Scottish Independence: Clock ticking as border residents give votes and views

In the final hours of the Scottish Independence vote, we head to the borders to talk to those on both sides of the divide

Andrew Milligan/PA Wire Chris McAleese at Bannockburn Polling Station, as voters go to the polls in the Scottish Referendum.
Chris McAleese at Bannockburn Polling Station, as voters go to the polls in the Scottish Referendum.

As the mist threatens to ground a helicopter due to bring in ballot boxes from the Western Isles, the English border town of Berwick is itself swirled in a damp cloud of fog.

The weather hasn’t stopped Northumberland folk giving their views however, and for the most part it’s a resounding NO on the Scottish independence referendum.

They don’t get a vote, of course, but feelings are running high on how this will affect life in Berwick, which has changed hands between English and Scottish rule 13 times.

Elaine Housby said she will be watching all night to wait and see what the outcome will be.

“I’m thinking about selling my house at the moment and the estate agents are cockahoop. People are wanting an address with an English post code for tax reasons,” she said.

“I think that Britain would benefit from a degree of devolution that stops short of them closing the border. Even people campaigning for yes on the other side of the border are concerned about a closed border.”

She added: “I do get the feeling that Westminster has been scared by all of this though. The other issue in Northumberland is the regional assembly is back on the agenda. If that referendum from 2004 was re-run now the result would be very different.”

With the clock ticking down until polling stations close at 10pm, people are still popping in to cast their vote at stations over the border in Coldstream and Paxton.

The result of the Scottish Borders Council’s administrative area will be announced at 5am.

Yasmin Hall, 18, who voted no in Coldstream, said the consequences of independence felt greater than the benefits.

She said: “In places like Kelso and Coldstream it’s been very obvious with posters everywhere. I’d say there’s a big percentage of people who will vote no in the Scottish Borders.

“For a lot of no voters it’s been quite hard. They haven’t wanted to say that they’ll vote no because they are worried about how they will come off to yes voters.

“There’s been such a big build up to it. Especially in the past few weeks. I’m also worried about what universities in Scotland would get financially as a lot of their money comes from England.”

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