Aberdeen and Shire vote No

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Scotland has voted No in the referendum on independence as results from across the country were announced throughout the early hours of this morning.

The results of Aberdeen city were declared at 4.30am. The Granite City saw a high turnout of 81.7% with 84,094 voting No and 59,390 voting Yes. Ballot counting for the city started at 10pm at Robert Gordon University.

Aberdeenshire also announced a No result at 5.55am from the count at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC). The Shire saw 108,606 people (60.3%) vote No to Scottish independence, whilst 71,337 voters (39.6%) said Yes.

The turnout for Aberdeenshire was 87.2%, with 180,045 voters returning a ballot paper from a total registered electorate in Aberdeenshire of 206,487, the sixth highest of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

A total of 102 votes were rejected for a number of reasons, including: 19 voted in favour of both answers; 4 included writing or a mark by which the voter could be identified and 79 were unmarked or void for uncertainty.

The counting of postal votes got underway at the AECC at around 10pm last night, with Aberdeenshire Counting Officer Colin Mackenzie annoucncing that some ballot boxes had been delayed as a result of the fog.

Around 1000 people made up the Aberdeenshire Referendum Team, with 700 staffing polling stations across the region and a further 300 involved in the count.

Colin Mackenzie said: “This has been an historic night for Scotland and it is fantastic to see record numbers of voters in Aberdeenshire taking part in the democratic referendum process.

“My thanks go out to more than a thousand people who came forward to be part of the Aberdeenshire Referendum Team. It is their dedication, enthusiasm and hard work that has made this event, with more votes cast than ever before, such a success.”

Commenting on this morning’s outcome, local SNP councillor Geva Blackett said: “Well over 1 million people have delivered a clear mandate for change, over 71,000 of them in Aberdeenshire. It is incumbent on every Yes voter to ensure that momentum translates into the changes promised by the No campaign leaders, to stay engaged in scottish politics and halt the advance of unworkable policies that flood over the border.

“We must ensure an end to the election of politicians who promise All at the hustings and promptly disappear into the depths of the elitist Westminster Club only to be seen at the next election hustings, by replacing them with those who have their feet on the ground and their hearts in the constituencies they are elected to serve.”

Local Lib Dem councillor Peter Argyle was pleased with the news that Scotland had voted to remain in the Union.

He said: “The outcome of the referendum was clear, unequivocal and has been accepted by both sides as the true democratic voice of the people of Scotland. I am very pleased with the result. It means we can all now work together to deliver a more federal Scotland without the distraction of creating an entirely new state or a new currency, without having to negotiate almost every aspect of government and without all the upheaval that independence would have caused. It was a good result for Aberdeenshire and for Scotland.”

Local Conservative councillor Katrina Farquhar said: “Its been quite a night! Scotland has had the best turn out ever for an election which shows how important the question was for everyone. The Scottish population have voted and our country shall remain part of the United Kingdom. I’m a proud Scot and delighted to be United. The next step is equally important and we must work together and ensure make Scotland a leading nation.”

This morning First Minister Alex Salmond said that he accepted the result and called for national unity.

Prime Minister David Cameron promised to ensure pledges to give Scotland more powers would be honoured.