Scotland Rejects Independence
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Scotland's landmark independence referendum resulted in most voters choosing to keep the 307-year union with England.
With all 32 regional electoral centres reporting on Friday, supporters of the United Kingdom won about 55.3 percent of the vote that has worried allies and investors. About 44.7 percent voted for independence.
Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, conceded defeat, saying "we know it is a majority for the No campaign" and called on Scots to accept the results of the vote. He said the vote "has been triumph for the democratic process".
Those against independence received a massive boost by strongly taking Edinburgh, the capital, and Aberdeen, the nation's oil centre.
The average turnout was 86 percent - a record high for any Scottish election, Al Jazeera reported.
Salmond had argued that Scots could go it alone because of its extensive oil reserves and high levels of ingenuity and education.
However, many saw it as a "head versus hearts" campaign, with cautious older Scots concluding that independence would be too risky financially, while younger ones were enamoured with the idea of building their own country.
In return for staying in the union, Scotland's voters have been promised significant - though somewhat unspecified - new powers by the British government, which had feared losing Scotland forever.
Nick Clegg, the UK's deputy prime minister, on Friday said he wanted the coalition government to deliver new powers to Scotland, saying Scots' rejection of independence was a signal for wider constitutional reform across all of Britain.
"I'm absolutely delighted the Scottish people have taken this momentous decision to safeguard our family of nations for future generations," Clegg said in a statement.
"We must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland. This referendum marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also wider constitutional reform across the Union."
The result saves David Cameron, UK prime minister, from a historic defeat and also helps opposition chief Ed Miliband by keeping his many Labour Party legislators in Scotland in place.