A couple of closing observations:
1. It wasn't close (from BBC Results)
- On an unprecedented 84.56% turnout 2,001,926 voted No versus 1,617,989 who voted yes
- The number who voted No was 23.7% bigger than the number who voted Yes.
- 383,937 more people voted No than voted Yes
- 28 council areas voted No compared to 4 which voted Yes
2. Those data-mining the results seeking scapegoats really need to get a grip
- There is some wild extrapolation taking place based on a poll carried out by Lord Ashcroft, published by the Sun
- The raw data tables are here > Ashcroft Poll Data
- The 16-17 year-old sample size is 14 (as highlighted almost immediately by John Rentoul)
- I can't find any information to suggest how the wider sample has been assembled to ensure it's representative; there are no margin-of-error bands for the different age categories shown
- And yet (for example) ...
#IndyRef stats. Under 65's voted Yes 51%, No 49%. Under 55's voted Yes 54%, No 46%. http://t.co/CUCx56j6kn
— Ivan McKee (@Ivan_McKee) September 20, 2014
71% of 16-17 year olds voted #YES. 73% 65+ (who largely get their info from MSM) voted no. When 65+ excluded yes would have won by 54-46
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) September 20, 2014
Since older folk seem happy with nuclear weapons, child poverty and food banks, don't think they can complain if we slash state pensions.
— Kristofer Keane (@KristoferKeane) September 19, 2014
Incredible. There were majorities for Yes in every age band from 25 to 54 and also 16-17. We couldn't reach the over 65s. 73% for NO.
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) September 19, 2014
The calculations from polling show that excluding over 65's YES won 51% #the45
— Kenny Anderson (@Kennyaberdeen) September 20, 2014
Won't ever be able to look at a Scottish pensioner again without thinking "You. You sold us out."
— Wings Over Scotland (@WingsScotland) September 19, 2014
Unfair that if you remove 65+ vote from the referendum the outcome would've been a Yes vote. Hope your pension is worth our future!
— Rachael (@_rachaeld) September 20, 2014
71% of 16 & 17 yr olds voted Yes. 73% of those 65+ voted no. There's your #indyref legacy
— Ross Greer (@Ross_Greer) September 19, 2014
- Let's be clear: we will never know the true split of how people voted by age group (those data are not recorded)
- Even if we could know how people voted by age group, even if there was a systematic trend towards (for example) older people voting No - so what?
- Suggesting we split our country down age-lines is as ludicrous as suggesting Dundee (57.35% Yes) should declare war on the Orkney Isles (67.20% No)
- Isn't this about the Sovereign Will of the entire Scottish electorate? I'm sure I remember some politician parroting that phrase in the last few months...
It's clear to those of us who were close to the numbers in this debate that many of the 1.6m who voted Yes did so on the basis of a false prospectus.
Not all of course. Some Yes campaigners recognised the pain that separation would cause, some were honest enough - in private at least - to admit that we would have been set on a path of austerity-max as an independent Scotland struggled to deal with the economic damage caused by separation; they believed the ultimate prize of independence was worth that pain. Had they argued for Yes despite those economic costs rather than in denial of them ... well, they'd probably have lost the vote by a wider margin, but I personally at least would have found it easier to respect their position.
But false prospectus complaints aside, the absolute size of the Yes vote shows that many in our society feel any change at any cost would be better that their current lot.
That should - that must - give us pause.
Let's start talking about how we address the issues that create the need for food banks, the under-lying causes of child poverty. Many of us arguing for No were insulted by the implication that we didn't care about social justice. We have a duty now to show that not only do we care, but that we care enough to invest time and effort to try and make a difference.
There should be some time for sober reflection of course, but let's not lose the momentum of political engagement that's been created. Like it or not the Referendum has created divisions within Scotland and between Scotland and the rest of the UK; there are wounds that will take time to heal. But our ambition should not be to repair but to improve, to reduce the shameful social and economic iniquities that exist within and across the UK.
Just don't - right now at least - ask me how.