By garnering a 55.3% share of the votes cast, the NO side in Scotland’s independence referendum assured that country’s place within the United Kingdom. As is so often the case, the old adage that claims the only poll that counts is the one on voting day was borne out. For the most part, polling leading up to the vote indicated the outcome was too close to call. A ten point spread shows that a) the undecided voters went with the NO, and, b) what people say to pollsters and what they do in voting boxes often don’t jive. The first winner in this case was democracy.
The substantial 44.7% of Scots who voted YES can’t be ignored, in fact they will provide subsequent Scottish First Ministers, regardless of party stripe, with a crow-bar to pry considerations from Westminster
The second winner was, obviously, those who voted to remain within the United Kingdom, and perhaps the biggest winner is Scotland. The substantial 44.7% of Scots who voted YES can’t be ignored, in fact they will provide subsequent Scottish First Ministers, regardless of party stripe, with a crow-bar to pry considerations from Westminster. As Québec Premier René Lévesque put it in the immediate aftermath of his YES side’s 60-40 defeat: Si je vous ai bien compris… vous êtes en train de dire… à la prochaine fois. (Roughly: If I heard you correctly … you’re saying … see you next time.)
The long referendum campaign is now over, the votes have been cast and tallied. Now the politicking can really get going! It is unrealistic to think that those who dream of an independent Scotland will somehow give up on their hope after this loss. Here in Quebec we refer to this concept as the Neverendum Referendum. Those who desire a sovereign Quebec state, although fewer in number if the last provincial election results are any indication, will never give up that goal. I suspect those Scots who aspire to an independent Scotland, out from under Westminster‘s wing, will be back at the drawing board in no time at all, plotting their next move.