Following a majority vote of “No” against the Scottish independence referendum on Thursday Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The final result was 1,617,989 votes in favor of independence from the United Kingdom to 2,001,926 against. This means the pro-union camp won by a margin of over 10 percent, a gap much wider than opinions poll results leading up to the vote suggested. The turnout was one of the highest in the democratic world with 84.6 percent carrying out their civil duties.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, said he welcomed Scotland’s decision. Speaking outside 10 Downing Street he said “Like millions of other people, I am delighted.”
He said he would have been heartbroken to see a break in the union between the countries and paid tribute to both the “Yes” and “No” campaigns for their efforts.
The Prime Minister noted that it was time for change how the United Kingdom is governed. He added that this was a chance to “change it for the better.”
He vowed that his government would deliver on this and a “new and fair settlement" will be created.
Speaking to RTE Radio’s “Morning Ireland” Sinn Fein’s President Gerry Adams said that he will keep pressure on Cameron and ensure he keeps his promises on constitutional reform and devolution of powers to Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland and Wales.
Similarly the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness tweeted:
1.6million Scots vote Yes! London infamous 4 making & breaking promises. Must b held 2 account.All is changing. Lets make it change utterly.— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) September 19, 2014
The Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond admitted defeat and urged the rest of Scotland to follow him. He thanked the 1.6 million Scottish who voted for independence and commented on the 84.6 percent turnout to the polls.
The People of Scotland have spoken.The YES vote whilst not delivering Independence means for ALL of us things can never be the same again !!— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) September 19, 2014
He said “Today of all days, as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short. Let us dwell on the distance we have traveled and have confidence that a movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward, and we shall go forward as one nation.”
The Labour Party’s Alistair Darling, who led the pro-union campaign, said the result was a message that the Scottish people want change and that message must be heard.
“The people of Scotland have spoken.
“We have chosen unity over division and positive change rather than needless separation.
"Today is a momentous result for Scotland and also for the United Kingdom as a whole -- by confirming our place within the union we reaffirm all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken."
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said "In a dangerous and uncertain world I have no doubt we are stronger, safer, and more prosperous together than we ever could be apart.
"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.
"At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to 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."
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson will make contact with his Welsh counterpart Carwyn Jones to discuss the impact of the Scottish vote on devolution, specifically the review of tax, spending and welfare across the UK.
The power sharing administration at Stormont has been beset by issues including disagreements over welfare reform, dealing with peace process, the flying of contentious flags, parades and dealing with the of past violence.