22nd May 2018
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Referendum night latest

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UPDATE 2.09AM Orkney has voted overwhelmingly no. Second to declare after Clackmannanshire, Orkney voted 10,004 no to 4,883 yes. That’s 67 per cent to 33 per cent from a turnout of 83.7 per cent.

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UPDATE 1.03AM Four first-time voters from Anderson High School and four from Brae High School had been invited to the count, and all agreed they were “excited and nervous”.

Brae pupil Alex Bendix, 17, from Brae, said the pupils were all “equally split, just like the country”. For him, fish is the most important issue. He said: “I worry whether Scotland can increase fish quotas without the backing of the UK.”

AHS pupil Brodie Lawson, 16, said the currency was her main concern. “I’d like more answers,” she said. Shaun Missenden, 16, from Brae, said: “Plan A is the pound and Plan B is the pound. It doesn’t make sense.”

Paul Sansom, 16, AHS, said the issue that worried him is “the rise of parties like Ukip”.

For Loris Macdonald, 17, from Brae, oil is the main issue. She said: “It’s very much the future for lots of people in Shetland and Scotland as a whole, it’s of great importance to us.”

Jodie Sandison, AHS, 17, said it was a “privilege” to have voted, and all the pupils agreed they wanted the vote to be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in future. Jack Murphy, 17, from Brae, said he hoped “this example lets us vote in other elections. That’s one reason we did so much research.”

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UPDATE 12.45AM Better Together supporter Irvine Tait said locally he was feeling “fairly confident” of a no vote in Shetland. But he added: “what’s important is the national picture and I think that’s very much on a knife-edge”.

“Scotland and the UK will change whatever happens. I’m hopeful we can win and we can get more powers to the Scottish parliament and I also hope that will kick off a democratisation of parliament outwith Scotland.”

Mr Tait said he still felt it was important to avoid the risks of separation, particularly as regards to the economy.

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UPDATE 12.24AM  Better Together campaigner Geordie Jacobson is watching for the Clackmannanshire result closely. Regarded as something of a touchstone as to how the overall vote might go and an early declaration, the constituency had an 84 per cent turnout.

Mr Jacobson said that voting was not necessarily down traditional party lines with some of the deprived Labour heartland vote who might be feeling disillusioned with Westminster voting yes, whilst SNP voting  coastal fishing communities who are essentially  disaffected Tories might be returning a no vote.

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UPDATE 12.07AM Local yes campaigner Danus Skene said he has “no idea what’s going to happen” but has hailed the level of engagement in the referendum and said “yes has made progress in Shetland” throughout the campaign.

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UPDATE: 11.53PM – the last ballot box from the North Isles has arrived in Lerwick, 40 minutes ahead of schedule. The count can now begin in earnest.

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UPDATE: 11.50PM Shetland MSP Tavish Scott says the turnout in Shetland could be in excess of 80 per cent and this is “fantastic for democracy”.

MSP Tavish Scott at the referendum count. Photo: Dave Donaldson

MSP Tavish Scott at the referendum count. Photo: Dave Donaldson

He predicted that whatever the outcome the Scottish political landscape would be dramatically changed. “There’s no status quo on the table,” he said.

“There’s going to be change whatever happens and that change is going to be considerable under a no vote.”

He questioned how much local campaigning had affected the outcome, and said it was important the campaigns had been making their case. But a “big part” of how the referendum is seen and voted upon has been down to television debates and “day to day” reporting.

Social media campaigning “tends to be by the more vocal campaign and that “undoubtedly has been Yes,” said Mr Scott but added “we will find out if that makes any difference”.

If the polls have got it hugely wrong, it called in question why money was being wasted on polling, and banning polling, two weeks prior to voting should be considered, said Mr Scott.

Gordon Brown had been ” a dynamic force” in the no campaign and was the reason why he thought no would win.

He described the former Prime Minister as  “a big political beast” who had come in to the debate and has been “driving at the heart” of the arguments of nationalism and promoting the benefits of staying in the UK.

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The referendum count is under way at the Clickimin Complex with the Shetland result expected to be declared at about 1.30am tomorrow.

The first ballot box arrived at about 10.30pm, following the closure of the polling centres at 10pm. The last box is expected to arrive from Unst at around 12.30am – it will be brought under police escort.

Supporters from the both the yes and no camps are gathered in the Clickimin bowls hall where there is a sense of excitement and anticipation.

Returning officer Jan Riise welcomes guests to the referendum count. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Returning officer Jan Riise welcomes guests to the referendum count. Photo: Dave Donaldson

At the start of the evening returning officer Jan Riise welcomed guests to the count and said it was a privilege to be involved in such an important occasion.

He said: “It’s been quite exciting today when the turn-out figures have been coming back.”

Locally and nationally the referendum poll is set to break all Scottish election records, with predictions that the turnout will be over 80 per cent.