Scottish referendum: Yes supporters in Edinburgh 'gutted'
- 19 September 2014
- From the section Scotland
A grey dawn over Edinburgh found supporters of independence in a black mood.
Their planned party at Dynamic Earth, a visitor attraction overlooking the Scottish Parliament, never really got going.
Early predictions of victory for the No camp had let the air out of the balloons before they were even fully inflated.
Ashley Drake, 49, a publisher who had travelled up from Wales to support the "Yes" campaign, described the atmosphere as "muted".
"Obviously we knew fairly early on it wasn't going well," he said, adding "I'm really disappointed. It's very, very sad."
As daylight - such as it was - imbued the thick mist around Holyrood with a slight glow, campaigners who had spent months slogging away on the campaign trail began to drift home.
Many were in tears as they left, exhausted and disheartened.
Two friends in kilts seemed particularly disconsolate. A woman with them was so upset she could not speak.
Alasdair Maciver, 49, a kilted engineer summed it up in one word. "Gutted. I think Scotland has thrown away a real opportunity here. I can't believe 55% of Scotland voted against our country being a country."
Like many who have campaigned for independence, Mr Maciver said he was deeply sceptical about promises by the Westminster parties of more powers for the devolved parliament in Edinburgh.
"The three parties won't be able to get any kind of consensus at Westminster," said the engineer, "I think there's going to be a bit of a backlash and I can't see them delivering."
What the 'No' vote means for Scotland and rest of the UK
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- Go to the BBC's Scotland Decides page for more details
Bryan McDermaid, 44 said he too was "gutted."
"A chance in a lifetime and they've thrown it away," he said.
The oil engineer said he did not think the UK parties could keep their promises to hand more power to Edinburgh.
"Self determination, control of our own affairs - it was on a plate for us - we should have had it," he said.
So, in the eyes of these supporters, why did Scotland vote No?
In the cold dawn, fingers of blame were being pointed: at the British establishment, big business, and the media, in particular the BBC.
"I feel the press and the BBC have let us down because they didn't tell us the truth," said Sheena Jardine, 46 a violinist, echoing a familiar refrain from "Yes" campaigners.
Journalists had bombarded the voters with "propaganda" she went on, telling only one side of the story and "not showing all the amazing things that could have happened if we'd been independent."
"If we'd had a balanced debate we would have won this and it's such a sad missed opportunity. I feel absolutely gutted," she said.
There had been no such talk from Alex Salmond when he addressed the crowd at Dynamic Earth under the banner "One Scotland".
"I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit," the First Minister had told them.
They had cheered loyally but some wondered whether the issue would return sooner rather than later.
Mr Salmond's choice of phrase that Scotland had decided "by majority, not at this stage" to become an independent country, seemed to give them a glimmer of hope.
Jim Bryce, 47, a project planner, thought there could be another opportunity.
"At the start of the campaign if we thought we would get 45%, getting towards 50%, we'd still have said that was a very good result," he argued.
"If you look at the big picture it's still a great success.
"Hopefully we can take this forward and have another go on another occasion."
So all eyes are now on the Westminster parties and their differing offers of more devolution.
The questions: What will be delivered? When? Will it be enough?
In the meantime is there any chance of reconciliation?
Lesley Bryce, 41, said she had switched from "No" to "Yes" late in the campaign.
The museum worker said she was not devastated by the result. Her main emotion was one of relief that it was all over.
"We can get on with being one Scotland together," she said.
In a restless, divided nation, it seems an optimistic hope.