As people have reported and grumbled, there is no proper exit poll tonight for the Scottish referendum (the defining feature of an exit poll is that it’s done outside actual polling stations as people exit. They are very expensive, and no one commissioned one!). We are hence going to have to wait for the actual results.

The only 10pm polling news we have is that YouGov did a recontact of the people who took part in their final poll during the day today to check for any late swing – amongst those people they did find some movement from YES to NO since the final polling, producing a final YouGov prediction of YES 46%, NO 54% (details are here). Lord Ashcroft also apparently did some polling during the day asking about people’s reasons for voting how they did – those results will be out tomorrow.

Given we aren’t likely to have any proper result for six or seven hours I’m going to catch some sleep and then wake up for some real results, but feel free to discuss the early results as they come in here.


389 Responses to “Scotland results thread”

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  1. Just got up. It is going to be close to 55-45. What is expected for Highland? More than 55-45 for NO?

  2. If my maths is correct the 55-45 is guaranteed regardless of Highland.

  3. Percentage is 55.42% before the highlands, could no squeak 56% with rounding?

  4. So we got to the ‘psychologically important’ 10-point threshold.

    Markets will be happy about it.

  5. I think using normal rounding, it will go 56-44 (or rather NO will tip above the 55% mark) if Highland gives NO over 108724 votes (which is 56.9%).

  6. Sorry, meant the 55.5% mark!

  7. Any ideas as to when Highlands will announce?

  8. They’re still counting I think.

  9. YouGov referendum prediction: YES 46%, NO 54% on Thursday – pretty good for Yougov

    all the other pollsters not so good, I notice Populus did not even make an attempt, heaven knows what they would have come up with

  10. @ Floating Voter,

    Predicting after the vote doesn’t count!

  11. To be fair, the YouGov poll was conducted after the poll and asked how they voted and basically recorded a last minute swing to NO.

  12. From the Independent today:

    “Meanwhile, regional newspapers in northern England united to launch a campaign for greater powers to tackle an “uneven playing field” in the UK. In a display of unity, northern titles including The Journal, Chronicle, Northern Echo, Gazette, Yorkshire Post and Manchester Evening News issued a joint demand for devolved power. All the papers carry the same front page message calling for the North to be given “far more control over its own affairs”.

    Colin, please note.

  13. @Spearmint and Mactavish

    After the vote!

    i didn’t realise, so like an exit poll

    In that case none of the pollsters did very well

  14. No needs 0.08% more of total votes to bump up to 56%, which corresponds to 290,000 votes. Highland is 190,000, so it’s guaranteed to be 55/45 now.

  15. In massively exciting political news, I’m packing for my return to uni today so won’t be about much. But happy the margin was such that trouble will largely be avoided. Also, I won a fiver!

  16. @Spearmint 6.25

    Did the pollsters fail? I don’t think so. They all picked up No solidifying in the last few days, and broadly showed 53/54 – 47/46. The final 55-45 could easily be a late surge on the day that they couldn’t have seen. They were collectively out by 1-3% – not too bad, and certainly not 1992 all over again.

    Anyway what happens now?

  17. Mr N – my daughter off to Leeds Uni today.

    I am proud and sad at the same time.

  18. Now we’e talking about actuals, feel free to use as many decimal places as you like.

    So, looks like yes were never ahead and polls overestimated them fhroughout.

    AW would seem to be proved right, worrying more about the shy no’s than the missing millions.

    But food for thought on just how polling has driven the political agenda.

  19. Very pleased that Scotland has voted No. A yes vote would have been bad for Scotland and bad for the RUK IMO.

    My forecast of 55% No, 45% Yes is better than any of the opinion polls. Having also bettered the opinion polls on the European results earlier in the year I am looking forward to a hat trick in 2015 when I expect the Tories to win most seats and probably a small majority.

  20. When we get back to the knitty gritty of normal elections, will those who voted Yes in 2014 represent more, less or roughly the same proportion of the turnout? I hope that the polling organisations focus heavily on this in the coming months, because it will be a fascinating one.

  21. With these results; did Cameron, Clegg and Miliband really need to make those final week promises of DevoMax? That promise could come back to bite a few people in the bum.

  22. @statto

    Indeed. One poll seems to have thrown the constitution in the air. I’d like a bit less seat of pants flying and a bit more sober government.

    To be fair, polls consistently showed a likelihood for No. The media over estimated Yes because they can’t read polls and noisy flag wavers always make a good story, even if inaccurate.

  23. The “silent majority” in Scotland has spoken, now the Government have to address the West Lothian question. In the short term, Scottish MP’s should no longer be able to vote on purely English issues. The same goes for Welsh MP’s if greater devolved powers are give to Wales. Longer term a more carefully thought out constitutional solution will be needed. I shall be lobbying my MP, who is a cabinet minister, along those lines. Cameron will lose the election if he fudges this issue, I expect the Tory party will force him to address it along these lines. What i have heard from him so far will not do.

  24. @ Tark,

    The polls weren’t terrible, but they were all off in the same direction, which suggests a systemic error. (Either shy/apathetic No voters or a lot of people getting cold feet at the last moment.)

  25. @tARK – “Indeed. One poll seems to have thrown the constitution in the air. I’d like a bit less seat of pants flying and a bit more sober government.”

    No – this is how we do things. It’s the British way.

    What of the Scottish way? Facing overwhelming odds and a far superior opposition, laughed at, but somehow, in the last few minutes of play, taking the lead. Could they do the impossible?

    At the last gasp it falls apart, and the bitterness of defeat made so much worse as improbable victory seemed in our grasp.

    Think Archie Gemmill. This is Scotland.

  26. Jim Jam,

    Good luck to her – and you!

  27. Having also bettered the opinion polls on the European results earlier in the year I am looking forward to a hat trick in 2015 when I expect the Tories to win most seats and probably a small majority.

    It’s a tricky one.

    I’ve seen a bit of talk about the Conservative proposals for English devolution putting Labour in an uncomfortable position to try and sell an alternative, but with the Lib Dems out of the picture (and I say that as someone who might actually vote Lib Dem due to local circumstances), where exactly would that Labour vote go? Is there serious talk of a party that competes in England splitting the Labour vote to such an extent as to let the Tories in, or of Labour voters going directly to the Tories?

    The irony of this outcome is that it does roll the dice on the Southern and Eastern English Tory/UKIP fronts.

    As for where Scottish nationalism goes next, I think the logical next step is to hold a referendum in 2019 or maybe 2020 if for some reason Scotland doesn’t have its election that year, on whether Scotland should have broad domestic tax and spend autonomy (including complete control over income tax). If necessary this could be accompanied by a pre-determined block grant either to or from Westminster, to account for on the one hand the subsidy that the union should give to relatively sparsely populated areas such as Scotland and the South West to ensure comparable standards of essential services, and on the other the benefits to the union which Scotland would otherwise have to pay for itself if it were independent.

    I say that as a unionist, albeit one that would prefer relatively swift independence if it is indeed inevitable. A non-trivial block grant from Scotland to Westminster under those circumstances seems highly unlikely. A subsidy from Westminster to a part of the UK which has argued that it is too good to be shackled by the rest of us and should be given autonomy after being given as much autonomy as is feasible short of independence, would be similarly difficult.

    Therefore, if Scots believe that they are inherently net contributors to the UK economy, and it is agreed prior to that referendum that a cash transfer from one Parliament to the other in either direction is out of the question on the basis that the mutual benefits to Scotland and rUK more or less cancel each other out, it follows that they would vote for those tax powers, and that independence a decade or so other that would be inevitable.

    If on the other hand Scots were given a choice on virtually total control of tax and spend, and voted in favour of Barnett-based devolution, that would be a clear sign that the population don’t think Scotland could do as well as it currently does if it were to leave the union.

    Either way, that’s the only way I can see of putting this issue to bed.

  28. @ Spearmint

    To be fair to the pollsters they can only be as accurate as the people they are questioning! Seems from the YouGov “exit” poll people a significant number of people changed their minds on the day. No way you can factor that in- especially when you have no history to go on.

  29. What we have just seen is an election in which a region of the UK has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a further devolution of powers from Westminster, with 45% of that region wanting total devolution and much of the remaining 55% being persuaded only by an offer of further devolution on top of already significant powers. And with an unprecedented electoral turnout to boot.

    Is that desire for devolved government something unique to the Scots (and Welsh), or does it extend to highly centralised England?

    This is the common call across many regional newspapers this morning: “You made your promise to Scotland. Now what is your vow to the North?”

    And I don’t think people will be satisfied with an answer that is just the status quo of Westminster government other than without the votes of Scottish and Welsh MPs.

  30. TOH

    Yes-West Lothian has to be answered & Cameron has said it will be -to the same timetable as the Scottish pledge.

    He knows it won’t be of course, because Labour will not agree to the exclusion of Scottish MPs from voting at Westminster ( think of what that would mean for the idea of an “overall majority).

    I think he is looking to the GE 2015, in which Cons will promise English votes for English Laws ( shooting a UKIP fox) -and Labour will not . I guess he sees that division as a vote winner for Cons.

    The danger must be that if the Draft Bill in January for Scottish powers does not go with an agreed answer to West Lothian ., Con backbenchers will rebel on the Scottish pledge.

    A massive Pandora’s Box has been opened.
    Mathew Parris was right that everything would change , whatever the vote on Independence.

  31. Morning Colin,

    I kept out of the discussions of the last week or so as it all got very silly at times.

    I broadly agrree with all that you say above, especially if Cameron tries to fudge the West Lothian question. Mind I don’t see why he would want to. A you say Labour are now potentailly in a very difficult place.

  32. I hate to sound like a clever clogs but my comment yesterday morning was :

    “On the basis of when in doubt do nowt, surely the vast majority of undecided will vote ‘No’. In that case we are more likely to see a 55-45 vote in favour of ‘No”.

    The actual final outcome was:
    55.3% No
    44.7% Yes

    Have a nice day.

  33. TOH

    Morning Howard-yes me too.

    I think they are in a difficult place & will talk about devolution to regions a lot as a smoke screen. But the position at Westminster has to be resolved .

    The number of solutions to West Lothian are legion-it is going to fill miles of newsprint & hours of tv analysis. It could be a central dividing issue in GE 2015.

    Hope you are well ?

  34. Ha! If Lab has a problem, let’s see Cameron deliver anything without their agreement and Westminster votes.

  35. The voters chose an option the vast majority appeared to want but which wasn’t on the ballot.

    Looking forward to see UK federalism (in some guise) take place.

  36. What we have just seen is an election in which a region of the UK has voted overwhelmingly in favour of a further devolution of powers from Westminster, with 45% of that region wanting total devolution and much of the remaining 55% being persuaded only by an offer of further devolution on top of already significant powers. And with an unprecedented electoral turnout to boot.

    Agreed, with the single caveat that our opinions of what “much” means in this context would probably be different.

    Is that desire for devolved government something unique to the Scots (and Welsh), or does it extend to highly centralised England?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Salmond were to take the lead on the West Lothian question in his discussions with Cameron – it is a matter that is appropriate for Scots to get involved in, the SNP tend to behave better with regards to abstaining on non-Scottish issues than Scottish Labour, and besides, he and his successors will surely be looking to present English politics as being even more different to Scotland’s than they successfully argued this time. On the other side of the coin the Conservatives would absolutely love the idea of establishing a consensus between the English and Scottish governing parties on a matter that would cost Labour 30-40 Scottish votes in all future parliaments, and quite possibly a similar number of English seats if they attempted to reverse such a change. As for regional assemblies…

    This is the common call across many regional newspapers this morning: “You made your promise to Scotland. Now what is your vow to the North?”

    And I don’t think people will be satisfied with an answer that is just the status quo of Westminster government other than without the votes of Scottish and Welsh MPs.

    I do agree with that, and think that there will be a strong instict to call for regional assemblies in Labour-leaning regions.

    However, Westminster is going to be the one allocating the funding, and if Scotland’s share is locked in, then it would be a non-Scottish matter, meaning that the Conservatives might be the ones in the driving seat with regards to deciding which regions get what. I think that argument will ultimately mean that the solution will be more focussed on making sure that MPs are only allowed to vote on matters which affect their part of the UK, although truly defining that would be almost impossible, and therefore a stand-alone English parliament (while still highly unlikely) is not completely out of the question.

  37. @CHRISHORNET

    The last time they asked my region about regional government the whole idea was crushed and ground into the ground. I fear that Labour will not dare ask the question again and would seek to impose a solution which would suit their local politicians but not the public if they get the chance.

  38. Sorry about the lack of punctuation my tablet is behaving badly

  39. @ RAF

    “I was wrong. David Dimbleby will present the BBC’s General Election coverage on 7 May 2015. He is then expected to retire from General Elections.”

    Well I’m glad he’s coming back for one last hurrah. It will be a shame when he finally retires. He’s like the Vin Scully of British Elections.

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