Yesterday when the polls opened, at 9am, a great thing began. Scotland voted on whether they would remain part of the United Kingdom or become independent.
This vote is perhaps the most important in this islands history. Scotland potentially seceding from the union had become a very real worry for those in Westminster as well as a large portion of England.
I can tell you that as of 7.30 this morning the votes have been counted and we now know that Scotland has decided that their collective answer is NO. Scotland had decided to remain a part of the union by a margin of 55% voting No, and to stay a part of the United Kingdom, and 45% voting for independence. Alex Salmond look forlorn conceded defeat this morning thanking all those who voted for independence but stated that he would respect “he democratic verdict of the people of Scotland”. He continues “Let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have travelled. We shall go forward as one nation.”
Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party has worked hard to try to sway the Scottish people to vote in favour of independence but over the last few days the promises did not match the numbers. The Scottish people were at great risk and with so few definite answers available they voted against the amendment.
This news comes as a great victory for the union but also lifts a great weight from the shoulders of David Cameron; who has been arguing stridently for the union to stay together. Three days ago Cameron made a desperate plea to Scotland “We want you to stay. Head and heart and soul, we want you to stay. Please don’t mix up the temporary and the permanent. Please don’t think: ‘I’m frustrated with politics right now, so I’ll walk out the door and never come back. If you don’t like me – I won’t be here forever. If you don’t like this government – it won’t last forever. But if you leave the UK – that will be forever,” he said.
This is also a victory for Gordon Brown who has become politically relevant again after years as a back bencher, following his defeat in the general election. Brown gave the speech of his life to an enraptured audience, showing why he was once such a great candidate and campaigner. Brown insisted that “Scotland belongs to all of us. Not the SNP” and added “What we created together, let no nationalist split asunder”. Brown also may well have been able to sway those “people that have still got doubts and are wavering, people who were thinking about voting Yes yesterday but could be persuaded today.”
This vote has decided the future of this nation. We are as the campaign says better together. Scotland will have more power for itself soon and they will be strong because of it. What this has taught all of us south of the border though is that Scotland is essential, we need them as much as they need us. Let us build a future together, strengthen our union and make lead the world with our example of cooperation again.