Scots decide whether to declare independence

Sep 18, 2014 11:55 AM by News Staff

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - By day's end, voters in Scotland will have decided the future of their country's union with England -- which has lasted for 307 years.

There are rival "Yes" and "No" billboards and campaigners outside many polling places, where voters were lined up even before they opened this morning.

Pro-independence forces got a last-minute boost from tennis star Andy Murray, who signaled his support in a tweet to his 2.7 million followers.

A final poll from Ipsos MORI found 47 percent supporting independence, and 53 percent wanting to stay with England. Until recently, polls suggested that as many as one in five voters was undecided, but that number has shrunk dramatically.

An independence supporter voting today in Edinburgh said she's spent 50 years fighting for this vote. Isabelle Smith is 83 and spent three decades living in the United States. Win or lose, she says, "Scotland will never, ever be the same again."

And many opponents of independence agreed that the campaign had reinvigorated Scottish democracy.

A Yes vote would trigger 18 months of negotiations between Scottish leaders and London-based politicians on how the two countries would separate their institutions ahead of Scotland's planned Independence Day of March 24, 2016. It's still not clear just what currency Scotland would use, or what its status would be in the EU and NATO.


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