Some leaving yesterday’s polls dejected – embarrassed at way ‘Better together’ campaign was conducted.
With the “No” vote ahead in polls to predict Scotland’s future, you’d expect their voters to be in celebratory mood, but some are leaving Thursday’s vote dejected – unhappy at the way the Better Together campaign has gone.
John McIntyre, voting in the affluent parish of Murrayfield around three miles from Edinburgh city center, told the Anadolu Agency that even though he’d voted “No” he was not happy with the way the campaign had conducted itself.
“I don’t think the Better Together campaign did well at all…they should have campaigned on the philosophy of the vote, of not creating divisions,” he said.
The campaign’s response has come in for derision in many quarters, not least in a Scotsman article last year, where journalist Joyce McMillan wrote that Better Together’s response to the independence debate has – “in too many cases” – been “so reactionary, so negative, and so fundamentally disrespectful of the Scottish Parliament as an institution, that I now find it hard to think of voting with them.”
“I find myself so repelled by the tone and attitudes of those who should be my allies that I am gradually forced into the other camp,” she said.
The campaign has also come under fire for exaggerating the narrative of Scottish nationalism and support for independence in general. Several of its members have described independence supporters as “anti-English,” others claimed opponents have a limited outlook on identity and culture, and in September 2013 the Labour Party’s Scottish leader described support for independence as “a virus.”
Some voters angry at the campaign went all the way Thursday, switching from one side to the other.
Before polls opened, British tennis star Andy Murray tweeted – in a last minute boost to the “Yes” campaign – that such behavior had made up his mind.
“Huge day for Scotland today! no campaign negativity last few days totally swayed my view on it. excited to see the outcome. lets do this!” he wrote.
When the “Yes” campaign took a short-lived lead in opinion polls last Sunday, it was followed by a flurry of warnings from banks, retailers and the International Monetary Fund about the financial implications of independence – some of which threatened to move South of the border if Scotland went it alone.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond called for an inquiry into the warnings, accusing the British treasury of leaking market sensitive material to media.
The British media – seen by many as pro-“No” – has also come under the scrutiny of “Yes” voters after First Minister Alex Salmond accused BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson of heckling him with questions during a press conference.
Tensions were apparent Sunday when thousands of protestors gathered outside the BBC in Glasgow to demonstrate against what they said were the corporation’s “bias.”
Supporters in the audience had clapped when Salmond sneered about the BBC’s “impartial role as a public sector broadcaster.”
Speaking to the Guardian Wednesday, Salmond said British Prime Minister David Cameron had fought the “Better Together” campaign in a “miserable” way.
“His jacket is on a shoogly nail,” he stated, using a Scottish expression which means he should run for the hills, or at least hide behind his desk – that he may well be facing potential redundancy.
“You would not need to resign if you fought it properly but it was the way he did it. Just on the grounds of incompetence he should be pulled up. His conduct has been demeaning,” said Salmon.
After opening at 7 a.m. the polls are set to close at 10 p.m., during which time 4,285,323 people – 97 percent of the electorate – will decide if Scotland pulls away from England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The 32 local authorities will give their results to the chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly in Edinburgh who will declare the final result on Friday morning, celebrations and sorrow following – depending on what side you are on.