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Schottisches Einhorn mit Wappen
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/U. Gerig

+++Live: Final spurt of Scottish vote count+++

September 19, 2014

Scotland has voted, at a referendum with remarkable turnout, to remain in the United Kingdom. The result was close, if not quite as close as late opinion polls had predicted: re-live the final stages as they happened.


All times in UTC/GMT, one hour behind the clocks in Edinburgh and London, and two behind the time in Germany.

05:17: First Minister Alex Salmond concedes defeat, saying all of Scotland has democratically decided "for now" to remain in the United Kingdom. The SNP leader says he respects the decision, and praises the high turnout: "a triumph for the democratic process and for participation in politics."

05:10: That's it. The vote against Scottish independence now exceeds 50 percent of the total turnout. Results out of Fife (55 percent no) and Aberdeenshire (60.3 percent no) make the result a mathematical certainty. Almost makes one feel sorry for Highland, the last of 32 regions left to declare: whatever their result, it can't change the outcome.

05:05: Two more minor regions have also posted their numbers. In Argyll and Bute, 58.5 percent voted NO, while Better Together claimed a little over 66 percent of the vote in the Scottish Borders.

05:03: It's a NO in Edinburgh: by a comfortable margin, too. On a turnout of 84 percent, 61.1 percent of voters favored remaining in the United Kingdom. After the narrow YES from Glasgow - always the more likely success story for the Yes Scotland campaign - First Minister Alex Salmond needed a minor miracle in the Scottish capital. Instead, he suffered quite a clear defeat.

04:46: Strictly speaking, this still is not quite confirmation, but Prime Minister David Cameron appears to be in a cheery mood: he's even reaching out to thank Alistair Darling (former Labour chancellor of the exchequer, or finance minister) for his efforts leading the "Better Together" campaign.

However, this has not quite satisfied longstanding Labour mainstay John Prescott, once Tony Blair's deputy prime minister.

(Editor's note: "Gordon" is former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, defeated by Cameron in the 2010 general election, who jumped onto the campaign trail at the last moment in his native Scotland when the polls looked bleak.)

04:27: Turnout so far in the Scottish independence referendum: 84 percent. By contrast, here are the figures for UK general elections of recent years:
2010 - 65.1 percent
2005 - 61.4
2001 - 59.4
1997 - 71.3
1992 - 77.67 (the highest on record)
Thursday's referendum will have raised eyebrows in Westminster for this reason, too.

04:15: It's still not official (not quite), but the domestic broadcasters appear to have seen enough. The BBC has called the referendum result as a NO, with 26 of the 32 results declared and a total advantage of more than 200,000 votes. Sky News in the UK had made that jump a few moments earlier, in the aftermath of the results out of Glasgow. Next up, the British-based Reuters news agency calls the Yes Scotland deficit insurmountable.

04:07: There's another YES, this time from North Lanarkshire. Again, though, the margin is tight - at 51.07 percent. Results went entirely the other way in East Dunbartonshire, however, where the NO camp claimed 61.2 percent.

04:02: With Glasgow in, and the half-way point reached in terms of total votes declared, the picture appears to be solidifying. Data journalists seem to concur that the "Untied Kingdom" jokes will have to be put on ice.

03:54: That's a win in Glasgow, as expected, for the YES campaign - 53.5 percent in favor of independence, at 194,779 votes to 169,347. That's a large margin of victory, of course, but the general consensus appears to be that it "just isn't enough."

03:52: Another surprise result and another feather in the NO campaign's cap: the safe SNP area of Perth and Kinross has not backed Alex Salmond's dream of indepedence, at the comfortable NO margin of 60.19 percent. Former Labour party strategist and spinmaster extraordinarie, Alastair Campbell, smells some politicking.

03:49: Next up: South Lanarkshire. It's another bumper turnout of over 85 percent, and another narrow victory for the "Better Together" campaign, with 54.7 percent NO votes.

03:45: There's talk of the big one, Glasgow, filing shortly. With over 486,000 eligible voters - or more than 10% of the total electorate - Glasgow is a key hunting ground for the "yes" campaign. One figure we know already, the turnout - which stood at an impressive, but below-average, 75 percent.

03:42: In comes the finalized count from Aberdeen City (with Aberdeenshire yet to declare), 58.61 percent have voted "no". Aberdeen City, with around 175,000 eligible to vote, is the most populous of the 17 regions to have declared. The smaller region of Stirling, boasting almost 70,000 voters, also sided with UK membership, by a ratio of almost exactly six votes in ten (59.77 percent).

03:30: Add two more to the books: A surprise "no" in Angus, and a far less shocking but overwhelming vote for UK membership in Dumfries. In Angus, 56 percent of voters opposed secession on turnout of over 85 percent, while 66 percent of voters in Dumfries said "no, thanks."

03:27: Traders seem to be siding with the pollsters at this stage, the markets in Tokyo and Hong Kong have opened bullishly - and the British pound is reportedly in strong demand. The pound's value had wavered over uncertainty on Scotland's future, and possible implications for major banks like RBS and Lloyd's, and it seems that traders are cautiously returning to the currency. It's worth noting, however, that the upcoming initial public offering of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is likely helping bolster the traders' confidence.

03:23: Make it a dozen! We're now up to 12 of 32 declared. East Lothian's almost 82,000 eligible voters have sided quite clearly with UK membership, with 61.72 percent of participants voting "no". Meanwhile, the city of Falkirk bore witness to a closer race: still, 53.47 opposed secession.

03:11: Two yays, and now a nay. The vote in Midlothian was always expected to prove mighty close: and 51 percent have voted "no" in one of the narrower races of the night.

03:06: Next up in the flurry of results: West Dunbartonshire. Another remarkable turnout of around 88 percent as the figures continue to dwarf any British general election of living memory. It's another "yes" vote: 53.96 percent in favor of an independent Scotland.

02:55: Seven of 32 regions have now declared, with the "no" campaign in the lead by less than a percentage point at what remains a relatively early stage. Approximately one-tenth of the total votes have now been officially tallied - with Edinburgh and Glasgow not expected until 5 a.m. local time (0400 UTC). Those two cities combined contribute roughly one-fifth of the eligible electorate.

02:54: Dundee swiftly follows with its final declaration, at a turnout of almost 80 percent. 53,620 voted "yes," while 39,880 voted "no." That's 57 percent for independence, and the first region to support the yes vote. First Minister Alex Salmond had considered Dundee a safe "yes" vote, and might even have hoped for a higher margin of victory.

02:52: Renfrewshire becomes the latest region to file its final results, with a victory for the "no" campaign - 62,067 to 55,466. Turnout stood at 87.3 percent.

02:45: Five districts filed in the comparatively early stages of counting following Scotland's feverish day voting on a possible split from the United Kingdom. All logged narrow victories for the "no" campaign, tying in with pollsters assertions that the vote - while close - would ultimately see Scots vote against secession. Here are the results by region:

Clackmannshire: 53.8 percent voted "no".
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar: 53.42 percent "no".
Inverclyde: 50.08 percent "no".
Orkney Islands: 67.2 percent "no".
Shetland Islands: 63.71 percent "no".

msh/jm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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