By Jonathan Davies

Scotland says 'No'. Scotland has voted against independence in an historic referendum and will stay part of the UK.

Scotland voted 'No' with a majority of 55% to the 'Yes' vote's 45%.

'No' won the referendum with 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 who voted 'Yes'.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said he accepted the decision, calling the referendum as a whole a "triumph for the democratic process".

He called for unity amongst the Scottish public following the result, so the country can move forward. He also called for the main political leaders to keep their promise of greater devolved powers for Scotland. In doing so, the First Minister said he would keep his pledge to see the Edinburgh Agreement through, by respecting the result and helping Scotland move forward.

Following the result, Alex Salmond said: "The unionist parties made vows late in the campaign to devolve more powers to Scotland.

"Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course - as a reminder, we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by March 27 next year.

"Not just the 1.6 million Scots who voted for independence will demand that timetable is followed but all Scots who participated in this referendum will demand that timetable is followed."

Referring to the 16 and 17 year olds who were allowed to vote for the first time, he said: "Whatever else we can say about this referendum campaign, we have touched sections of the community who have never before been touched by politics, these sections of the community have touched us and touched the political process.

"I don't think that will ever be allowed to go back to business as usual in politics again."

Mr Salmond urged 'Yes' voters not to be disappointed with the result, but to take huge pride in how far they'd come.

He said: "I don't think any of us, whenever we entered politics, would have thought such a thing to be either credible or possible.

"Over the last few weeks we have seen a scare and a fear of enormous proportions - not a scaremongering directed at the Scottish people but the scare and the fear at the heart of the Westminster establishment as they realise the mass movement of people that was going forward in Scotland.

"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 travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward and we shall go forward as one nation."

Better Together

Alistair Darling, who led the 'Better Together' campaign, said "Scotland has chosen unity over division and positive change rather than needless separation".

"It is a momentous result for Scotland and also for the United Kingdom as a whole.

"As we celebrate, let us also listen.

"More than 85% of the Scottish population has voted. People who were disengaged from politics have turned out in large numbers.

"While they have voted on the constitution, that was not the only or perhaps the major issue that drove them to the polls.

"Every political party must listen to their cry for change, which could be echoed in every part of our United Kingdom but had this opportunity to express itself in Scotland."

David Cameron

The Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated both sides of the debate on a "hard fought campaign" and hailed the result: "The people of Scotland have spoken and it is a clear result. They have kept our country of four nations together and like millions of other people I am delighted.

"It is time for our United Kingdom to come together and move forward.

"It was right that we respected the SNP's majority in Holyrood and gave the Scottish people the right to have their say. There can be no disputes. No re-runs. We have heard the settled will of the Scottish people."

Mr Cameron pledged to keep his promise of more devolution of powers to Holyrood. He said: "We have delivered on devolution and we will do so in the next parliament. We will ensure that those commitments are honoured in full."

The Prime Minister said Lord Smith, chairman of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games organising committee, would oversee the devolution process.

He also said that following the result, the UK has the chance to change the way it is governed. Ahead of Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones, who speaks at 11am, David Cameron said there should be greater devolved powers for all parts of the UK, including Wales, Northern Ireland, and even England.

You can read reaction from the business community here.

You can email your reactions to

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness