Reuters / Dylan Martinez

Scots have voted to stay in the UK, following an intense campaign which saw both pro-independence and pro-union campaign groups scraping for last-minute support. The ‘No’ campaign rallied 55 percent of votes against 45 percent ‘Yes’ votes.

READ: Scottish independence referendum LIVE UPDATES

One of the leaders of Scotland’s independence campaign effectively conceded defeat early on Friday morning as the counting was continuing.

“Like thousands of others across the country, I’ve put my heart and soul into this campaign and there is a real sense of disappointment that we’ve fallen narrowly short of securing a ‘yes’ vote,”Nicola Sturgeon, deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, told BBC Television.


Supporters from the “Yes” Campaign sing outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014. (Reuters / Russell Cheyne)

Accepting defeat, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond delivered his concession speech to his supporters and Scottish National Party activists, whose victory in least years’ elections was built on the promise of an independence vote.

“Scotland has, by majority, decided at this stage not to be an independent nation. I accept that decision and call on all people in Scotland to do so,” he said.

He added that the even a failure in referendum is important, because the level of support for a Scottish independence was massive enough to ensure that there would be no “business as usual” in the UK.

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