Scotland has chosen not to end the 307-year-old union with the United Kingdom, rejecting independence in an historic referendum that had worried allies and investors.
Results of more than two thirds of the votes cast on Thursday showed early Friday morning that supporters of the United Kingdom have won with an unassailable lead of 1,914,187 to 1,539,920, making 54 percent of the votes, and the NO share could climb.
Scotland’s final verdict on the union should be clear within hours.
The independence camp has already conceded defeat, saying that it had come up short.
“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,” Scottish nationalist party deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon said.
“It looks as if it’s not quite been enough and that’s deeply disappointing,” Sturgeon told the BBC.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and called for national unity.
Cameron said Lord Smith of Kelvin would oversee the process of more powers for the Scottish Parliament and that draft laws on new powers will be published by January.
Cameron also promised a resolution to the West Lothian question which allows Scottish members of parliament to vote on English issues.
The British pound hit a two-year high against the euro and a two-week high against the US dollar, as Scotland voted against independence.
Royal Bank of Scotland said it would keep its headquarters in Scotland following the “No” vote.