Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom following vote

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People enter a polling station in Glasgow as Scotland goes to the polls to vote on the Scottish independence referendum.
Scotland votes 'no,' locals react

By Grace Lehrian
News Editor/Spectator

Scotland officially said “no” to separating itself from the United Kingdom on Sept. 19.

The vote came down to a 55 percent majority. 2.001 million voted “no” to independence and 1.617 million voted “yes” to independence.

Tim Thompson, professor of communication & media studies and director of the Edinboro Highland Games, was not surprised by the outcome of the vote.

“It was probably expected. It was really expected most of the way [leading up] to the vote when the poll came out that had ‘yes’ ahead of ‘no,’ and a lot of people were shocked by that. Then yes seemed to be running neck and neck right up until the election,” said Thompson.

“It’s really not a surprise. It was dramatic and it was exciting because of the momentum and the yes people. The independence people got going [and were] into it.”

There were many driving forces behind the push for independence in Scotland.

“One of the things that was motivating the vote was that a number of people in Scotland preserve that their resources, especially oil and money, are going down to London…And they are making decisions with Scotland’s money and a lot of it isn’t coming back, it’s not making its way back. So, that’s the big thing, the financial independence to control their own resources. And then they tend to be more to the left, more liberal than the rest of the UK, and so a lot of the decisions that are made down in London really don’t sit well with a lot of the Scots,” said Thompson.

But just because Scotland does not have its independence from the United Kingdom, it does not mean that Scotland does not have its own identity as a country, explained Thompson. He stressed the point that Scotland has its own heritage, much different than that of the United Kingdom, and even though they are still part of the union, they continue to hold that same “unique identity.”

“Scotland is a country, it is its own nation, it has its own identity… I think it has its own brand, its own identity…It still has a number of things that makes it independent from the UK, [such as] the school systems, the health system, and now they are going to devolve even more and offer them even more independence that was promised prior to the vote if they stayed with the union,” said Thompson.

This was not the first time that Scotland has attempted to gain their independence from the UK.

“They did try back in the late ’70s, they did have a vote but it was a very different kind of vote because at that time, if you didn’t vote, then that counted as a ‘no’ vote,” said Thompson. And as it was this time, the vote for Scottish independence did not prevail.

The change of how they counted the votes was not the only one surrounding this attempt at independence, but it was also the first time that there was a lot of media coverage behind the campaigns. Thompson predicts that Scotland will try again to gain independence from the UK, saying that it is a “generational thing.”

For those that wanted independence from the UK, there is still a bit of a reward for staying with the United Kingdom. “The Prime Minister of the UK said that a no vote would still mean more independence,” said Thompson.

In the aftermath of the decision, Alex Salmond, the first prime minister of Scotland, stepped down from his position. According to BBC News, Salmond was quoted saying “My time is over, but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.”

Grace Lehrian is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached by eupnews.spectator@gmail.com