The Spectator

Scotland rejects independence – as it happened

Scotland rejects independence – as it happened
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No has won the referendum. Scotland won't become independent, but it will get new devolved powers, David Cameron promised this morning. Follow the developments on the PM's plans to change the constitution here.

08:13 The final result is in. Highland. Yes: 78,069 No: 87,739. That's 47.1% to 52.9% on a turnout of 87.0%

07.10 am: What are these 'further powers' that Scotland – and indeed the rest of the UK – might be given?

07.05 am: What happens next for the rest of the UK? Here's what Isabel has to say:

The Prime Minister will give his response to Scotland's 'No' verdict at 7.10. Number 10 sources are arguing that this is a vindication of the Prime Minister's decision to settle this question, and that all questions on decisions around the referendum have been answered.   But fewer people are interested in whether Cameron made the right call on the referendum than they are in whether he and the other party leaders made the right call on the last minute promise they made to Scottish voters. And the big question now is what is next for the whole of the UK, not just Scotland.

06.50am: Alistair Darling has given his victory speech. He said that the people of Scotland have ‘made a decision for progress and change’ and urged ‘come on, Scotland – let's get over it together’.

listen to ‘Darling: Referendum a ‘cry for change’’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p><strong>06.45am: Isabel</strong> reports that Cameron is preparing himself before his impending speech:</p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8631841" style="font-style: italic; color: #333333;" src="" alt="Isabel_Hardman-60x84" width="60" height="84" /></p></p><p></p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1">David Cameron and Alex Salmond are currently speaking on the phone. We'll hear from the Prime Minister shortly. One question is whether Salmond will join the 'Team UK' talks for a new settlement for Scotland, or simply deliver a verdict on what's offered.</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><strong>06.41am</strong>: Deputy PM <strong>Nick Clegg</strong> has released a statement on the vote:</p></p><p></p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1">'I’m absolutely delighted the Scottish people have taken this momentous decision to safeguard our family of nations for future generations.</p></p><p><p class="p1">'In a dangerous and uncertain world I have no doubt we are stronger, safer, and more prosperous together than we ever could be apart.</p></p><p><p class="p1">'But a vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change and we must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland.</p></p><p><p class="p1">'At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to a demand for constitutional reform across the United Kingdom as people south of the border also want more control and freedom in their own hands rather than power being hoarded in Westminster.</p></p><p><p class="p1">'So this referendum marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also a new chapter of constitutional renewal across the UK.'</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><strong>06.34am</strong>: Here's<strong> Fraser</strong> on Scotland's rejection of independence:</p></p><p></p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8402031" src="" alt="Fraser_Nelson-60x84" width="60" height="84" />'Scotland has, by majority, decided not at this stage to become an independent country,' said Alex Salmond in his concession speech – ahem, ‘at this stage’? But he had to say that: the SNP is a separatist party, either keeps preparing for the next referendum or it disbands. But to Salmond’s credit, he accepted defeat: 'I call on all of Scotland to accept this democratic verdict of the people of Scotland.' He quite rightly said that a 45 per cent ‘yes’ would have not been thought possible even a few years ago. When most MSPs entered politics, he said, he would not have believed that 'such a thing was credible or possible'.</p></p><p><p class="p1">Salmond rightly congratulated himself on scaring the bejesus out of Westminster. In the last few weeks, he said, we have seen 'a scare and fear at the heart of the Westminster establishment as they realised the mass movement of the people that was going forward in Scotland'. A fair point – Cameron will now have to start clearing up the mess made by his panicked devo max pledge. Salmond signed off with this thought: 'let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, but the distance we have travelled.' I’d prefer to dwell on the fact that our country remains united. But never would I have imagined it would come so close to dissolution. Salmond has had an extraordinary campaign. So he stays on – as First Minister and SNP leader. He’ll have plenty more tricks left to pull.</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><strong>06.12am</strong>: Thirty-first result. <strong>Moray. </strong>Yes: 27,232 No: 36,935. That's 42.4% to 57.6% on a turnout of 85.4% Following the result in Fife, the official result is in. Scotland has voted No to independence. Here's <strong>Isabel</strong>:</p><p><blockquote><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8631841" src="" alt="Isabel_Hardman-60x84" width="60" height="84" />When Salmond conceded that Yes had lost, he accepted that independence had still got a 'substantial' vote. But this isn't even the No vote he hoped for. The very narrow result that the polls of the last week suggested would have given Salmond a moral victory. It wasn't. He looks more resoundingly beaten than he might have assumed.</blockquote></p><p>And here's Salmond's speech:</p><p><div class="ab-player" style="background-color: transparent;" data-boourl="" data-boowidth="100%" data-maxheight="150" data-iframestyle="background-color:transparent; display:block; box-shadow:0 0 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15); min-width:320px; max-width:700px;"><a href="">listen to ‘Salmond concedes’ on Audioboo</a></div></p><p><strong>06.08am </strong>Thirtieth result. <strong>Fife.</strong> Yes: 114,148. No: 139,788. That's 45% to 55% on a turnout of 84.1%.</p><p></p><p><strong>06.05am</strong> 'We are near the point when we can all go and get bacon sandwiches.' Wise words from Andrew Marr.</p><p></p><p><strong>06.03am </strong>Twenty-ninth result. <strong>Aberdeenshire.</strong>. Yes: 71,337. No: 108,606. That's 40% to 60% on a turnout of 87%</p><p></p><p><strong>06.02am </strong>Twenty-eighth result. <strong>Argyll &amp; Bute.</strong>. Yes: 26,324. No: 37,143. That's 42% to 58% on a turnout of 86%</p><p></p><p><strong>06.00am </strong>Twenty-seventh result. <strong>Edinburgh.</strong>. Yes: 123,927. No: 194,638. That's 39% to 61% on a turnout of 84.3%</p><p></p><p><strong>06.00am</strong> Scotland have said 'no', but what about England? Here's <strong>Fraser</strong>:</p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8402031" src="" alt="Fraser_Nelson-60x84" width="60" height="84" />Scotland has said 'no' - but what about England? The Newcastle Journal has long resented the Barnett Formula (which Cameron, Miliband and Clegg promised to protect in their 'vow'). The anger is justifiable: why all of this extra cash for the Scots and not the Geordies? Is it because the north of England isn't threatening to secede? This cover from the Journal sums up what will be a question that David Cameron needs to address when he speaks at 7am:</p></p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8872671" src="" alt="jo" width="520" height="676" /></p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><strong></p><p>05.59am</strong> Here's <strong>Isabel Hardman</strong> speaking to <strong>Andrew Neil</strong> on what the referendum means for David Cameron:</p><p><div class="ab-player" style="background-color: transparent;" data-boourl="" data-boowidth="100%" data-maxheight="150" data-iframestyle="background-color:transparent; display:block; box-shadow:0 0 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15); min-width:320px; max-width:700px;"><a href="">listen to ‘Isabel Hardman: No vote is good for Cameron – but Tories are still unhappy’ on Audioboo</a></div></p><p><script></p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p><strong>05.48am</strong>  Here's the new front page of the Telegraph - you can bet they had one prepared for a 'yes' vote too. The Spectator certainly did. <img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8872601" src="" alt="tg" width="520" height="854" /> <strong>05.44am</strong> David Cameron and Alex Salmond have both responded to the results on Twitter:</p><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">I've spoken to Alistair Darling - and congratulated him on an well-fought campaign. <a href="">#indyref</a> — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) <a href="">September 19, 2014</a></blockquote></p><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">Well done to Glasgow, our commonwealth city, and to the people of Scotland for such a incredible support — Alex Salmond (@AlexSalmond) <a href="">September 19, 2014</a></blockquote></p><p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8">

05.30am Here's SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon on the result. She said ‘we will all – Alex included – be deeply disappointed’ by the No result:

listen to ‘Nicola Sturgeon: I absolutely believed we could win’ on Audioboo

05.11am The Spectator is calling it for 'no':

For what it’s worth, we at The Spectator are calling the referendum for ‘No’. It is now very hard to see how the ‘Yes’ recovers, unless its supporters are absurdly concentrated in the 6 of the 32 Scottish council areas who have yet to declare. The vote is 54% to 46% which is a decisive margin – compared to the 1995 Quebec referendum where ‘yes’ won 49.4%. Now, had Salmond won 50.1 per cent, we would be hearing a lot about ‘the sovereign people of Scotland have decided – they have spoken with one voice’. And this referendum is like a football match: a 7-6 victory is still a victory. But for the ‘Yes’ side to have such a result is nothing short of extraordinary, given that the ‘No’ side had a 20-point lead last month. ‘Yes’ have fought the better campaign, and David Cameron will at 7am start to offer all manner of concessions to the Scottish Parliament (as distinct from Scotland) to honour the promises he had Gordon Brown make on his behalf. For David Cameron, there was never going to be a victory tonight – the 'No' result comes with his having had to promise – via Brown – 'nothing less than a modern form of Home Rule'. In a few hours time, we will be publishing the new Spectator cover story that says just how angry his own MPs are about the way the campaign was fought and the price the Prime Minister has had to pay for this morning’s victory.

05.10 Twenty-sixth result. East Ayrshire.. Yes: 39,762. No: 44,442. That's 47% to 53% on a turnout of 84.5%

05.09 Twenty-fifth result. South Ayrshire.. Yes: 34,402. No: 47,247. That's 42% to 58% on a turnout of 86%

05.05 Twenty-fourth result. West Lothian.. Yes: 53,342. No: 65,682. That's 45% to 55% on a turnout of 86.1%

05.02 Twenty-third result. North Ayrshire.. Yes: 47,072. No: 49,016. That's 49% to 51% on a turnout of 84.4%

04.59am Twenty-second result. Scottish Borders. Yes: 27,906. No: 55,553. That's 33% to 67% on a turnout of 87.4%

04:57am Twenty-first result. Glasgow. Yes:194,779. No: 169,347. That's 53.5% to 46.5% on a turnout of 75%. Here's Isabel:

Yes will see Glasgow backing independence as a consolation prize. But will this result foster longer-term divisions in this city? It is more difficult for Glaswegians who backed independence to resent other parts of the country with a different demographic for scuppering the separatist dream when places like Angus and Perth have also turned their back on Yes.

04.50am Fraser's feeling more optimistic:

It’s still 90 minutes until sunrise here in Inverness, but my day has brightened up dramatically. If ‘Yes’ were going to win, we would have seen very different results so far – Dundee would have been a far bigger win, and there would have been a few disappointments on the ‘No’ side. The ‘yes’ supporters are talking in the past tense about the prospect of victory, and the street parties thrown a few hours ago are subsiding. So unless ‘Yes’ do even better in Glasgow than expected (it’s about to announce soon), then the rest of the country will be waking up to a united kingdom.

04:49am Twentieth result. Perth & Kinross. Yes: 41,475. No: 62,742. That's 40% to 60% on a turnout of 86.9%. Here's Isabel:

Alex Salmond held his final campaign rally in Perth. He spent most of it congratulating supporters of the Yes campaign. It was also a venue where the BBC's Nick Robinson was disgracefully booed by Yes activists. But it has gone No. Which suggests that sound and fury didn't convince quiet voters.

04.48am Nineteenth result. South Lanarkshire. Yes: 100,990. No: 121,800. That's 45% to 55% on a turnout of 85.3%

04.47am Eighteenth result. North Lanarkshire. Yes: 110,922. No: 115,783. That's 48.9% to 51.1% on a turnout of 84.4%. Here's Isabel:

  North Lanarkshire narrowly going Yes is a bad result for Labour, which holds the council.

04.40am Seventeenth result. East Renfrewshire. Yes: 24,287. N0: 41,690. That's 33% to 67% on a turnout of 90.4%

04.38am Sixteenth result. Aberdeen. Yes: 59,390. No: 84,220. That's 41% to 59% on a turnout of 81.7%

04.36am. Here's Fraser Nelson with a quick look at how the Yes campaign are reacting:

Tommy Sheridan, who has been leading the hard-left 'Yes' campaign, is accepting defeat. He says it has been a 'sweet and sour' evening - sweet because of the high turnout. But sour because bosses, billionaires and the BBC have intimidated witless Scots into a 'no' vote.

04.34am Fifteenth result. East Dunbartonshire. Yes: 30,324. No: 48,314. That's 39% to 61% on a turnout of 90.9%

04.31am Fourteenth result. Dumfries. Yes: 36,614. No: 70,039 That's 34.3% to 65.7% on a turnout of 87.5%

04.29am Thirteenth result. Angus. Yes: 35,044 No: 45,192   That's 43.7% to 56.3% on a turnout of 85.7%. Here's Isabel:

Angus, another SNP council area and represented by an SNP MP, has voted No. A blow to Yes, but also a blow to the SNP, which hasn't made the case in its own heartland.

04.21am Twelfth result. Falkirk. Yes: 50,489  No: 58,030. That's  46.5% to   53.5%  on a turnout of 88.7%

04.17am Eleventh result. Stirling. Yes: 25,010  No:37,153. That's 40.2% to 59.8%  on a turnout of 90.1%. That's a big result for an area with an SNP council which could feasibly have backed 'Yes'.

04.16am Tenth result. East Lothian - Yes: 27,467  No:44,283. That's 38% to 62% on a turnout of 87.6%

04.12am Ninth result. Midlothian - Yes: 26,370 No: 33,972.  That's 44% to 56% on a turnout for 86.7%

04.09am Eight result. West Dunbartonshire - Yes: 33,720 No: 28,776  That's 54% to 46% on a turnout of 88%. Another victory for Yes.

04.00am Seventh result. Dundee - Yes: 53,620 No:39,880. That's 57% to 43% on a turnout of 78.8%. Here's Isabel Hardman on the first Yes victory:

Dundee is the 'Yes' city. Tonight it has indeed voted 'Yes', at 57% to no 43%. Yes will be happy to have got a city, but surely disappointed with quite how close that is. They'd been expecting closer to 75% backing independence.

03.55am Sixth result. Renfrewshire - Yes: 55,466 No: 62,067. That's 46.1% to 53.9% on a turnout of 87.3%.

03.49am Here's Fraser Nelson with a word of warning:

No comfort at at all can be taken from the fact that Inverclyde (a small council area to the west of Glasgow and a suspected yes zone) has voted no. The result was Yes 27,243 No 27,329 - fewer than 100 votes in it. (Such results makes you wish this was decided by some kind of US-style electoral college system). It's a reminder how dangerous it is to look at a map of Scotland and divide the place into yes areas and no areas - with the vote so tight, it's pretty much irrelevant. The only point that matters is the overall score.

03.38am Fifth result. Inverclyde - Yes: 27,243 No: 27,329.  That's 49.92%  to 50.08% on a turnout of 87.4%. Here's Isabel Hardman on this close result:

Inverclyde is a Labour area. The result is close. And while Labour types are happy with what looks like a big win, one points out to me that there is a 'danger of masking the horror of the working class vote'. This is an acknowledgement from one quarter at least that this referendum has shown the weaknesses of Scottish Labour.

03.35am Here's Isabel Hardman on the 'No' side's increasing confidence:

Jim Murphy is currently being very magnanimous on the BBC, speaking about the need for people to come back together after the result. Everyone is still caveating their responses with 'and it's looking like a No vote', but the 'No' side are behaving like modest victors by now.

03.28am Here's James Forsyth on tomorrow's tussle between Cameron and Farage:

It looks like David Cameron’s 7am speech this morning is well-timed, for Ukip’s David Coburn has just said that Nigel Farage is going to address the English Question in the morning. Cameron can’t afford to let Ukip steal a march on him on this issue.

03.06am Fourth result. Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) - Yes: 9.195 No: 10,544. That's 47% to 53% on a turnout of 86.2%. Here's James Forsyth:

The Western Isles has an SNP MP. But tonight it has voted No, by 53% to 47%. If the Yes campaign can’t even win in areas where the SNP has an MP, then it really is in trouble. I suspect this result will cause particular delight at Westminster for the SNP MP Angus MacNeil is one of the most vigorous Nationalist hecklers. The longer the night goes on, the more justified Better Together’s confidence is looking.

03.02am Here's James Forsyth on Michael Gove's statement on the English Question:

Michael Gove has just told the BBC that changes to the constitutional settlement for England must be pursued with a ‘similar sense of urgency’ to Gordon Brown’s plan for Home Rule for Scotland. Gove also made clear that what Cameron was thinking of was, essentially, English votes for English laws. He said that the government would try and build cross-party consensus for this proposal. But it is clear that Cameron is determined to try and seize the initiative and answer the English Question tomorrow morning. Tory strategists are quick to point out that Labour, with its forty Scottish MPs, will struggle to answer the English Question.

listen to ‘Michael Gove: We don't want an English Parliament’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p><strong>02.45am </strong>Third result. <strong>Shetland</strong> – Yes: 5,669  No: 9,951. <span style="color: #404040;">That's 36% to 64% on a turnout of 15,620.</span></p><p></p><p><strong>02.40am </strong>Here's<strong> </strong><strong>Daniel Jackson</strong> on the strange goings-on outside the Scottish Parliament:</p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1">The scene outside Holyrood is surreal. Early results indicate a thumping victory for the Better Together campaign, but no one seems to have told the Yes party. They are dancing by the water features, singing at the top of their voices, surrounded by empty beer cans. A few of them have stripped down to their underwear having gone for a paddle.</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><a href=""><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8871971" src="" alt="image" width="520" height="390" /></a></p></p><p><strong>02.15am</strong> <strong>Daniel Jackson</strong> is in Edinburgh's Phoenix bar, which is staying open all night. He's been speaking to both Yes and No voters:</p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1">I asked a group of Yes voters if they were feeling confident after hearing YouGov's final prediction. One young woman with a saltire painted on her cheek told me that this was the first time she has ever voted. 'I've only been eligible to vote in one General Election, and I didn't bother. I didn't even realise there was a European election until after it had happened. This is different, though. I'll be really disappointed if it's a No vote. I think a lot of people will, because it's the first time most young people have bothered with politics. If this was all for nothing it will make them think there is no point in voting after all.</p></p><p><p class="p1">On the other side of town I managed to find a No voter, skirting around the sitting vigil taking place outside the Forest cafe. 'My friends at uni have started calling me Awkward Rob. I'm an art student and as far as I know I'm the only person on my course who isn't voting Yes.' I asked what he thought of the campaign. 'The No side are too negative and the Yes side are fantasists. I wasn't impressed by either of them to be honest. I still had to vote No.  I have a lot of family in England and I didn't want to vote to put a border between us.'</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p>Let's hope the night doesn't get too awkward for Awkward Rob...</p><p></p><p><strong>02.13am</strong> Here's <strong>James Forsyth</strong> on what Cameron's speech might be like tomorrow morning:</p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8631861" src="" alt="James_Forsyth-60x84" width="60" height="84" />It looks like Cameron will come out and endorse English votes for English law tomorrow morning. The Tory peer, and close Cameron ally, Danny Finkelstein has just told Andrew Neil that David Cameron will have ‘no problem’ allying himself with his backbenchers on English votes for English laws tomorrow morning.</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><div class="ab-player" style="background-color: transparent;" data-boourl="" data-boowidth="100%" data-maxheight="150" data-iframestyle="background-color:transparent; display:block; box-shadow:0 0 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15); min-width:320px; max-width:700px;"><a href="">listen to ‘Cameron will support English votes for English laws’ on Audioboo</a></div></p><p><script></p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p><strong>02.02am</strong> Second result. <strong>Orkney</strong> - Yes: 4,883 No: 10,004. That's 33% to 67% on a turnout of 83.7%. More good news for the No campaign. Here's <strong>James Forsyth</strong>'s analysis:</p><p><blockquote></p><p><p class="p1"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8631861" src="" alt="James_Forsyth-60x84" width="60" height="84" />As expected, Orkney has voted No—and by a large margin. No won with more than two thirds of the votes cast. No’s margin of victory is a reminder that if Scotland had voted Yes, Orkney may well have chosen to secede from Scotland-either becoming a crown dependency like the Isle of Mann or simply rejoining the rest of the UK.</p></p><p></blockquote></p><p><strong>02.00am</strong> The returning officer has just announced that Glasgow's turnout was 75 per cent – lower than expected:</p><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">75% turnout in Glasgow. Result in a couple of hours. <a href="">#indyef</a> — Kay Burley (@KayBurley) <a href="">September 19, 2014</a></blockquote></p><p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8">

01.53am Alex Massie keeping it real, following Clackmannanshire's No vote:

Union preserved. #indyref — alexmassie (@alexmassie) September 19, 2014

01.32am First result. Clackmannanshire - Yes: 16,350 No: 19,036. That's 46% to 54% on a turnout of 89%. Good news for the 'No' side. Here's James Forsyth's reaction:

We have the first result of the night, No has won in Clackmannanshire by 54% to 46%. Considering that the demographics of Clackmannanshire is good for Yes, this result suggests that No are on course for victory. But Clackmannanshire is one of the smallest local authorities in Scotland and so we should try to avoid reading too much into this one result​.

01.28am Here's James Forsyth on the Better Together campaign's prospects:

It is increasingly looking like Better Together’s confidence is justified. One experienced number cruncher tells me that he thinks No will win by more than 8 points, a far more comfortable margin than the polls suggested. Indeed, the No campaign think they might even have won in Salmond’s own seat​.

01.10am Here's James Forsyth on the optimism of the Yes campaign in Glasgow:

The BBC’s Sarah Smith is reporting that the Yes campaign thinks it has won Glasgow 54-46. But that this victory in Scotland’s biggest city appears to be being more than cancelled out by the No campaign’s strong performance elsewhere. ​If Glasgow has gone Yes, it is going to cause a lot of introspection in the Labour party about why one of its historic strongholds has gone Yes.

01.08am Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell told Sky News that the three main party leaders must stick to their promise to devolve further powers for Scotland. It would be ‘political suicide’ for them to walk away from the offer, he said.

listen to ‘Ming Campbell: ‘Political suicide’ to walk away from devolution offer’ on Audioboo

01.05am Sky News reports on allegations of electoral fraud in Glasgow:

01.00am James Forsyth sees an encouraging sign for the No campaign as voters in Yes strongholds stay away from the ballot box:

Turnout in the Yes stronghold of Dundee is 78.8 per cent. In any normal election that would be exceptionally high, but for this one it is relatively low. This is another encouraging sign for the Unionist campaign

12.36am The Lib Dems have decided it is a good night to bury bad news, announcing that Mike Hancock MP, who has faced sexual assault claims, has resigned from the party. Andy McSmith in the Independent has the story.

12.31am Alex Salmond has cancelled plans to attend his local count in Aberdeenshire. As James Forsyth sees it:

Alex Salmond is not going to his local count according to an SNP spokesman. This is the clearest sign we’ve had yet that Yes does not expect to win this referendum. But, it is worth repeating, we are still waiting for the first actual results​.

12.26am The Sun reports that David Cameron could make a statement as early as 7am today:

12.22am Here's James Forsyth on Ruth Davidson's BBC appearance:

The status quo has been smashed by this referendum’. Not the verdict of the SNP, but the leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson. Davidson, who is widely regarded to have had a good campaign, was adamant that more powers will be devolved to Scotland after this referendum even if it a No vote. Davidson wants to position the Scottish Conservatives as the party that wants the Scottish parliament to decide how to raise money as well as how to spend it. She believes that this is key to the revival of the centre-right in Scotland.

listen to ‘Ruth Davidson: ‘The status quo has been smashed by this referendum’’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p></blockquote></p><p><strong>12.18am Andrew Neil</strong> reporting Clackmannanshire turnout at 89%:</p><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">Clackmannanshire turnout 89%. — Andrew Neil (@afneil) <a href="">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote></p><p>This breaks the UK general election record of 83.9%.</p><p></p><p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8">

12.16pm Orkney have just declared their turnout at 83.7%:

Orkney declaring turnout: 83.7%. Goan yersels. #indyref — ERS Scotland (@ERSScotland) September 18, 2014

12.03am The mood may be effervescent in Scotland, but the north of England could end up feeling pretty aggrieved by the vote, whichever way it goes. Daniel Jackson spotted this man in Edinburgh earlier today:
  11.56pm Here's James Forsyth with another update from Andrew Neil's show:

Andrew Neil has just reported that David Cameron is planning a major statement for tomorrow morning which will focus on what will happen in England now that the Scots have been offered enhanced devolution. The challenge for Cameron is to come up with something that answers the West Lothian Question and, thereby, calm his party who have been riled by all the promises that have been made to Scotland in the last few days.   ​

11.51pm The Spectator's Alex Massie has just been on Newsnight. He said 'it is difficult to imagine that the SNP could have come so far without Alex Salmond... but I think there are other forces at work that have contributed to the SNP's rise’:

listen to ‘Alex Massie on the SNP and Alex Salmond’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p>The day's events have also had an effect on Alex's sartorial choices:</p><p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en">Awed by the significance of the day, I have paid my tribute to the moment by wearing a tie. — alexmassie (@alexmassie) <a href="">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote></p><p><script src="//" async="" charset="utf-8">

11.48pm You can find Andrew Neil's live coverage of the results on BBC One until 9am tomorrow. Here's James Forsyth on his interview with Diane Abbott:

Andrew Neil has just asked Diane Abbott if she agrees with John Denham that 'it’s clear that the more powers that go to the Scottish parliament, the less you can less you can have Scottish MPs voting on things in Westminster. That’s got to change'. Abbott replied that she thought this change was ‘inevitable’. This is a sign that even some Labour MPs think that there is going to have to be an answer to the West Lothian question.

listen to ‘Diane Abbott on the English question’ on Audioboo

11.46pm Here's John O'Neill with an update on the betting markets:

The betting markets think it's a No. Since polls closed the odds on ‘Yes’ winning have halved, going from 16 per cent to 8 per cent, according to Betfair's odds – and they're slipping further.

11.32pm It sounds like things are getting rather rowdy up in Edinburgh, where Daniel Jackson is based:

Outside the Holyrood parliament building an impromptu street carnival is taking place. A large crowd has gathered. It is mostly made up of young rowdy men, but there are families here too, with their children and dogs. In amongst the sea of lion rampant flags there are a few brave ‘No’ voters, but they are vastly outnumbered. Their opponents are standing above them on bollards, shouting obscene chants. There are occasional cries of ‘freedom’, followed by applause. The police are confiscating cans of beer as they find them, but there is a constant stream of crates being smuggled in behind them. The ‘Yes’ voters are determined to turn this into a celebration, a full seven hours before we are likely to know the result.

[caption id="attachment_8871411" align="alignleft" width="520"]

The scene outside the Holyrood parliament (Photo: Getty)[/caption]

11.29pm Douglas Alexander has just been speaking from Glasgow. He says this is 'a historic judgment on a historic question.... this is huge':

listen to ‘Douglas Alexander: ‘A historic judgment on a historic question’’ on Audioboo

11.23pm Here's James Forsyth on the Yes campaign's relationship with the media:

The Y

es campaign has had little love for the media throughout and tonight won’t be improving that, all the coverage is now being predicated on No having won. But until we see some actual results, no one can be confident of the result. If, as Fraser says, nationalist Dundee has turned out en masse and if Yes have got their other voters out, things could turn out to be very close.       ​

11.12pm Here's James Forsyth on Peter Kellner's statement that he's '99%' sure it's a No:

Peter Kellner, of YouGov, might have declared that he’s 99% certain that No has won. But others aren’t so sure. They point out that turnout in nationalist Dundee has been huge and that if Yes win it will be precisely because of the voters that the politicians and the pollsters have forgotten.

11.03pm Here's Fraser Nelson on the rumours of a high turnout in Dundee:

I'm hearing rumours of a high turnout in the highly nationalist Dundee. A government source told me earlier: "if the turnout is as high as 80pc we will probably be okay. But if it's 90pc we are in serious trouble because this will be people who will have only come out to give us a kicking."

11.00pm Conservatives are laying into David Cameron’s ‘devo more’ promise of more powers for Scotland. Isabel Hardman has an exclusive extract of a speech given by Conor Burns MP tonight. He said:

‘In order for many of us to support further devolution to Scotland in the lobbies we will demand equality of fairness for England. And the starting point, the middle point and the end point is this: no Member of Parliament from Scotland should have the right to vote on any issue affecting England when that issue is devolved to Scotland.’

Rail minister Claire Perry also joined the revolt today. It looks like David Cameron's last-minute offer to Scots to save the Union could come at the cost of a Tory mutiny.

10.44pm Fraser Nelson joins us from Inverness, where everything sounds very jolly (but nobody knows what to expect):

The mood here in Inverness is almost like that of a carnival. Fiddle bands in 'inverYes' shirts are warming up.  A spontaneous ceilidh was held on the High St this afternoon - word got out on Twitter and people joined in. I went for a late jog around various polling stations between 8pm and 9pm - at each one, cheery 'yes' campaigners stood ready to greet voters. They were unmarked by the no campaign. 'Yes' have helium balloons, hats, high-visibility jackets, even record bags. When I went into the no office at 4pm, it was empty with only a few stickers left. The Yes office was as busy (and well stocked) as Hamleys on Christmas Eve. So Yes do make more noise - that's why a lot of people will go to bed tonight fearing the worst. Justifiable? No one has the faintest idea.

10.32pm Here James Forsyth on YouGov's latest poll:

YouGov has done a post voting poll for The Sun which has No on 54% and Yes 46%. This is not an exit poll but YouGov’s Peter Kellner has said that he is 99% certain that No has won.

YouGov #IndyRef prediction: YES 46%, NO 54% - — YouGov (@YouGov) September 18, 2014

10.24pm Fraser is up in Scotland, and somewhat disheartened by what he's hearing:

10.10pm Here's Fraser Nelson, James Forsyth and Hamish Macdonell on what to expect from the night ahead. As Fraser says, 'it's going to be a nail biter'. Both sides think that they have won. Why? The polls show it’s too close to call, so each side is going on anecdote – and risks a positive feedback loop:

listen to ‘Both 'yes' and 'no' think they've won - 10pm analysis of Scottish referendum from Hamish Macdonell, James Forsyth and Fraser Nelson’ on Audioboo

</p><p>(function() { var po = document.createElement("script"); po.type = "text/javascript"; po.async = true; po.src = ""; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })();</p><p>It is <strong>10.00pm</strong> and the polls have closed in Scotland. Welcome to The Spectator’s live-blog of the results. We’ll be updating you throughout the night as the results come in. We should know by about 5am whether Scotland has chosen to stay part of the United Kingdom. The No campaign are very confident that they have won—and by a larger margin than the polls suggested they would. But we won’t know if this confidence is justified until the results start coming in so do stay with us.</p><p>