Brass Tacks

Scotland Peers into the Great Unknown

RSPB's Fowlsheug Bird and Nature Reserve, Crawton, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe
Scotland's future is cloudy.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The United Kingdom may be irrevocably transformed if Scotland today decides to break away and form a new country. Basic questions would loom large: What’s the currency? Join the European Union?

  • Facts


    • Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time in Scotland.
    • A result will be announced on Friday morning local time.
    • Election officials expect the biggest ever turnout for a Scottish election.
  • Audio


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Marion Voy is a tarot card reader, but today, as she watches the fog roll in from the North Sea at her home in Cockenzie on the east coast of Scotland, she is struggling to divine her country’s future.

“I think there will be a ‘Yes’ vote for independence,” she said hesitantly. “But I feel that actually, people don’t know what they want. I think the mist is symbolic. We are all feeling a bit lost.”

After a long, emotionally fraught campaign, Scotland goes to the polls today to vote on whether to separate after 307 years from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The result is still too close to call. One poll from Ipsos Mori showed 49 percent supporting  independence, and 51 percent against. A poll by YouGov shows 48 percent support for independence and 52 percent for staying in Britain.

The weather offers no help. In the United States, Republicans often benefit from bad election day weather because it keeps less politically motivated Democrats at home. In Britain, bad weather often hits voter turnout, and again, it tends to be left-leaning voters who stay home.

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