In a record-breaking national referendum, Scottish voters decided to remain in the United Kingdom (UK) on Friday, with 55.3 percent of voters rejecting independence.
The final decision was announced at 6:10 AM local time (1:10AM EST) when Fife announced its results, pushing the ‘No’ campaign over the 50 percent threshold needed to secure victory. When the final votes were tallied, ‘No’ had 2,001,926 votes (or 55.3%) and ‘Yes’ had received 1,616,989 (44.7%). Notable cities that fell into the ‘Yes’ camp were West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, and Dundee, while the ‘No’ camp contained Stirling and Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.
There was a record turnout among Scottish voters. Nationally, more than 84 percent of registered voters turned out with many local municipalities reporting participation results in the 90 percent range. In fact, according to reports, the northwestern peninsula community of Knoydart collected votes from 100 percent of its 98 registered voters. Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, one of the pro-independence leaders, has toted the turnout as “a triumph for the democratic process.”
According to CCN, Salmond, who is also the Scottish first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, announced his resignation upon hearing news of the voting outcome. “We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster’s feet to the fire on the ‘vow’ that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland,” he said in a statement.
While the silent majority was victorious, the ‘Yes’ campaign successfully made their voices heard not only on a national, but also on a global stage. On a national scale, the ‘Yes’ campaign caught the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron, who earlier in the week made an emotional plea for Scotland to remain in the U.K. Additionally, following the resulting rejection of independence, Cameron promised the drafting of laws to provide Scotland’s regional parliament more power in UK politics.
The U.K. had not experienced a referendum with such incredible implications since the Acts of Union in 1707, which officially joined England and Scotland to create Great Britain.
For more information about yesterday’s results, read NBC’s full coverage of the story.