Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.
With 31 out of the country’s 32 council areas having declared after Thursday’s vote, the ‘No’ side has an unassailable lead of 1,914,187 votes to 1,539,920.
The winning total needed was 1,852,828. Nationally, the margin of victory is about 55% to 45%.
The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign. Talks will now begin on devolving more powers to Scotland.
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, has said he accepts his defeat.
He said: “It is important to say that our referendum was an agreed and consented process and Scotland has by a majority decided not at this stage to become an independent country.
“I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland.”
Mr Salmond called on the main unionist parties to make good on their promises of greater powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
his margin of victory for the Better Together campaign is greater than that anticipated by the final opinion polls.
Glasgow, Scotland’s largest council area and the third largest city in Britain, voted in favour of independence by 194,779 to 169,347, with Dundee, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire also voting “Yes”.
But Edinburgh, the nation’s capital, rejected independence by 194,638 to 123,927, while Aberdeen City voted “No” by a margin of more than 20,000 votes. There have also been big wins for the pro-UK campaign in many other areas.
Mr Salmond’s deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, said in an earlier concession statement that there was a “real sense of disappointment that we have fallen narrowly short of securing a ‘Yes’ vote”.
She told the BBC the projected result was “a deep personal and political disappointment” but said “the country has been changed forever”.
Ms Sturgeon said she would work with “anyone in any way” to secure more powers for Scotland.Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’ve spoken to Alistair Darling (head of the pro-UK Better Together campaign) – and congratulated him on a well-fought campaign.”
Mr Cameron is expected to respond to Scotland’s decision in a live televised address following the final result.