People wait for the result outside the Scottish Parliament. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Scottish referendum: the results as they come in

Full coverage of the 32 local counts that will determine the outcome. 

6:08am - Result 30 It's officially over. The No side needed 85,112 votes in Fife to get over the line - they won 139,788. 

After his astonishing speech on Wednesday, it's wonderfully poetic that it was Gordon Brown's hometown that sealed victory for the Unionists. 

5:58am - Result 29 Aberdeenshire has voted No by 108,606 (60 per cent) to 71,337 (40 per cent). That's some shellacking for Salmond in his backyard. The No side is now just 85,112 votes short of victory, with Fife potentially taking it over the line when it declares shortly. 

5:56am  - Result 28 Argyll and Bute voted No by 37,143 (59 per cent) to 26,324 (41 per cent). 

5:54am - Result 27 Edinburgh, the second largest voting area after Glasgow, voted No by 194,638 (61 per cent) to 123,927 (39 per cent). That's a thumping win for the Unionists, and far larger than the Yes victory in Glasgow. 

That the former went 61 per cent No and the latter 53 per cent Yes does much to explain why this was a comfortable win for No. 

5:39am As I've just written in a separate post, there is no doubt: Scotland has rejected independence. After only securing a narrow victory in Glasgow (53-47), it was clear that there was no way back for the Yes side. 

5:10am With 26 of the 32 declarations made, No leads by 54 per cent to 46 per cent - and that's before the Unionist stronghold of Edinburgh has declared. 

5:09am - Result 26 East Ayrshire voted No by 44,442 to 39,762. 

5:05am - Result 25 South Ayrshire voted No by 47,247 to 34,402. 

5:04am - Result 24 North Ayrshire voted No by 49,016 to 47,072. 

5:01am - Result 23 The Scottish Borders voted No by 55,553 to 27,906. Turnout was 87.4 per cent. 

4:53am - Result 22 West Lothian voted No by 55 per cent to 45 per cent. 

4:51am - Result 21 Glasgow, the largest of the 32 areas, has voted Yes by 194,739 (53 per cent) to 169,347 (47 per cent). It's a victory, but by a far smaller margin than the nationalists needed. They were hoping for a share of 60 per cent plus, and on a higher turnout than 75 per cent. 

4:47am - Result 20 Perth and Kinross voted No by 62,714 (60 per cent) to 41,475 (40 per cent). That's a very poor result for Yes in the city where they held their final pre-vote rally. 

4:45am - Result 19 South Lanarkshire voted No by 121,800 to 100,990. 

4:43am - Result 18 North Lanarkshire voted Yes by 115,783 (51 per cent) to 110,922 (49 per cent). 

4:36am With more than half of all declarations in, the national totals stand at No 56 per cent and Yes 44 per cent. As I wrote earlier, the Unionists are on course for a bigger win than the final polls suggested. 

4:33am - Result 17 East Dunbartonshire voted No by 48,214 to 30,624. Turnout was 91 per cent. 

4:32am - Result 16 East Renfrewshire voted No by 41,690 (63 per cent) to 24,287 (37 per cent). 

4:29am - Result 15 Dumfries and Galloway has voted No by 70,039 to 36,614. Turnout was 87.5 per cent. 

4:27am Result 14 Aberdeen voted No by a huge margin: 84,095 (59 per cent) to 59,390 (41 per cent). 

4:25am - Result 13 Angus has voted No by 45,192 (56 per cent) to 35,044 (44 per cent). That's a terrible result for the Yes side: the area is represented by an SNP MP. 

Turnout was 85.7 per cent. 

4:20am - Result 12 The declarations are coming in thick and fast now. Falkirk has voted No by 58,030 (53 per cent) to 50,489 (47 per cent). Turnout was 88.7 per ent. 

4:19am After 11 declarations, the totals now stand at No 53 per cent and Yes 47 per cent. 

4:16am - Result 11 Stirling has voted No by 37,153 (60 per cent) to 25,010 (40 per cent). Turnout was 90 per cent. 

4:15am - Result Ten East Lothian has voted No by 44,283 (62 per cent) to 27,467 (38 per cent). Turnout was 88 per cent. 

4:10am - Result Nine Midloathian has voted No by 33,972 (56 per cent) to 26,370 (44 per cent). Turnout was 87 per cent. 

4:06am - Result Eight West Dunbartonshire has voted Yes by 33,720 (54 per cent) to 28,776 (46 per cent). Turnout was 87.9 per cent.

3:54am - Result Seven Renfrewshire has voted No by 62,067 t0 55,466. Turnout was 87.3 per cent. 

After seven declarations, the totals currently stand at No 51 per cent and Yes 49 per cent. 

3:51am - Result Six Yes are finally off the mark. As expected, Dundee has voted in favour of independence by 53,620 (57 per cent) to 39,840 (43 per cent). Turnout was 78.8 per cent. 

The nationalists will be buoyed by their victory, but many were hoping for a far bigger win that that. 

3:33am - Result Five Inverclyde has narrowly voted No by 27,329 to 27,243. Turnout was 87 per cent. That's five straight defeats for Yes (they were hoping to win here) and further evidence that this won't be their night. 

The current totals now stand at 55-45. 

3:04am After four declarations, the result now stands at 57.8 per cent for No to 42.2 per cent for Yes.

3:00am - Result Four Eilean Siar (formerly the Western Isles) voted No by 10,444 (53 per cent) to 9,195 (47 per cent). Turnout was 86 per cent. In a competitive field, this is the biggest blow to the nationalists so far tonight. They had long assumed they would win this area. 

All the signs are pointing to a No victory, and a larger one than the final polls suggested (there seems to have been a genuine "shy No" effect). Yes supporters can maintain dignity by not behaving like Republicans in 2012, pretending that they are still on course to win when the result is beyond doubt.

2:53am There are only three results in, but the Yes side are already moving the goalposts, briefing that anything above 45 per cent would be "a good result" for them. They do so with some justification, however. Two years ago, when the referendum date was agreed, MPs were telling me that 70-30 would be a good result for them. 

2:40am - Result Three Shetland has voted No by 9,951 (64 per cent) to 5,669 (36 per cent). Turnout was 84 per cent. 

2:02am - Result Two We have our second result. Orkney, one of the most Unionist areas of the country, voted No by 10,004 (67 per cent) to 4,883 (33 per cent). Turnout was 84 per cent.

1:52am Turnout in Glasgow was 75 per cent. That's lower than many expected and suggests that Yes may not have enjoyed the dramatic surge in working class support they were hoping for. This said, Unionist sources still fear that they have lost the city.  

1:39am Our Scottish blogger James Maxwell reports that a senior UK trade union leader told him that he would have voted Yes. 

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who may or may not be the figure in question, described Alex Salmond's arguments as "seductive" last year and hinted that he would vote Yes. 

1.32am - Result One First local total announced: Clackmannanshire votes No. Yes: 16,350 (46 per cent). No: 19,036 (54 per cent).

This was an unexpected result, as the Yes campaign hoped for a win there. But it is the smallest county in Scotland (known as the "Wee County") so the impact of a No vote here shouldn't be overplayed.

1:10am Nationalist blog Wings Over Scotland shares my view on the Dundee turnout. 

1:00am Turnout in Dundee was 79 per cent - that's certainly not impressive. And as a Yes stronghold (with around 70 per cent backing independence),  it doesn't bode well for the nationalists. 

12:20pm The first turnout figures have been released. In Orkney, 84 per cent voted and in Clackmannanshire 89 per cent did. Most commentators are using adjectives such as "remarkable" and "stunning" to describe these figures, which leaves me bemused. This was a unique vote on a country's status, entirely distinct from regular elections (which suffer from "wasted votes" and other defects).

For comparison, turnout in the 1995 Quebec referendum was 93.5 per cent. That's impressive. In the case of Scotland, I'm more surprised that more than 10 per cent apparently have no opinion on whether their country should be independent. 

10:30pm YouGov has just published its final poll, based on recontacting voters after they had voted, which suggests a victory for No by 54-46 per cent. That is line with predictions from the Better Together camp, who are in confident form tonight. 

10:00pm: Scotland's 5,579 polling stations have now closed. The most important count in the country's history has begun. The final polls may have put No ahead, but they did so by too narrow a margin for the Unionists to be certain of victory (not least in an unprecedented vote of this kind). 

As Anoosh has previously reported, the final result is likely to be announced at Edinburgh's Lowland Hall between 6.30am and 7.30am tomorrow morning. But before then, there are 32 local declarations taking place. As a result, it's possible that we will know which side has won before the final announcement. 

Here are the declarations to look out for. 

2am Perth and Kinross, and North Lanarkshire

These two areas, accounting for 4.2 per cent of the electorate and 6.3 per cent respectively, will offer a good early indication of how Scotland may have voted. 

3am Dundee

Representing nearly 3 per cent of the electorate, Dundee, where polls suggest 70 per cent support for Yes, is expected to declare at this time. 

3am Aberdeenshire

The home of Balmoral, which accounts for 4.8 per cent of the electorate, is likely to vote No by a large margin. 

4am Fife, and Highland

The Highlands (4.4 per cent) , where the No vote is strongest, and Fife (7.1 per cent), where the race is tighter, will declare around this time. It's estimated that 70 per cent of votes will have been counted by now. 

5am Glasgow

The largest local area, with 486,219 registered voters (11.4 per cent), this is regarded by both camps as the key swing city. 

5am Edinburgh 

The capital, which has 377,413 registered voters (8.8 per cent) and leans heavily towards No, is also expected to declare around 5am. Around 96 per cent of votes will have been counted by this stage.

6am Aberdeen

Scotland's oil heartland is likely to be the final area to declare. With 4 per cent of registered voters, it could determine the outcome in the event of a tight race. 

And here's the full 32.

1 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar - 2am 02:00
2 North Lanarkshire - 2am 02:00
3 Inverclyde - 2am 02:00
4 Orkney - 2am 02:00
5 East Lothian - 2am 02:00
6 Perth & Kinross - 2am 02:00
7 Moray - 2am 02:00
8 Clackmannanshire - 2:30am 02:30
9 West Dunbartonshire - 3am 03:00
10 Dumfries & Galloway - 3am 03:00
11 Angus - 3am 03:00
12 South Lanarkshire - 3am 03:00
13 East Renfrewshire - 3am 03:00
14 Dundee - 3am 03:00
15 Falkirk - 3am 03:00
16 Renfrewshire - 3am 03:00
17 East Ayrshire - 3am 03:00
18 Aberdeenshire - 3am 03:00
19 Stirling - 3am 03:00
20 Midlothian - 3:30am 03:30
21 Argyll & Bute - 3:30am 03:30
22 West Lothian - 3:30am 03:30
23 South Ayrshire - 3:30am 03:30
24 Shetland - 3:30am 03:30
25 East Dunbartonshire - 3:30am 03:30
26 Fife - 4am 04:00
27 Highland - 4am 04:00
28 North Ayrshire - 4:30am 04:30
29 Scottish Borders - 5am 05:00
30 Edinburgh - 5am 05:00
31 Glasgow - 5am 05:00
32 Aberdeen - 6am 06:00

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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The UK press’s timid reaction to Brexit is in marked contrast to the satire unleashed on Trump

For the BBC, it seems, to question leaving the EU is to be unpatriotic.

Faced with arguably their biggest political-cum-constitutional ­crisis in half a century, the press on either side of the pond has reacted very differently. Confronting a president who, unlike many predecessors, does not merely covertly dislike the press but rages against its supposed mendacity as a purveyor of “fake news”, the fourth estate in the US has had a pretty successful first 150-odd days of the Trump era. The Washington Post has recovered its Watergate mojo – the bloodhound tenacity that brought down Richard Nixon. The Post’s investigations into links between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s associates and appointees have yielded the scalp of the former security adviser Michael Flynn and led to Attorney General Jeff Sessions recusing himself from all inquiries into Trump-Russia contacts. Few imagine the story will end there.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has cast off its image as “the grey lady” and come out in sharper colours. Commenting on the James Comey memo in an editorial, the Times raised the possibility that Trump was trying to “obstruct justice”, and called on Washington lawmakers to “uphold the constitution”. Trump’s denunciations of the Times as “failing” have acted as commercial “rocket fuel” for the paper, according to its CEO, Mark Thompson: it gained an “astonishing” 308,000 net digital news subscriptions in the first quarter of 2017.

US-based broadcast organisations such as CNN and ABC, once considered slick or bland, have reacted to Trump’s bullying in forthright style. Political satire is thriving, led by Saturday Night Live, with its devastating impersonations of the president by Alec Baldwin and of his press secretary Sean Spicer by the brilliant Melissa McCarthy.

British press reaction to Brexit – an epic constitutional, political and economic mess-up that probably includes a mind-bogglingly destructive self-ejection from a single market and customs union that took decades to construct, a move pushed through by a far-right faction of the Tory party – has been much more muted. The situation is complicated by the cheerleading for Brexit by most of the British tabloids and the Daily Telegraph. There are stirrings of resistance, but even after an election in which Theresa May spectacularly failed to secure a mandate for her hard Brexit, there is a sense, though the criticism of her has been intense, of the media pussy-footing around a government in disarray – not properly interrogating those who still seem to promise that, in relation to Europe, we can have our cake and eat it.

This is especially the case with the BBC, a state broadcaster that proudly proclaims its independence from the government of the day, protected by the famous “arm’s-length” principle. In the case of Brexit, the BBC invoked its concept of “balance” to give equal airtime and weight to Leavers and Remainers. Fair enough, you might say, but according to the economist Simon Wren-Lewis, it ignored a “near-unanimous view among economists that Brexit would hurt the UK economy in the longer term”.

A similar view of “balance” in the past led the BBC to equate views of ­non-scientific climate contrarians, often linked to the fossil-fuel lobby, with those of leading climate scientists. Many BBC Remainer insiders still feel incensed by what they regard as BBC betrayal over Brexit. Although the referendum of 23 June 2016 said nothing about leaving the single market or the customs union, the Today presenter Justin Webb, in a recent interview with Stuart Rose, put it like this: “Staying in the single market, staying in the customs union – [Leave voters would say] you might as well not be leaving. That fundamental position is a matter of democracy.” For the BBC, it seems, to question Brexit is somehow to be unpatriotic.

You might think that an independent, pro-democratic press would question the attempted use of the arcane and archaic “royal prerogative” to enable the ­bypassing of parliament when it came to triggering Article 50, signalling the UK’s departure from the EU. But when the campaigner Gina Miller’s challenge to the government was upheld by the high court, the three ruling judges were attacked on the front page of the Daily Mail as “enemies of the people”. Thomas Jefferson wrote that he would rather have “newspapers without a government” than “a government without newspapers”. It’s a fair guess he wasn’t thinking of newspapers that would brand the judiciary as “enemies of the people”.

It does seem significant that the United States has a written constitution, encapsulating the separation and balance of powers, and explicitly designed by the Founding Fathers to protect the young republic against tyranny. When James Madison drafted the First Amendment he was clear that freedom of the press should be guaranteed to a much higher degree in the republic than it had been in the colonising power, where for centuries, after all, British monarchs and prime ministers have had no qualms about censoring an unruly media.

By contrast, the United Kingdom remains a hybrid of monarchy and democracy, with no explicit protection of press freedom other than the one provided by the common law. The national impulse to bend the knee before the sovereign, to obey and not question authority, remains strangely powerful in Britain, the land of Henry VIII as well as of George Orwell. That the United Kingdom has slipped 11 places in the World Press Freedom Index in the past four years, down to 40th, has rightly occasioned outrage. Yet, even more awkwardly, the United States is three places lower still, at 43rd. Freedom of the press may not be doing quite as well as we imagine in either country.

Harry Eyres is the author of Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet (2013)

This article first appeared in the 20 July 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The new world disorder