Watching the results come in

The voting is over, and now it's time to watch the results come in.

There will be separate counts in each of Scotland's 32 local authorities, and the anticipated timetable (here) for each count is below. Three of the largest authorities—Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen—will be among the last to come in, and together account for a about a quarter of the overall result. So those of you that aren't planning to stay up all night could set your alarms for 5am to catch the big declarations that are likely to swing it one way or the other.

Fairly obviously, there are some areas where the Yes vote will be relatively strong, and others where it will be weaker. So I've asked myself about the best yardstick to measure the individual declarations against. It's not very helpful to use the 1997 referendum results because there were two main factors driving the Yes vote: the first was those who wanted more autonomy for Scotland; but the second was those who might not have been sure about a Scottish Parliament, but who voted Yes out of loyalty to Labour. It had been one of New Labour's keystone pledges, Tony Blair had only just been swept into power on a wave of optimism, and people trusted him. The highest Yes/Yes vote was in the (then) Labour fortress of Glasgow, at 75%, with West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, and East Ayrshire also above 70%. But Labour voters will be much more divided this time round.

Unsurprisingly the polls show a strong correlation between voting SNP and voting Yes to independence. So the best yardstick I can think of is to compare the Yes vote against the percentage of first preference vote for the SNP in the 2012 local elections. However this doesn't work well for Orkney, Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar, because these councils are dominated by independent councillors, so I've taken a guess based on the SNP vote in the 2011 election, shown in brackets. It probably won't make much difference if I've got these wrong, because they account for very little of Scotland's overall population.

My basic assumption is that the "spread" of votes will probably be no more than a third. So to achieve a 50/50 overall result, the Yes vote would be up towards 67% in places where the SNP polled well in 2012 such East Ayrshire and Clackmannanshire; but would be down towards 33% in areas with little SNP support such as Dumfries and Galloway. On this basis I've worked out a "Yes target" for each council area. If the Yes vote consistently comes in higher than these targets, especially in the more populous council areas, Yes are on course for an overall victory.

02:00 – Na h-Eileanan Siar (0.5%) ... SNP 23.8% (65.3%) ... Yes target 67%
02:00 – North Lanarkshire (6.3%) ... SNP 34.6% ... Yes target 52%
02:00 – Inverclyde (1.4%) ... SNP 25.4% ... Yes target 40%
02:00 – Orkney (0.4%) ... SNP 3.0% (25.1%) ... Yes target 40%
02:00 – East Lothian (1.9%) ... SNP 30.4% ... Yes target 47%
02:00 – Perth and Kinross (2.8%) ... SNP 40.3% ... Yes target 59%
02:00 – Moray (1.8%) ... SNP 39.5% ... Yes target 58%

02:30 – Clackmannanshire (0.9%) ... SNP 46.1% ... Yes target 66%

03:00 – West Dunbartonshire (1.7%) ... SNP 30.3% ... Yes target 46%
03:00 – Dumfries and Galloway (2.8%) ... SNP 19.5% ... Yes target 33%
03:00 – Angus (2.2%) ... SNP 44.4% ... Yes target 64%
03:00 – South Lanarkshire (6.1%) ... SNP 36.4% ... Yes target 52%
03:00 – East Renfrewshire (1.7%) ... SNP 19.8% ... Yes target 33%
03:00 – Dundee (2.7%) ... SNP 43.4% ... Yes target 63%
03:00 – Falkirk (2.9%) ... SNP 40.5% ... Yes target 59%
03:00 – Renfrewshire (3.1%) ... SNP 35.3% ... Yes target 53%
03:00 – East Ayrshire (2.3%) ... SNP 46.9% ... Yes target 67%
03:00 – Aberdeenshire (4.9%) ... SNP 41.2% ... Yes target 60%
03:00 – Stirling (1.7%) ... SNP 37.2% ... Yes target 55%

03:30 – Midlothian (1.6%) ... SNP 39.5% ... Yes target 58%
03:30 – Argyll and Bute (1.7%) ... SNP 29.7% ... Yes target 46%
03:30 – West Lothian (3.2%) ... SNP 40.4% ... Yes target 59%
03:30 – South Ayrshire (2.2%) ... SNP 29.3% ... Yes target 45%
03:30 – Shetland (0.4%) ... SNP 1.9% (12.1%) ... Yes target 33%
03:30 – East Dunbartonshire (2.0%) ... SNP 25.4% ... Yes target 40%

04:00 – Fife (7.1%) ... SNP 31.1% ... Yes target 47%
04:00 – Highland (4.4%) ... SNP 25.8% ... Yes target 41%

04:30 – North Ayrshire (2.7%) ... SNP 35.6% ... Yes target 53%

05:00 – Scottish Borders (2.2%) ... SNP 20.8% ... Yes target 35%
05:00 – Edinburgh (8.7%) ... SNP 26.9% ... Yes target 46%
05:00 – Glasgow (11.5%) ... SNP 32.6% ... Yes target 49%

06:00 – Aberdeen (4.2%) ... SNP 31.3% ... Yes target 48%

This graphic from the Telegraph is quite useful, too.


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Gwyn Rees said...

Helpful analysis, Thanks.

Two high turnouts already:

Sky are reporting an estimated 90% turnout in Dundee.

In East Lothian, they are reporting that at least 94% of postal votes have been returned - the authority's previous record was 65%.

Elsewhere, the Dumfries count reports a 95.5% return rate on postal votes. And there may be some handed into polling stations.

Anonymous said...

Haha, all you poor souls watching the telly and waiting. The result is already out on social media, a very healthy NO majority!

I think this kills stone dead so many if not all issues regarding independence for Wales.

Now it's time for WAG to show us it can run education and it can run the NHS in Wales. And run it just as well as it is run in England and Scotland. And if not, then the Welsh Assembly should be disbanded forthwith.

karlomarko said...

No exit polls. According to the Guardian no major media org (BBC) wanted to pay out for them as they saw it as a certain No vote.

Building a Wicker Man for Nick Robinson.

Anonymous said...

YouGov president Peter Kellner has been telling Sky News about their final poll of 3,000 people: it shows a 54-46 lead for the No campaign. He said he was now "99% certain" of a "No" vote.

Anonymous said...

The turnout in Aberdeenshire is thought to be more than 80%.

Anonymous said...

One Yes Campaigner said in one part of Perth he counted turnout at 82% - it's usually 35%. He had tears in his eyes.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant isn't it, some folk are talking about the turnout whilst others are discussing the result.

Just so that there is no misunderstanding, the higher the turnout the greater the NO vote. All those hoping for a YES vote because of high turnout have been proven wrong. Better still, they have completely misread this referendum from start to finish. One wonders why so many of them even bothered to visit Scotland.

Now, come on, let's all open another bottle of champers?

MH said...

Thanks for the comments. I still think a high turnout will favour Yes.

For those who don't know, the BBC are running two parallel programmes. The British version is on BBC1 (and BBC News) but there is a Scottish version on BBC Parliament.

What sort of mentality leads to two different versions from the BBC? I'm trying to keep an eye on both to decide which is better..

Anonymous said...

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson sounds a note of caution about polls, arguing that opinion pollsters might be the "losers" in the referendum campaign.

"They haven't had a touch or a feel for Scotland," she tells the BBC. "They've tried to weight it to party politics and it just doesn't work."

Gwyn Rees said...

From BBC: these are some OFFICIAL turnouts:

Orkney ... 84%
Clackmannanshire ... 88.6%

MH said...

Just seen a flash that the turnout in Dundee is 78.8%.

This is the first one to come in at less than 80%, which is perhaps significant as Dundee is a strong Yes area. Slightly concerning.

But Yes in Glasgow are predicting a significant (54%) victory, which is fantastic for Yes.

This is going to be a rollercoaster night.


MH said...

Clackmannanshire: 46.2% Yes, 53.8% No.

This is very disappointing. Yes needed to win this handsomely (66%)

Anonymous said...

Andy Marr on BBC just confirmed my point about high turnout benefitting the NO vote.

Seems so many have read things so wrongly.

Anonymous said...

From BBC:

Dundee count back on

Counting staff now re-entering building after the count suspended due to a fire alarm. Building evacuated for 10 minutes.

So that's why the turnout was 10% lower. MI5 burning Yes votes!

MH said...

Orkney: 32.8% Yes, 53.8% No.

Again, Yes vote lower than I thought would be needed (40%)

Anonymous said...

Hooray, Shetland actually beat your target.

MH said...

Yes, it only needed 33%.

Shetland: 36.3% Yes, 63.7% No

Bear in mind that if, as predicted by others, Glasgow's Yes vote is 54% then everything changes because of Glasgow's size.

Anonymous said...

Err its the Labour Welsh Government that needs to run education & NHS better in Wales, if not then we can vote them out.

Anonymous said...

Gap closing. Its not over yet. After 7 results:

Yes now 49.1%,
No now 50.9%

Anonymous said...

It's over now. No independent Scotland...the last Yougov poll was almost spot on so their weighting system was right. Most polls seem to have over estimated "Yes" by about 3%.

Anonymous said...

Now let's move on ........

United we stand. Who cares about anything else.

karlomarx said...

BBCBreaking -
Final result of Scotland's Independence referendum #indyref :

NO 2,001,926 (55%)
YES 1,617,989 (45%)
Turnout 84.59%

Anonymous said...

It's been a long time since anyone was grateful for 'the majority'. Now it seems 'the majority' are going to asked what else they want.

This may cause some problems in Wales and particularly in North Wales.

karlomarx said...

I suspect rather more in England. Cameron now has to sell significant constitutional change to his party and "his" country, a gift to UKIP. Labour has seen a third of its core vote walk away in Scotland. Saved from more by Brown of the Dead? What does that say about Miliband and the English/Welsh heartlands? Be careful what you wish for.

karlomarx said...

Is Wales observing a silence?!

Anonymous said...

Wales is worried Scotland and England are going to force it out of the Union unless it bucks its ideas up. No-one wants to keep carrying a dead sheep around day after day. Shape up or ship out appears to be the message to Mr Carwyn Jones and his cohorts.

karlomarx said...

The Welsh devolution project does now seem like collecting windfall apples after the storm. No great mass movement but when Scotland shakes the tree we shout "Us too" and "Over here". The danger with that approach is that it results in a very hollowed out settlement without real popular and civic roots. But then Welsh political and public life is now so moribund and the lair of the party apparatchik. How and where would a movement like Radical Independence emerge? Does anyone even care enough anymore.

karlomarx said...

Has MH fled the country?! C'mon we all make vast errors with our predictions, its what the future's for. Remember, "a process not an event" - Ron of the Rovers.

Anonymous said...

Nah, he's not fled the country. He's just upset that he managed to get it so wrong. As did so many others of his ilk and political persuasion.

It matters not. The UK remains intact, greatly strengthened and in for a period of invigorating renewal.

Nationalists need to look elsewhere for their fun. Try Belgium, France or Spain.

Lyndon said...

Well there you go, no big surprises.

The silver lining of course is that with Glasgow and the Clydeside Labour heartlands voting for independence, the party is now completely screwed in Scotland.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

karlomarx said...

Amen. From now on the Labour and Unionist Party. That picture of Miliband clutching the Sun was no mistake.

Anonymous said...

'That picture of Miliband clutching the Sun was no mistake.' Have no fear, like Icarus, he will soon crash and burn. As for MH, he has a habit of making predictions based more on his own desired outcome than the actual evidence. But then again, who doesn't?

Anonymous said...

I miss the contributions there used to be on this blog. Dafydd Williams

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