POLITICS

Scottish Referendum Results In Clackmannanshire And Orkney Give Boost To 'No' Camp

19/09/2014 02:17 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 02:59 BST

The first results in the independence referendum have given a boost to pro-UK campaigners, with No securing a comfortable victory in Clackmannanshire and in Orkney.

The Clackmannanshire area had been a key target for Yes campaigners, with Scottish Government minister Keith Brown representing the area at Holyrood. But when the question 'Should Scotland be an independent country' was put to the voters there, 19,036 people said No - some 2,686 more than the Yes vote of 16,350.

Orkney was the second area in Scotland to declare, with No votes outnumbering Yes by a margin of two to one. Support for No came in at 10,004 while 4,883 people in the islands backed independence.

Commenting on the Clackmannanshire result, Conservative MSP Gavin Brown said: "The bookies odds said that Dundee was favourite to get the highest percentage for Yes, and I think Clackmannanshire were second favourite to get the highest so I certainly thought Clackmannanshire would have a majority for Yes.

"So for it to have a majority for No is clearly welcome from our side. It's the first result, there's a long way to go and clearly in terms of actual voting numbers it smaller than most local authorities, but it's a welcome start to the evening."

Even before the first result was declared, it emerged David Cameron is expected to make a major statement on the future of the UK later today.

As counting of millions of votes continued through the night, pollster YouGov predicted that Scots have voted to remain part of the United Kingdom by a margin of 54% to 46%.

The company's chairman Peter Kellner said he was "99%" certain of victory for the No camp on the basis of the poll of more than 1,600 people who had already cast their votes.

Early figures suggested a record turnout in the ballot, with 83.7% of the electorate going to the polls in Orkney and 88.6% in Clackmannanshire. In Renfrewshire, it was even higher at 87.3% and in Inverclyde it was 87.4%.

Mr Cameron is expected to respond to Scotland's decision in a live televised address to the nation from 10 Downing Street following the declaration of the final results at around 7am.

After joining Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to promise further devolution to Holyrood if Scots voted No, the Prime Minister is facing pressure from MPs south of the border for a similar extension of powers to the English regions, or even the creation of an English Parliament.

Some MPs voiced anger over the three leaders' pledge to retain the "Barnett formula", which gives Scotland more state funding per head of population than England.

Transport minister Claire Perry has warned that a settlement offering "financial party bags" to Scotland in return for a No vote would not be "equitable" for England, while Labour MP Frank Field told the Sun that voter fury over the expenses scandal would seem "like a tea party" if there is any suggestion that Scots are being bribed to stay.

The Sun quoted a senior Downing Street source as saying the Prime Minister will be "on the front foot" in his statement, setting out a plan to "rebalance" the way all four nations of the UK are represented.

But SNP MSP John Mason, who represents Glasgow Shettleston, said that Clackmannanshire is "one of the smallest councils in Scotland so I think it's quite hard to read very much into that".

He added: "What I see in the ballot boxes from Glasgow seems positive. Areas that we expected to be strong in, we seem to be doing well in, so the jury is still out I think."

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Scottish Referendum