How the historic day and night unfolded as Scots went to the polls to decide the country’s future.
8.30am: In the wake of a crushing defeat for the Yes campaign, Nigel Farage says Scots MPs should now stop voting on English matters. Click here for full story
8.16am: FINAL SCORE: Yes - 1,617,989 (44.70%); No - 2,001,926 (55.30%) - SCOTLAND HAS VOTED NO TO INDEPENDENCE Click here to read full story
8.15am: The counting is complete. Highland votes No: Yes - 78,069; No - 87,739.
8.00am: The Royal Bank of Scotland has reportedly shelved plans to move its registered headquarters to London. The Edinburgh-based bank had previously confirmed its HQ would relocate if Scotland voted Yes.
7.05am: David Cameron announces that Lord Kelvin, chairman of the Commonwealth Games organising committee, will oversee the devolution process which the Prime Minister says will lead to greater powers for the Scottish Parliament.
6.55am: Alistair Darling said Scotland had chosen “positive change, rather than needless separation”.
Speaking before a banner reading “Love Scotland, Vote No” in Glasgow, the Better Together leader said: “Today is a momentous result for Scotland and also for the United Kingdom as a whole.
“By confirming our place within the United Kingdom, we have reaffirmed all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken.”
6.55am: Scores on the board after 31 declarations: Yes - 1,548,520 (45%); No - 1,914,617 (55%) SCOTLAND HAS OFFICIALLY VOTED NO TO INDEPENDENCE
6.45am: Alex Salmond has conceded, saying he accepted “the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland”. He called on the leaders of the three main pro-Union parties to live up to promises of further devolution they made during the referendum campaign.
6.08am: Fife seals the deal for the No campaign. Yes - 114,148; No - 139,788. SCOTLAND HAS OFFICIALLY VOTED NO TO INDEPENDENCE
6.00am: Aberdeenshire: Yes - 71,337; No - 108,606; Argyll and Bute: Yes - 26,324; No - 37,143.
5.55am: It’s an overwhelming NO from Edinburgh. Sue Bruce reveals 123,927 voted Yes, while 194,638 said No.
5.42am: Alex Salmond and David Cameron have both been tweeting. The First Minister has congratulated Glasgow for voting Yes, while the Prime Minister has praised Better Together leader Alistair Darling.
5.19am: Nicola Sturgeon has told STV: “I think there are very, very strong messages for the political class in Scotland and messages we need to heed.
“This campaign has been a joy to be part of, it’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever been part of in my life before.
“If there is not a Yes vote tonight, I am deeply disappointed. As have thousands and thousands of others, I have given my heart and soul to this campaign but what has been amazing are the number of people who have never been involved in politics before, who have never campaigned as part of a political movement before, who have got involved.
“We must harness that, we must build on that. It’s one aspect that leads me to say this country will never be the same.
“I’m disappointed if we don’t come out of this evening with a Yes vote, I’m not trying to spin my way out of that . . . I’ll be deeply disappointed personally as well as politically but I can’t deny the fact I am also exhilarated by this campaign.”
5.12am: Clean sweep for the Ayrshires as the East says No. Yes - 39,762; No - 44,442.
5.09am: Another No majority in South Ayrshire. Yes - 34,402; No - 47,247.
5.01am: North Ayrshire votes No by a narrow margin. Yes - 47,072; No - 49,016
5.00am: Senior SNP figures are conceding defeat. Click here to read full story
4.59am: Scottish Borders dishes out another blow to the independence campaign. Yes - 27,906; No - 55,553.
4.57am: Yes takes Glasgow, but probably not by a big enough margin to get back into contention. Yes - 194,779; No - 169,347
4.55am: West Lothian says No. Yes - 53,342; No - 65,682
4.49am: But again No stretches its legs in neighbouring South Lanarkshire. Yes - 100,990; No - 121,800. Perth and Kinross also says No. Yes - 41,475; No - 62,714.
4.47am: Yes narrows the gap slightly with victory in North Lanarkshire. Yes - 115,783; No - 110,922.
4.39am: Totaliser (after 17 declarations): Yes - 521,441 (44%); No - 670,354 (56%)
4.35am: Painful times for the Yes campaign as Angus, Aberdeen, Dumfries and Galloway, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire all reject independence. Angus: Yes - 35,044; No - 45,192; Aberdeen: Yes - 59,390; No - 84,098; Dumfries and Galloway: Yes - 36,614; No - 70,039; East Renfrewshire: Yes - 24,287; No - 41,690; East Dunbartonshire: Yes - 30,624; No - 48,214.
4.23am: More joy for the No campaign as Falkirk votes for the union. Yes - 50,489; No - 58,030.
4.20am: Stirling also says No - Yes - 25,010; No - 37,153.
4.18am: East Lothian follows suit. Yes - 27,467; No - 144,283.
4.12am: Midlothian has voted No to Scottish independence. Yes - 26,370; No - 33,972.
4.09am: West Dunbartonshire votes Yes. Yes - 33,720; No - 28,776. East Lothian and Midlothian coming up soon.
3.58am: But the Yes lead doesn’t last long. Renfrewshire says No: Yes - 55,466; No - 62,067.
3.56am: Dundee becomes the first area to vote Yes, putting the entire campaign in the lead. Yes - 53, 620; No -39,880.
3.35am: Inverclyde votes No - just. Yes 27,243 No 27,329.
3.30am: Alex Salmond has left Aberdeen in a private jet bound for Edinburgh. The First Minister arrived at the airport at 2.30am and took off around half an hour later.
3.08am: Here’s the scores on the board after four declarations: Yes - 36,097 (42%); No - 49,535 (58%)
3.06am: Western Isles votes No. Yes - 9195; No - 10,544.
2.51am: Nash tells us the No camp are predicting a 63-37 victory in East Lothian. Count running late.
2.44am: It’s a hatrick for No so far. Shetland result: Yes - 5669; No - 9951. Turnout - 84.4%
2.25am: Nash Riggins at the East Lothian count for us says yes supporters are leaving.
2.19am: Ian Swanson says official turnout in Edinburgh due soon. No camp sources indicate 60-40 for No. Meanwhile, Glasgow turnout of 75% is lowest so far.
2am: Orkney votes No as expected. Yes 4,883 No 10,004.
1.58am: Record turnouts have been recorded across the country. The lowest so far is the ‘Yes’ heartland of Dundee, where 78.8 per cent of voters have had their say. Click here to read full story
1.48am: Our reporter Alistair Grant in West Lothian says Yes sources believe the vote has gone to No with 53% of the vote. Party think they won Livingston and lost Linlithgow.
1.34am Yes campaigner Peter Johnston, leader of the SNP group on West Lothian Council, conceded defeat to No. He told PA: “Our figures indicate that we have lost in our area. It’s disappointing.”
1.29am: First declaration. No win Clackmannanshire. Yes 16,350 No 19,036. A total of 24 ballots were rejected.
1.27am: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more dramatic - Dundee count being evacuated for fire alarm.
1.14am: West Lothian has declared a turnout of 86.2% – that’s 119,115 votes cast, says Alistair Grant, our reporter at the count
1.12am: Confirmed turnouts: Renfrewshire 87.3%, Inverclyde 87.4%, Dundee 78.8%, West Dunbartonshire 87.9%. That’s very low in the ‘Yes’ heartland of Dundee, says our reporter Paris Gourtsoyannis.
1.09am: Pro-union campaigners in East Lothian have told the BBC they believe 62 per cent have voted No, based on a 12,000-strong sample
1.06am: David Cameron is facing mounting pressure for constitutional change within England following the promise to grant more powers to Scotland if voters rejected independence. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Tory former Cabinet minister Liam Fox said change is “unavoidable” to address the ability of Scottish MPs to vote on devolved issues in Westminster.
12.46: Allegations of electoral fraud emerge in Glasgow, concerning 10 ballot papers.
12.40am: Our reporter Lizzy Buchan says lots of people gathering at the Scottish Parliament. Shouts of ‘No more London rule’
12.16am: Ian Swanson: One polling station in Craigmillar had more voters through its doors by 9.30am than it did for the entire 2010 General Election. Alex Salmond is heading to Edinburgh now.
12.15am: More than 93 per cent of postal votes have been returned in Midlothian
12.03am: The Queen is expected to make a statement in the morning, regardless of the outcome.
12.00am: Christine Grahame MSP Midlothian South tells our reporter Nash Riggins “I’m feeling nausea, stomach churning and other bits churning as well.”
11.46pm: West Lothian Council leader John McGinty, a No supporter, tells our reporter Alistair Grant he is “pleased” with what he has seen so far from the boxes.
11.36pm: 90% of postal votes were returned in Edinburgh.
11.28pm: Turnout in Edinburgh is reported at 89.6%.
11.23pm: No camp tell our political editor Ian Swanson a sample of postal votes from Edinburgh show 70-30 in favour of No.
11.08pm: Fashion king Giorgio Armani has added some insight. Asked his view on the referendum at Milan Fashion Week, he said: “Scotland is Scotland.”
10.54pm: YouGov president Peter Kellner has told Sky News that he is “99% certain” Scotland has voted No to independence.
10.34pm: YouGov’s “exit poll” prediction puts No on 54 per cent and Yes on 46 per cent. Story here
10.28pm: First casualty of the count – wounds are being nursed at Ingliston after someone trips over cables and cuts their head. “Looked nasty,” says our reporter Paris Gourtsoyannis.
10.23pm: Postal vote return in East Lothian expected to exceed 94 per cent – smashing the area’s previous record of 65 per cent. Overall turnout figure of 79.7 per cent, it’s reported.
10.21pm: SNP Deputy Leader Nicola Sturgeon tweets: “So that’s that. Polls have closed. What an amazing, emotional, inspirational day of democracy this has been. Now we wait.”
10.10pm: Look out Ingliston, our political editor Ian Swanson is on his way.
10.10pm: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg tweets: “The people of Scotland have cast their votes. I sincerely hope that they remain a part of our family of nations.”
10pm: This is it. The polls have closed. Scotland has decided. What...we’ll find out in a few hours.
9.51pm: Between £10-12 million has been gambled on the outcome across the UK. Bookmaker William Hill said it had taken £2.75 million, with one London punter risking £900,000 on a No vote. However, 70 per cent of all bets are for a Yes vote, Hill’s spokesman said Graham Sharpe said.
9.10pm: Less than an hour to go now until polls close. We’ve heard hopes of a 2am declaration in the Western Isles are in jeopardy because of fog which will delay ballot boxes being flown in.
7.59pm: Andy Murray has elaborated on his late intervention in the independence debate. Murray called for a ‘Yes’ vote in the early hours of the morning. He has now insisted he intends to play for Great Britain in the Davis Cup next year regardless of the outcome of the referendum.
5.58pm: Since one bookmaker has already paid out on a ‘No’ result it’s clear odds on this referendum don’t mean much - but for anyone interested an online betting form has released updated odds and is offering 5/1 on Scotland leaving the Union, while those betting a ‘No’ vote are being offered 2/11.
5.35pm: Read our report as crowds continue to grow at Scottish Parliament as reports suggest high turnout across Scotland. Click here to read full story
5.18pm: Card retailer Clintons say they have seen an 8% lift in the sale of ‘sorry you’re leaving’ cards in the last week, ahead of today’s Scottish referendum. Tim Fairs, marketing director at Clintons, said: “We’re unclear whether this is a reflection of a more buoyant job market or a hint that some people are betting on a Yes vote in today’s referendum.”
5pm: Reports of large crowds building outside the Scottish Parliament this evening as voters continue to go to the polls.
4.06pm: A supporter of Scottish independence has played his part in today’s historic referendum - despite passing away last week. Click here for full story
3.54pm: Edinburgh Airport are warning travellers to leave in plenty of time if you’re on the way to the airport. @EDI_Airport: The #indyref count will take place at Ingliston overnight. Allow extra time if travelling to the airport as roads may be busier.
3.50pm: Evening News Deputy Editor Euan McGrory’s picture of this Portobello graffiti raises questions of oil and the economy. Click here to see political Editor’s Ian Swanson’s thoughts on the economy of an independent Scotland
3.14pm: Edinburgh City Council has allowed all S5 and S6 pupils to leave school at 3pm today to give the first-time voters plenty of time to vote.
3:00pm: Tennis player Andy Murray has been subjected to online abuse which mentions Dunblane after declaring his support for the Yes campaign. Click here for full story.
2.43pm: Reports the turnout so far is close to 80 per cent with suggestions one polling station in Muirhouse apparently exceeding its 2010 turnout by 9.30 this morning.
2.22pm: There was an alleged assault at a polling station in Clydebank, a few miles northwest of Glasgow. Police arrested a 44-year-old man over the incident in Faifley Road at 8.30am.
1.50pm: People are leaving their suggestions for a Scottish Constitution on a message board outside the National Gallery of Scotland. Messages include: “No abuse of pwer”, “No more foreign wars.” and “Protecting a free NHS”.
1.20pm: Yan St-Pierre’s pic shows the polling station near the Playhouse.
12.59pm: Great tweet from @NeilCockburn: Some trumpet walking to the polling station ahead of me with an inflatable Nessie heid on his napper. What a world.
12.52pm: To anyone voting in Dalmeny, We hope the scarecrow at the polling station doesn’t frighten you out of voting.
12.27pm: Yes supporters are piped into a polling station. Click here for full story
12.02pm: If you haven’t seen it yet, a message for all voters. “Vote with clean pants”.
11.47am: Tweet from @MartynMcL: 18.5% of registered adults in Scotland had voted by 10am, nearly a fifth of voter base in first three hours of #indyref. Impressive.
11.30am: With voting well under way, campaigning continues in a bid to sway the hearts and minds of the undecided. A series of makeshift signs at The Meadows urge for a Yes vote, while some others near polling stations lean towards No.
10.30am: Both Gordon Brown and Better Together leader Alistair Darling have now voted. Brown in his North Queensferry constituency, and Darling in Edinburgh
10.25am: First Minister Alex Salmond has voted at Ritchie Hall polling station in Striche.
7am: Polling stations across the country have opened on this historic day. A huge turnout is expected.
Polls open in Edinburgh
The crucial ballot , which could see the 307 year old union between Scotland and England brought to an end, is expected to go down to the wire, with polls showing the contest is too close to call.
A YouGov survey for The Sun and The Times and a separate poll by Panelbase both found 52% of Scots will to vote to stay in the union, with 48% favouring independence, when undecided voters are excluded.
But research by Ipsos-Mori for the broadcaster STV suggested the gap could be even closer, indicating 51% of people will vote No to 49% for Yes.
The turnout is expected to be high, with 4,285,323 people registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission.
For the first time 16 and 17-year-olds all across the country will be able to take part and have their say.
The question facing voters is a simple one: Should Scotland be an independent country?
Polling stations open at 7am and people have till 10pm to cast their ballot, with the result expected to be known by breakfast time tomorrow.
With the momentum in the final weeks of the campaign appearing to be behind the Yes campaign, the leaders of the three main Westminster parties have all pledged to give Scotland more powers if the outcome is No.
But nationalists dismiss this, insisting only a Yes vote will give Scotland the powers it needs.
First Minister Alex Salmond last night closed his campaign at packed rally in Perth, where he told supporters the referendum is “our opportunity of a lifetime and we must seize it with both hands”.
The SNP leader declared: “This opportunity is truly historic. There are men and women all over Scotland looking in the mirror knowing that the moment has come. It’s our choice and our opportunity and our time.”
He stressed: “We are still the underdogs in this campaign, each and every one of us has a job to convince our fellow citizens to vote by majority for a new dawn for Scotland, for that land of prosperity but also of fairness.”
Former prime minister Gordon Brown - a leading figure in the No campaign who has been key in securing the fast-tracked pledge for more powers for Holyrood if the result is No - made his own passionate appeal to Scots to vote to stay in the union.
He told a Better Together rally in Glasgow yesterday that the SNP’s main aim is to “break every single constitutional and political link with our neighbours and friends in the United Kingdom”.
Mr Brown insisted: “We will not have this.”
The Labour MP said that in the referendum “the silent majority will be silent no more”.
He told how the UK had fought and won wars together, as well as establishing the National Health Service and the welfare state together.
“We will build the future together,” he declared
“What we have built together, by sacrificing and sharing, let no narrow nationalism split asunder ever.”
HOW THE DAY WILL UNFOLD
0900: Scotland’s First Minister will cast his vote in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. His deputy Nicola Sturgeon is expected to beat him to it when she attends a polling station in Broomhouse, Glasgow, at around 7.30.
1200: Leader of the No campaign Alistair Darling is likely to have voted in Edinburgh by this time. His Labour colleague and former prime minister Gordon Brown will meanwhile have put a cross on the ballot paper in his Fife constituency.
1800: Early evening could see the busiest period at polling stations as people drop in on their way home from work.
2200: Polls close. Anyone arriving before this time but still waiting to vote will be given the opportunity.
1200: The counting of ballot papers will be under way across Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
0130 Friday: Scotland could see its first local declaration, possibly from Western Isles Council or North Lanarkshire, one of Scotland’s most populous areas.
0500: Declarations are expected from Edinburgh and Glasgow. If the final result is not suggested up to now, it may be after Scotland’s two largest cities have said Yes or No.
0600: The last local declaration is expected from Aberdeen.
0700: Chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly is likely to announce the national result from the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston outside Edinburgh. People waking up around the country will learn whether Scotland is to become an independent country or remain in the United Kingdom.