Deeside and Donside pupils say ok to UK

BETTER TOGETHER: Aberdeenshire pupils voted a resounding no in the mock Referendum
BETTER TOGETHER: Aberdeenshire pupils voted a resounding no in the mock Referendum

Almost 15,000 pupils from Aberdeenshire schools have had their say in a mock referendum held to measure youth feeling on independence.

The pupils cast their votes, for or against, which were counted and declared on September 18 - exactly one year before the national referendum on independence.

Aberdeenshire-wide, an overwhelming “no” was returned to the question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Nanette Milne, Scottish Conservative MSP for the North East said: “It is heart-warming to see that Aberdeenshire school pupils are leading the country in rejecting separation.”

The major electoral participation project involved more than 14,500 pupils at 17 secondary and four special schools.

Some 8718 pupils voted no, with 2847 voting yes.

Only one school, with an electorate of 17 pupils and 13 votes cast, voted yes to independence. Two other schools had tied results.

From an electorate of 14,584, 11,653 took the chance to vote, an incredible turnout of 79.9% - 88 ballot papers were rejected. Here’s how Deeside and Donside’s young people chose to vote:

Westhill Academy had an electorate of 867, 411 votes cast, 48 yes, 362 no.

Banchory Academy’s electorate was 813, 725 votes cast, 130 Yes, 594 No .

Alford Academy, with an electorate of 610, votes cast 553, 121 Yes, 428 No.

Aboyne Academy, with an electorate of 662, votes cast 485, 115 Yes, 369 No.

The Aberdeenshire Council and Grampian Electoral Registration Office supervised the event.

The faux vote was held the same way as any election or referendum, using specially printed ballot papers and electoral registers, but run by pupils.

Campaign groups “Better Together” and “Yes Scotland” both provided materials and information for the project.

The results were returned in front of pupils representing their schools, teachers and local politicians at Meldrum Academy.

Aberdeenshire Council depute returning officer, Allan Bell, said: “Today was not about the result, it was about the educational opportunity for our young people in Aberdeenshire, providing them with the confidence and knowledge to seek out their own information on issues important to them and to vote in any way they wish.”

SNP Councillor Graeme Clark said: “I’m extremely disappointed that young people don’t have confidence in their countries future, yet but there is a year to go and that’s a long time for the Yes campaign to continue winning the debate by presenting facts and giving Scotland the chance to decide it’s own future.”