Scotland Independence Result All a Fix?


The referendum results for an independent Scotland are now in, and many on the Yes side are complaining that it is all a fix. Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with “proof” that more people voted yes than was really counted. Some of the problems arguably come from poor decisions on placement of ballot papers to show the turnout.

It has not been a happy campaign for many. For the last few weeks, people have complained about being bullied from either side. Andy Murray announced that he was for an independent Scotland just because of the negativity on the no side. However, people have been attacked in various parts of the country for not wanting the union to split. Alistair Darling announced on Sunday that it was one of the darkest campaigns he had ever witnessed.

Before claiming that it was a fix, it is important for the Yes supporters to understand just how close the vote was. While there was a 400,000 difference in votes, that equates to just 10 percent different. The vote ended up being 45 percent for yes and 55 percent for no. It was not as close as opinion polls showed, but this included those who were previously undecided.

It was not a clear victory for the Better Together campaign, and the problems faced would have affected both sides. There were three fire alarms set off in Dundee, the first area to declare its Yes support. That would have affected counting for both sides.

So, was the Scotland independence referendum result all a fix? Not likely considering the politicians have accepted the result. There were no calls for recounting any of the votes, which would have happened had someone believed something was not quite right. First Minister Alex Salmond would not have publicly accepted the vote if he believed something was not right. He would have waited for recounts. Instead, he accepted it and said that it was time for negotiations.

It has not been a complete win for those against independence. While it shows that 55 percent want to remain part of the union, there is a large majority who likely want more powers. Those extra powers are expected now that Scotland has voted no, but the question is how many powers Westminster is willing to give up.

Some talk about more powers over controlling tax. It is worth remembering that the Scottish government already has the power to change the rate of income tax by 3p either way. The government has had that power since 1997, and has never used it. What is the chance that the government would choose to use it if it was a larger amount?

As for the claims that there were Yes votes placed on the No table at Dundee, that was simply a bad decision by the counters. It was to show the turnout, and not to show how many people had voted Yes and No. The counting team took to Twitter to explain the mistake and asked voters not to worry. The votes would be counted fairly, and it turned out that the people of Dundee voted yes in the end anyway. If the Scotland independence results were all a fix, it would be ridiculous to show such a thing on the TV after all.

Opinion by Alexandria Ingham


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Photo credit: CC-2.5 Calum Hutchinson