All votes have been cancelled and the people of Scotland have voted not to split from the UK. I for one am both delighted and relived.
It wasn't as close as predicted, but nor was it a landslide. However, ten percent is pretty convincing and even more convincing was the fact that when it came down to it only four out of the thirty-two councils had a majority 'Yes' vote.
At the end of the day 55.30% of the people who voted opted for 'No' and 44.70% opted for 'Yes'. The turn-out was superb (84.59%) way, way, way, above usual turn-outs for elections. It was good to see so many people cared about the result.
It does of course means that almost 45% of Scots are likely to be very unhappy, annoyed, depressed and other negative things today. As I said yesterday, this election has not brought Scotland together, in many ways it has divided it.
Why did people vote 'No'?
Well in truth no one but the people who voted actually know. However, it seems to me to come down to two main factors:
- Scots actually feel British.
The number of people who chose 'British' rather than 'Scottish' when it came to national identity has been rising steadily - they like being part of the UK.
- Money. The pound in your pocket.
I would venture to suggest that for most (not all) people the biggest concern was a financial one. Were they going to be better off if Scotland became an independent country or worse of? Both sides made their cases passionately, positively, negatively and any which way they could. But at the end of the day it seems that when the chips were down more people were swayed by the Better Together arguments than by the Nationalists arguments.
Of course the vote may be over, the decision made, but it isn't over-over as David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband all made very public promises: promises that really will have to be kept; promises that will be watched for.
However, on the day it came down to the fact that more Scottish people believe, than don't, that Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom are:
I shall now sign off from politics and return to other things - this will probably be the last politics post you ever get from me.