Cumbernauld and Kilsyth say “yes” in key vote

"No" sign in Cumbernauld Village
"No" sign in Cumbernauld Village

North Lanarkshire voted “yes” to an independent Scotland this week, in the national referendum which saw the country as a whole reject it by 55.3 per cent to 44.7 per cent.

It was the highest count ever recorded in the area, after a vigorous local campaign which saw the “yes” argument win locally by just over 4,000 votes.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Labour MP Gregg McClymont was not available for comment, Friday morning, but on Thursday had said he was happy with the way the campaign had gone in his constituency.

The run-up to the big vote had included visits by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other high profile Labour politicians.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn tweeted: “My area of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and North Lanarkshire voted yes to independence yesterday. Well done to Yes activists in area.”

The highlight of the local Yes campaign was a packed public meeting in Kilsyth hosted by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Today the counting officer for North Lanarkshire announced that a total of 115,783 votes were cast for Yes (51%) and a total of 110,922 votes were cast for No (49%).

A total of 178 votes were rejected for a number of reasons: three did not bear the official mark on the ballot paper; 18 voted in favour of both answers; seven included writing or a mark by which the voter could be identified, and 150 were blank.

The turnout for North Lanarkshire was 84.4%, with 226,883 voters returning a ballot paper from a total registered electorate of 268,738.

Gavin Whitefield, counting officer for the North Lanarkshire count area, said: “We have seen the highest turnout for any vote in North Lanarkshire with 84.4% of the eligible electorate voting. I would like to thank all the campaign agents and staff for the way in which they have conducted their campaigns.

“I would also like to thank the polling clerks, presiding officers, enumerators, staff from North Lanarkshire Leisure and Mears, referendum team and other staff who have contributed to the professional and effective operation of the polling and count processes.”

Read next week’s Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle for more coverage of the referendum.