The Scottish National Party, whose central aim is independence, won the 2011 Scottish Parliament election by a landslide, giving them a mandate to stage the vote. The date for the vote for the referendum was set to September 18th 2014.

This vote could end Scotland’s 307 year Union with England. The Union was initially between Scotland and England (Wales was included with England), Ireland joined later then the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) split from the Union.

When the campaigns first began most people in Great Britain thought it was a far fetched prospect. But as the polls started coming in it became obvious the YES campaign was gaining momentum.

On September 18th 2014 people living in Scotland were asked a very simple question – should Scotland leave the Union, YES or NO.

The Country was split, the news was filled with propaganda.

Who Could Vote

For the first time 16 and 17 year olds could vote. Anyone residing in Scotland could vote.

The Campaigns:


Yes Campaign Logo

“Yes Scotland is the main non-partisan campaign promoting a vote for independence in the 2014 referendum.

The reason for being independent is a simple one. It is fundamentally better for all of us if decisions about Scotland’s future are taken by the people who care most about Scotland – that is by the people of Scotland. It is the people who live here who will do the best job of making our nation a fairer, greener and more successful place.

Today, for example, we have a government in Westminster that most people in Scotland did not vote for, and yet that government is able to take decisions that impact heavily on families and communities in Scotland. As an independent country we will always get the government Scotland chooses – a government that will take forward policies that voters believe will best meet the needs of people in Scotland.”

Supporters of the YES Campaign include:

Andy Murray, Vivienne Westwood, Ken Loach, Jack Vettriano, Russel Brand, Bjork, Billy Bragg, Morrissey, Brian Cox, Robbie Coltrane, Sir Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Rhys Ifans, Noam Chomsky, Val McDermind, Irvine Welsh, and Hardeep Singh Kohli


Better Together Logo

“Better Together is the cross party campaign that promotes the view held by millions of Scots: that Scotland is a better and stronger country as part of the United Kingdom.

As different parties we have come together on this issue because with millions of our fellow Scots we believe our best future is to be part of the United Kingdom.

Our case is not that Scotland could not survive as a separate country – it is that being part of the United Kingdom is the best possible choice for our future. We can have the best of both worlds – a distinctive Scottish Parliament without losing the strength and security of the United Kingdom.

In a referendum everyone’s vote will count and everyone’s voice needs to be heard. We will speak up, very loudly and very clearly, for the millions who believe we are better together.”

Supporters of the NO Campaign include:

Eddie Izard, J.K. Rowling, Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Ray Winstone, Ewan McGregor, Patrick Stewart, Steve Coogan, Olivia Coleman, John Barrowman , Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Paul Nurse, Simon Cowell, Michelle Mone, Simon Cowell, Michelle Mone and Lord Alan Sugar

The Vow at the last minute

Support for Independence

It was announced that the YES vote was ahead. They were gaining momentum whereas the NO vote was had been sharply declining. Then came an event that was to change everything …. The VOW

Westminter had realised there was a very good chance now that YES would win so the leaders of the three main parties came together and signed a promise to Scotland if they chose to stay in the Union. This was printed on the front page of one of the Daily Papers. This Vow promised “extensive new powers”. This was dev-max.

The Vow on Daily Record front page

The Results:

People voted by a small majority to reject independence and to support Scotland continuing as part of the United Kingdom.

45% YES

55% No

The Aftermath:

  • Scottish Labour were decimated. In most of Scotland they were seen as standing shoulder to shoulder with the ‘Tories’ (Conservatives) and gained the label ‘The Red Tories’. They had betrayed their supporters.
  • Alex Salmond stepped down as the leader of the SNP and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon became the First Minister of Scotland
  • The Herald started ‘The National’. (The Herald was the only paper that came out in favour of Independence)
  • It is widely agreed that ‘The VOW ‘ has not been fulfilled.

Another Referendum? In 2016 it will be the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Currently this looks like SNP again who will win and they are very likely to have another referendum in their mandate. Cameron and his successors have all said they would block another referendum, however after successive parliamentary victories for the SNP, in both Westminster and Holyrood, another independence referendum looks to be held in 2023.