Scotland Decides

Even following Scotland’s vote to remain part of the UK on Thursday, politicians on both sides of the border still have cause to question the country’s future following unrest between separatist and unionist supporters in the centre of Glasgow. This was followed by Alex Salmond’s announcement yesterday of his intention to leave his roles as SNP leader and First Minister when suitable replacements can be found.

Also, the close campaigning in the referendum has raised questions of whether similar votes should be offered to the people of Wales and Northern Ireland, with the First Ministers of both countries expressing gratitude at the result in Scotland. Wales’ Carmyn Jones, however, has expressed a lack of confidence in the ability of Westminster to deliver on promises of devolution, which would see the component parts of the UK given greater ability to deal with their own affairs.

So let’s look at the referendum results in full. A 55%-45% victory vote may sound close, but that is in truth a difference of 400,000 votes when just over 3.5 million were cast. Of thirty-two councils, only four mustered ‘yes’ results – Glasgow and Dundee City among them. Over the entire country, voter turnout was 84.59%, the highest ever for a national election.

The Queen has issued a statement in which she urges respect and unity following the referendum. The Monarch, who is currently staying at Balmoral Castle, has been of an opinion throughout the run-up to the vote that the people of Scotland should decide on their own future.