Tuesday 23 January 2018

Relief rather than elation on the streets of Edinburgh

Supporters from the
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Dejected supporters from the "Yes" Campaign sit on a bench in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Deflated "Yes" campaign balloons lie on the grass in George Square after Scotland voted against becoming an independent country
Dejected supporters from the "Yes" Campaign walk through George Square in Glasgow, Scotland
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate in Edinburgh, Scotland
The chief counting officer for the referendum, Mary Pitcaithly, announces the results of the Scottish vote for independence, in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014.
People watch a TV as Scotland's First Minister Alec Salmond concedes defeat in the independence referendum in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
A man takes a selfie photograph at the "Yes" Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond speaks to television as supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
A supporter from the "No" Campaign celebrates at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Supporters from the "No" Campaign applaud Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, at their headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they stand in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond leaves after speaking at the "Yes" Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Scots, based in Hong Kong, supporting Scotland's independence monitor Scotland's referendum results inside a Scottish bar in Hong Kong REUTERS/Bobby Yip
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond during a press conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh after Scotland rejected independence in the Scottish independence referendum.
Better Together supporters celebrate at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow as Scotland rejected independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in Glasgow.
Better Together supporters celebrate at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow as Scotland rejected independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in Glasgow.
Better Together supporters celebrate at the Marriot Hotel in Glasgow as Scotland rejected independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in Glasgow.
No supporter Joanna Baxter from Ayrshire at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow cries as Scotland rejects independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in Glasgow.
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond during a press conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh after Scotland rejected independence in the Scottish independence referendum.
A trader at IG Index looks at his screens, in central London September 19, 2014.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, in central London September 19, 2014. Cameron said on Friday the Scottish National Party (SNP) would join talks on transferring further powers to Scotland after voters rejected independence. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks in front of 10 Downing Street, in central London September 19, 2014. Cameron said on Friday the Scottish National Party (SNP) would join talks on transferring further powers to Scotland after voters rejected independence. REUTERS/Neil Hall
A damaged sign that read "Scotland" lies with litter on the floor of George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

The mood among the victorious No voters on the streets of Edinburgh was one of relief rather than elation today.

Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom by a wider margin than many expected.

As the city went about its business on a misty, drizzly morning, and commuters picked early morning coffee, there were no Union Jack flags waving, or car horns hooting. Triumphalism of any sort was absent.

In the city centre near Edinburgh University, Jane Campbell tried to be magnanimous in victory.

"There are a lot of people in Scotland with their dreams shattered," said the No voter. "I do feel sorry for them."

Until around 10.30 last night, when a voting day opinion poll was released showing No ahead, the dream of an independent Scotland still seemed possible.

Supporters from the
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow
A supporter from the "No" Campaign sleeps as he waits for the announcement of results, at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Supporters from the "No" Campaign react to a declaration in their favour, at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Johann Lamont at The Marriott Hotel in Glasgow as Scotland has rejected independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in the largest city. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Supporter of the Better Together campaign Joanna Baxter from Ayrshire cries at results of the Scottish independence referendum at The Marriott Hotel in Glasgow as Scotland has rejected independence, despite the Yes campaign winning a majority in the largest city. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they stand in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Supporters from the "No" Campaign applaud Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign, at their headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
A supporter from the "No" Campaign celebrates at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
A man takes a selfie photograph at the "Yes" Campaign headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond speaks to television as supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014.
Supporters from the "No" Campaign celebrate at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014
Supporters from the "Yes" Campaign react as they sit in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

When the results came in the Yes voters in the pubs were so caught up in the emotion of it all that they could not quite believe that they had lost.

Yes supporter Jonathon McAllister said he was "sad, angry, heartbroken, stunned,disappointed,  sick, gutted ...and lots more".

But Samantha Murphy, who had just arrived into town on her morning commute soon after dawn, told me: "It's time for the independence campaigners to let it go.

"This has been settled for a generation, and I don't  we'll another vote like this in our lifetime. Intelligence has won out over emotion."

On her bus ride into town, she had been checking Facebook "I saw Yes voters on Facebook who were now complaining that they were ashamed to be Scottish. Only yesterday they were waving Saltire flags."

In the end the Bravehearts on the Yes side, who made their presence felt right across the city centre throughout the campaign, were overcome by a silent foe.

The supporters of the union wore fewer badges, did not wrap themselves in flags, but they used their power at the ballot box to deadly effect.

Kim Bielenberg in Edinburgh

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