REFERENDUM: Borders votes No to independence

The Scottish Borders has voted No to independence after more than 83,000 Borderers took to the polls on Thursday.

The No camp received 66.5 per cent of the vote, with Yes taking 33.4 per cent.

Counting of Yes/No votes has started at Springwood Park

Counting of Yes/No votes has started at Springwood Park

The turnout was 87.4 per cent. A total of 67 votes were rejected for various reasons.

The declaration came at shortly before 5am on Friday morning at the count centre at Springwood Hall, Kelso.

Reacting to the result, Conservative MSP John Lamont said: “I’m delighted that the Borders has voted No in such overwhelming numbers, and I’m relieved as well.”

Mr Lamont said that independence would have been “like pushing the self-destruct button on the UK”, adding: “I’m very pleased the whole of the south of Scotland has voted No.”

The initial verification of postal votes began at 10pm

The initial verification of postal votes began at 10pm

Paul Wheelhouse MSP from the Yes campaign said he was disappointed with the result, but added that he was “extremely proud” of those who campaigned for a Yes vote.

Mr Wheelhouse added that the Yes campaign did well in places like Selkirk, Hawick and Eyemouth, but struggled in other areas of the Borders.

The number of young people voting was “hugely heartening”, Mr Wheelhouse said, adding that this, and the general level of engagement with the referendum would be a “good thing for democracy regardless of the result.”

Almost 200 staff verified and counted the ballot papers which started arriving shortly after 10pm.

Counting officer Tracey Logan said: “I was really pleased with how the count went in Kelso.

“On such an historic occasion our staff ensured an efficient and effective count was carried out and I’d like to thank them all for their commitment and effort.”