Scotland referendum: Glasgow says 'Yes', but 'No' still leading

With 22 of all 32 regions in Scotland's independence referendum being announced, the No side of the campaign has a substantial but not yet foregone lead.

Voters asked 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'

      1 of 0

      WATCH LIVE: CBC News is providing live coverage of results on and on CBC News Network. Mobile users can watch live here.

      With 22 of all 32 regions in Scotland's independence referendum being announced, the No side of the campaign has a substantial but not yet foregone lead.

      Glasgow, the biggest city to report to date, put a dent in the lead but the overall total still stands at 53.8 per cent choosing to keep the current relationship with the United Kingdom, compared to 46.2 per cent for the Yes campaign, the BBC reported.

      The first six of 32 regions reporting all went into the No column, with Dundee and West Dunbartonshire then becoming the first centres to fall for the Yes side.

      But through 22 regions, only four featured a Yes majority.

      The question on the ballot asked voters simply: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" and a record number of voters were expected to turn out for their chance to weigh in on the question.

      Clackmannanshire, the first region to report, was a win for the No vote, with 54 per cent rejecting an independent Scotland.

      The fifth centre to report was remarkably close. The margin of victory among 54,572 total voters in Inverclyde was just 86 votes, with the No side again prevailing.

      The margin between the two sides through the entire country was just 1,400 votes through eight centres — until Midlothian reported a comfortable result for the No campaign. Stirling and Dumfries were even more clear cut for No.

      Glasgow's vote count came in at just over 364,000, with a 53.5 per cent advantage for Yes.

      Local officials said that more than 4.2 million people registered to cast a ballot in the referendum, which represents roughly 97 per cent of all eligible voters. Included in those eligible to vote were people as young as 16.

      Final push

      Alex Salmond, the first minister who led the independence campaign, made a final effort to woo voters Wednesday, saying the referendum represented an "opportunity of a lifetime." 

      British Prime Minister David Cameron made a case for a No vote days earlier, warning that a vote for independence would be "forever" and urging voters to choose to stick together. 

      Ballot papers are counted in Aberdeen immediately after the polls close in the referendum on Scotland's independence. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

      CBC's Nahlah Ayed, reporting earlier from Edinburgh, said there has been a "real sense of occasion" throughout the day as voters went to the polls. 

      Ayed noted that there was a great deal of excitement, but also a lot of nervousness as people wait for the official results. 

      Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told the BBC she was confident the "silent majority" of Scots would deliver a No victory, but the Yes campaign said it was too early to predict the outcome.

      After the polls closed late Thursday, a nationwide count began immediately. Many Scots stayed up overnight in homes and bars, awaiting a result that could possibly change their lives, shake financial markets worldwide and boost other independence movements from Flanders to Catalonia to Quebec.

      "Why not roll the dice for once?" Yes supporter Thomas Roberts said at one Edinburgh polling station. "I'm going to sit with a beer in my hand watching the results coming in."

      Scotland has a population of just over 5 million, a small proportion of the more than 64 million people in the broader U.K.A vote for independence would trigger 18 months of negotiations on how the two countries would separate their institutions before Scotland's planned Independence Day on March 24, 2016.

      With files from The Associated Press


      To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

      By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.