18/09/2014 Newsnight


The stories behind the day's headlines. Kirsty Wark is in Edinburgh for the Scottish referendum and Katie Razzall reports from London.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/09/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



The Referendum is over, the polling stations are closed and the


ballot-boxes are locked. Now will it be independence or the union for


Scotland? Parliament of a country standing on


Parliament of a country standing on than 300 years?


ALEX SALMOND: I'm honoured to announce that we will hold


Scotland's Referendum, an historic day when the people will decide


Scotland's future. Delegates, it's game on for


Scotland. I assume the flag is saw tire, I


assume our capital will still be Edinburgh Burkes you still can't


tell us what currency we'll have. We love our land, we love our people,


we want freedom. If you don't like this government,


it won't last forever, but if you leave the United Kingdom, that will


be forever. This is everyone's flag, everyone's


country, everyone's culture. I think it's an extremely important day for


Scotland, probably the most important day of my life.


Good evening from Edinburgh. There has been no day like it in the


history of Scotland. This referendum has electrified the country and by


first light we should know where stands Scotland. Outside the


Scottish Parliament where we are with the Palace of Holyrood House


behind us, we're here almost two years after the referendum on


whether Scotland should become an independent country was announced


jointly by the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond and the Prime


Minister, David Cameron. But it was in the last six weeks that the


campaign really caught fire and today from the island of aran to


Aberdeen, from Orkney to Dumfries, there were queues at polling


stations saltires, Union flags, Yes banners and badges saying no.


Tonight we'll be speaking to politicians, writers and business


people. But first our chief correspondent Cubans Cubans has been


sampling the atmosphere all day. She joins us from the count at Ingleston


show ground on the edge of Edinburgh. What have you been


hearing? Tense doesn't really begin to cover it. If you've ever imagined


what an election count for a whole country looks like, well this is it.


In this huge hall, and the counters here have an enormous job ahead of


them. I've been hearing something really not entirely unexpected but


rather extraordinary. I'm told that by about 7.00 this evening turn-out


had already hit about 75%. So these counters who are just now starting


to get down to work have a long night and a very, very big job ahead


of them. Apparently in some parts of the country turn-out was hitting


94%. The big question, of course, is which box did they put a cross in.


The polls have been extremely tight and some people though are willing


to make predictions. One of them is with us here tonight. Peter Kellner


from the polling company YouGov, you are courageous enough to put a


number on it this evening. Yes, our prediction tonight is that No has


won this referendum by 54% with Yes getting 46%. We've polled 1800


people today on-line after they voted, people we spoke to earlier


this week, so we can look at what happened to real people and there's


ban clear shift today, a small but clear shift from Yes to No. We also


think that the No voters in the end were slightly more determined to


turn-out than the Yes voters. Last night, Laura, I said there was an


80% chance of a No victory, now at the risk of looking utterly


ridiculous in eight hour's time, I would say it's a 99% chance of a No


victory. We appreciate you taking the risk of looking wrong by the


morning, but the polls in this particular event, can it be trusted


in the same way as others? Can they, with such huge turn-out and an


unprecedented question being asked? The unprecedented question does


cause difficulty because we can't find out what happened last time


because there isn't a last time. The turn-out helps us, as a pollster I'm


more nervous about predicting the results of low turn-out elections


like European elections because you're never quite sure who will


turn out at all. With a high turn-out election you're pretty sure


that anybody who says they're going to say yes or no will turn out. But


today we think the No voters, at the margin, that little bit more


determined to vote than the Yes voters. Thank you very much. Once


again, that prediction from YouGov tonight is 54%, 46 with the unionist


and No campaign in the lead. That gap is bigger that the polls have


said in the recent days. Speaking to people today, casting their ballots,


making sometimes those very last-minute decisions, it's been


striking how difficult some people have found it to make their minds


up, even at this late stage. The stakes really, forgive the cliche,


for a lot of people could not feel any higher. Out and about in the


streets of Scotland there was a tension you could almost taste.


They have chosen, but are yet to know. Which path their lives, their


country will take. Tonight they wait. He waits to know if he'll be


the first leader of a different country, a Scotland that breaks


away. Or a place that stays together, even if divided.


More voters came than ever before. But this flowering of democracy can


have an ugly face. You spend money or war but can't defend the


pensioners. So you turn your back on the world. Not the rest of the


world. You will mate. We've been a caring and sharing society. See


that, that's your referendum for me. How are you going to vote? I'm


voting yes. Why? Because inwant independence. Westminster have


robbed me of my vote. What do you think will happen? It could go


either way. I think Yes will get there. What will it mean to you if


it is a Yes? Torture. This is the start of something big, I think,


maybe for people to really get out there and make their voices heard.


Still undecided but the polling station is open. Still undecided.


Why haven't you? I don't know about all about what's happening. What are


you going to do? I don't know. I'll have a good think today. For some it


couldn't matter more, Paul worries in an independent Scotland he would


lose his job in Glasgow's ship yards. For me personally, yeah,


exactly, it's concerning what might mean for me, I might have move away,


go down south to work. It's really concerning, it might have a


significant impact on my own personal life. So you might move if


it's Yes? It might be the case that I have to move to get alternative


employment elsewhere. This is tense, it is a difficult, for a very simple


reason. People here have just never had to make a decision this big


before. But tonight he waits to know if his arguments for the union have


beaten back a clamour for change. Political organisation for


independence has stretched into new pockets of the country. So will


disillusion SEEP back in if their hopes are not met? Apprehensive, but


excited. Hoping for an independent result. Blame is already being cast.


Here workers race to paint over a polling station dobbed with


threatening graffiti. I'm saying I was accused of encouraging the


graffiti on this hall which is a load of tripe. Predictions have


though nearly always put the unionists


though nearly always put the Edinburgh, the Yes campaign have


worked their own intricate numbers. What they claim, the biggest ever


operation in Scotland to get the vote out. If those efforts don't


work though, activist Fran Gilhooley will be nothing less than broken


hearted? I will be utterly, utterly gutted. It's everything we do. It's


everything we are. You say it's everything to you. Right now,


technically we are a sovereign state because now we have the decision


now, right now. Are we going to keep it? Or are we going to hand it back?


Because now we've actually got it, for this day. And this evening,


excitement, yes, anxiety too. After more than 800 days of argument, this


country knows good and bad things can come to those who wait.


We'll be hearing from Laura later in the programme. But I'm joined by the


Scottish businessman Jim McColl, Catherine MacLeod who used to advise


Alastair Darling and the journalist John Harris. First of all, Jim


McColl, you really backed the Yes campaign, you sent out more than


half a million letters, that poll was only one poll, but it would be


presumably incredibly disappointing for you? Yes, it would be. I think


it's early in the evening and it's very brave to make a prediction like


that. When you look at what Laura was saying about turn-out in some


areas of 94%, how has it felt to you in the country? Real excitement and


expectation and hope. It's a kind of carnival atmosphere. People are


excited about it. Do you think it has galvanised people to think about


politics the way they haven't done before? Absolutely, you hear the


numbers on the turn-out. It's galvanised the population. I tell


you who did galvanise the population, Katlehong RIN, that was


the Yes campaign -- Catherine, that was the Yes campaign, you have to


take your hat off to them, they absolutely came from behind and made


the weather. I don't know if they made the weather, they certainly


came from way behind although I think it was expected that the polls


would always tighten. It was visible. I agree with Jim, it was an


exhilarating and exciting campaign. I was in Glasgow yesterday and there


were kids on the school talking about it on the street. My nephew in


Inverness, there was excitement between him and his pals to vote


today. That suggests there was a great deal of excitement and the


accusation levelled at the Better Together Campaign run by your


ex-boss was that it was consistently negative and that really played


badly during the campaign? Well, consistently negative. I think in


Scotland at the moment asking awkward questions, I think Alistair


ended the campaign asking the same questions he asked at the beginning


and what he would say is that he still didn't get an answer. If it is


negative to say what is our currency, are we going to be a


member of the European Union or NATO or what is going to happen? Perhaps


that's then it was negative. But perhaps it might be how do you make


no a positive? If Alistair had got sensible answers he might have


changed questions. And Alistair's old boss Gordon Brown had to ride to


the rescue at the end. How did that feel. We're hearing suggestions that


Gordon Brown was put up to lead the Better Together campaign but David


Cameron vetoed that? I have absolutely no idea. You're closer to


these people than me. I've never heard that. I always intended Gordon


to enter the campaign, his style is different from the other. I don't


think he did ride to the rescue, the pair played the roles they were


expect today play. I'll come to you John Harris, but we're going to


speak to the chair of the Yes campaign, Denis Canavan. First of


all, you probably heard on the basis of that one YouGov poll, Peter


Kellner saying that actually it looks like 54 versus 46 that it will


be a No victory. Can I have your reaction to that early poll, nothing


definite about it, of course? That one poll does not tally with the


reports that we're getting back from our campaign workers. We have fought


a very, very successful grass-roots community-based campaign with


thousands of trained campaign workers stretching all the way from


the northern isles to the Borders of Scotland. I think at this stage I


would rather take the feedback from them, albeit anecdotal rather than


just one particular opinion poll. We'll see once the ballot-boxes


opened and the votes are counted. I am still optimistic about a good


result. But if that vote turns out to be true, and in fact in any way


Better Together has got over the line, what is Alex Salmond going to


say to the people of Scotland tomorrow? Well, that will be up to


Alex Salmond obviously. I'm not a spokesperson for Alex Salmond. I


have always said that as chair of the advisory board of the Yes


Scotland campaign we're a broad, inclusive campaign consisting of


representatives of various parties. If you're asking me what I would say


in that event, I would say whatever the result I think the people of


Scotland ought to work together to build a better Scotland, a more


prosperous Scotland and a fairer Scotland. Thank you very much.


Coming back to you, John Harris. Who are the victors in all this, are


they people rather than Westminster? Yes, in a sense that people have


either become acquainted for the first time, or reacquainted with


thinking about politics and the tremendously profound way, whether


Yes or No. I'm sort of an instinctively a greater fan of the


Yes campaign. In the last weeks, you're saying, down the street, I


would speak to waiters, bus drivers, there's a natural conversation about


it, not forced. It's extraordinary. It's turned round that politics


becomes part of everybody's discourse. Yes, when it slips out of


the way that Westminster politics has tended to do, which is all


couched into meaningless phrases about hard working families and a


future fair for all and when it becomes about the fundamentals.


These are the things we're told in England will alienate people,


talking about good society and stuff like that. But what you find is that


that's what gets people talking. Except that it may be that the


appeal to people's pockets and the scare factor of what might happen to


business might have played well. I know you were critical of that but


actually it matters to people. People were told by business, by


Standard Life by RBS that actually there was going to be a scare, that


businesses would fold, they would take their headquarters out of


Scotland. What do you make of that? I think there was a lot of


scaremongering going on, around the pound to start with, where Cameron


clearly identified three conditions needed, and what we got from the


other side was we're not going to negotiate. That's scaremongering.


But at the end of the day, if you have got a big business community


which puts its force behind Better Together, then they're the ones that


are going to be, push the point across. It was a sample of big


businesses. You have to remember that in the UK and in Scotland in


particular most businesses are Sme,s small and immediate sized


enterprises. We saw a few leaders of some of the big businesses


strongarmed by Downing Street to go out after the Yes campaign showed a


lead last weekend. Catherine MacLeod, that whole idea of pulling


business in and making - do you think it actually would have made


any difference indeed whether tomorrow morning we get an


independence vote or not to business in Scotland? They said it did. It's


to the for me to say that it did or it didn't. I think it was back to


the, they probably were strongarmed out. It was better that they were


strongarmed out to say what they had to say than saying nothing. But it's


actually a facet of Westminster politics that people hate. If people


like ASDA and Marks and Spencers and John Lewis say prices will go up and


RBS. After being told by David Cameron. Whether after seeing David


Cameron or not. It explains quite a shift in the polls towards the end.


It explains - I think the Yes vote was always going to harden quickly


and when people saw the risk they were prepared to say no. It's not


the greatest shame of the No campaign. Business would inevitably


say those things, the greatest shame to me was that is it struck me that


progressive politics in Scotland in the form of the Labour Party, A,


seems to be organisationally broken and seems to have lost the ability


to occupy the praise optimist. 30% of VOEFRTS voters endered the idea


of saying yesterday. -- entertained the idea of saying yes. When David


Cameron vetoed Alex Salmond's plans to put the option of Devo Max on the


ballot-paper. He promised there would be new powers for Scotland but


they would only be revealed in the event of a No vote today. But as the


opinion polls tightened, the No campaign panicked and that resolve


flew out of the window. On Monday Cameron, Clegg and Darling promised


Scotland lots of presence. Extra revenue raising powers, keeping the


Barnett form a and more freedom to spend on the NHS but that went down


badly just about everywhere else in the UK. So as our Political Editor,


Allegra Stratton reports, whether we wake up to an independent Scotland


tomorrow or not, the reality is that a huge political storm is about to


blow up. It's 6.00 on Friday 19th September.


This is Today with Justin Webb and Jim - the headline this morning,


Scotland has voted for independence, bringing to an end a 300-year-old


political union. Alex Salmond declared a new dawn had broken over


a free and fair Scotland... A whirlwind is tearing through


Westminster. The articles of union were signed three centuries ago here


on the site of the Palace of Whitehall, but now, at dawn, the


last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom rings Alex Salmond to


acknowledge they're deFURNG. -- defunct. David Cameron makes a


statement and calls an emergency Cabinet while liaising with the Bank


of England to steady the markets. Parliament is recalled on Saturday,


the first time since the Falklands, this time it's more serious. Many


people in the Conservative Party and many people on the back benches


think this would be a tragedy and consequently those people will


believe as I do that -- the Prime Minister needs to consider his


situation considerably. David Cameron will face calls for a motion


of No confidence that could trigger an early election. He might embrace


this and go to the British people on a platform of who powers he would


separate Scotland. But there are people in his own party who think he


might have to resign itself. And a caretaker Prime Minister could be


within a matter of weeks much then there are others and this faction


even includes his fiercest critics who think David Cameron should stick


around and sort out a mess of his own making. Undoubtedly David


Cameron will have a lot of pressure against him. The man who lost


Scotland will be the jibe used. But it's very difficult to think of an


immediate alternative. We're into such unforeseen circumstances. Such


unstable; the Tory MPs are very angry both what will have led to a


possible Yes and also what's been said over the last TEB days. It's a


very, very -- ten days, it's a very, very unstable situation. Scottish


secretary Alistair Carmichael said he would resign government to join


Alex Salmond's 18-month negotiating team. Ministers like Danny Alexander


would be under pressure to force suit. There would be immediate


demands to limit voting rights of Scottish MPs, bad for Labour and the


Lib Dems ahead of the election. At the Cabinet meeting last week


Newsnight understands that the Chancellor said to the assembled


Cabinet ministers any contingency planning going on in their


departments should be stopped immediately, no E-mails, no nothing.


Of course, conversations might be going on off line, but nonetheless,


it's fair to say that the machinery of government does not feel


particularly ready for Scottish independence. Many in Westminster


talk about the ramifications of Scotland going it alone, taking some


20 to 30 years to be fully understood.


It's 6.00 on Friday 19th September, good morning, this is Today with


Justin Webb. The headline this morning: Scotland has voted to


remain part of the United Kingdom. In his concession speech, Alex


Salmond challenged Westminster to deliver on its promise of home rule


for Scotland. The bleary eyed of Downing Street exhale, no


territorial carvup of the UK will happen on their watch. Alex Salmond


greets the dawn with talk of more referendums, but at 7am David


Cameron makes a statement. He's got problems nonetheless. I believe


Parliament needs to be recalled as a matter of urgency, I think it must


be recalled on Monday. In order that Parliament meets and discusses these


issues before the conference and at least sends out a very strong signal


that it now believes that the English voice needs to be heard.


Conservative politicians are furious that it is Gordon Brown, the man


they ousted from Downing Street four years ago who is now writing the


powers that will be handed over from Westminster to Holyrood. In the next


few weeks the three parties have to come to some agreement about what


powers they will actually hand over to Scotland. Gordon Brown's


timetable sees proposals put forward by November and at the end of


January there will be concrete measures. Some Cabinet ministers are


already saying it's not possible to see how they can meet that


timetable. To stem Tory fury there's


speculation David Cameron will, on Friday, announce measures to protect


English MPs. Labour will fiercely resist anything that makes Scottish


MPs second-class. But even Ed Miliband's own former aid believes


change is needed -- aide. First, you have to have a Constitutional


Convention in England. Secondly we are going to have change in


Westminster. It's clear that the more powers go to the Scottish


Parliament the less you can have Scottish MPs voting on the same


issues for England. That's got to change in one way or another.


Thirdly, though, England is much too centralised, so this isn't just


about reducing the influence of Scottish MPs in Westminster, it's


about getting English decisions out of Westminster. Up and away out of


Westminster indeed. Tomorrow whatever happens much power will


begin to be moved from London and another chapter begins for the


mother of all parliaments. Parliaments. Joining us from


Westminster is the former Conservative Defence Minister Liam


Fox. Good evening. This is a hornet's nest. Do you


think that David Cameron worked out his strategy the best he could from


the beginning? I think whether we think it was a good strategy will


rather depend on what the result is. Having spent the day up in Glasgow


today I wouldn't be surprised if we got a result of about 55-45. I think


there are a number of things we need to do right away. The first is that


there will be a lot of healing to be done. There's potentially a lot of


bitterness and recrimination. That needs to be handle. That is the


first thing. The second thing is to understand the wider issues we have


to face. I think there are three, and probably in order of difficulty


the easiest first is the sort of policy areas that we might want to


have extended devolution in. What is going to be reserved at Westminster


and what are these new powers going to be. Let me ask you, Liam Fox,


should Devo Max have been on the paper? Would that have obviated all


this? Again, it would be depending what it means. What we now need to


see is what actually the details are, what are the extra policy areas


where devolution might come into and what are the tax varying powers that


might be proposed. We need to see the details and really tonight of


all nights we have to avoid knee jerk reactions on that. The second


area we need to look at is now unavoidable, which is the English


question. And the West Lothian question and what now do we do about


an imbalance in our constitutional relationship. There are a number of


ways we can address that but I think now it will have to be addressed and


politicians have ducked the question for too long. The third, but most


difficult issue, I think will relate to the financial settlement. And


exactly how we see that across the United Kingdom. I've thought for a


long time that we needed to look at deprivation indices across the


country a little more closely when allocating funding and we have a


strong incentive to do that. But do you think that in all this there


should be an English Parliament? That is where we're heading if there


is a No vote. I'm not in favour of a separate English Parliament because


I think that with parish councils, town councils, district councils,


county councils, Westminster, the last thing we require is another


level of government; but I do think effectively what we must ensure is


that Scottish MPs who cannot vote on issues like health and education in


Scotland, should not be entitled to vote on health and education in


constituencies like mine in north Somerset. It is profoundly


undemocratic and unfair. It needs to be dealt with. Do you think the way


all this came about essentially was that, you could put it this way,


David Cameron was bounced into all this by a failed politician in


Gordon Brown, a failed leader and actually it would have been better


if this had been an initiative fought out rather than one that


seems designed to annoy English Conservative backbenchers, not just


Conservative backbenchers. It will not just be Conservative


backbenchers, you're quite right. I think a lot of the problems came


from the very imbalanced constitutional settlement that came


with devolution under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the first place. The


whole question of what happens about governance in England has never


properly been addressed. It now does need to be addressed. We are going


to get, almost certainly I think tonight, a No vote. Scotland will


remain in the union, we therefore have to decide what the new balance


inside this union is going to be going forward that gives us the best


chance to maintain stability and to diminish some of those divisions


that have very sadly emerged in the last few weeks. Liam Fox, thank you


very much indeed. Now we're joined by the Times


columnist and Conservative peer Danny Finkelstein. Turning to you,


Danny Finkelstein, I think we feel in need of what you can give us by


way of that incisive analytical brain and from the position of being


a Lord of the realm. What do you think has been going on more broadly


today, this churn, this change, it may be happening in Scotland but


actually the ramifications are for the whole of the United Kingdom no


matter what? I think there's going to be quite a serious, as everyone


has been saying, sharp English question that comes up tomorrow. I'm


slightly puzzled by the suggestion that Gordon Brown forced the Devo


Max on to the agenda because actually, the Conservative party had


a report that's taken a year to prepare that came out at the end of


May on the question of what powers might be devolved. But the two


issues on which I think the campaign was bounced and did panic were the


time line and the question of the Barnett formula, in other words the


question of the Scottish financial settlement. Those two things are


going to cause big political trouble. They're going to cause


trouble in Parliament because of trying to assemble a Coalition in


the Conservative Party that might support the Prime Minister on the


Barnett formula and trying to have a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats


on the question of what you do for English MPs. Actually, far from it


being the case that at the last minute Scotland has been promised a


lot of powers, what's really happened is that Scotland has been


promised and accelerated timetable that I think will be difficult to


deliver. Difficult to deliver, but let's stick with the idea of the


Barnett formula because that was something that was desperately


needed to be changed as far as the Conservatives were concerned and


it's stuck. And it's the one thing that will cause a lot of anger in


the rest of the country and it will mean MPs from all parties will dig


their heels in? The Barnett formula is a short hand. There are two


elements, the Barnett formula itself about how you allocate increases in


spending and that's population based and the Barnett formula may need


some adjustment but isn't the problem. The basic problem is that


of the settlement underneath the Barnett formula in other words


Scotland's financial settlement. The Barnett formula therefore being a


short hand, what has been promised in the vow isn't actually what


everyone is angry about. What everyone is angry about is that


Scotland starts with a bigger financial settlement. So, actually,


it is possible to revisit that. You just heard Liam Fox talk about


revisiting the way that you allocate spending across the whole of


government in which Scotland may gain in some areas and lose in


others without touching the Barnett formula. Do you think now there's


going to be a bigger adjustment, that actually what's going to happen


eventually if he fact tow is a move towards a federalism? Everyone said


about English votes for English laws which is something I was involved in


when I worked for the Conservative Party in developing. Everyone said


the way of dealing with that is never to ask the West Lothian


question, and what happened in this campaign is that that idea, which


Tony Blair clung to, has become untenable. It is absolutely


inevitable that there will now be a move towards some sorted of English


votes for English laws in one form or another. But it will be very


problematic for Labour and, therefore, they will resist it and


of course the Conservatives don't have a majority in Parliament.


That's what makes the time line difficult. Will they be able to, as


they suggested, to actually agree the deal behind the vow between


them? I think there are lots of ways in which they might not be able to.


I think we're starting a period of great uncertainty, actually. Thank


you very much. The BBC's Allan Little has been


following the campaigns every step of the way, and he has rushed from


the main count to be with us now. You have covered everything. Bosnia


to Rwanda, been all over the world. You're back home now and covered


this campaign. We're going to see some pictures in a minute or two of


what's happened this evening. What's the last, particularly the last six


weeks felt like to you? There's been a lot of talk and quite rightly


about the atmosphere of menace and intimidation that has sometimes


infused this campaign. Atmosphere, relatively few actually incidents.


Nobody has been punched in the face. Our Deputy Prime Minister punched a


voter in the face in a recent general election, it hasn't here.


No, but we heard about intimidation, we tried to get guests on the show.


People have been concerned particularly women. There has been


some? Yes there has been some but my overwhelming opinion is that this


extraordinary national debate has been conducted with civility and


mutual respect. You and I both know that most families in Scotland have


Yes and No voters within them. People living next door to each


other. They disagree with civility and politeness for the most part.


This progress has happened in an old and entrenched democracy, this


wouldn't have been settled -- Look at this now. What is amazing,


everyone is still out on the streets. They're not saying we voted


now. You can hear them behind us in Holyrood. Here they are in George


Square. The place is full of revellers, it's as if there's, to me


there's a reinvigoration of the national debate in the sense that -


I'm hearing conversations all the time, unself conscious conversations


where people before would say it's not for me, it's for everybody. It


is, on both sides. Remarkably empowering and engauging. The Yes


campaign started this. They gave up on the conventional media early on


and they got very active on social media, started producing their own


journalism, their own ways of communicating with each other. I


think the difference between the No campaign and the Yes campaign, is


that the No campaign has been relatively speaking quite a


conventional campaign, passionate of course in defence of the union,


people speaking very passionately about that, but the Yes campaign,


people have been persuaded to vote Yes, they've been persuaded by


people they respect in their own lives and not by people they see on


television. That I think has ban very important difference, something


quite democratising has been happening. Particularly, not SCLU


civil but particularly on the Yes -- exclusively but particularly on the


Yes side of the arguments. It's 100 years since the first Scottish Home


Rule Bill passed its second vote at Westminster only to be kyboshed by


the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. After that home rule


stuttered on and off the agenda until the SNP first showed some


muscle in the 1967 #0S. But then it was never a match for the dyed in


the wool tribal Labour vote that seemed to be as strong as the Forth


Rail Bridge. So how did the SNP pull the feet from under the Labour


establishment to transform from a protest movement to a party that has


brought this country to the brink much independence? Here's Laura


again. A song, a dream of a new country for


SNP stalwarts, a long time coming, she can hardly believe her eyes.


Today is unbelievable. From when we started in 1974, people thought we


were dreaming. But our dream is coming true. What was a fringe party


fills Inverness' streets, unionists can only look on. I hate to see


songs being used as a political weapon, to be honest. How did it get


to this. Supporters of independence so emboldened they can take on


British Cabinet ministers in the street. You're not at Westminster


now, you're standing here as someone who's... And your BBC cronies. They


won't tell the truth. The charge, the excitement of Scottish


Nationalist politics is new, the power built haltingly in cities,


small villages and towns over decades. Few single issue or small


parties ever make it from relative object security to the mainstream.


And when Alex Salmond was first elected here nearly 20 years ago


much beyond local success didn't seem impossible, but the SNP's


long-term dream was very far away. For some local members, it even


began with ridicule. I can remember my father served his time in the


ship yards on Clyde and then he worked in the torpedo fact tree in


Alexandria. I remember him coming home and flinging his Labour Party


rosette down and said "son, they're not for us". He went out and helped


form a branch of the SNP. I joined and I took part in that. I'm


reminded at that time of the quote by Gandhi, "first they ignore you,


then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win". The


first solid victory was Winnie ewing. In 1967. On the stump her son


told us what she said still goes. She is one of the very few people


who tells Alex Salmond who to do. Scotland's oil is now worth a


minimum of ?155 million, what are we Scots going to get from it without


self-government. Ewing's election, then the oil bounty grew interest in


home rule. It's her oil so why are many in sub standard houses. Other


MPs followed. A huge Labour majority overturned. In 1979 a majority of


Scots who voted chose devolution but too few turned out to make it


happen. Despite defeat and through squabbles


in the '80s, a more organised and determined party emerged under this


man. It's a government of occupation we face in Scotland just as surely


as if they had an army at their backs. Alex created a modern


political party that could take on the parties of the British state and


beat them. In terms of discipline, in terms of their imagination and


how they campaigned, in their ability to start researching and


start he had KAGT people. But -- educating people. But it was


Labour's decision to create the Scottish Parliament which allowed


the SNP to get serious. When Scottish voters eventually got their


Parliament there were questions about whether the SNP would still be


relevant. Instead, devolution gave them a bigger platform. The


outsiders turned insiders. The SNP surge in 2011 meant for the first


time a vote ongoing it alone was real. And with it so close now, even


if there's defeat this week, can the demand fade? A vote against Yes this


time they might think it's all over, not going to happen that way.


Many Scots share none of this jubilation, but the question first


asked by a handful of activists so long ago will this week be answered


on every street in the country. Here with us in our studio


overlooking the Scottish Parliament building are the writer AL Kennedy


and the Spectator Magazine's writer and blog Alex Massie. On that point


where Labour offered limited devolution they thought they would


shoot the SNP's fox and they did nothing of the sort. No because the


SNP managed to present itself as the patriotic body, the will of the


Scottish people if you like, it's done so by being different types of


organisation in different parts of the country look at some of its


strong holds it has supplanted the Conservatives but also subsequently


made great inroads in Dundee and parts of the central belt. At the


expense of Labour. Because it has managed to say that it is standing


up for Scotland's interests against both Labour and the Conservatives.


How much has that been the political acumen of Alex Salmond that who for


a long time has outwitted the main political parties? It's difficult to


imagine that the SNP could have come so far without Alex Salmond, he's


been the dominant figure for 30 years now. But I think there are


other forces at work that have contributed to the SNP's rise and it


would have back prominent force in Scottish politics even without Alex


Salmond. Alison, you don't live in Scotland any more but you come and


go and I know you're a Yes supporter. How does this look like


to the rest of the UK. When you talk to people elsewhere what do they


think of it? Lots of people find it exciting. It's such an unfamiliar


experience for the media, so they're on the back foot. It was a surprise


in many ways to lots of the politicians and there's been even


more of a clear mismatch between an educated, sophisticated electorate


who are good at voting tactically, who have been looking into the facts


and who have a tradition of self-education in this country. And


they've been ahead of the media and ahead of the politicians. And some


of the media's spin on what the politicians have been saying, on


both sides, it's been as depressing and as evoking of apathy and low


turn-outs and all the things the politicians blame the electorate


for. But down south the idea of change and the idea of general, now,


a genuine democracy breaking up, people queuing to register to vote.


97% of the available electorate registering. And around 90%


turn-out. We're seeing now some of the latest pictures coming in from


around the country. We can see there out at Holyrood lots and lots of


people with banners, people dancing and people generally feeling the


mood. Absolutely. These are the apathetic young people and voters!


That's another thing we haven't talked about. The energising of that


16 and 17-year-olds, it's a one-off in this debate. I wonder how young


people will feel when it's removed from them in the future. How do you


think that's changed the debate? TFRNLGTS remains to be seen. Early


polls suggested 16 and 17-year-olds would vote against independence. I


think that moved in the course of the debate. The Yes campaign


resembled a carnival for a lot of this. Something quite profound has


happened here. Whatever way this turns out tonight, half the


population of one of the kingdoms of the union has repudiated the


English-Scottish union. There is a crisis of legitimates here, there is


a crisis of popular and democratic legitimacy. If the Westminster


establishment, the three Westminster parties think they can F they win


this tonight, they can go back to Westminster and thinking job done,


union saved, then they'll lose. And the Herald's Political Editor saying


it may be 100% turn-out in some areas. Reports across the country


showing the turn-out has exceeded even the most optimistic


expectations which is quite something. But it's not surprising


given the order of magnitude, the importance of the day. Yes, but the


genie is out of the bottle now, I wonder what you feel about that. If


Peter Kellner is right and it is a quite clear, decisive No vote, what


happens to the national psyche? Will people think things have changed and


have a positive attitude or will there be an almost depression set


in? All kinds of things have been - however it goes the idea of defining


nationality by "you live here so you can vote "I hate that I can't vote.


nationality by "you live here so you I don't live here so I don't have a


vote. I was having - There were bizarre things, people


vote. I was having - There were here for Lee weeks had a vote. There


were strange things happening? Yes, but it was so beautiful,


particularly at this time in Europe where nationalism have other faces,


to say if you live here, you're one of us. It's an important thing to


say. I wonder also looking at the way Gordon Brown rode in at the end


and actually, he looked like he was in his element and he hasn't looked


like that for many years. It was as if he found a cause again. I wonder


how Alastair Darling is feeling about that, but I wonder what you


think about that, that Brown found his voice again. He suddenly did. It


was like seeing a 20th century Gordon Brown rather than a 21st


century Gordon Brown. There was also the intention that Labour need today


bring it's so-called big guns into the campaign even at the latest of


late stages. This has still been a very bad campaign for Labour. It's


been a good campaign for Scotland but a bad few months for the Labour


Party north and south of the border. Hold that a minute. We're going to


keep Alan and Alison and if Westminster came late to the


referendum the world is now here too with broadcasters from every


conceivable country, and the Kurds and the Catalans. We sent Duncan out


to get a flavour of the atmosphere. Can I ask what country you're from?


Denmark. How much attention is Denmark giving? Enormous, we're


broadcasting all the time and have been for over a week. We're


completely obsessed with this story. Why are you in Scotland? We are here


because we're an Austrian minority in Italy, we are here to support our


friends. We're from Barcelona. Here's the


thing, a lot of Catalans have come, not only to broadcast but many


tourist to see how things are going here.


Can I ask where you're from? From Taiwan China, another country, I'm


glad to have a discussion with people from Catalonia. And we're


going live to Sao Paulo. Yes. We're joined now by Professor Ewen


Cameron, Professor Of Scottish history and he joins Alison Kennedy


and Allan Little. I wonder, you're a man who has studied the union, WHOU


do you think after tonight F this poll is correct, how different will


the -- if this poll is correct, how different will the union look? It


will look very different regardless of the result. If there's a No vote


I think we're almost certainly likely to see more powers to the


Scottish Parliament. That will change the balance of power within


the union because if the Parliament over there gets more power over


taxation and spending then it really does fundamentally alter the game.


Looking at the discourse and how this has all been conducted, do you


think this re-energised political debate, not within Parliament or


Westminster, but out here, people shouting and singing, do you think


they'll keep that involvement up? I hope so. We've had other moments in


the Scottish history, in the 1880s or 1920s when we've had this sudden


burst of energy into Scottish politics. In some subsequent periods


it's been lost. I think this has to be carefully nurtured by the


politicians on all sides so we do capture some of this enthusiasm for


a slightly longer period. Alan, we were talking earlier about Alex


Salmond, win or lose, has this been Alex Salmond's finest hour? I think


he's won whatever happens. Alex Salmond has always been a


gradualist, he wanted the third option, enhanced devolution. What is


being offered by the three Westminster parties is not Devo Max,


it's some kind of enhanced devolution that we don't know what


it will be yet. But Alex Salmond the great gradualist will have


strengthened the power of autonomy of Scotland within the union and put


Scotland on the map in the minds of the Westminster politicians. The


union will never be the same again. What I wonder is, if then there will


be a push, Alex Salmond had said that in fact it wouldn't be the


Quebec, it would not be the never-endum. But if Parliament is


working strongly, if there's a No vote tonight. Do you think there


will be a temptation to go for another referendum? Certainly in due


course, we remember 1979, the failed referendum in 1979 where Scotland


couldn't muster much more than a third of the total electorate to


vote for a very weak Parliament. With an decade what happened at


Westminster had formed in Scotland a rock solid two to one consensus for


a strongly devolved Parliament. The same mistake could happen this time


by Westminster politicians. Also, and the fact that what has happened


here, we look back at Laura's film is a huge SKEL racial. Thing we --


acceleration, things we thought might take decades has taken a short


time. Is it social media or other things? I think it's a whole variety


of pressures F you look at the '60s and '70s there was a whole


reassessment of Scotland's history. The understanding of the nation, a


Parliament was there. Then you had Margaret Thatcher, alienating, not


just politically but culturally she was a in a different place. That


forced Scotland to get mature, OK if we are not that what are we, then


we've had three decades. Has this building here, the fact of this


building itself in a way encouraged a maturity? Absolutely, I think the


Parliament and even just having a stage for the different political


parties here in Scotland to play out Scottish politics in a Scottish


context, not on a oning-on occasional role in Westminster has


been crucial. It's created a Scottish demos, when I was in my


20s, the political space where we thought about Scottish politics was


emphatically British. Since this place was up and running, it


established itself very quickly as the focus of public life in


Scotland. That in itself is so hugely exciting. This has been such


an extraordinary, exciting day. Thank you all very much indeed.


The first regions to declare are expected around 1am. There are 32


different counts in all. You can follow all the results on the BBC


election programme with hue Edwards on BBC One. However, tonight on


Newsnight we leave you with the images of the River Tweed that


divides England from Scotland, 50 miles south from this capital. We'll


know in a few hours from now whether this river will become an


international border or not. From all of us here, good night.


In Northern Ireland and Scotland we'll keep plenty of showers


throughout the day.


Kirsty Wark is in Edinburgh for the Scottish referendum and Katie Razzall reports from London.

Download Subtitles