VOTERS across the Capital and Lothians have decisively rejected independence – as the national campaign to keep Scotland in the UK secured a 55 to 45 per cent victory.
Edinburgh delivered a thumping win for the pro-Union side, with 61 per cent – nearly 195,000 people – saying No to a split from Britain and 39 per cent voting Yes.
The three Lothian council areas saw emphatic No victories – in East Lothian, 62 per cent rejected independence and 38 per cent came out in favour.
In Midlothian, the No campaign also won by a clear margin, with just under 34,000 voters – 56 per cent – backing the Union and 44 per cent saying Yes to separation.
And over in West Lothian, 55 per cent of voters came out for No compared with 45 per cent for Yes.
Amid record turnouts which approached or topped 90 per cent in several areas, voting patterns in Edinburgh and the Lothians were mirrored across many of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
However, there were some major exceptions, suggesting the result was driven partly by socio-economic factors, as electorates in major urban areas with large working class populations brought significant victories for the pro-independence campaign.
In Dundee, the Yes side scored its first breakthrough of the night, with 57 per cent of the city’s electorate coming out in favour of an independent Scotland – 14 per cent ahead of the No vote.
And the biggest Yes victory came in Glasgow, where just under 195,000 voters – 53.5 per cent – backed separation.
But across the rest of the country, it became clear as early results were announced in Clackmannanshire, Orkney and Shetland that the referendum outcome would be more clear-cut than many recent polls had suggested.
Analysts today said that, as expected, the No side had recorded its biggest wins in middle class areas and districts with large numbers of elderly residents and migrants from the rest of the UK.
Although jubilant as the overall result was announced this morning, No campaigners in the Capital were quick to reassure those on both sides of the debate that significant political change was now inevitable.
Kezia Dugdale, Labour list MSP for the Lothians, praised Better Together’s positive campaign, adding: “[The vote was the result of] knowing that thousands of Lothian jobs are tied to our partnership with the rest of the UK.”
Yes campaigners, however, insisted the independence cause had taken a big step forward.
Kenny MacAskill, SNP MSP for Edinburgh Eastern, said: “It’s a fantastic time – [we got] 45 per cent of the vote. It’s now up to Westminster to deliver.”