24th February 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Shetland says no to independence

The two piles show how the vote went in Shetland. Photo: Dave Donaldson

The two piles show how the vote went in Shetland. Photo: Dave Donaldson

Shetland has voted strongly in favour of maintaining the union.

With a record turnout of 84.4 per cent and with a total of 15,635 votes cast the breakdown was: No –9951 (63.7 per cent);   Yes – 5669 (36.3). There were 15 rejected ballot papers.

Yes campaigner Brian Nugent, said he was hoping for more than 40 per cent for a yes vote. “Anything over that would be a good result,” he said.

Mr Nugent thanked the 5,669 yes voters “who went for hope not fear”.

“Better Together have made promises about extra powers across Scotland and in particular the promises made to Shetland.”

It was time “to put up”, he said.

He thanked the local Better Together campaigners for a “good-natured contest”.

“In Shetland we have voted to remain in food bank Britain, in austerity Britain, with a Tory government ably supported by its Liberal accomplices,” said Mr Nugent.

“See you in a few years when the people will demand we do this again.”


  1. Brian Smith

    Many congratulations to the voters of Dundee and Glasgow. They resisted the threats and blandishments of Tories, right-wing press, bankers and every sort of reactionary.

    It’s a pity that midder wit disperses the further north and south you travel!

    • Karl Peterson

      How dare you call into question the intelligence of people who have voted in a way that you don’t agree with. Over 1.6 Million people voted in a way they thought was best for them. The other 2 million did the same.

    • Johan Adamson

      Yes, everything has been thrown at YES, even the threat of the certainty of windmills, the rise of nationalism, the big threat that was the SNP (even though we will be more nationalist now under Farage) and so many promises have been made. But the NO voters are happy that we dont have to go to all the bother of setting up a new country or dealing with our poverty and other problems or getting rid of Trident.

    • Dave Cooper

      Sorry Brian. Like it or not Democracy has spoken.

    • Ali Inkster

      Ah democracy is such a wonderful thing Brian except when the people don’t do as you tell them.

    • joe johnson

      Grow up Brian. Everyone has the right to their political views.

      • Brian Smith

        Except me!

    • Wayne Conroy

      Maybe the two Brians can join up and start their new campaign… Bitter Together.

  2. Robert Wishart

    So Brian Nugent “will be back”, and Brian Smith thinks we lack “midder wit”. Could they not shut up for a moment and let us enjoy the lovely image of all those nationalists blubbing into their gruel this morning.

    • Johan Adamson

      Is that the nationalists who will now get more power from Westminster for us all? And the Shetland Movement?

    • Johan Adamson

      Let them eat gruel, it ll be better than nothing

    • Peter Long

      Or this morning enjoy the lovely image of Alex writing his ‘I’m off then’ speech on the reverse of his ‘I’m honoured to accept the Presidency of Scotland’ speech.

      • Johan Adamson

        You’ll need to find someone else to vilify now he’s gone

    • Bill Adams

      Actually Robert, you are the one who will be blubbing into your gruel when the realisation dawns that the
      No victory is a Pyrrhic victory. Not only is the Genie of mass grassroots participation in politics well and truly
      out of the bottle in Scotland and will not be stuffed back in again, but a veritable Pandora’s Box of democratic aspirations has been flung open in the rest of the UK – from the North of England to Cornwall.

      • John Tulloch

        I agree, Bill, it’s a very good thing to have so many Scots becoming interested in politics, especially, now that the “will of the Scottish people” has been expressed.

        I presume the disappointed Yes voters will now accept the verdict of the Scottish electorate and commit to working together to create a better United Kingdom?

      • Gordon Harmer

        At what cost and to whom is this No victory?

        You are a poor loser and a poor example of someone who claims an affiliation with democracy, Bill I think you should just accept this democratic vote and go back to your life long waiting.

  3. Wayne Conroy

    Such a shame to see such bitterness on the STV news this morning. I guess the “good-natured contest” was short lived!

    I for one am just glad common sense prevailed.

  4. donald macpherson

    to the no voters
    i voted yes to get the government that scotland votes for ..
    i would rather live for a day as a lion ..than live for a 1000 years as a sheep.
    enjoy your 1000 years you reap what you sow

  5. joe johnson

    I’m so happy! Scotland remains part of the U.K. I’m a proud Scotsman and believe this is a great day for Scotland and for democracy. Now it’s time to move on and please let’s show respect to each other weather we voted yes or no. This is a democracy and everyone has the right to their political views. I’m already seeing some nasty comments on the shetland times facebook page. Come on let’s move on. God bless Scotland and the Scottish people

  6. Jonathan Wills

    Scotshire’s unfinished business

    Don’t dump those Yes badges and bunting just yet. They could come in handy in a couple of years’ time, when the English nationalists hold their referendum on “should the UK remain in the European Union?”
    If UKIP and its fellow travellers win that poll of polls and try to drag Scotshire out of Europe against our will, then we really will face the prospect of the UK breaking up.
    In the meantime, I hope the wonderful energy and ingenuity of the young voters who took part in both the Yes and the No campaigns can now be harnessed to force the triumphant unionist parties to deliver on their last-minute promises of “more powers” for the Scotshire Parliament.
    In my view the best way to achieve that will be to send a large contingent of SNP members to Westminster at the UK General Election next May. If the SNP held the balance of power there it would concentrate minds wonderfully for, alas, I do not think we can trust the Liblabortory MPs to keep their panic-stricken pledges.

    • Robert Wilson

      Could not agree more!

    • Robert Sim

      It’s coming round quicker than that, Jonathan, what with the meltdown within the first day of the triumvirate’s promises.

      • Ouaine Bain

        I agree Robert, I’m not even going to take my badge off…..

  7. Clive Munro

    In last Sunday’s Guardian, award-winning political journalist Andrew Rawnsley offered, in advance, a slightly different take on the referendum result. In a piece entitled “Whatever the result of the Scottish referendum, Alex Salmond will be the winner” he said: “If Yes loses this Thursday, Mr. Salmond still wins. The nationalist movement is more potent than ever before, while the UK-wide parties will have to deliver on the promises to devolve far more powers to Scotland that they have been panicked into pledging to try to save the union.
    “The status quo is no longer on the ballot paper”, says one senior Labour figure. Interestingly and ironically, it is the Tories who are now proposing the most radical version of devolution. Whatever is ultimately agreed, Scotland is going to get a lot more powers of self-government. Which many think was the goal Mr. Salmond started out with.” Food (possibly gruel) for thought!

  8. David Spence

    It is a demonstration of democracy working……….although the people of Scotland voted No, it was not by any stretch of the imagination a resounding vote to remain as part of the UK. Although Shetland did vote 2-1 to remain in the UK, but that was not surprising.

    I suspect in the few years to come, as the UK quits Europe, the Tories privatise everything done by the Local Authorities, the cost of living becomes higher and higher and our UK Government becomes more radical, extreme and militant (the movie V for Vendetta illustrates this to a T) then and only then (when it is too late) the Scottish people will look back in shame they did not take the opportunity to better themselves as a country, and where those people who voted No to independence, when they look around at the destruction of their country being totally controlled by people from another country and whose agenda is to better themselves rather than the people of Scotland, will live to regret their decision of 18 September 2014.

    As for greater autonomy and devolved powers to Scotland and the Scottish Parliament, we will see……but as Scotland is the poodle and the master is England, I doubt very little will change, and the master will always be in control and dominance regardless how long the chain of control becomes.

  9. James Howitt

    The UK is not quitting Europe.

  10. John Tulloch

    How about one of you Yes campaigners, or anyone else, for that matter, explaining to me and the other readers why it’s better for Shetland to be in the EU yet, apparently, worse for Faroe, Iceland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (they have all chosen not to join)?

    • Robert Sim

      I can’t understand why that would be necessary, John, given that there’s zero chance of Shetland leaving the EU – unless of course the forthcoming in/out Westminster referendum on the issue takes the whole UK out.

      • John Tulloch

        Two days ago, there was an excellent chance of Shetland leaving the EU.

        A BBC journalist announced on the television, after the referendum polls had closed, that he had been told “categorically”, by the incoming EU President Mr Juncker that an independent Scotland “would have to re-apply and it would likely take several years to get in”

        Ergo, neither Shetland nor Scotland itself would remain in the EU, had Scotland voted Yes to independence.

        Now, perhaps, we can return to my question “Why is Shetland better off in the EU while Faroe, Iceland, The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are better off outside it?

      • Brian Smith

        John, is it not high time you flew up to Shetland to take charge of the Shetland independence negotiations? We are feeling the lack of your hand on the tiller during these exciting times.

      • Gordon Harmer

        I just love the way the Robert refers to the in out EU referendum and totally forget to mention it will only be after renegotiating the terms of our membership and only if the Tories get voted in again.

        Others assert we will have a Tory, UKIP coalition therefore we will leave the EU, I would have thought that they would have learnt the lesson of asserting rather than using facts by now.

        I think we should accept Cameron has woken up and smelt the coffee as 45% of the Scots who voted, want independence and that has to be respected.

      • Robert Sim

        I guess you are right to remind us of the hurdles that stand in the way of the in/out referendum, Gordon. Of course, all that is in a sense of academic interest only to Scottish voters, now that we have voted to remain in the UK where we have little or no control over the makeup of the ruling government. In fact, with Labour likely to suffer here, I think the odds are even more on a Conservative-led government after the general election, don’t you? And it is clear from the last 48 hours that the attention of David Cameron (if he remains leader) is already turning to the question of how to keep his English MPs happy. Scotland won’t get a look in.

      • John Tulloch

        Thanks Brian,

        Alas, I have difficulty, best expressed with a song:

        “I can’t get away, to liberate you, today…
        My wife won’t let me!”

      • John Tulloch


        Have you been studying the Mony Python “Argument” sketch, you seem to be developing some of the techniques (“Oh, no it isn’t!”) employed by the John Cleese character in it?

        The Liberals are in the present ruling coalition because of Scottish voters.

        You insisting, in the face of this, that Scots have no influence on the “makeup of the Westminster government” does not and will never, make it so.

      • Gordon Harmer

        Yes Robert, it does look like a Tory government could get back in next year, for two reasons, first Milaband is electioneering instead of listening to the 45% of Scots who voted yes and in Scotland Labour supporters are are jumping ship and joining the SNP. This could mean that more powers will be devolved to Holyrood as the Tories were always going to give more than the rest of the Westminster lot.

        Like I said Cameron has woken up and smelt the coffee, after a long snooze he has finally got it, having said that he and we need to be aware of people like John Redwood and Boris who will try and scupper the proceedings.

        If as you say Robert, we may not get a look in then the next thing to happen will be the amount of people moving to the SNP will mean a proper land slide in 2016 and another referendum long before the next generation Salmond hinted at.

        There have been mutterings about a federal Britain which I am not going to comment on too deeply because it is a form of politics I know very little about but I will say the little I do know of its workings looks attractive to me and may well be a compromise.

    • Robert Sim

      Maybe someone will answer your question, John, as a matter of academic interest. But it is purely a matter of academic interest. Shetland is part of Scotland which is part of the UK and at present the UK is part of the EU. There are no plans to alter that (no credible plans, that is); although we do have to factor in the possibility of the UK as a whole leaving the EU if the Tories do follow through with their in/out referendum.

      • John Tulloch


        Da Shetlan’ fishermen wir aa’ greetin’ der een oot aboot da agreement da Faroe fishermen got wi’ o’ da EU.

        Quhit wye is hit,, whin Shetlan’ is i’ da EU, at dey cudna gyit da sam’ dell as da Faroe boys got, whin da Faroe boys is no I’ da EU?

        You mebby tink at dat’s “academic”, bit I duyna!

  11. David Spence

    I suspect John one of the main reasons why the island communities of the Faroes, Iceland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands have said ‘ No ‘ to joining the EU, is to make sure, I suspect, that any agreed waters off their lands is theirs and is not the right of other countries within the EU, if it were the case they were to join EU. I also suspect, economically, it would not be to their advantage in being part of the EU (one of the main reasons why the Scandinavian countries have not joined the EU, I think) because the amount of legislation, bureaucracy and further expense this would incur. It may also be the case of, economically speaking, taking one step forward but two steps back, despite what other advantages in terms of trade there may be………so to speak……….but with the populations of these islands being so small, any economic advantage would be cancelled out with the extra cost of what has been previously mentioned……..I think. lol

    • Harry Dent

      Thanks Brian, I was about to comment that anyone celebrating the defeat of nationalsim was being a little premature, given the upsurge in violent British nationalism.


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