Scottish independence: One million Scots urged to sign 'yes' declaration

 

Supporters launch the 'Yes' campaign for Scottish independence

The "yes" campaign for independence wants one million Scots to sign a declaration of support by the time of the referendum in the autumn of 2014.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said independence would happen if that milestone was achieved.

The pledge was made at the launch of the Yes Scotland campaign in Edinburgh.

However, pro-union supporters believe independence remains largely unpopular among the Scottish electorate and will not happen.

The Scottish National Party played a leading role in the campaign, which was launched at Cineworld in Edinburgh and included other parties, celebrities and businesses.

What does the Yes Declaration say?

"I believe that it is fundamentally better for us all if decisions about Scotland's future are taken by the people who care most about Scotland, that is, by the people of Scotland.

"Being independent means Scotland's future will be in Scotland's hands.

"There is no doubt that Scotland has great potential. We are blessed with talent, resources and creativity. We have the opportunity to make our nation a better place to live, for this and future generations. We can build a greener, fairer and more prosperous society that is stronger and more successful than it is today.

"I want a Scotland that speaks with her own voice and makes her own unique contribution to the world - a Scotland that stands alongside the other nations on these isles, as an independent nation."

A pro-union campaign is expected to launch later this year.

Mr Salmond said: "We unite behind a declaration of self-evident truth.

"The people who live in Scotland are best placed to make the decisions that affect Scotland.

"We want a Scotland that's greener, that's fairer and more prosperous.

"We realise that the power of an independent Scotland is necessary to achieve these great ends."

Some of the people who pledged their public support for the campaign did so for the first time.

Actor Alan Cumming, who has been based largely in the US, tweeted after the launch that he would "becoming a resident of Scotland again in order to vote in 2014".

Other "yes" backers included:

  • actor Sir Sean Connery
  • former BBC Scotland head of news Blair Jenkins
  • poet Liz Lochead
  • musician Pat Kane
  • actor Brian Cox.

Mr Salmond told the gathered media: "I want Scotland to be independent not because I think we are better than any other country, but because I know we're as good as any other country.

Start Quote

It was left to Liz Lochhead, Scotland's Makar, to recall from one of her finest plays that the Scots national pastime is frequently "nostalgia"”

End Quote

"Like these other nations, our future, our resources, our success should be in our own hands."

The campaign will be built "brick by brick" across communities, he said.

Mr Salmond said that the case would be taken to the people by community activism and "online wizardry".

He added: "By the time we enter the referendum campaign in autumn 2014, our intention is to have one million Scots who have signed the independence for Scotland declaration.

"Friends, if we achieve that, then we shall win an independent Scotland."

Mr Salmond was supported at the launch, which was hosted by Greenock actor Martin Compston, by Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie.

He told the 500-strong gathering: "Greens are not nationalists. In fact, we are probably more comfortable than most parties in acknowledging the range of views that exist in our membership and our voters about the question of independence.

"But I believe, as most of us do, that the range of powers currently still held at Westminster simply make no sense from a Green perspective.

What's known at the moment

SNP position Unionist position

Wants the referendum in the autumn of 2014

Wants the referendum "sooner rather than later"

Backs a "yes/no" ballot but is open minded on including a second "devo max" question

Wants a one question "yes/no" ballot

Wants 16 and 17-year-olds to be able to vote in the referendum

Backs the status quo with 18 and over able to vote

Has agreed to the Electoral Commission overseeing the vote

Wanted the Electoral Commission to oversee the vote

"I certainly look forward to helping develop a clear and compelling case for Scotland to take a bold and radical step and vote Yes to independence in 2014."

SNP ministers, who want to hold a referendum in autumn 2014, have been holding talks with the UK government over the arrangements.

Yes Scotland, which has also won the support of the Scottish Socialist Party, is being billed as the biggest community based campaign in Scotland's history, designed to build a groundswell of support for an independent Scotland.

Meanwhile, former chancellor Alistair Darling, a Scottish Labour MP, pointed to a poll he had commissioned which suggested that 33% of those surveyed agreed that Scotland should become independent with 57% opposed and 10% undecided. The poll by YouGov took the views of 1,000 voters.

After the Yes Scotland launch, Mr Darling told the BBC: "The real problem that the nationalists have got is that their momentum has stalled and we can see from the poll that only one person in three has actually bought their message.

"I believe that people will come to see that we are better and stronger with the UK."

"I think that there are an awful lot of risks in simply walking away from the UK."

Mr Darling has been involved in meetings with Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to take forward the plans for a pro-union campaign which is expected to launch later this year.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 219.

    The ugly over-priced , crumbling Parliament building? The lack of Edinburgh trams after huge expenditure and disruption? The current chaos in education?
    Alex, you can't blame Westminster for everything!

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 218.

    What Scots want is disingenuous. Independence on anything that is financially beneficial to them, and closer integration on things that could damage them if made independent. Ie 'we'll take 100% control of North Sea Oil (even though it belongs to the Shetlands)... oh and btw, we want to keep the Queen, the currency, the army, the status and your legal system'.

    Let's have true independence...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 217.

    213 - You want to make our lives difficult for making a democratic decision

    ........WHY? are you racist?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 216.

    Two years of this is going to drive me, and many others, bonkers.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 215.

    The only thing holding back Scotland economically is it's racial attitude to outsiders. Independence will only compound this problem and hold them back from attracting the right talent.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 214.

    Part 2...

    Failing that, devo max might be a good idea. It lets an area of the UK (note I don't say Scotland) try alternative economic policies to suit more local circumstances. I think regional English parliaments should exist. The Midlands should have the same level of determinism.

    Either go federal and let regions compete, or go Westminster only. But not this expensive, weak middle ground.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 213.

    Dont get me wrong, Scotland should have the vote, but when the SNP lose the vote, and they will, we will all get the chance to walk on Alex Salmond's political grave. The man is a self obsessed idiot, who is only doing it to say that he "Freed Scotland" Anyone knows that Scotland will not flourish alone, also if they vote independence, do not let them use the pound, make their lives difficult.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 212.

    It very looks like the Vote YES campaign by the Independent brigade has already received a massive thumbs down by the Scottish public with some 58% of them saying a huge NO thank you to it.

  • rate this
    +70

    Comment number 211.

    I'm English & it makes me sad to read so many negative comments about a country and the people who have stood stoically at our side through some of the worst times in our history. If Salmond convinces the Scots to vote Yes then it should be for total independence. DevoMax would only aggravate the unnecessary animosity toward the Scottish nation that Salmond has created with his megalomania.

  • rate this
    +15

    Comment number 210.

    For years Scots have been classed as subsidy junkies by the MSM, so why are the rest of the UK so keen to hold onto them?
    Scotland should be allowed its independence and all the advantages that go with it.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 209.

    It is such a shame that politicians have whipped up such nationalism in Scotland and it is frightening to see such vitriol between what must be considered as civilised people. There can be no excuse for hatred yet the comments seem to reflect deep prejudice of an ethnic nature. I very much hope that the campaign does not seek to inflame those prejudices and generate hatred.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 208.

    "136.alphawest
    Why can't this 'have your say' piece be in the Scotland section?
    For some reason, political comments seem to be forbidden there."
    ---------
    Correct, and has been for some time. Can you guess *why* political comment has been specifically forbidden by the BBC (Scotland's state broadcaster!) in the Scottish politics section of the website?

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 207.

    #140 said:

    " I can understand why England is relunctant to let Scotland go, given the amount Scotland over-contributes to the treasury"

    Had me rolling in the aisles anyway!

    Since the Scottish Parliament was created in 1999, public spending has outstripped tax generated there by 45 per cent.

    The English subsidise Scotland, Wales and N.I. Let them support themselves by all means.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 206.

    If there is to be a "self determination" vote then I'm dismayed that there appears to be no plan for Scots who live outside Scotland to participate. In my view anyone who would be entitled to claim a Scottish passport (assuming devolution were to take place) should be entitled to vote on the issue. Scottish and English have so much in common because of all the cross-breeding :-)

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 205.

    If Scotland goes independent then the City jumped up office boys in South East England will have to find themseves proper jobs. Not just larking with the money.

    No more malarky, boys, just hard graft. How about a shift in a factory for Cameron and the cronies? That would make them sit up and pay attention, give them blisters! Make them sweat!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 204.

    Can i ask why the hate? If you look at facts the hate is baseless so please cut it out it is no help whatsoever.

    I wasnt wearing an anyone but england shirt.....no i dont even own one....

    Scotland contributes more than it gets or the tories would have us out pretty quickly.

  • rate this
    +14

    Comment number 203.

    Were I a Scot I'd be sorely tempted to say yes to independence. The further away from the south-east a place is, the more it is sidelined and ignored by the media, and Scotland experiences this to an extreme.
    That said, we've fought and shed blood together as brothers for generations, and I think we're stronger together.
    I they vote yes, so be it - I'll wish them well - but I'll miss them.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 202.

    If Scotland votes for independence, it'd be sad and the wrong solution to the problem. The woes wrought on Scotland, exploited by Nationalists, were wrought on all parts of the UK and arose from the liberal laissez-faire economics of the '80s. Millions of 'the English' fought Thatcher too! Since, her ideology reigns once more in Westminster, is not Independence just running from this fight?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 201.

    Go Scotland Go!

    If England were to get a vote on breaking up the UK - because that is what it means in reality - Scotland would be independent very quickly as most English think Scotland (and Wales and NI) should be 'independent'.

    Scots want to have their cake and eat it - try and be like Norway but if it all goes wrong they'll be coming south to find a job. Devolution meant 'Independence'

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 200.

    I left this comment on the Reuters page;
    I see at the end of the piece,the political parties are mentioned,that is how the unionist politicians would like to see it.This is not about Labour,Conservative or the main party in Scotland the SNP,there are several smaller parties here also.Like (paraphrased) Clinton said "ITS ABOUT INDEPENDENCE STUPID" not about party politics

 

Page 76 of 86

 

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Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

  1.  
    @BBCScotlandnews 19:06: Your views

    @s_ditchfield tweets: Glasgow feels very different tonight to the Glasgow of few months ago at commonwealth games #Glasgow2014 #whatashame

     
  2.  
    19:05: 'Extremely disappointing'

    Speaking on the George Square trouble, Lib Dem MP Sir Menzies Campbell said: "For people like me who are committed to the democratic process and who have valued the way in which this campaign has been conducted until now, it is extremely disappointing.

    "I hope that police will be able to make calm heads prevail and people will go home. The best possible thing would be a heavy shower in George Square. That is often a way of dispersing people who are ready to make trouble."

     
  3.  
    19:04: Weirs 'saddened' at Salmond resignation

    Chris and Colin Weir, the multi-millionaire lottery winners who helped bankroll the "Yes" campaign, said: "Whilst saddened at his decision, Alex Salmond has nothing to reproach himself for.

    weirs

    "He has energised our nation, not just in this campaign, but in all his years of service to Scotland. He has articulated the aspirations of a nation not just as a party leader but as Scotland's most successful first minister ever.

    "We wish him well and thank him for his part in making Scotland the confident, forward looking country it is today."

     
  4.  
    @BBCScotlandnews 19:01: Get involved

    @ScottWWright tweets: Horrible atmosphere building in Glasgow city centre as hardline side of Union "celebrates". Why oh why must it be like this? #infyref

     
  5.  
    18:59: Leaders condemn scenes

    The leaders of Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives have condemned the scenes in Glasgow's George Square.

    Speaking to the BBC's Reporting Scotland, Ms Lamont said she hoped order was restored "as soon as possible" while Ms Davidson said: "We don't want to be seeing scenes like that on our streets."

     
  6.  
    18:59: Glasgow votes 'Yes'

    Yes campaigners and Loyalists who supported the Union have gathered in opposing protests in George Square in Glasgow, and it's fair to say the atmosphere is tense.

    Glasgow was one of four local authorities in Scotland to vote in favour of independence in yesterday's referendum.

    The others were Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

     
  7.  
    18:55: Salmond tweet

    First Minister Alex Salmond tweets: Heading home to Strichen. With love and thanks from Moira and I for all your kind messages of support.

    Alex and Moira Salmond
     
  8.  
    18:52: Salmond's second resignation

    This is the second time First Minister Alex Salmond has decided to stand down as SNP leader.

    Alex Salmond

    He first won the leadership of the party in 1990 before stepping down in 2000. Scotland's now Finance Minister John Swinney then took charge before Mr Salmond assumed office again in 2004.

     
  9.  
    18:51: More on George Square Cameron Buttle BBC Scotland

    The Loyalists have signs saying "Scotland is British". I see a flag that says Springburn/Derry Union up on the railings.

    Another flag says "Scotland is British, No surrender". There is lots of shouting of "this is our country".

     
  10.  
    18:50: Swinney 'respects' Salmond decision

    Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney tells the BBC's Reporting Scotland that he respects Alex Salmond's decision to stand down.

    He repeats Mr Salmond's view that the referendum is a "once in a generation opportunity" and says the SNP "will work make sure that the commitments made in the referendum" by the UK parties about more powers are kept.

    "These have to be delivered and they have to be delivered within the timescale," he adds.

     
  11.  
    18:48: George Square latest Cameron Buttle BBC Scotland

    There is definitely evidence of riot-trained police officers now coming in.

    The trouble started very quickly with the charge from the Loyalist side. We believe it was a coordinated charge. It came from different parts of the square and different angles.

    You could see flares going off in different directions. You could see people running in and they had concealed Union flags within their coats and jackets which they pulled out.

     
  12.  
    18:45: 'Atmosphere changed' Cameron Buttle BBC Scotland

    I have been in George Square all day. It has ebbed and flowed, the crowd occasionally unpleasant, but about 20 minutes ago the atmosphere changed very noticeably.

    What I would describe as a Loyalist crowd turned up with lots of Union flags. All day the Saltire has been in evidence.

    There was a rush from the Loyalist side. Flares went up, the police came in, it all got very nasty for a while. the police have separated the crowds on either side of the square now.

     
  13.  
    @BBCScotlandnews 18:37: Get involved

    @Scanwich tweets: the only thing that's made me feel guilty for voting no is @AlexSalmond resigning #indyref #whatnow

     
  14.  
    18:35: Flares in the square

    Protesters have let off flares at the gathering in Glasgow's George Square.

    geirge square
     
  15.  
    18:33: Firecrackers in George Square

    Both campaigns are chanting slogans in George Square in Glasgow. A few firecrackers have been set off by both sides. Police are present and are trying to keep protesters separated.

    george square
     
  16.  
    18:32: More from George Square

    Here's another picture of the events at George Square.

    geroge
     
  17.  
    18:31: George Square protest

    This is the scene in Glasgow's George Square right now.

    Crowds of "No" supporters and "Yes" supporters are being kept apart by police.

    george square
     
  18.  
    18:30: 'Changed political landscape'

    Mr Swinney said Alex Salmond had changed the political landscape.

    He added: "The challenge for the next SNP leader and first minister will be to put the Westminster parties under pressure to deliver against the commitments that they made during the referendum campaign."

     
  19.  
    18:26: Swinney's 'deep appreciation'

    John Swinney said he wanted to make clear his "deep and profound appreciation" for what Alex Salmond did to get the party and the Yes movement to "this point".

    Mr Swinney said: "He took us into government in 2007 when all the pundits said we couldn't do it. He won a majority in 2011 when absolutely every commentator said it was an impossibility and then he delivered an independence referendum which commanded 1.6 million votes for independence yesterday.

    "Alex has earned the right to decide at what moment he wanted to stand down."

     
  20.  
    18:23: Rennie on Salmond

    The Sunday Herald's Scottish Political Editor Tom Gordon: Pretty brutal farewell statement from @willie_rennie on Salmond: "He has exhausted his political purpose."

     
  21.  
    18:22: Salmond's 'astonishing gains'

    Finance Secretary John Swinney told BBC Scotland that Alex Salmond had delivered "astonishing gains" for the SNP and "astonishing improvements" for Scotland.

    Mr Swinney, who was leader of the SNP before Mr Salmond, said: "I think that culminated in creating the opportunity for the people of Scotland to have the most engaged democratic decision we could have had about our future in the referendum yesterday, in which 85% of the public that were eligible to vote, participated. That was a great triumph for democracy and it was brought about by Alex Salmond."

     
  22.  
    18:15: Firm favourite

    Bookmakers have already priced Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as the odds-on favourite to become the next SNP leader.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ladbrokes have Ms Sturgeon at 1/4, with Humza Yousaf next in line at 8/1. Alex Neil, Derek Mackay and Mike Russell follow at 10/1, with John Swinney priced at 16/1.

    William Hill is also offering odds - they price Ms Sturgeon at 1/3 and Mr Yousaf at 6/1.

     
  23.  
    18:14: STUC on Salmond

    Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said: "Alex Salmond has been a dominant figure in Scottish politics for over two decades.

    "Whatever you think of his politics you cannot deny his political achievements. The longest serving first minister; the first party leader to secure a Scottish Parliament majority; delivering a referendum on independence and increasing popular support for it.

    "His disappointment in not seeing the job through must be immense and, although a surprise to me, it is perhaps the right time for him to step aside as we now look to enhance Scottish devolution."

     
  24.  
    18:08: More from The Queen

    The Queen's statement from Balmoral concludes:

    "Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all.

    "Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.

    "My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task."

     
  25.  
    18:06: Queen statement

    The Queen has issued a statement on the outcome of the referendum.

    It says: "After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect," it reads.

    "For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions - among family, friends and neighbours. That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country.

    "But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others."

     
  26.  
    18:04: Queen statement

    The Queen said Scotland's vote to stay part of the UK was "a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect".

     
  27.  
    17:59: Harvie: Salmond changed political landscape

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie said: "It's no secret that the Scottish Green Party and I haven't always agreed with Alex Salmond about a range of policy issues, but nobody in Scottish politics can doubt his commitment to the cause of Scottish independence, or the impact he has had, not only within Scotland, but also on a movement which still has the potential to reshape politics throughout these islands.

    "The first minister is 100% right to say that the aftermath of the independence referendum remains redolent with possibility, and that the incredible public engagement in our political process means that power must now lie with the public will, not with political parties in Westminster or Holyrood.

    "Despite our differences on a range of issues, I want to pay tribute to Alex Salmond for the role he has played in changing our political landscape. The future of Scottish, and of UK politics, could be entering a more open and creative period than we have known for many years.

    "If nothing else, Alex Salmond has been central to bringing us to that moment."

     
  28.  
    17:51: @HumzaYousaf

    Humza Yousaf SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow tweets: @AlexSalmond's legacy not only his own political achievements but thousands like me who've been inspired by him to become politically active

     
  29.  
    17:48: 'Outstanding parliamentarian' Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, who was elected as an SNP MSP before quitting the party to take up the politically-neutral Holyrood role, commented on Mr Salmond's decision to step down as first minister.

    She said: "Members from across the chamber will recognise the first minister as an outstanding parliamentarian and will join me in recognition of his substantial achievements and public service as an MP, MSP and as Scotland's longest-serving first minister.

    "He will bow out following the most remarkable national debate and democratic renewal of our nation."

     
  30.  
    Tweet @BBCScotlandnews 17:47: Get involved

    @HughWallace74 tweets: @AlexSalmond I am sad to see you go. This was never all about you but at the same time, without you we would have been nowhere. Thank you.

     
  31.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 17:45: Get involved

    Jim Daisley from Greenock texts: "Disappointed with the result but the 1.6 million people of Scotland standing up against Westminster, banking, big business and the media, and the politics of fear, should be proud. Congratulations and well done to Alex Salmond and I agree with his decision to resign and make way for new invigorated leadership.

     
  32.  
    17:44: Law Society on Salmond

    The president of the Law Society of Scotland, Alistair Morris, said Alex Salmond's place in "our nation's political history is assured".

    He said: "His achievements cannot be underestimated, not only as the longest-serving first minister and the first to obtain an overall majority at Holyrood, but also in securing a historic referendum on independence.

    "His passion for Scotland, his commitment to creating a fairer and more prosperous society and his formidable debating skills, both at Holyrood and Westminster, have been at the heart of Scottish politics for over 30 years. He has also been a proud and effective ambassador for Scotland on the world stage."

     
  33.  
    17:42: Miliband reaction

    UK Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "Alex Salmond has been a formidable frontline politician.

    "Whatever our disagreements, he always spoke his mind and he has always stood up for what he believed in.

    "Our task now is to make sure that we deliver on the timetable we've set out, to deliver extra powers to the Scottish Parliament, and we will deliver on that."

     
  34.  
    17:41: Salmond and the press

    The Guardian's Scotland correspondent Severin Carrell tweets: Newspapers not invited to @AlexSalmond resignation press conference: Financial Times; Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express. #indyref

     
  35.  
    17:39: Miliband on further powers

    Leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband tweets: We will deliver on our promise of further powers to Scotland on the timetable set out during the referendum campaign.

     
  36.  
    17:38: Your reaction to Salmond resignation

    Iain Murdoch from Fife emailed: Thank you Alex Salmond for all you have done to take Scotland forward to this point. You thoroughly deserve any rest you will now get. You have truly placed Scotland at the forefront of UK politics.

    Alvan Judson wrote: Just read your great news that Alex Salmond is resigning. Now he can go and spend his time watching re-runs of Braveheart until he, too, is blue in the face.

     
  37.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 17:36: Get involved

    Sam Wakerley: The only thing progressive about this whole debacle is the fact we gave Scotland the vote. True progress would be one world freedom passport, one currency, one renewable energy policy & every child having basic needs taken care of, with wants allocated based on effort and attainment. Call it UKIP call it SNP, call it BNP, nationalism is ugly.

    William Wright: And the lies have begun already. Millipede is scurrying back under the bench and retracting all his promises. I wonder how long it will be before Westminster fully rejects the lies they promised?

     
  38.  
    17:33: Cameron on Salmond

    David Cameron has said: "Alex is a politician of huge talent and passion. I respect and admire his huge contribution to politics and public life."

     
  39.  
    @William_Bain 17:33: William Bain MP

    Labour MP for Glasgow North East, William Bain, tweets: Huge aspect of #indyref level of public engagement with where power lies: why UK constitutional convention proposed by @Ed_Miliband is vital

     
  40.  
    17:32: Thanks from lesbian and gay charity

    Scotland's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality charity, The Equality Network, said it wanted to say a "huge heartfelt thank you to Alex Salmond for significantly advancing LGBTI rights in Scotland".

    Policy coordinator Tom French said: "While more needs to be done, Alex Salmond should be incredibly proud of leading a government that has spoken out for LGBTI human rights, put in place some of the best hate crime legislation in Europe, and delivered one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world."

     
  41.  
    17:32: Analysis Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    In some ways it is a shock decision but in other ways it was not really a shock given the scale of the defeat.

    In a way he must reflect that although he has improved the SNP's standing hugely - they are now in government in Scotland and they got about 45% of the vote last night - he is a man who has a lot of people who just will simply never vote for Alex Salmond. There is a limit to his appeal.

    He may take the view that he does not have that final ingredient that will get a majority of people in Scotland voting for independence.

    He says he only made the decision this morning and that probably indicates that it was the scale of the defeat that made him decide to go.

     
  42.  
    17:31: 'Tip our hats' to Salmond

    Sir Richard Branson tells the BBC News Channel that the referendum was "a great day for Britain", adding: "We should tip our hats to Alex Salmond for changing Britain for the better."

     
  43.  
    17:30: Lamont on Salmond

    Johann Lamont said Alex Salmond "should be proud of his career and not allow the manner of its ending to dominate his thinking.

    "There is no question that Nicola Sturgeon and he were a formidable team."

     
  44.  
    17:29: Salmond an 'immense figure'

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont says: "Alex Salmond turned a minority party into a party of opposition, into a party of government, and was responsible for there being a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.

    "He has undoubtedly been an immense figure in Scottish political history.

    "I do not detract from his achievements when I say that his love of Scottish independence sometimes blinded him to its consequences."

     
  45.  
    17:28: 'Greatest Scottish politician of his generation'

    Former SNP leader Gordon Wilson said Alex Salmond fought a brilliant referendum campaign.

    He said: "It is not his fault that the Scottish people did not vote for independence on this occasion. The winning of 45% of the vote in the Scottish independence referendum is a superlative achievement.

    "It is a mark of Alex's integrity that he has taken personal responsibility.

    "He is undoubtedly the greatest Scottish politician of his generation."

     
  46.  
    17:27: The view from London
    Evening Standard

    The London Evening Standard - an evening paper - has splashed on David Cameron's pledge for "English votes for English laws" - this picture tweeted by the paper's political editor, Joe Murphy.

     
  47.  
    17:27: 'I wish him well'

    Mr Darling added: "He has rightly said that the referendum was a once in a lifetime event and that we all need to work to bring Scotland together.

    "He can look back with pride on being the longest serving first minister and to the huge contribution he has made to public life in Scotland.

    "I wish him well in the future."

     
  48.  
    17:26: Darling on Salmond

    Better Together campaign leader Alistair Darling said: "Alex Salmond is a formidable political figure. He transformed the SNP into a party of government and delivered their referendum on independence which they had craved so long.

    "Today he has accepted Scotland's verdict, recognising that it is for others in his party to take the SNP forward."

     
  49.  
    17:26: Salmond: No plans to withdraw

    Mr Salmond reiterates that he has no plans to withdraw or retire from political life, when asked about his future by BBC Newsnight's Kirsty Wark.

     
  50.  
    17:25: More Lamont

    Ms Lamont, who faced Mr Salmond on a weekly basis at first minister's questions, said: "I do not detract from his achievements when I say that his love of Scottish independence sometimes blinded him to its consequences.

    "He should be proud of his career and not allow the manner of its ending to dominate his thinking.

    "There is no question that Nicola Sturgeon and he were a formidable team."

     
  51.  
    17:24: Lamont on Salmond

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said: "Alex Salmond turned a minority party into a party of opposition into a party of government and was responsible for there being a referendum on Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.

    "He has undoubtedly been an immense figure in Scottish political history."

     
  52.  
    17:22: More on Salmond

    London editor of news and opinion website The Daily Beast, Nico Hines, tweets: Christ, everyone is in tears at Holyrood. Incredible scenes. It's like a funeral

     
  53.  
    17:21: Salmond reaction

    MP for Glasgow Central Anas Sarwar tweets: Haven't always agreed with Alex Salmond's politics but recognise his contribution & commitment to Scotland. Wish him well for the future

     
  54.  
    17:20: Business on Salmond

    Business leaders have paid tribute to Alex Salmond, following his resignation.

    The Federation of Small Businesses, which has 20,000 members, said he had made "a huge contribution" to Scottish public life and wished him well for the future.

     
  55.  
    17:20: Davidson on Salmond

    Ruth Davidson argued that Alex Salmond's "decision to step down will help our country come back together again".

    She added: "I am pleased that the first minister says he will continue to serve in Scottish politics.

    "Scotland will benefit from his experience and service as we move forward."

     
  56.  
    17:17: Ruth Davidson statement

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "Alex Salmond has been the dominant figure in Scottish politics for the last seven years.

    "No-one can dispute his political achievements, nor fail to acknowledge his political gifts.

    "He has done the right thing in resigning.

    "While the referendum campaign has been hugely invigorating, by its very nature it has divided too."

     
  57.  
    17:15: Salmond reaction

    Shona Robison, SNP MSP for Dundee, tweets: Really sad day, but watching the resignation of @AlexSalmond as FM, he has done so in a great statesmanlike manner

     
  58.  
    17:14: 'Joint ticket' Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon would be a clear frontrunner to take over as SNP leader and first minister after Mr Salmond steps down, but the question of who would succeed Ms Sturgeon as deputy is much less clear.

    Last time round, Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon stood for the SNP leadership on a joint ticket.

     
  59.  
    17:13: The next SNP leader?

    In a statement, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has just said she could think of "no greater privilege" than leading the SNP, adding that the decision to stand was "not for today".

    Back in April, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke to the BBC's Marianne Taylor about her life and career, and the responsibilities of power.

    Nicola Sturgeon
     
  60.  
    17:08: 'Finest first minister'

    "Alex's announcement today inevitably raises the question of whether I will be a candidate to succeed him as SNP leader," she added.

    "I can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the Party I joined when I was just 16. However, that decision is not for today.

    "My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family. I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest first minister Scotland has had."

     
  61.  
    17:07: 'Personal gratitude'

    Ms Sturgeon added: "The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years."

     
  62.  
    17:06: Sturgeon statement

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Alex Salmond's achievements as SNP leader and Scotland's first minister are second to none.

    "He led the SNP into government and has given our country a renewed self confidence. Through policies such as the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and the scrapping of tuition fees, he has made a real difference for hundreds of thousands of Scots. And yesterday he inspired 1.6 million of our fellow citizens to vote Yes to independence."

     
  63.  
    16:59: Who is Alex Salmond?
    Salmond

    Alex Salmond may not have achieved the ultimate prize of Scottish independence - and has now stood down as SNP leader and first minister - but no-one should doubt the scale of Alex Salmond's achievements, says BBC political report Brian Wheeler.

     
  64.  
    16:55: Salmond 'provides shocks'

    John Curtice, polling expert and professor of politics at Strathclyde University, says Mr Salmond "has form in providing us with shocks when it comes to the leadership of the SNP".

    "Some must remember the summer of 2000 when suddenly he announced he was standing down as leader of the SNP and was leaving the Scottish Parliament... then in the summer of 2004, he suddenly announced that in fact he was going to stand as leader again.

    "He spots opportunities and as a result of that he does provide us with shocks."

     
  65.  
    16:50: Watch Salmond speech
  66.  
    @joepike 16:44: Joe Pike of Border TV

    Joe Pike, political reporter for Border TV, tweets: Room is transfixed. Salmond's tone soft, his eyes watering. His advisers show no emotion. #indyref

     
  67.  
    @ClyesdAileen 16:42: Aileen Campbell MSP

    Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, tweets: Gutted about @AlexSalmond 's resignation - he took us to the brink of independence and gave us all the chance to decide.

     
  68.  
    16:41: Independence dead?

    When asked by the BBC's James Cook if his dream of independence is now dead, Mr Salmond says: "I think a referendum is a once in a generation process - that's my opinion."

    He goes on to say that he does not envisage another constitutional referendum in the "future we can see".

     
  69.  
    @GlasgowMSP 16:40: Bob Doris SNP

    SNP MSP or Glasgow Bob Doris tweets: It has been a privilege 2 serve under Alex Salmond. He has brought gr8 confidence 2 our nation &social progress 2 Scotland in face of UK cuts.

     
  70.  
    @glasgowcathcart 16:35: James Dornan MSP

    SNP member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Cathcart, James Dornan, tweets: Devastated to hear @AlexSalmond going to step down as SNP Leader. Without a doubt the finest politician of his generation. Thanks Boss.

     
  71.  
    16:34: Salmond resigns Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    .@AlexSalmond to remain First Minister until SNP elects new leader, scheduled for mid-November SNP conference, then vote of MSPs.

     
  72.  
    16:33: Salmond: Campaign 'bigger than me'

    Asked if he was adding to the upset for friends and party members on a day that was already difficult for them, he responded: "I have consistently argued... that this was not about an individual or a political party - or any political party - this was much bigger than that."

     
  73.  
    16:31: Salmond: 'People accept result'

    "I see no sign of the divided country that some people were forecasting - 99% of people know we have elections and referendums to have a result."

    He says it's been an "invigorating process".

     
  74.  
    Tweet @bbcscotlandnews 16:29: Get Involved

    The number of tweets about the Referendum dropped to under 40,000 between 3pm and 4pm. The figure is down 7% on the previous hour.

    Top tweet in the last hour is from Alastair Ross: "BBC is reporting Labour leader Ed Miliband will not sign up to the PM's plan to give more powers to the Scottish Parliament #indyref" It was retweeted 510 times.

    Comedian Russell Brand tweeted his latest video: "Were the cards stacked against independence? 'How Westminster Fear & Media Bias Shafted Scotland' is today's Trews." It is currently the most shared video.

    You can join the conversation via #indyref, tweet @BBCPolitics or go to the BBC News page on Facebook.

     
  75.  
    16:28: 'Meaningless' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Alex Salmond says when he asked David Cameron about the timetable for more powers, the prime minister said it was a meaningless process.

     
  76.  
    Text 80295 16:28: Alex Salmond's resignation- Your Views

    Lorna: I was heartbroken by the No vote and the acceptance by 55% of a pig in a Westminster poke. However, Alex Salmond's stepping down has left us leaderless and at the mercy of the spivs of the city.

    Andy in Darvel: Alex Salmond has put in a good shift, fair play. Is there grounds though for holding Scottish elections early now?

     
  77.  
    16:26: Salmond questions

    Alex Salmond is continuing to take questions from journalists at Bute House in Edinburgh.

     
  78.  
    16:22: Salmond: Key quotes

    "I am immensely proud of the campaign which Yes Scotland fought and of the 1.6 million voters who rallied to that cause by backing an independent Scotland.

    "I am also proud of the 85% turnout in the referendum and the remarkable response of all of the people of Scotland who participated in this great constitutional debate and the manner in which they conducted themselves.

    "We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster's feet to the fire on the 'vow' that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland. This places Scotland in a very strong position."

     
  79.  
    16:20: Salmond: Key quotes on future

    "Until then [November] I will continue to serve as first minister. After that I will continue to offer to serve as member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeenshire East.

    "It has been the privilege of my life to serve Scotland as first minister. But as I said often during the referendum campaign this is not about me or the SNP. It is much more important than that.

    "The position is this. We lost the referendum vote but can still carry the political initiative. More importantly Scotland can still emerge as the real winner."

     
  80.  
    16:18: Salmond: Key quotes on resignation

    "For me right now there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward politically.

    "I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership.

    "Therefore I have told the National Secretary of the SNP that I will not accept nomination to be a candidate for leader at the Annual Conference in Perth on 13-15 November.

    "After the membership ballot I will stand down as first minister to allow the new leader to be elected by due parliamentary process."

     
  81.  
    16:21: Salmond: I will not retire

    "I have no intention of retiring from Scottish politics - there are a large number of things you are able to do when you're not first minister or leader of a political party."

     
  82.  
    Salmond 'had to make judgement'

    When asked his reasons for standing down, Mr Salmond says: "I had to make a judgement as to whether I'm best placed to take that opportunity forward - and I think others are.

    "And the party I'm sure will make a wise choice and take party and country forward. The most important thing is not about First Minister."

     
  83.  
    Tweet @BBCScotlandnews 16:17: Join in the conversation

    @Soulstorm99 tweets: This dark day for Scotland just keeps getting darker. Thanks for everything, @AlexSalmond. #indyref

     
  84.  
    16:12: Salmond successor

    Mr Salmond says there there are a "number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader".

     
  85.  
    16:11: Salmond 'time over'

    "We lost the referendum vote but Scotland can still carry the political initiative. For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die."

    Alex Salmond
     
  86.  
    16:09: Breaking News

    Alex Salmond is to stand down as first minister.

     
  87.  
    16:08: Salmond speaks

    First Minister Alex Salmond, speaking to members of the media, said: "I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6m voters who rallied to that cause."

     
  88.  
    Tweet @BBCScotlandnews 16:02: Join the conversation

    @Dilicorne tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay @BBCWorld the fact #scottland would end-up outside of #eu must have played a role in the referendum @Number10gov

     
  89.  
    16:01: Highlights from the final day

    Watch highlights of the night Scotland decided to stay part of the union.

    BBC
     
  90.  
    16:01: The minute Scotland knew

    Watch #BBCtrending's take on the social media reaction from Scotland's No vote.

    Voter's reaction to No result
     
  91.  
    16:00: Salmond press conference

    First Minister Alex Salmond's first press conference since the result is due to start shortly.

     
  92.  
    15:55: Trident Protest Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland
    Pic

    'Yes' backers in good spirits outside parliament. A piper plays as they plan an anti-trident demo tomorrow

     
  93.  
    15:51: Miliband 'derailing' Devo plans Tim Reid Political correspondent, BBC News

    Bernard Jenkin [Conservative backbencher] accusing Ed Miliband of "derailing" PM's devo plans for England and "playing fast and loose" with the Union

     
  94.  
    Tweet @BBCScotlandnews 15:50: Get involved

    @lauraharmes tweets: I've basically been awake for 3 days. Things are getting a bit trippy #indyref

     
  95.  
    15:37: Holyrood debate Andrew Black Political reporter, BBC Scotland
    Scottish Parliament

    Crowds gather at the Scottish Parliament. Many proud independence supporters still wearing 'Yes' badges #indyref

     
  96.  
    15:35: Tears and relief

    Watch Yes and Better Together supporters giving their reaction to a No vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

    Voter reactions
     
  97.  
    15:30: The Big Debate

    One No supporter says he was very pleased when he woke up to the result but is "horrified" at the abuse he says he has been subjected to by Yes campaigners.

    "Throughout the whole campaign the nasty side of independence has come from the Yes campaign," he says, but Ms Leckie says "proportionately No has been nastier on social media".

    Moving to the more positive, an audience member says Scotland should be very proud that so many people were involved in the referendum campaign, and in politics for the first time. "The most important thing now is that we get these powers of devolution," adds the No voter.

    Another lauds the massive turnout - nearly 85% - and the passion she saw during the campaign.

    One member of the Big Debate audience gets very animated as she demands "detail, detail, detail please" on any new powers Scotland may receive.

     
  98.  
    15:29: Miliband: Debate needed Robin Brant Political Correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband signals that he will not sign up to the prime minister's plan to give more power to the Scottish Parliament at the same time as trying to agree new powers for English MPs.

    While accepting the need for reforms, the Labour leader says that he wants a process of debate to begin before the general election but - crucially - he calls for a constitutional convention to finalise reform to happen later, in the autumn of 2015.

    David Cameron had earlier said changes to address the so-called English question - to allow English MPs the same powers over England-only legislation that the devolved parliament and assemblies will have in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast - "must take place in tandem with, and at the same pace as, the settlement for Scotland".

     
  99.  
    15:27: What happens next?
    A Scottish Saltire flag and British Union flag fly together with the London Eye behind in London

    BBC Scotland political reporter Andrew Black says the focus is now on how the UK government delivers its promise of more powers for the Scottish Parliament.

    He looks more closely at what we can expect next here.

     
  100.  
    15:19: Analysis Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    So when is the next independence referendum? No, hang on. Stop whimpering like that. Bear with me. You may soon have withdrawal symptoms from the campaign, so why not plan for the next one?

    After all, 1.6 million people wanted Scotland to be independent - the nationalists among them irreconcilable to UK citizenship, some of them newly and passionately mobilised to the cause.

    Alex Salmond

    They may be heart-sore at losing. It will hurt all the more to have seen the opinion polls narrow to a dead heat, with momentum apparently going their way, only to see a decisive result turn against them on the night.

    But they're not going away. So what else would happen to their cause but a campaign for another referendum to give it another big heave?

    Read Douglas' full blog.

     

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