Published: 23/09/2014 08:55 - Updated: 23/09/2014 09:12

'Yes' camp claim a local victory

Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond was met by about 300 supporters at a meeting with SNP members in New Deer on Sunday.
Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond was met by about 300 supporters at a meeting with SNP members in New Deer on Sunday.

THE ‘Yes’ campaign has claimed victory in the Banff and Buchan area in last Thursday’s historic Scottish independence referendum, which saw Scotland reject separation from the UK and First Minister Alex Salmond announce his November resignation.

Mr Salmond was met by hundreds of supporters on Sunday at a meeting with SNP members in New Deer.

While there are no official figures for the referendum result broken down by constituency, information gathered by the ‘Yes’ campaign’s counting agents at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre claim that is was a clear ‘Yes’ vote in Banff and Buchan.

The Aberdeenshire region as a whole turned down independence by a massive majority with 108,606 votes cast for ‘No’ (60.3%), and 71,337 votes (39.6%) cast for ‘Yes’.

Nationally, the ‘No’ side triumphed with 2,001,926 votes (55.3%), while 1,617,989 (44.7%) votes were cast for ‘Yes’.

Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford said: "We should all be proud of the record turnout at the referendum, and the renewed participation in democratic decision making. 

"All the indications are that Banff and Buchan delivered a majority for ‘Yes’, against the trend in other parts of Aberdeenshire, and I am immensely proud of the people who chose hope over fear.  

"Exit polling suggests that across Scotland the ‘Yes’ campaign won a clear majority among younger and middle aged voters, which bodes well for the future.

"In the closing stages of the campaign, the UK party leaders made extravagant promises to the people of Scotland of more powers for our parliament.

"Those promises are already starting to unravel, but those who made them must be held to account.

"The lowest common denominator of Devo Nano will not be enough to meet the expectations of those who voted ‘No’ in the hope of a substantial transfer of powers. 

"I want to thank everybody who voted ‘Yes’ last Thursday for a more democratic and fairer society, and I want to pay tribute to those who worked so hard to persuade their friends, their family and their fellow citizens."

She also paid tribute to the outgoing First Minister.

She added: "Alex has served the people of Scotland with passion, vision and immense dedication. His role in shaping the Scottish political landscape over the past 25 years has been immeasurable, and in the last seven years he has transformed the role of First Minister.

"Alex continues to be an outstanding MSP for East Aberdeenshire. Anybody who knows him, knows his extraordinary willingness to make time for his constituents, his determination to improve the lives of our people, and his desire to build a better future for Scotland.

"But Alex’s departure as First Minister leaves Scotland with unfinished business in terms of the new powers promised to our parliament, but the seeds of hope and expectation he has helped to plant in the hearts and minds of the people of our country will flourish in the years to come, and will make Scotland a better place for all of us."

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