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Scotland votes 'NO' - stemming the 'YES' surge

OWoN: England kept Scotland, but at what price?

The No side had a head a start

Scotland votes 'No': How the 'No' side won the referendum

Scotland has voted No to independence in a referendum, meaning its 300-year old union with the UK will continue. So how did the No campaign win?

BBC News
By Vanessa Barford
19 September 2014

1. They were always the favourites

The No camp had a head start. When the Edinburgh Agreement was signed on 15 October 2012, paving the way for a referendum in 2014, polls suggested about a third of Scotland's 4.2m voters wanted independence.

A plethora of polls over the next 18 months consistently put the No camp ahead.

In June - by which time there had been 65 opinion polls - all bar one had put the No side in the lead, according to polling expert Professor John Curtice.

"The No side were always favourites to win, which is why the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times which put the Yes vote ahead about 10 days ago created such an upset," he says.

Happily for the No side, most of the following polls put them back in the lead again and they were able to finish ahead of the underdogs on polling day.

One in three Scots say they are "equally Scottish and British"

2. The Scottish feel British

A resurgence of Britishness - either caused by, or coinciding with the referendum - is credited with giving the pro-union No campaign a boost.

The number of people living in Scotland who chose British as their national identity rose from 15% in 2011 to 23% in 2014, according to the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. The number of people who chose Scottish fell from 75% to 65% over the same period.

However, there is also evidence that the rising tide of British sentiment in Scotland has taken place over a longer timescale.

Almost one third of Scots now say they are "equally Scottish and British" - the highest proportion since former Labour PM Tony Blair came to office in 1997, according to the survey. Less than one in four describe themselves as "Scottish not British".

"At the end of the day, Scotland still feels moderately British," says Prof Curtice.

No leaflets often emphasised risks such as pensions, jobs and money

3. The risk factor

The No campaign came under fire from the Yes campaign for being negative, with some dubbing it "Project Fear".

However, the No vote suggests Better Together was successful in "drawing people back from the prospect of taking a risk that was not necessary," according to Prof Curtice. Just two days ahead of the polls, voters were twice as likely (49%) to regard independence as a risk than staying in the Union (25%), he says.

In April, Scotland's First Minster Alex Salmond called the No campaign "the most miserable, negative, depressing and thoroughly boring" in modern times. In contrast, he said the "Yes" campaign was "positive, uplifting and hopeful".

More recently the leader of the SNP criticised the "scaremongering" of No, saying the Yes side was "determined to focus on opportunity".

The Better Together campaign always denied being too negative, saying the campaign was a positive one, emphasising what the union had achieved with Scotland in it, and how much more could be done when the UK "stands together".

However, it often accused Mr Salmond of not giving answers, with Mr Darling saying voters were "very alive to the risks" and uncertainty of independence.

Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Scottish voters it was his "duty" to warn them of the stark costs of a "painful divorce".

The YouGov poll for the Sunday Times suggested that 51% planned to back independence

4. They stemmed the Yes surge

The Sunday Times YouGov poll which put the Yes camp in the lead 10 days ago led to a surge of momentum, and increased mobilisation, in the Yes camp. Suddenly the prospect of a victory was in sight.

The response of the No camp was swift. Mr Cameron and labour leader Ed Miliband skipped their weekly Prime Minister's Questions clash to travel to Scotland. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg went too. The Saltire was flown above Downing Street.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown, who has high approval ratings in Scotland, set out a timetable for boosting the Scottish Parliament's powers if voters reject independence, promising a draft new law for a new Scotland Act would be published in January.

Then came "the vow" to devolve more powers and preserve the Barnett funding formula if Scotland voted No.

Prof Curtice says the interventions of "the three wise men heading north" didn't really change people's opinions of devolution, or their view on the referendum. It did yield an eight point rise in those who thought Scotland would get more more powers though, he says.

What the No campaign's final actions successfully managed was to halt the momentum of the Yes campaign. "It stemmed the tide," he says.

Currency was a key issue in the referendum debate

5. For richer, for poorer?

This was one of the biggest questions for voters, if not the biggest question.

Both sides battled hard over the economy, with claims and counter-claims over currency, oil and business playing a big part of the debate. The No vote suggests Scots were not convinced that an independent Scotland would be better off.

The pound was at the heart of the disagreement, with the Scottish government consistently stressing a currency union would be in the "best interest" of both Scotland and the rest of the UK - something the UK government strenuously rejected, along with a currency union.

How much of the North Sea oil it would be entitled to - and what it might be worth - and the future of financial institutions and businesses north of the border were also the subject of heated discussion.

So was the amount of money in people's wallets. The Scottish government calculated that "each Scot would be £1,000 better off" after 15 years. However the UK Treasury claimed Scotland, as part of the UK, would be able to have lower tax or higher spending than under independence. This "UK Dividend" is estimated to be worth £1,400 per person in Scotland in each year from 2016-17 onwards.

Ultimately, no-one knows whether an independent Scotland will be better off or not. There are too many variables on issues such as productivity, tax and employment levels.

But the No vote suggests people in Scotland were more persuaded by Better Together's arguments.

The turnout in areas that voted No was high

6. Their voters voted

Turnout - which was 84.5% across Scotland - was generally higher in No areas than Yes areas.

Particular highs were recorded in East Dunbartonshire (91%), East Renfrewshire (90.4%) and Stirling (90.1%) - which rejected independence by 61.20%, 63.19% and 59.77% respectively.

Relatively fewer people went to the polls in the urban strongholds where Yes Scotland was relying upon large numbers of supporters to turn out - such as Glasgow, where the turnout was 75%, and Dundee, where the turnout was 78.8%. They voted in favour of independence by 53.49% and 57.35% respectively.

Prof Curtice says the No support in different council areas was also in line with some of the expectations about the kinds of places in which the No campaign would do relatively well.

The No vote averaged 64% in areas where more than 12% of the population was born in the rest of the UK, compared with 53% in those where less than 8% were born elsewhere in the UK.

It averaged 61% in places where more than 24% of the population were aged 65 and over, compared with 51% where less than 21% were over 65 and over.

And the No vote was higher in the more rural half of Scotland - 60% - than in the more urban half, where it averaged 53%, according to John Curtice.

The No vote also averaged 60% in councils where more than 30% of the population were professional and managerial, compared with 51% where less than 26% were in professional managerial occupations, he added.



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  2. Evidence the Scottish Independence Vote Was Rigged? Balderdash!

    More evidence that the result of the Scottish Independence vote was rigged.

    The BBC is an organ of state propaganda, funded by the British public. In that we have no choice - the television licence fee is mandatory. Not only is it an insult to our intelligence, but we are forced to pay for this dross.

    1. Valdi

      I do not want to get in this one .... do not have that much energy .... and it can not change anything now..

      Russians observers reported a day before a vote that the set up system is extremely suspicious and they did not want to be specific ....

      Today they are saying that it was potentially rigged ......

      Too much at John described...if Scots go----UK leaves EU- Germany leaves EU - EU goes belly up....NATO goes belly up----USA sinks in stinks for ever ....


      Now what we have is a situation when we had rigged US votes....we had rigged that perv Wurst at Eurovision contest....

      The problem is will we have any free vote ever .... this is the problem NOW and on!

  3. The English did not need to rig it most English wanted them to go. Enough Scots could see the real garbage they would be stuck with if Loser Salmond got in. The Scots, as always, need the Brits to wipe their Buts for them.
    Hell they are 5M on an Island of 70M. Why not thrown our neighbours a bone? Time to co exist. How can we unite a planet if we cant even get on with neighbours? Conspiracy Nutters!

    1. John I am not saying that English needed to rig the vote ..... there were other parties at stake that had probably a huge interest to rig the vote......

      Obviously ....there is a certain fear of unknown on side of White Nobility.....they try to help US at any const since they may be afraid that a big swing toward East would create a huge misbalance of power and over Europe is hanging .....Damocles sword

      My question is - did they have same consideration when Soviet Union was breaking apart? My answer is - Not at all. And that's OK I do not blame anyone for this or that.....

      ....What appears that helping USA ends up so far, helping cabal in USA to stay in power......

      That's what I am saying, separate people from establishment of cabal power which is USA...., let it break if it goes that way, do not try to hold it. People will be better off in a smaller political states and will try much faster to come back with lives.....

  4. Valdi
    The vid I have researched in some detail, same clips as Dabooh vid , edited the pics and clips were not vote rigging . The YES campaign have confirmed this also so its not proof of rigging

    Reading the voting counting rules helped me come to that conclusion also but gave me more ? why only pencils to mark ballots, any names on ballot papers ? eraser anyone ?

    Was there vote rigging I cannot confirm or dismiss as this time

    Now the turn out of almost 87 % is huge, and I find that very very ODD knowing what voter apathy is like in the UK.
    Also given the history of the Establishment SB Police etc in the minors strike, Northern Ireland, Hillsborough we have a proven dirty track record of using agent provocateurs for Political gain, Mark Kennedy case is prime example

    As a Brit I did not want Scotts out of our Union or have our flag, name changed to the Divided Kingdom The DK :) I love all our neighbours
    Westminster did a dirty tricks campaign to influence the Vote... and promised all for Scotland to stay imho..

    Had I lived in Scotland I would of voted YES to get away from the rotten corrupt Westminster . So was the turn huge do to people have had enough... or is Cameron as suspected by Red Ed setting this all up forcing radical change of powers. Divide & Conquer Dave ..
    So to sum up the vid is dissinfo, I have not ruled out fowl play by TPTB, and hope its exposed if so. The is a mood change I can sense it. Common Law courts and Peace officers are growing fast, Freedom has to be taken back, it will not be given.

    1. William Wallace is turning over in his grave.


  5. Scottish Independence Petition Demanding Referendum Be Re-Held Because It Was Rigged Reaches 70,000


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