The key constituency of Glasgow voted Yes but not by a particularly large margin
A total of 32 local authority areas are to be tallied up, and although the key constituency of Glasgow voted for independence, it was not by a particularly large margin, in a distant blow to the Yes camp.
A final outcome is announced early Friday morning local time, but U.K. media is already predicting a victory for the No campaign.
Pubs across the country were staying open throughout the night with customers both anxious and excited to see whether the 307-year-strong union would be consigned to the history books.
Greg Waddell, a doctor working in Glasgow, tells TIME that he voted Yes “because disempowerment breeds dependency; because the current extent of social inequality in Scotland demeans every one of its people.”
Others among the 4.2 million registered voters were less optimistic about prospects for going it alone. Nick Allan, an oil executive from Aberdeen, said the Yes campaign promises were enticing, but he voted No as it would be impossible to pay for them — especially not with North Sea oil.
“The problem comes down to money,” he says. “How on God’s earth are you going to be able to afford all of these improvements? The country will be bankrupt in a matter of years.”
Many questions regarding what a truly independent Scotland would look like remain unanswered, including over currency, health care, defense and E.U. membership. Spain’s Prime Minister is one of several European leaders who would not support Scotland’s application to the bloc, as the Iberian nation is unwilling to fan separatist campaigns of its own.
These fears are echoed by Professor Michael Desch, an expert on foreign policy at the Notre Dame University.
“If Scotland votes to secede, the world as we know it will change irrevocably,” he says. “Ironically, a peaceful Scottish secession from the United Kingdom could open Pandora’s Box by raising unrealistic expectations about the ease of parting long-established national ways.”
Turnout for the referendum is reportedly an unprecedented 85%.