Scotland says NO to independence

ALEX Salmond’s dream of independence has been shattered after Scotland voted to stay part of the United Kingdom.

Scotland today rejected independence and voted to remain part of the United Kingdom at the end of the most intense political campaign the country has ever seen.

As in Angus, where a No vote was declared just after 4 a.m., the silent majority raised its voice on a tense yet utterly compelling night of political history.

During a referendum that attracted record numbers of voters and was hailed as a triumph of democracy, the people voted to maintain the 307-year Union.

A decisive No vote was the culmination of two and a half-years of vigorous and at times edgy campaigning, which looks certain to change the constitutional map of Britain for ever.

“We have chosen unity over division,” Alistair Darling, head of the No campaign, said. “Today is a momentous day for Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.”

The promises to deliver more powers to Holyrood made by the UK party leaders during the campaign were outlined in an early morning statement by David Cameron, which recognised the need to bring the United Kingdom together and deliver further devolution for not just Scotland, but England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

With turn out at nearly 85 per cent, the vote saw the economic warnings of the Better Together campaign overcome a powerful and impressive grassroots campaign run by Yes Scotland.

Mr Salmond said: “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.”