Scotland votes No: What now?
Lorraine Mallinder reports from Scotland.
Yes: 45. No: 55.
It was close, but clear. The Scottish people have voted to preserve the United Kingdom. By 5 a.m., the writing was on the wall. A bleary-eyed Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, appeared on the BBC, expressing her deep disappointment. There was a lot of heartbroken reaction on social media.
It's a far cry from last night. Walking through Edinburgh's cobbled streets, it seemed Scotland was on the cusp of independence. Drinkers spilled out onto the pavements. Supporters from other parts of the world — Catalonia, Venice, Corsica and others — held a candlelit vigil. There were jubilant scenes of flag-waving and singing outside the Scottish parliament.
It's incredible to think that, within a few hours, the dream had evaporated. Can we expect a return to business as usual? With nearly half of Scotland supporting the idea of independence, the vote could hardly be described as an endorsement of the status quo. Further, many who voted No would have done so in response to Westminster's promise of increased powers for the Scottish parliament. Despite the No victory, it seems clear that people no longer want to be governed by a London elite.
vow to deliver change actually means. One television pundit described the plan as hasty and improvised — as though it had been "written on the back of a packet of fags". With signs of a rebellion at Westminster, the vow looks set to cause a few rows.The spotlight now moves from Edinburgh to London, where the UK's three main parties now have to work out exactly what their last-minute
There are so many questions. The main one in my mind is how the Scots will move on from this. The nation came out to vote in impressive numbers, with turnout exceeding 90 per cent in some areas. Politics has been reinvigorated, with an entire generation of young people now politicized. The experience has been empowering for the entire nation, Yes and No alike. Scotland has every reason to feel proud of itself.