The “No” side won, with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to call another independence referendum since Britain’s decision to leave the EU, saying the House of Commons “would be making a very big mistake” if they thought she was “in any way bluffing”.
But despite polls which suggest Scots would vote to stay in the UK after the yes camp lost by a decisive 10 point margin in 2014, pro-independence insiders have claimed momentum is on their side as Theresa May pushes to sever ties with the EU bloc.
Charles Grant, a Scottish Government adviser said: ”I believe the Scottish Government is thinking very, very seriously about going for an independence referendum next year.
Earlier this month a poll indicated 49 per cent of Scots were behind splitting from the United Kingdom – a growth of 4 per cent on the month before when the Prime Minister was yet to put her cards on the table when it came to EU talks.
But while the British Government has said there is no need to push for another referendum, Holyrood may still drive Scotland to the ballot box yet again.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “We have made it very clear that an independence referendum is very much an option on the table if it becomes clear that it is the best or only way to protect Scotland’s vital national interests.”
The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was agreed after Westminster granted temporary powers to the Scottish Parliament to hold a vote.
The SNP are two votes short of a majority in the Holyrood Parliament, although the Greens have promised to back a bid for a second independence referendum should Ms. Sturgeon’s party propose a bill.
It is likely a similar arrangement would have to be reached between Edinburgh and London for a second referendum to be held – although Ms. Sturgeon could call for the Scottish Parliament to authorize a non-binding referendum without consulting the UK Government.
It’s very difficult to predict what might happen on a second vote, but we can say that had Scotland voted to leave in 2014, Brexit would have won by a far bigger margin.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock