Firstly, let’s get the numbers right.
1 84.7% of Scots voted, and 44.7% of them voted for separation from the rest of the UK.
That means 37.9% of Scots voted to leave. [source: The guardian]
Whilst, clearly, there will have been some Scots who were prevented at the last minute, perhaps by illness, from voting yes, it seem plausible to me that anyone interested in Scotland being independent would have made the effort. And, probably, the same is true for no voters. Therefore, it seems likely that most of the 15.3% of the electorate who didn’t vote weren’t interested in seeing Scotland becoming independent, if only because they simply didn’t care one way or another.
So, not much more than a third of the population voted yes.
2 Scottish people not resident in Scotland could not vote, though people, newly arrived into Scotland, and therefore resident there on polling day, could.
3 The estimated population of the United Kingdom in the 2011 census was 63.182 million. Based on the 2011 census, the populations of the constituent countries are:
- England 53.012 m (84% of the UK)
- Scotland 5.295 m (8.4%)
- Wales 3.063 m (4.8%)
- Northern Ireland 1,811 m (2.9%).
And the conclusion is…
The referendum was grossly unfair. Now that a “no” vote has been returned, this is more important than had the other side won. A number of “seat of the pants” “promises” have been made to Scotland which will have to be funded by the whole of the UK.
Yet, a decision which would affect every person in the United Kingdom, whatever the result, was consigned wholly to less than 10% of the UK’s population, all of whom who were obliged to listen to politicians during the interminable campaign tell them that it was proper for them not to have the vote, to be disenfranchised.
… and fewer than 40% voted for independence
> blog: Referendum: clearing up the mess—2: the “Barnett formula”
to be continued