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Scottish Independence Referendum

November 1st, 2014

Should Scotland be an independent country? A staggering 4,285,323 people registered to vote – 97% of the electorate – and is being considered to be the busiest day in Scottish electoral history. Over 5500 polling stations had been set up over Scotland, which were open from 7am until 10pm on the 18th of September. From Tollcross Primary School in Edinburgh, to a caravan in the highlands. The trickle of some eager few – arriving at 5 minutes to 7am – steadily grew into a stream. People from all walks off life. Official businessmen in suits; police officers; cleaners; teachers; and even some of the teacher’s students. The excitement of the 16 and 17 year olds, whose first vote would be the most important in their life, almost tangible. All of them gravitated to one place. The polling station.
To have a moment with just pencil and paper. Not even the typical torrential rain, expected of Scotland, was enough to deter voters. The ‘Yes’ voters and ‘No’ voters, obviously experienced high friction. In some cases there were alleged assaults and arrests. And in some areas of Glasgow, an investigation is underway of suspected fraud, as 10 voters showed up at polling stations to be told they had ‘already voted’. Mock referendums occurred all over Scotland, many schools using it within their courses, or just out of interest. Moffat Academy saw a turnout of 250 pupils – 67% of which voted No. Just 33% voted Yes. However, only a small amount of these votes were actually valid in the actual referendum, so may not accurately represent how the electorate of Moffat were swayed. After polling stations closed at 10pm, votes began to be counted.
This included almost 800,000 registered postal votes – which was the most amount of registered postal votes in Scottish history. The 32 local authority areas in Scotland then communicated their results with chief counting officer, Mary Pitcaithly. Some dedicated voters stayed up until early hours of the morning to find out the result. As each authority area announced their results, it became more and more apparent that the majority were going to be swayed No. Others awoke on the 19th of September to realise they were still in the UK – to a mixture of disappointment and relief from both campaigns. In the aftermath of the 55% No majority, it was announced the very next day on the 19th of September that Alex Salmond would be resigning as First Minister of Scotland. So, regardless of the outcome, Scotland will still be seeing changes. The promised powers from Westminster will be sought after by the New First Minister, and Scotland’s future will be led forward by a new perspective.

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