.7
East Renfrewshire: 63.2%
Falkirk has also just declared with No winning by 53-47%. So far only one of the 12 results which have been declared has matched the level identified for a Yes victory below.
The results keep coming! Stirling goes for No by a 60-40% margin.
Now 10 councils, representing 14.6% of the total, have declared. No ahead at 52.4%.
East Lothian also goes for No (62%) which is arguably a larger margin than would have been expected.
And Midlothian also goes No (56%)
West Dunbartonshire also goes for Yes (54%).
That means 7 out 32 local authorities have declared results. Following the big win in Dundee for Yes, No only has a slight lead 50.9% to 49.1%. Only 9.4% of total electorate has declared, on a turnout of 84.7%.
The Dundee result is the first big positive for the pro-independence campaign. The 57.3% for Yes is ahead of where opinion polls would have predicted, although still marginally below the level required to win overall using Chris Hanretty’s calculations.
Dundee is the first local area to vote Yes, with 57.3% voting in favour of independence on a turnout of 78.8%
Renfrewshire has just declared, with voters there choosing No (52.8%, 62,067).
Inverclyde is the closest result so far, with less than 100 votes separating both sides: 50.1% No / Yes 49.9%
Now 59% of local authorities (or 21 of 32) have declared a turnout. That figure stands at 84.2%.
Only 2.2% of local authorities (or 4 of 32) have declared a result. No is in the lead with 57.8%.
West Dunbartonshire is close to announcing a result. It would be expected that Yes would be ahead here if it were to have a chance of winning the referendum overall.
John Curtice’s take on the result in Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is that while the Yes side would have expected to win, it is very much a unique area and the low population doesn’t tell us a great deal about what the overall result will be.
The fourth declaration is in for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (the Western Isles): 53% No / 47% Yes
With three declarations so far, the picture is starting to look more favourable for the No campaign, but as these declarations cover such a small proportion of the electorate it remains all to play for if areas such as Glasgow go to the Yes campaign.
In terms of timing, several of the council areas are behind the initial schedule. That might reflect the high turnout levels, but it could mean we have to wait longer than expected to learn the final result.
Shetland Islands council area has just declared: Yes: 5,669 No: 9,951. 63.7% in favour of No
Total turnout is 84% based on the areas that have announced so far (47.3% of the total electorate or 18 local authorities have declared turnout up to now).
One of the key factors in the overall result could be the turnout in different areas. Kenny Farquharson of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday notes that the relatively low turnout in Dundee and Glasgow could have an impact on the result:
Differential turnout winning for No so far. Turnout in areas Yes expected to do well – Glasgow, Dundee – well below Scot average. #indyref
— Kenny Farquharson (@KennyFarq) September 19, 2014
The result for Orkney is in: 67.2% No / 32.8% Yes
Although that is very lopsided in favour of No, it does have to be emphasised that Orkney accounts for an extremely small proportion of the electorate (0.4%).
Turnout in Glasgow is now in at 75%. Although this is lower than the other areas announced so far, Glasgow accounts for the largest percentage of the electorate and the turnout expectation prior to the vote had been around 75-80%.
The next result should be announced shortly in Orkney, which is (along with Shetland) one of the smallest areas at only 0.4% of the electorate.
The first result has been announced in Clackmannanshire: 53.8% No / 46.2% Yes
Clackmannanshire accounts for 0.9% of the electorate and according to Chris Hanretty’s figures (below) the target Yes would want to hit here if it were to win the referendum is 48%.
Chris Hanretty at the University of East Anglia’s live blog has calculated estimated levels of support Yes will need in different regions to win the referendum:
- Yes needs 43% in Shetland; 44% in Dumfries & Galloway, Orkney; 45% in E. Renfrewshire, Borders
- Yes needs 46% in Argyll & Bute, South Lanarkshire; 47% in Perth, Midlothian, Moray, Highlands
- Yes needs 48% in E. Lothian, Fife, Clackmannanshire; 49% in Aberdeenshire, Angus, W. Lothian;
- Yes needs 50% in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Renfrewshire and the Western Isles;
- Yes needs 51% in North Ayrshire, Stirling, E. Dunbartonshire, S. Ayrshire;
- Yes needs 53% in East Ayrshire, Falkirk, N. Lanarkshire, W. Dunbartonshire;
- Yes needs 54% in Inverclyde, 57% in Glasgow, and 58% in Dundee.
Continuing on the ‘if Scotland votes Yes’ theme, how would its immigration policy differ from the rest of the UK? Eve Hepburn examines this question:
We will likely see an immigration policy that is markedly different from the rUK, though perhaps not as liberal as the SNP might like if public opinion and the media come down hard on increasing immigration. Scotland would likely be part of a Common Travel Area, though any border posts would need to be created by the rUK Government, mimicking the original purpose of Hadrian’s Wall in keeping out the unwanted Scots, though this time it would be unwanted immigrant Scots.
If Scotland does vote for independence, what will happen on Friday morning? Norman Bonney has outlined some of the key factors that might happen in the event of a Yes vote:
A ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum would be a profound shock to the existing governance arrangements of the UK. It would set in motion an exceedingly complex set of negotiations which would produce outcomes that would not necessarily always be satisfactory to the involved interests and which could fall well short of the ambitions of those seeking independence for Scotland. Negotiations could well result, when set against the high ambitions of the ‘Yes’ campaigners, in a continuing sense of national grievance north of the border. And the continuing UK would be faced with major dilemmas as how to respond to the many difficult issues involved in dismantling a 300 year old parliamentary, social and governmental union.
16 and 17 year olds were given the opportunity to vote in this referendum, marking the first time the age group has been allowed to vote in an election in Scotland and the UK. Indications are that participation and enthusiasm is high amongst these first-time voters, who make up 3% of the electorate.
The Aberdeen Press & Journal reports:
“Across Scotland, 90.1% of 121,497 16 and 17-year-olds have registered to vote.
The pressure to drop the voting age to 16 after this vote will certainly increase. Democratic Audit have done a whole series of work on the question, concluding that enfranchising 16 and 17 year olds is the right thing to do.
The Orkney Islands have now declared their official turnout which stands at 83.7%.
Meanwhile Democratic Audit note that British Prime Minister David Cameron may make a speech early on Friday morning outlining constitutional change in the event of a No vote.
Andrew Neill indicating that in the case of a No vote, Cameron will make a major speech in the morning on constitutional reform. #indyref
— Democratic Audit (@democraticaudit) September 18, 2014
Ahead of schedule, there are some reports that the first region to declare may be as early as 12.45AM in North Lanarkshire. Just over 6% of the Scottish electorate lives in North Lanarkshire so that will give the first concrete indication of how the overall referendum results might go.
In terms of the wider effect of the result on other parts of Europe, the LSE’s EUROPP blog ran a recent analysis by Eve Hepburn from the University of Edinburgh on the impact the referendum might have in Italy. She notes that several Italian regions have started to push for greater regional autonomy, if not outright independence:
Something peculiar is happening in Italy. A country that was reluctantly soldered together by the efforts of Mazzini, Cavour and Garibaldi in the late nineteenth century looks like it’s beginning to come apart at the seams. And I’m not just talking about Italy’s struggles with political corruption, organised crime, economic malaise, institutionalised gender inequality and social inequality. Though that does have something to do with it. No, I’m talking about the increasingly restive regions of Italy getting tired of being stuck on board the Italian mothership. From Veneto and South Tyrol in the north to Sicily and Sardinia in the south, Italy’s regions want full autonomy and constitutional change. And they want it now.
There had been a general expectation that turnout would be extremely high in the referendum, but some of the early information suggests that it could be at record levels. Craig McAngus from the University of Stirling notes that turnout in Dundee might be 90%.
Hearing turnout in Dundee is 90%. Remarkable! #indyref
— Craig McAngus (@craigmcangus) September 18, 2014
YouGov’s Peter Kellner has made the first genuinely bold prediction of the night, saying that on the basis of the YouGov poll published at 10.30PM, he would rate the No side’s chances at 99%:
President of YouGov Peter Kellner says whilst he once said there was an 80% of a 'No' victory, now believes is a 99% chance #newsnight
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) September 18, 2014
Meanwhile, LSE’s James Ker-Lindsay has found some Lega Nord supporters who are in Scotland for the referendum. Lega Nord have campaigned for independence for Northern Regions in Italy:
— James Ker-Lindsay (@JamesKerLindsay) September 18, 2014
YouGov have just released (at 10.30PM) the very last opinion poll on the referendum. With fieldwork done today it shows Yes at 46% and No at 54% (excluding don’t knows).
— electionista (@electionista) September 18, 2014
It should be emphasised that this isn’t a proper “exit poll” but rather a regular opinion poll done today to detect any late swings.
With turnout expected to be high, Roger Scully asks whether it might negate the Yes side’s better “get out the vote” efforts on the day:
If turnout is really THAT high, might it negate the Yes camp's supposedly better ground game? If everyone voting anyway, does GOTV matter?
— roger scully (@roger_scully) September 18, 2014
Many secessionist movements around the world will be watching intently tonight as the Scottish referendum results are revealed.
A prominent Québec nationalist recently toured Scotland, remarking that “[Scots have] managed to find a place for newcomers in Scotland. I think we have to do the same here in Québec”.
Québec’s last referendum took place in 1995 and saw the No side prevail by a hair-thin majority, with 50.58% voting against independence. Voter turnout was over 93%.
The polls are only minutes away from closing at 10PM, but unlike regular elections there will be no exit poll published when they do. We will have to wait until the first results start trickling through around 2AM.
Much of the coverage in Europe has focused on the potential for a ‘domino effect’ to take place from Scotland, with other secessionist movements being inspired to push for independence. Catalonia is planning to hold a referendum on independence from Spain in November, although the Spanish government have opposed this. The LSE’s EUROPP blog has compiled four responses on whether the Catalan referendum should be held which can be read here.
the result is likely to be still in the balance until the announcements around 5am, with several of the largest areas, including Edinburgh and Glasgow Cities, due to finish counting as dawn approaches.
With the polling data we have available, it seems that ‘Yes’ is unlikely to be ahead at any stage. If it does take an early lead, it would be significant. However, given the pattern of announcements, a narrow early ‘Yes’ lead would still likely be overtaken.
Mark Shephard at the University of Strathclyde has been tracking the online campaigns by Yes Scotland and Better Together. As the Chart below shows, the Yes campaign has consistently had an advantage in terms of the number of Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) September 18, 2014
This is doubtfully indicative of any swing towards Yes, but rather likely another representation of the Yes campaign’s higher level of online engagement in Scotland.
Nate Silver, the founder and editor in chief of the FiveThirtyEight blog, has produced an estimate of how pro-SNP each of the 32 areas are (and therefore how pro-Yes they might be expected to be in the referendum). Although this is a very rough calculation it gives some idea of what to look out for when the results start coming in later tonight.
The Radical Independence Campaign, one of a handful of groups that comprise the Yes campaign, have been actively registering voters in Scotland’s housing estates. Many of these first-time voters are expected to plump for Yes.
Joel Suss recently caught up with Neil Davidson, a lecturer at the University of Glasgow and member of RIC, who discussed this:
When visiting working class areas people say, ‘I haven’t seen a politician in a good ten years coming around this bit, or even someone from a party coming to speak with us’. These people are quite glad to see you and discuss what their future might involve. It’s astonishing in Scotland how people are actually talking about politics, in meetings, townhalls and so on, indicating that there’s a real engagement here. It’s not just the chattering middle classes that are speaking to each other – something’s actually penetrated quite deeply into the where the majority of the population actually live.
Will it be enough to tip the balance towards Yes?
The referendum has made headlines across the rest of the world, with European leaders in particular keeping a close eye on events. Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has already taken to Twitter to ask about the results:
A difficult day, but all things considered less difficult than I expected. Does anyone know when the Scottish referendum results are out?
— Alexander Stubb (@alexstubb) September 18, 2014
A remarkably high turnout is expected in the referendum today, with many predicting well over 80% of registered voters will have turned up to vote (a whopping 97% of those eligible have registered). This stands in stark contrast with the most recent Scottish Parliament general election in 2011, when the overall turnout was only 50%.
Over at Democratic Audit, Carl Cullinane and Sean Kippin write that the referendum has been good for democracy on both sides of the border:
“While there is fear of the ultimate result on both sides, if the referendum’s lasting legacy is a more politically engaged, motivated and educated public in Scotland and the UK then it will have been a very positive thing indeed.”
So who will win? One thing all the polling companies agree on is that it’s extremely close. The size of the Yes vote (excluding ‘don’t know’ responses) in the final poll from each of the major polling companies is shown below:
ICM (phone) 49%
TNS (face to face) 49%
YouGov (online) 48%
Panelbase (online) 48%
ICM (online) 48%
Opinium (online) 48%
Survation (online) 48%
Survation (phone) 47%
Ipsos MORI (phone) 47%
Anthony Wells from UK Polling Report argues that although all of these results are within the standard +/- 3% margin of error of 50% (which would imply the result is too close to call), they also suggest there is a small lead for No:
There’s a temptation when the polls are like this to say YES and NO are within the margin of error, that it’s “too close to call”. It doesn’t really work like that – these polls are showing NO ahead. The margin of error is on each individual poll, and it’s equally likely to happen in both directions. Hence if the “true” balance of public opinion in Scotland was 50/50 we’d expect to see a random scattering of results around that point, some polls showing yes, some polls showing no. We’re not seeing that. We’re seeing polls randomly scattered around the 48/52 mark, suggesting that’s most likely where public opinion is – a very small lead for the NO campaign.
However if the polls are wrong or if there’s a late swing then with the margins being so small a Yes victory is still within reach.
The polls, which at one time had strong leads for No, narrowed sharply over the last month. The map below shows the regional variation in support for Yes between different areas based on some of the final polling.
The results will be announced in 32 individual Scottish areas, with the first announcements expected around 2AM. The map below gives an estimate of when each area is expected to declare. The largest areas (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) should make their declarations around 5-6AM, although this will depend on circumstances such as the size of the turnout (map from Carl Cullinane).
Welcome to our Scottish independence live blog! Over 4,285,323 people are registered to vote today, deciding whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or create an independent state. The polls opened at 7am this morning and will close at 10pm. For the nuts and bolts of the big day, see this piece written by our colleague Carl Cullinane.
We’ll keep you posted with plenty of updates throughout the evening on this page. Results will start coming in at 2am and we should have a final result around 6.30am.