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Our man on the scene

Posted on September 24, 2014 by

There’s been a lot of talk on Twitter and Facebook of irregularities at the referendum counts, leading to accusations that the referendum was somehow fixed, culminating in a petition to have the procedures investigated, or even the referendum re-run. As with most conspiracy theories, this is largely down to people not understanding what they’re seeing, as the videos flying around the internet showing bits of the count have been removed from their context.

votecount

For example, there’s a video showing a counting table with a No sign on it with a pile of ballot papers, with the top paper showing a cross beside Yes. To the uninformed observer, this looks like Yes votes have been dumped on a table of No votes; but in reality, the pile of votes were still waiting to be split up into Yes and No at this point, and if the person making the video had bothered to check, they’d have found this out.

So here’s a quick guide to how the count worked, as observed by one of this website’s own official monitoring agents (specifically me).

In the days running up to the 18th, there were daily postal vote opening sessions, where ballot boxes containing postal votes were opened and the contents verified. This began by counting the number of envelopes (envelope ‘B’), which were then opened to reveal the postal voting statement and a second envelope (envelope ‘A’) containing the actual ballot paper. The postal voting statements were then checked against the list of postal voters, the information checked for completeness and correctness, and then packaging them up into sealed packets.

After this, the ballot papers were removed from their ‘A’ envelopes, kept face down so no one could see the vote, the number on the ballot paper checked against the number on the envelope to make sure they matched, and then placed into the ballot box. Some final verification checks were made, then the ballot box was sealed, ready to go to the final count.

The part about the postal votes being PLACED into the ballot box is important, as one of the most popular pieces of “evidence” circulating shows a ballot box being opened with the contents being “suspiciously” neatly stacked. Well yes, that’s because they weren’t posted through the top like the ballots in polling stations. (We know these were postal ballots because the “counting under way” caption suggests this was at the beginning of the count, not halfway through – see next section.)

So, at 10pm on the 18th September, the count began. Obviously ballot boxes were still at their polling stations at 10pm, so the count began with the ballot boxes containing postal votes, as these were already at the counting venues, ready to be counted. The first stage was counting the total number of ballots. This was done by putting the ballots into piles of 100, under the watchful gaze of counting agents from both sides (at the Aberdeen count there were so many counting agents for Yes that it was possible for people to take turns).

This was when counting agents were able to “sample” the votes, by taking tallies of the number of Yes and No votes being put into the piles (this is how people at election counts always seem to know the result long before it’s actually announced). These piles were then rubber-banded and given a slip of paper identifying the box they came from. Again, this explains one of the popular pieces of “evidence”, that claims to show a counter writing on a ballot paper. No, they were writing on one of these slips of paper.

The next stage was splitting the votes, when the piles of votes were actually put into piles of Yes and No (as well as a pile for ballots that hadn’t been completed properly). When a Yes or No basket was looking a bit full, their contents would be transferred to one of the applicable Yes or No counting tables to be counted. Counting officers would also check the pile of improperly completed ballots to put those where the intent was obvious into the Yes or No pile, and remove those that required further adjudication.

At several intervals throughout the count, the referendum agents would be gathered to witness the adjudication of improperly completed ballots, and argue the case for them to be included or rejected, according to which side they appeared to favour (and to despair at the number of people who find it so difficult to simply put a cross in a box).

Papers were double-counted, with counters working in pairs to double-check each other’s results. Every stage was scrutinised by counting agents, who had the power to step in at any point if they felt something was wrong. Occasionally a counter would put a ballot into the wrong Yes or No pile simply through human error, but this would be picked up, either straight away by the counting agent or the counter themselves, or by their colleague when the papers were recounted.

There are too many eyes watching for anything dodgy to happen, and trying to fix the count would require pretty much every single member of the counting staff to be in on the scam – and these are council workers known to both sides of the political divide.

Yes lost because we started off from somewhere between 25% and 30%, and had to face the full wrath of the British state, the media and corporate interests, not to mention people’s natural resistance to change – no matter how ridiculous Gordon Brown’s devolution timetable was, or the unionists’ recent track record of enhanced devolution, it was clearly enough to convince wavering No voters to give the union another chance. Pain can make critical faculties go out the window.

However, we certainly didn’t lose because of shenanigans at the counts, and perpetuating such stories only hinders the attempts that are currently being made to move on from the result and onto the second phase of this wide-ranging and thriving independence movement (Women For Independence and the Radical Independence Campaign are already planning their next conferences in the coming weeks).

As an official referendum agent for Wings Over Scotland who witnessed the counting procedures first-hand, I hope these words might carry at least a bit of weight amongst online activists. Believe me, if anything dodgy had been happening, this vile cybernat would have been screaming it from the rafters.

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    1. 24 09 14 11:16

      Cheer up folks | laidbackviews

    2. 24 09 14 12:40

      Vote rigging nonsense | Are We Really Better Together?

    3. 24 09 14 15:36

      Explanations to Most Claims the Scottish Referendum was Rigged | chryskelly

    891 to “Our man on the scene”

    1. Nana Smith says:

      My husband was a wings agent at the Dingwall count. He didn’t witness anything dodgy.
      Believe me if he had there would have been hell to pay.

    2. Robert Louis says:

      Well said Doug. Now ,conspiracy theorists, please stfu – in the nicest way possible 🙂

    3. thewaterbeastie says:

      Thanks for that, Doug.

    4. Moriarty says:

      I’m not claiming the vote was rigged in my demands for a revote. I’m claiming they won on the fall pretence that there would be more powers, something they’ve already gone back on.

    5. wingman 2020 says:

      Doug,

      Are you able to comment on Dundee and also the numbers registered versus number actually voted?

    6. Smith says:

      I’m in agreement that the count was pretty fair. I’ve not signed up to any of the petitions regarding a re-vote.

      But from your description, I don’t see how Ruth Davidson managed to get a feel for the postal vote before Thursday?

    7. Ally says:

      I have to agree with most of that!

      I was an official counting agent myself, & barring the “odd” one caused by human error – it was faultless enough in itself. The odd one made no difference & could have benefited Yes or no equally.

      The bigger question however is not the 10pm onwards counting “process” – more for me WHAT was actually counted?

      Why were 2 of the major cities (Glasgow & Dundee) that returned a YES majority – 2 places that had some of the lowest turnout?? – Makes you wonder – dunnit?? #justsayin

    8. Evelyn says:

      I was told that all the ballot boxes leaving the polling stations would be followed by the police? Is this supposed to happen as I know that it didn’t on some occasions?

    9. Dinnatouch says:

      Well said. I’ve despaired at the conspiracy theories that have been circulating since Friday morning. Yes lost because too many people believed what they were being told by the MSM, nothing more.

    10. Brian B says:

      Glad to see this written up.

      @wingman 2020 – He may not be able too but I was a Counting Agent for Dundee (o.b.o. Wings in fact)

      Everything he’s related is true of Dundee as well, regards the fire alarms, to the best of my understanding these occurred by a fault in the alarm.

      At any rate, some of my fellow counting agents stayed in the hall despite protests that they needed to evacuate along with the police and they report that nothing happened during. News Cameras were also left running on the count, so it could be observed that way.

      Every Counting Agent I’ve asked after the fact has agreed they are happy nothing went wrong at Dundee.

    11. Seasick Dave says:

      Its the campaigning in the purdah period, backed by the full weight of the MSM, that really makes me feel sick.

      Why do we have an Electoral Commission if things like this are allowed to happen?

    12. Robert Kerr says:

      It’s not the counting per say that is suspicious in my view.

      Rather the whole postal vote business. This is not robust as a complete procedure.

      First question. If I vote by post can I find out after the result that the count correctly recorded my vote?

      Second question. Why was there no exit poll? Then we would have some idea as to the postal vote versus the in-place vote.

      Third question. What can be done to limit the number of postal votes to those who have a need?

      Remember the changes were instigated by Labour in Westminster. Cui Bono?

    13. Brian B says:

      @Smith –

      Better Together got a feel for postal votes in same way we got a feel for vote share in actual vote.

      Counting Agents aren’t forbidden to try and glimpse what’s on a ballot in all the goings on, it’s just not meant to be the purpose of the session. Most of them were probably read through the paper and that’s technically fine, as long as you don’t publicise the outcome of your sampling before the actual ballot is closed.

    14. Malcolm says:

      Well said, Doug.
      Now let’s concentrate on being ready for round 2, because it will come. And if Big Gordies promises are not met then it could be within the next couple of years.

    15. Suzanne says:

      Demand a recount so everyone will shut up

    16. TheGreatBaldo says:

      “Are you able to comment on Dundee and also the numbers registered versus number actually voted?”

      As Doug was in Aberdeen, obviously he can only vouch for there but the procedure and protocols were exactly the same at ALL the counts.

      *IF* there were any discrepancies at any of the other counts, as Doug points out they would have been raised, addressed and resolved immediately at the count.

      And take a second to figure out the time and logistics required to fake over 400,000.

      Like everyone else I was devastated by the result, but chasing and imagining phantoms isn’t going to help, if it continues it may end up doing great harm to the cause.

      To use a fitba analogy, we lost the away leg of a European tie in a hostile environment with an incredibly dodgy ref.

      Frustrating and annoying I know, but life frequently isnae fair.

      The return home leg will come soon and it will be a lot easier and we shall be a lot wiser.

    17. Tom McGuire says:

      I accept that there was no conspiracy to commit electoral fraud in the counting centers. However, my background is in operations management and those videos and photpos tell me that the vote count system is deeply flawed and error strewn. Its like a British factory in the 70s before Nissan came along and showed us what Quality Assurance was all about. People are absolutely right to be critical and demand to know for sure that their vote counted. You saying “nothing to see here” is not going to cut it. If we want a true democracy where everyone has their say we need a new system for counting votes. The current one is not fit for purpose.

    18. HighlandM says:

      Douglas, I was at the Highland count and not too sure at what time Ruth Davidson made her comments. I’ve assumed that when the postal votes that were removed from envelope A and placed face down, there were agents from both side there, then they would still be able to view a proportion of ballots as they were turned around to the correct position. This would of course have given a sample prevote and obviously would have had to be kept secret. Would be useful if someone could confirm this.

      Additionally, only No campaign mentioned it as the sample showed in their favour.

    19. Nigel Mace says:

      Absolutely correct in every respect. I too was a counting agent and observed an impeccable procedure. This nonsense about the ballot and the count needs spiked for the diversionary hysteria that it is. Let us concentrate on what I’ve called “Vow Watch” and then the 2015 and 2016 elections – and, I hope, a 2020 referendum after that.

    20. thinkaboutit says:

      I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I totally accept the count. That saying as a hacker/security professional something as important as this must not be left to ‘trust’. There is no reasons that a fully publicly audit-able process and post vote forensic log with a security risk assessment of vulnerabilities such as ‘in transit’ transfers. There are many people with a deep distrust of the Electorial System if they wish wo win back that trust they must publicly evidence them selves to the contrary. And I don’t mean a piece on the BBC!

    21. Cod says:

      I despair of the fact that since Friday morning I have had to engage in more conversations with Yes voters claiming the vote was rigged or there was electoral fraud of one sort or the other than I have about actual policies and the collapse of the so called vow by the No side.

      I understand why people would want to blame something, anything, other than the fact we lost to fear, bias, lies and refusal to change, but none of this nonsense actually helps. We need to face the fact that we lost by 400,000 votes, move on, and figure out what to do next.

      Apart from anything else, claiming we lost the vote to fraud makes it easy to argue there is no point continuing the fight, no point taking part, no point in remaining politically engaged. It’s so much easier to sit back and blame something you can’t do anything about, than it is to actually do something. Not only that but it gives the No side easy ammunition – “look at you lot, sitting over there, bitching about fraud, that’s pathetic fearmongering”. And they’d be right. It is.

    22. Morag says:

      I can echo everything Doug has said, and more. I was a counting agent at Kelso, and not only was the process admirably honest and transparent, seeing the detail of the system allows you to realise that it’s essentially IMPOSSIBLE to rig on a large scale.

      I’ve been trying to think how it might be possible to rig a result like this in such a way as to be undetectable to the teams of agents doing ballot-box sampling (checking the spread of votes in each individual ballot box), and drawn a complete blank.

      You’d have to intercept all or virtually all the boxes between the polling station and the count. You’d have to remove about 10% of the Yes papers and substitute these with the same number of No votes. You’d have to do this with the co-operation of the driver and the police escort, and do it in such a way that the seals appeared undisturbed. You’d still be vulnerable to the serial numbers on the substituted papers not being what they should be, if anyone checked. And just how could this be done, with many thousands of individual boxes involved, while they’re being literally “rushed” to the count? Nobody would notice? Really?

      The thing to remember is that the referendum is not being run by Ernst Blofeld. It’s being run by your friends and neighbours, volunteering as polling clerks and presiding officers and tellers and counting supervisors and so on. And by you yourself if you volunteered to be a polling or counting agent.

      These people are a mix of Yes and No voters, everyone is aware of what everyone else is doing. The opportunity to do more than make the odd inadvertent “mistake” simply isn’t there. The process has weaknesses, but they’re weaknesses that might skew a result by a dozen or two votes. Not by hundreds of thousands. At the macro level it’s astoundingly robust.

      Something I overheard at the Kelso count is worth repeating. This was at the end, as people were tidying up. The speaker was a senior council official or councillor. He said this.

      “I know these people [the tellers]. Most of them voted Yes. I’m absolutely gutted for them, having to sit and count all these No votes.”

      Think about that, when you read the conspiracy nonsense.

    23. Robert Louis says:

      Malcolm,

      If the promises of devo max are not kept, it will be much sooner than 2 years.

      The rising anger at what has happened is palpable. Let’s see if Westminster delivers devo max as they promised. If not, all bets are off.

      http://www.newsnetscotland.scot/index.php/scottish-news/9783-browns-home-rule-pledge-must-be-honoured-says-salmond

    24. Cod says:

      Also, there seems to be a problem with the site – you can only get to this story via Twitter. clicking into the WoS site directly doesn’t show this post at all…

    25. Scooter says:

      You may very well be right that there was no vote rigging – I would not argue one way or another on that point but if there was any vote rigging, I am sure that there would have been an effort to keep it invisible to the public eye.

      However, what I can see, as somebody with experience in other fields with similar disciplines but none specifically in electoral administration, is appalling (and I mean truly appalling – nor just poor) hygiene with regard to the ballot papers.

      The photo showing the mixed votes on the NO table ought not be possible because there is no way that any ballot papers should have even touched that table until they had been counted. It’s a matter of simple accountability and maintaining transparency and uncontaminated transit through a system.

      There should be no writing implements which could be used to make marks similar to those made by the voter. Any counting marks should me made with something which is in clear contrast, like a dayglow highlighter.

      The general picture of the count looked to me like an environment where anybody with malevolent intentions could have taken advantage. It was amateurish or, at best, primitive.

    26. Bouncy says:

      I have a problem with the postal votes. The regulations you link to clearly state:
      “Don’t look or allow others to look at the votes marked on the ballot papers. Place ballot papers in the postal ballot box or appropriate receptacle and proceed to Stage 5.”
      In the meantime, in this clip, it appears that Ruth Davidson is clearly stating that they did see the postal votes and could tally them during the opening.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcL69gUtPb0

    27. Robert Pennington says:

      I have no problems with the count, but I don’t seem to be able to get any reassurance about the security of postal ballots or about the safety of ballot boxes in transit. And I thin to trust the UK regime is naive in the extreme.

    28. Cath says:

      I was a counting agent in Glasgow. To give you one example of just how hard it would be for a counting agent to rig it, I was standing watching one person in particular. It was at the stage where all the votes had been split into yes and no and were being counted into piles of 100. To check she was actually putting 100 no ballots in the “100 no” pile rather than y’know 75, I counted as she did. Except at the end I thought she’d made an error as I counted 101 no ballots in the pile. She looked like she wasn’t quite sure it was right either, so counted again and obviously realised her second 50 was actually 51. She noticeable paused before taking it out as if she kind of didn’t want to (bear in mind many of these counters would have been as passionate yes voters as we were). Then she had to. She knew she did because the next stage was it got passed onto the person next to her to re-count.

      There are ways and means to rig an election. The counting agents really aren’t one of them.

    29. msean says:

      Not heard anyone utter the word ‘cybernat’ for almost a week now. It would be a huge task to rig the vote at the count on the night,never thought it might happen there. I realise that we lost,but to get within 5% of victory from a supposedly low base is fantastic.

      Never again can they say that less than 3 in 10 support independence,as that simply isn’t true,independence polled 45% of a huge turnout and we can take heart from that,unelected elite and Westminster should take note.

      Got a thing in the post offering 25p off of daily papers. No thanks,its recycled already.

    30. Cod says:

      Ok, scratch that last comment, it seems to have updated now. Weird glitch.

    31. Melanie McKellar says:

      I have a question…what about Ruth Davidson saying that they were able to see samples of the postal votes before the official count? Was this normal and open to all parties?
      Also what about the accusation that ‘extra’ voters were added to the postal register?
      You have to bear in mind there have been accusations before surrounding the postal voting system.

    32. Cath says:

      i And I thin to trust the UK regime is naive in the extreme.

      It is. But to imagine people on social media will be able to “prove” how they rigged an election is even more so.

    33. mrpscotlandfan says:

      with some evidence that has came to light about some not all areas of scotland have had ballots with no barcode or number also the fact in argyll and bute some cars have taken ballot boxes without supervision there are reports of this happening in some areas not all and add to the fact the video footage of the Edinburgh officer filling in ballots and placing them in a pile in front of him there is evidence of wrong doing and a proper legal investigation must take place . i myself am hoping we can have a clear and honest referendum next time as i feel we lost the first battle for Independence but may still win the hearts minds and the votes for the next referendum

    34. Bouncy says:

      The point about the no campaign seeing the postal vote tally before the polls opened is, Ruth Davidson states that they are mainly older people, so if they saw that the postal votes were going their way, then it would encourage them to target and continue pressing home the lies to non postal voting pensioners in the final days of the campaign.

    35. GordonfromJordan says:

      Should we not seek a reassurance that we retain our own sovereignty and that our legal standing as a nation remains unchanged following the referendum? If the answer is no then there is no need for another referendum but there is a need for a revolution and mass civil disobedience.

    36. Doug Daniel says:

      “I was told that all the ballot boxes leaving the polling stations would be followed by the police? Is this supposed to happen as I know that it didn’t on some occasions?”

      I give up.

    37. al says:

      Thanks for this.

      It’s a pity it has to fall to Wings to provide the explanation a lot of us have been looking for.

    38. Morag says:

      Smith, read what Doug said about the opening of the postal votes. The papers were checked for the serial number, while they were face down. At this stage the agents observing aren’t supposed to be able to see whether the papers are marked for Yes or No, but nothing’s perfect.

      Sometimes it’s possible to get a glimpse of the vote. Some teams train themselves to be able to see where the cross is by looking at the underside of the paper. I know an SNP team in Peterhead who were ace at this in the 1990s. That way you get a feel for how the spread of the votes is, some days or even a week before the actual vote.

      This is an inevitable weakness of the transparency of the system. It’s countered by holding all the agents to a promise of absolute secrecy. However people do spread the word, in hushed tones, within their own camp. Ruth’s big mistake was to spill the beans in front of the TV cameras. But what they were doing, we were almost certainly doing too.

    39. Finnz says:

      The slick political machine of the No side parties meant they were able to mobilise their supporters in their usual time-honoured fashion.

      Polling agents actually checking if their supporters turned up. And then going to get them if they didn’t.

      In West Aberdeenshire, the Tories and Libs are especially good at this.

    40. Doug Daniel says:

      Right, lots of people moaning about Ruth Davidson knowing postal vote numbers in advance.

      Agents were allowed to go to the postal vote opening sessions. You weren’t meant to be able to sample them, but clearly some cheeky No folk did anyway.

      Either way, IT DOESN’T CHANGE THE FUCKING RESULT.

    41. Morag says:

      Robert, imagining that all or even most of the boxes could have been interfered with on the way to the count is fanciful. Interfering with a few boxes not only wouldn’t provide enough votes to change the result, it would be instantly obvious to the counting agents doing the ballot box sampling.

    42. Davyb says:

      I supervised my local polling station and the count at Ingliston. I knew we had lost when the polling supervisor told me the turnout in an affluent suburb of Edinburgh was 96% at 9:15pm. The count was impeccable – we need to stop this embarrassing discussion.

    43. Colin Joseph says:

      It requires leaving your comfort zone and confronting reality, not conspiracy theories. Do you really believe that the Government that brought us Iraq, Libya, probably now Syria and Iran is not going to deploy its spooks to stave off the loss of such a rich asset as Scotland. Your explanation for the Yes votes being on the No table defies logic and is the official explanation regurgitated. How can you explain the other woman shuffling the ballots like cards moving them from YES pile to No pile. The whole project was a classic psycops (Psychological Operation, for those not familiar with the subject)

    44. Dcanmore says:

      I totally agree with you Doug, it is annoying as fake moon landings. We lost and we lost through legitimate means. A quarter of Glasgow’s electorate didn’t show up, 97% registered to vote in Scotland but 84% actually turned up, the missing 800,000. Add to that pensioners frightened, purdah rules trashed and empty promises shore up the soft NO vote. Muddles over currency and Europe with clear messages not getting through enough. That’s how we lost the referendum. The great idea of self determination was swallowed up by micro-detail aided and abetted by the country’s media. For too long the SNP and YES Scotland weren’t prepared for dirty tricks.

      But out of this something new has happened, YES are not melting away, they have been energised. The British Establishment have been thrown into panic as 1.6 million demanded change. This is not a figure that Westminster wanted to hear. The YES campaign didn’t climb mountains, they moved them. Many of those soft NO voters are now regretting their decision. We know the size of our army, we know the demographics and the invaluable info collected by YES Scotland. We can reach out now and grow our movement even bigger because Westminster will fudge and will continue to make big mistakes right up until GE2015 and beyond.

      Now we need a YES Alliance, moving forward with a clear coherent strategy with positivity and vision. All the parties, groups and individuals of the YES movement are as relevant now as they were last week and the last two years. Remaining together a pushing forward as one we will take the fight to Westminster to demand at least Full Fiscal Autonomy, then we carry the fight and the vision to SE2017 and to complete the hat trick onto the SLE2017. Taking a majority in all of these elections by purging Westminster from Scotland could trigger three things. Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Full Fiscal Autonomy or a snap referendum on Independence, all in three years.

      But the ongoing thread in the campaign, which starts now, is to get rid of Westminster unionists from Scotland.

    45. Tartan Tory says:

      Smith says:
      I’m in agreement that the count was pretty fair. I’ve not signed up to any of the petitions regarding a re-vote.

      But from your description, I don’t see how Ruth Davidson managed to get a feel for the postal vote before Thursday?

      I know how she had a feel for it. I drove home from the council offices after the first postal vote opening and there were tears running down my cheeks on that day – a week before the referendum. Perhaps that says enough? 🙁

    46. Les Wilson says:

      Well, I get this we need to move on, however, can anyone explain the video of the guy who was filling in ballot papers, while being wary of anyone looking?

      However, moving on, we need to keep inspiration going.
      My thought on this is that the SG go ahead consulting all they need to to get a Scottish Constitution agreed and published. Of course it could not be acted upon, yet.

      Nevertheless, it would show people, how things would change and will be acted upon, as soon as Indy arrives.
      This would be a great inspiration to naysayers AND the committed.
      as Westminster austerity gets ever deeply and people see poverty rising.

      I do think that this would convert many more people to Independence. The document produced WOULD be the one used when the time comes, now that would be inspirational.

    47. Tony Little says:

      In the agonising hours and days after the vote, I also saw three videos and although they certainly appeared to be “dodgy” the explanations for them are perfectly valid. I have no doubt that the count was as honest as any can be. The formal acceptance by the Chief Counting Officer was also specific that she was endorsing the legality of the count.

      If any doubt can be expressed over the vote it is in the whole postal voting system which has been shown to be corruptible. I am not suggesting anything did happen, and either YES had to “lose” 400,000 postal votes (9.5% of the electorate), or 200,000 YES votes had to be replaced by 200,000 NO votes. I think Morag has explained elsewhere the impossibility of this being done.

      So if it wasn’t the ballot papers themselves, where could it have been? Only in the original application stage for a postal vote. This would require a similar level of fraud, i.e. 400,000 fraudulent requests. Now, requests for Postal ballots was at one time suggested to be 25%, and we do know that 125% of ballot papers were printed. We also know that 18% of votes were by Postal ballot. People, the numbers simply don’t add up.

      We lost this battle. Not “fair and square” but we were unable to convince enough of the 2.1 million NO voters that their future would not be worse, and should be better with Independence. We failed to convince the Older generation in enough numbers that their own and their children/grandchildren would benefit from Independence, we failed to convince the 25% who believed Gordon Brown about Devo that this was a fairy story.

      But we start now from a different position than 3 years ago. We have 1.6 million people, thousands of new SNP., Green, and SSP members who are likely to be committed and active, we have 45% base, not 25% base. The war is still winnable if we learn from this setback.

    48. Atypical_Scot says:

      There would need to be 100’s of 1000’s of vote rigging to get 51%, let alone secure a solid victory.

      If we’re better together, can we please tax everyone 0.5% of net earnings above 25K through council tax to create a Scottish fund to offset the effects of WM’s war on the poor.

      This could be done at council tax level – if we remove labour councils that is.

      We can show the UK we mean it when we said we are better off independent.

    49. Ken500@hotmail.co.uk says:

      Why has Davidson not be charged with electoral fraud. Is she above the Law?

      Cameron and Brown lied and made ‘Vows’ which they did not have the power to keep. They lied. That is why Scotland lost the chance of Independence. Scotland is now on a downer because of these liars. The hope relinquished because of these liars. They will be thrown out at every election. Scotland will get Independence.

    50. John says:

      Thank you Doug. I agree with your brief but detailed description.

      MY observations and my understanding of what I saw first hand as the Wings referendum agent for Edinburgh at both the Postal Opening sessions before the 18th and at the main count at Ingliston from 10pm onwards fully supports your view that there was nothing dodgy about the count.

      Lets move on and concentrate our efforts on the next round – keeping up the pressure on the main stream (sic) and winning.

      I am even more certain we will get Independence given the growing strength and conviction of the so-called “losing side”.

    51. handclapping says:

      The part of the system that is, now was, most open to fraud is the electoral registration by householders. There is nothing to stop you adding a couple of “lodgers” to your October registration return as long as you are not claiming for single occupancy council tax relief. Lodgers are Income Tax exempt too so there is no cross check. Then you put in postal vote applications for them so they don’t have to turn up at a polling station to vote and now if you remember how you signed for them and the date of birth you gave them, you have tripled your vote.

      Individual Voter Registration is now in force for the 2015 General Election so the above method is now no longer feasible. I have always wondered why the Glenrothes bye election was delayed until November.

    52. G H Graham says:

      The only conspiracy (any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result) was between the Unionist parties, the Westminster Establishment & the BBC.

      The BBC is the worst participant because it didn’t require an express instruction from either Westminster or the three main Unionist parties.

      Due to its embedded relationship with Westminster & the London Establishment, it simply contrived to produce a heavily biased output of propaganda on an industrial scale because it has the capacity & motive to do so.

      With a £5 billion budget, the production of news & current affairs programming that gives a wholly biased viewpoint is easy.

      It has multiple TV & radio channels so that it reaches far more people than any other producer of propaganda could ever hope to match.

      And to complete any gaps, the print media obliged with daily scare stories & hyperbole that even the Dandy couldn’t match.

      The problem isn’t the people who voted NO, the problem is that the people living in the British Isles are subjected to a daily onslaught of London propaganda that has for decades, conditioned them into believing that the Establishment knows what it is that is in their best interests.

      Thus, we have David Cameron, even after all the horrors of the Iraq & Afghan wars, agitating to bomb Syria with the simplistic idea that bombing a country makes the people who live their change their mind towards your way of thinking.

      Of course, there’s no need to bomb Scots. The British media does a psychological bombing on his behalf every single minute, hour & day.

    53. Neil Mackenzie says:

      Okay… but

      There’s an element of performance in the count process which reminds me of prop based magic shows where the audience is invited to inspect all the equipment and try to find the trap-doors and the mirrored panels and the hidden pockets while the trick to trick, whatever it is, has nothing to do with any of these things.

      At the end of the day, I have a choice to believe one of two things. Either two million people voted No and only 1.6 million voted Yes or I watched a very clever trick being performed. The fact that I don’t know how a trick was performed doesn’t necessarily convince me that a trick wasn’t performed. On the basis of which of these options offends my sanity the least, I’m going for the second one and that’s why I signed the petition for a recount.

      Remember, there were no exit polls to provide a real-world, real-time guide to what was actually going on that day. All the things we, the audience, could be confident of knowing point to a prospect of Yes winning quite handsomely. The established polling companies had it neck and neck but there were tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of additional people voting in this referendum who aren’t on the pollsters’ radar. If you believe these hitherto ghosts were registering to vote No, I don’t think you’ve been paying attention.

    54. Mike Heinemeier says:

      Many people were saying there was nothing on the back of their voting forms at the polling station. Is it not possible that these false forms couandld be switched out for the legitimate ones where a cross is put in the No box. The count would be exactly the same but the result completely different. Boxes could be intercepted between the stations and the counting centre. No one would be the wiser. Job done.

    55. Celia Fitzgerald says:

      Yes, I was at the Edinburgh count and there’s no way that anything untoward happened at the count itself. People who made those videos (illegally by the way) would, like anyone else at the count, know that only too well. It seems to me that they were red herrings designed to distract us from any real irregularities and to discredit anyone making such allegations. You have fallen for it. They have succeeded so very little attention is being paid to other areas of real concern such as lack of security in the transport of the boxes, widespread reports of people being told they’d already voted when they turned up to vote, registration of non- resident and under age children, etc. not to mention all the other stuff such as biased media coverage, frightening letters and phone calls to pensioners, and so on, which are grounds for a judicial review.

    56. Doug Daniel says:

      Morag: “But what they were doing, we were almost certainly doing too.”

      I have an anecdote from the Aberdeen count that perhaps shows why people should be careful what they wish for.

      When we were going through the “doubtful” papers, there was one with a cross in the Yes box, but it had then been sort of scribbled over, like the person had decided a cross wasn’t enough and they would swirl and swirl the pencil in the box instead to make it impossible to rub out. We argued that if they had changed their mind, there would also be a cross in the No box, but the No folk were adamant that this person was trying to scribble out their Yes vote. As it was a stalemate, the paper had to be rejected, and the No folk were feeling pretty chuffed with themselves.

      Their smirks soon disappeared when they saw the next two papers had crosses in the No box which were scribbled over…

    57. Scott (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      I was one of the counting agents at Aberdeen for Wings and I can confirm that what Doug says is true.

      Once a ballot is posted or boxed its incredibly hard to tamper with it.

      We did great moving from 25 – 45 and should be proud, but the next phase is keeping that momentum to push Westminster to fulfil its devolution promises.

      This will take time, but if they renege, we will have the mandate to ask the people once more.

    58. Elizabeth says:

      It’s not the physical counting that bothers me it’s the transfer of counting to gathering the statistics. In REnfrewshire the count finished 2-3 hours before they announced the outcome and a lot of very worried looking people hogged a laptop. There are many ways to fudge the result and I would like to know what went on in Douglas Alexander’s seat to delay the announcement by that length of time. It was not as being suggested a TV slot as I watched as the results came in there was plenty time for the announcement when the count was over. This type of delay seemed to be in many returning areas… I would like an answer.

    59. Tony Little says:

      Morag/Doug

      Can you clarify a question about the ballot papers that is also flying around. I can’t recall so welcome your comments. It is said that each ballot paper should have had a unique number / barcode on the reverse. Is this correct, as many people are claiming their ballot paper was blank on the reverse.

      Thanks

    60. Cuilean says:

      Don’t buy papers but also unsubscribe online. ‘Unsubscribing’ is just as important as not buying papers, even subscriptions to ‘free’ sites. Papers attract advertisers’ revenue based on online subscribers. So if we can reduce online subscriptions to ‘die-hard’ readers only, that’s the one thing keeping the ‘Scotsman’ etc alive.Also, if you feel like it, write to the companies advertising in the ‘Scotsman’ etc, saying you are considering not using them, given their adverts in the lying ‘Scotsman’ etc and why are they tarnishing their image via association? The ‘Scotsman’ etc. cared only for their vested interests, so let’s rob them of all oxygen (advert revenue) so they expire via asphyxiation.

    61. M4rkyboy says:

      I read that the postal votes were gathered by the Royal Mail and sent to England to be scanned.any truth in this?

    62. Morag says:

      I struggle to see how the police would have had the resources to follow every ballot box from the polling station to the count. They really didn’t need to, though. The countryside is not heaving with shadowy forces just waiting to intercept ballot boxes.

      There are stories from the past that boxes have been diverted in Labour areas, and suspicions of tampering. I’m not sure how this was ever supposed to have been accomplished as you can’t simply add papers or the verification/reconciliation count will be out. You’d have to break the seal and substitute papers, leaving the total number the same, and once you’ve done that how do you cover it up?

      But even if this could have been done in a few areas, first a few boxes wouldn’t make enough difference to change the result, and second it would be screamingly obvious to the counting agents if one box stood out as having 100% No votes.

      Please take off the tinfoil hats, guys.

    63. MekQuarrie says:

      Spot on…

    64. Alan Mackintosh says:

      I was at the Highland count in Dingwall and agree with all said above. The count process is robust with second counts to check for accuracy. Cant see any way that anything could happen bar the odd mistake and that could go either way. If anything dodgy was going to happen it certainly wouldnt be in plain sight at a count. Postal votes are the weak link however, and I dont know enough about these to be confident they are completely sound.

      That said, if there was tampering, those involved would have resources and access to ballots/seals far beyond the normal labour apparatchics could ever hope for. This is the British state we are up against after all.

    65. Ramona says:

      We need to put this issue to bed, and once again Stu you have done this well. Our efforts need to move away from this and concentrate on what lies ahead, and what we all can do to achieve it.

    66. schrodingers cat says:

      I was responsable for putting extra seals on all of the ballot boxes in every polling station in howe of fife, at 10 pm when the doors and boxes were shut and tagged, i installed an extra one, (numbered) for the yes campaign before they were taken to the count in glenrothes, all were intact when they arrived and were verified by the yes observers at the count. these conspiracy theories are just that, let them go, it is divisive and sounds like sour grapes. if there was fraud then the only place it posibly could have taken place is with postal votes which we have no way of checking now, a recount would only verify the fraud if indeed there was one. the real fraud in this referendum was the fear and lies with which the no camp spread to the pensioners, i met one on the door step in tears, 3 men in suits from the no campaign had been there 2 days earlier and told her that if there was a yes vote, they would be round on friday to get her pension book. I got angry, now i am going to get even. this isnt over

      btw, i was unable to do this to all of the boxes, why? because i needed people at every polling station and we didnt have the numbers, the no camp did, i spent the day driving from one station to the next, taking down huge and illegal no posters from out side the stations, and putting up new yes posters because the ones which we put out(i started at 5 am) were ripped down when i wasnt there. lack of people was also the reason not all boxes got tagged, we couldnt be at all of the stations at 10pm. Where were the people who claim fraud? rather than claiming fraud, go to your local yes facebook page, and send an email to them, then get of your arses and get involved with them on the ground. the old women dont read facebook. objective no 1, in 6 months we wipe every unionist mp in scotland of the map, i want crash gordon, ming campbell and darling’s heads on sticks. this would be a good start,

      by the way, if you look at the election results, from kirkcaldy and cowdenbeath from the HE as well, you will see that the present state of voter pattern is 22000 snp and between 22-25000 lab with a 55% turnout. this is a target seat

    67. uilleam_beag says:

      Ruth Davidson knowing what the postal vote tallies were (or samples thereof at least) doesn’t change the result, but it does seem to be a clear breech of the rules. Davidson even acknowledged in the clip that it is “illegal to talk about” exactly what she is talking about – in fact, it’s illegal to check that information in any way, never mind pass it on to either campaign.

      That doesn’t invalidate the referendum, but she should be made to face questions on the issue.

    68. Morag says:

      Tony, I don’t know the exact details about the unique numbers, perhaps someone else will be able to explain.

      The stories about ballot papers being sent to England have not been substantiated as far as I know. It’s amazing how much credence people will give to one anonymous tweet, but then fight furiously against someone who was actually there trying to explain to them that they’re mistaken.

      I think it’s either a complete fabrication, or it’s a misunderstanding about something different that happened. Maybe specimen signatures were scanned or something.

    69. GavB says:

      I was one of Doug’s team for WoS at the Aberdeen count and completely agree with his observations. The damage was done leading up to the vote, not at the count itself.

      My personal theory, we got a majority among the folk who are online, but could not reach enough of those who get their information via TV and the papers. Somehow we need to fix that.

      I am amazed at how quickly we bounced back since the vote. We need to keep engaged and direct our attention to holding Westminster’s “feet to the fire” on Devo Max and then (because I think they will fall short) onto independence.

    70. joe barclay says:

      I was told the ballot paper had a number and a bar code on the back mine without doubt never as i have never voted in my life before and was very careful to check everything to make sure i was doing it right center staff were not very helpful or approachable but i just put this down to being the end of a long day

    71. Illy says:

      Ok, three things I’ve been saying repeatedly about this:

      1) Even if we could prove that they rigged it, it wouldn’t do us any good now. They’ve won round one.

      2) Given that they set it up so that we can’t have a recount, do you really believe that they wouldn’t try?

      3) The wouldn’t have cheated at the count. You rig paper ballot elections by controlling the voting register: voting for dead people and denying the demographic that’s going to vote against you their votes. The turnout being low for Glasgow isn’t helping to calm any fears here, and the postal votes aren’t either. I know there were some people who’s votes got lost, there was an emergency number to call to sort that out, but I don’t know if they were successful in voting or not.

      Point 1 is important *now*. But we need to remember 2 and 3 for next time.

    72. BigSteveChisholm says:

      Thanks, Doug.

      I know a lot of disappointed YES voters want someone to blame; I read that Butterfly Rebellion blog and can see how a conspiracy theory acts as a comforter during a very black week.

      “I saw all those YES windows, we were sure to win”. Yeah, I wanted to believe that too.

      The British State does have form – there is no length it won’t go to in order to retain its power and wealth.

      However, (deep breath) there is *no evidence* of wide scale vote rigging at the counts. We lost. The Union won. Not enough people think Scotland should go it alone. That’s the horrible truth of the matter.

      There are other ways to ‘rig’ an election. I DO believe that polls were used to manipulate public opinion. I know that the electorate were lied to and bullied. We were blanket bombed by the MSM. Read up on the Behavioural Insights (nudge) Unit.

      Project Fear was an effective, winning strategy and that’s what gave Unionist politicians the brass balls to keep on lying on TV when they looked like fucking idiots for doing so. They knew FEAR would win before you even put your cross on the ballot paper.

      Every aspect of Project Fear boiled down to one core issue – money. Scotland will be worse off if it chooses independence. Currencies will fail; employers will flee; bills will go up; you’ll lose your pension; mortgage payments will double; oil will run out; we won’t subsidise you any more. And people swallowed it. Lots of them. 55%.

      I don’t know any 65+ NO voters but, depressingly, I know a good few 40yo NO voters. They all thought they’d lose their job or have to pay higher domestic bills or higher taxes. The same fundamental thing drove them to vote NO; they thought they’d be worse off. I heard lots of different excuses but their personal well-being was always tucked somewhere at the back of the argument.

      I’m including a Youtube link to a doco from 2005, ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ (86mins). It’s about US campaign marketing consultants Greenberg Carville Shrum and their efforts to sell the voters of Bolivia on the idea that the country faced an imminent economic and political crisis. ie Project Fear.

      The philosophy of GCS: Keep your message simple and keep repeating it. It’s no different from Goebbels ‘Repeat the lie’. Well worth a watch.

      Our Brand is Crisis
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex8liAPhk3I

      We need to take Project Fear and turn it on its head. I understand why the YES campaign stayed positive. YES 2.0 should probably do the same. But we, as the ’45’ or whatever don’t need to play nice. Our message from now on, to anyone who listens, has to be a variation on this –

      The Union is a parasite. WE ARE BEING BLED DRY.

      (and exhale) My tuppence worth for the day.

    73. DoziR says:

      Thank you Douglas I’m sure that will put some minds at rest. Thanks for all your hard work it’s appreciated. Xx

    74. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Tony Little, yes each ballot should have an identifying no and a bar code on the back. This should tally with your name on the polling station list. ie the ballot paper no. is entered beside your name i believe when you go to the polling station

    75. Morag says:

      I can’t say for sure that our side were sampling the postal ballot opening the way Ruth indicated the No side were. I do know SNP teams have done this in the past, but nobody said anything about postal vote spread to me this time.

      It’s common practice though. Ruth’s mistake was to talk about it on TV. It might be possible to push it as far as getting her knuckles rapped for it. And of course the knuckles of whoever passed the information to her, because that’s the person who actually broke the law.

      It’s a complete storm in a teacup though.

    76. handclapping says:

      @M4rkyboy
      I read that the postal votes were gathered by the Royal Mail and sent to England to be scanned.any truth in this?

      This is Wings; where did you read it, who wrote what you read, why do you believe that we should believe them, which postal votes, where in England and how did they alter the votes? And that is just for starters.

      If you have an “Alert Reader” badge, send it back to Stu 🙂

    77. Nana Smith says:

      The fraud was done by unionist parties and the media by telling lies to the electorate.

      That’s the fraud which makes me angry and determined to get the hell out of this corrupt union.

    78. Iam votingyes says:

      “After this, the ballot papers were removed from their ‘A’ envelopes, kept face down so no one could see the vote,” So how did Ruth Davidson “have an idea” about the outcome after “seeing” postal votes? If any rigging took place it wouldn’t be at the polling station or at the count. More likely some truth in the rumour that No were “helping” people at care homes complete their postal ballots. Would explain the large No vote from older folk. I think it’s probably more comforting for people to believe it was rigged than to accept that the 55% were just selfish, greedy b*****ds gullible enough to fall for the BT scaremongering. It’s hard to accept that there are so many fearties around.

    79. balaaargh says:

      Having been at enough counts both north and south of the border plus on both sides of that barrier, it is very difficult if not impossible to commit mass fraud on the night. If anything is going to be dodgy, it’s going to be the postal vote system itself and fraudulent voter registration. Even so, this is only really effective on a small scale (see Tower Hamlets or Brum as examples). Doing it on a national scale would involve too many potential people to risk exposure as well as the logistical nightmare of organising them.

      Nah, if they were going to fix it they would have shipped in whole ballot boxes that had been rigged in the three years of campaigning… 😉

    80. liz says:

      @Finnz- we were organised to collect folk who didn’t turn up in East Ren and I also know that RIC were doing the same in the areas they had targeted.

      We were canvassing in East Ren which was in itself quite depressing – we knew we had lost it there before the count but were hoping for the other Yes areas to pull the count up.

      Most were fairly comfortable, a lot of pensioners and a lot of Labour voters.

      When at the polling station in Clarkston on the day, a huge number of folk ignored us and made a bee-line for the local lab councillor.

      I would lay the blame squarely on the shoulders of Labour,they had BBCS in their pockets, they had a huge amount of cash to have paid activists frightened OAPs.

      I know Paul Mason, C4, was interested in the pension scare stories before the vote but then he seemed to go very quiet on it later.

      Where we were robbed was when the full might of the British establishment came down hard – it seems as though the EU etc turned a blind eye.

      I think some of the conspiracy theorists are deliberately clouding the waters, others just can’t believe we lost the 1st round.

      We know there is going to be massive pressure on John Swinney to balance the budget but he has to keep saying it’s the fault of WM cuts.
      However with the BBC in their pockets it’s going to take a lot of work from the activists to get the message out.

    81. Doug Daniel says:

      Gav: “My personal theory, we got a majority among the folk who are online, but could not reach enough of those who get their information via TV and the papers. Somehow we need to fix that.”

      Exactly. Everyone agrees Yes won the social media campaign, but this will have completely by-passed almost an entire section of the electorate. There was no prominent Yes group speaking to pensioners to hammer home the point that their pensions were safe and that the UK has the worst pension in Europe anyway. So instead, they were showered with scare stories from the media, and unionists phoning them up with lies.

    82. Where were the Postal Votes kept before the daily opening began ? I think the first Postal Votes would be getting returned on the 28th Aug.
      Did all the Postal Votes get posted to the same place?
      Did all the Postal Votes get counted at the same place?
      My big problem with it all is if I was in charge of the Project No campaign I sure as hell would try and manipulate the Postal Vote. To think someone like John McTernan would not stoop that low is absurd.

      Remember the Postal Vote was put out before the Vow and yet it was still the highest percentage difference between Yes and No.

      FFS if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it fricken is a duck.

    83. Tamson says:

      @Dcanmore, people harping on about the low Glasgow turnout is even more annoying than the electoral fraud conspiracies.
      Glasgow said Yes – unlike 28 other council areas. Even if Glasgow’s turnout had matched the average and every extra vote was a Yes, Scotland would still have lost.
      Don’t blame apathetic Glaswegians. Blame the ignorant, the selfish, and the fullible

    84. Bill Nelson says:

      I was involved not only witnessing the empty ballot box at 7 am at my polling station but was there to attach a seal at 10 pm and then went on to the counting station till 7 am next day.
      On Friday I felt really upset when I started seeing all these posts about fraud , rigging etc and being in the older generation also coming under flak because my generation sold out through fear.
      Thank you for writing such a clear article which will hopefully put this conspiracy theory to rest and we can all move forward.

    85. Morag says:

      Illy, “they” don’t control the register. Dead people are automatically removed. The only person who could vote for a dead person still on the register would be a surviving member of their household. Both sides have access to the register, and significant numbers of fraudulent registrations will be spotted.

      Council officials are people too. Lots of them voted Yes. This isn’t some sort of “them and us” situation with the impotent common people being manipulated by a shadowy mastermind. This is an open, fair and honest procedure that those of us who have been involved in can vouch for as remarkably robust.

    86. Information officer says:

      For a good part of Thursday I was Information Officer. I helped a lot of voters who had great difficulty walking yet were determined to be there to cast their vote. They didn’t want a postal vote.

      I checked the roll and we had about 20% postal votes. I had also spoken to friends who had postal votes. When I compare the percentage of postal votes and watch those who struggled but got there I was quite perturbed.

      In my opinion postal votes should be for those who are infirm and have difficulty getting to the Poll, or those who will be away from home for a variety of valid reasons. The poll is open from 7am until 10pm. Nobody will be working for the whole of that period (except those of us officiating) so will have time during the day when they can attend their local Polling Station.

      I feel very strongly that those who just don’t want the hassle of going to the Polling Station should not have a postal vote. If you want to vote then be there to vote. It’s a life changing decision so change your life for the day and be there to vote.

      Maybe it’s just because the people I know who are fit and healthy, but just didn’t want to change their day to enable them to go and vote, were NO voters.

    87. Michael says:

      Clearly a double agent! 😉

    88. Chris Baxter says:

      Thank you. Let’s nip this conspiracy theory in the bud right now. It patently isn’t true and damages the cause.

    89. James says:

      I was at the count and didn’t notice anything dodgy either, but I still think it was rigged (as do Irish civil servants and Russian observers). It’s just too weird to have SNP heartlands declare for No. The rigging wouldn’t have happened at the count – it would have happened in the transport vans or with the postal votes.

    90. Tony Little says:

      @Morag & Alan

      Thanks. I’m not sure if people are recalling “false memory” or not, but many people on twitter are saying this. Frankly as the number of “spoilt” papers was small, these votes were obviously counted anyway.

      As others have said, this was not lost on the day, but especially in the two weeks immediately prior to the vote. After the second Alex Alastair showdown when YES was on a real roll they wheeled out the lies and tsunami of negativity that MacDougall seems to be proud of. I’m not sure it will work next time, Scots of my circle don’t like being made fools of, no matter how they voted.

    91. Buchan Quine says:

      Morag
      The Peterhead team is still on the go and someone was at every postal ballot opening – and managed to get a fair sample looking at the back of the paper. Some days we won and some we lost.

      Now can we move on!

    92. Morag says:

      You know, I’m getting awfully tired of people jumping comments where Doug and I and other counting agents have addressed specific points, and simply blurting out the same deluded rubbish again and again.

      Read what we’re writing, people. Just because you, with bugger-all knowledge of how the system actually works, can imagine some way something might have been tampered with, doesn’t mean it’s actually possible in real life. Let alone that it actually happened.

    93. Graham says:

      Some of this is beginning to sound like the typical Scottish “Tragedy” – “we wuz robbed!!” and probably by the forces of darkness in league with the devil. Then we waste time by stupidly focussing on the “robbed” bit deflecting energy away from the real issues, then we start squabbling amongst ourselves, then big egos start throwing their toys out the pram and going their own way ending up as solitary losers, then the whole project collapses and the Establishment wins as usual and Scotland is back where is started or even worse.

      We mustn’t allow it to happen this time. All our energies must be directed towards uniting against the Establishment and going forward with a new campaign.

    94. Doug Daniel says:

      “So how did Ruth Davidson “have an idea” about the outcome after “seeing” postal votes? If any rigging took place it wouldn’t be at the polling station or at the count. More likely some truth in the rumour that No were “helping” people at care homes complete their postal ballots.”

      Morag already explained this – people train themselves to be able to tell where the cross is, even from the back of the paper.

      People in care homes are probably not sitting at a computer all day looking up Wings to see the latest scare stories being debunked. Instead, they’re sitting at the TV being fed lies.

      Anyone who did some canvassing couldn’t fail to realise that older folk were heavily in favour of the status quo.

      “Why does it have to change?”
      “Why can’t things just stay the same?”
      “I think we should stay together.”
      “I’m old, it won’t make any difference to me.”

      Actual quotes from old people there. We didn’t do enough to convince them, it’s that straight forward.

    95. Alexandra-M- says:

      I don’t think the referendum was rigged, so I’m glad to see that Stu has written out what many of us have been trying to relay on Twitter since Friday morning.

      My only issue is with Ruth Davidson having been passed information at the opening/sorting of postal votes. I was a witness to postal vote opening, and I had to agree and sign with a secrets Act according to the Referendum Act 2013 which stated I would not divulge, unless the law allowed, any information obtained whilst at the opening. Section 7, subsection A.

      It’s blatantly obvious that Better Together have flouted that rule, as Ruth Davidson admitted to having a sample of the postal votes – my only question now is, is it within the law to pass on the information to a political party/campaign body?

      It’s annoying me that Better Together and the unionist parties were allowed to spread their fear-mongering nonsense unchallenged through the media, but to (possibly) admit breaking electoral law on the BBC without recourse is making my teeth itch.

    96. Shinzo says:

      I’m more interested in the ballots themselves, i have heard numerous complaints that the ballots people were filling out did not have the serial number or bar code on the back. Can you confirm every ballot that was counted had this identifier?

    97. Doug Daniel says:

      “Remember the Postal Vote was put out before the Vow and yet it was still the highest percentage difference between Yes and No.”

      BECAUSE A LOT OF OLD PEOPLE GOT POSTAL VOTES, AND OLD PEOPLE WERE HEAVILY IN FAVOUR OF THE UNION. WHAT’S SO FUCKING DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS?

    98. chalks says:

      Whether there was vote rigging or not, the process that some people have described is in breach of the rules…i.e. illegal.
      Like not sealing ballot boxes properly and leaving them unattended.

    99. Edulis says:

      We lost but it wasn’t fair and square.

      After telling everybody that Devo whatever couldn’t be on the ballot paper because the question on whether we should remain in the Union had to be answered first, the Westminster government aided and abetted by Labour and wholesale by the MSM (apart from the honourable exception of the Sunday Herald)proceeded to break the rules of purdah and inject new arguments into the campaign – where was the Electoral Commission? The Unionists of course dressed it as a timetable and not new policies. Cameron’s remarks to Bloomberg in New York gives the game away when DC said he would like to sue the pollsters for calling it close (thus making him agree to more ‘substantial’ powers when he didn’t need to).

      Labour and the Lib Dems will pay the price for this in Scotland. I hear that Kirkcaldy went ‘Yes’. Kirkcaldy people why don’t you reflect on the fact that it was your semi-retired MP who saved the Union against your wishes?

    100. Nigel says:

      I think it is vital that all of our energies and resources are directed to the future. Conspiracy theories are all very well but the one about the count smacks of sour grapes. I am glad the Rev Stu has written this piece. Time to move on and look to see what falls out of some of the new initiatives such as those discussed on Bella Caledonia.

      Also, we should examine what needs to be done to win over the demographic groups which did feel confident enough with independence to vote yes. What did we fail to do there? How could the mass of literature be improved to better communicate the benefits of independence to particular groups? How do we engage with those who avoided eye contact with us when out on the street campaigning?

      We should continue to talk to folk on a one to one basis to continue to win them over. I am staggered at the number of people I have spoken to since the poll who still don’t know the key benefits. I believe The Wee Blue Book still has considerable relevance in this regard. Literature can still be produced to meet the concerns of particular social groups too.

      We should join a pro indy political party. The networks of indy campaigners must be held together. We should direct our efforts to remove as many Unionist MPs from Scotland as possible in 2015 etc. etc. etc. These are some of the issues that we need to spend time on, not conspiracy theories.

      http://nairnyes.wordpress.com/

    101. Craig MacGregor says:

      Why were all postal votes sent to England then back?

      Why were a LOT of ballot papers unmarked on reverse side?

      Why were there no ballot numbers etc marked as per rules at polling stations?

      Why were van drivers unescorted and without guardians?

      I dont believe there was a mass “fit up” however I do think there was something very odd going on (read up on some enumarators accounts in Fife etc) and that it only needed two people in each area to scupper things ie vans and boxes.

    102. fred blogger says:

      doug daniel
      they already sampled that even though it was in naws favour were still worried that they would lose the vote.
      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/revealed-secret-opinion-poll-convinced-4313922

    103. 45phil says:

      i have friends that are polling officers in some areas of scotland like argyll and bute and Edinburgh as well as some of the islands and they were told by there bosses ‘not to bother recording ballot box seals when they left our poll stations’ to quote a few of them this is not propper practice for elections or votes also i do find it odd that the postal vote sampling was not handled in scotland but in england before the referendum we need a process that is secure if there was tampering it could be in those areas and these need to be investigated for the fairness of the vote to both sides . yes at the end of the day we need to heal the wounds of the elections but we need to let westminster keep its promises also to scotland and not let them take advantage of the scottish people

    104. jeremy the lawyer says:

      There was clearly no vote rigging. We lost because of a massive tactical blunder by yes Scotland. They should have worked on their own project fear.

      Ric, common weal etc could have gone around offering hope to the less well off but we were never going to get a people’s uprising. While I agree with what they did on their own the official campaign should have gone for the kill.

      The snp have proven competent in government and that has been their undoing. They have protected the middle class and the elderly because they win elections and that got them elected. They were then comfortable. BT scared them with stories that may or may not have come true but fear is a powerful weapon. The only time the referendum got close was when yes went after the NHS, which was a scare story. Before that we consistently polled miles behind but made up 10%+ in a week. Doesn’t matter if it was true or not (it was) because people responded to the fear.

      Next time the official campaign should be ruthless and fight an election. Let that get played out in the media. Leave the groundwork of hope to the individual groups that will go unreported.

      In 20 years nobody will remember hope v fear. They’ll remember who won. History is written by the winners.

      Next time, we don’t need to play fair, we play their game and we play to win.

    105. handclapping says:

      @Scott Finlayson
      There is not one Postal Vote. There were Postal Votes granted in 32 different Council areas. The postal vote packs returned to the Council offices were counted and placed in sealed boxes by day of return. These boxes were opened at notified opening sessions in front of observers where the packs were processed and the valid ballots placed in sealed ballot boxes which were counted at the the count in front of counting agents.

    106. Jim says:

      i work alongside two ladies who were involved in the count. Both say the level of scrutiny by both sides was intense, and the possibility of fraud was nil within counting centres.

      While I would love a rerun, suggestions of a conspiracy makes us look quite frankly ridiculous, and may alienate potential converts who see us as deluded. Ask yourself this, if Alex Salmond, or Nicola Sturgeon suspected anything was wrong with the vote and/or the count don’t you think they would have demanded some sort of investigation?

      What we now need to do in my humble opinion is to monitor the actions of the UK government, keep highlighting the truth of the benefits of independence without ramming it down people’s throats. We need to ensure we continue to interact with ‘no’ voters and point out the lies of the Better Together campaign as they are proven (and we will prove the lies) with a view to converting them to our side.

      Young yes voters should continue to use persuasion to convince their older ‘no’ voting relatives that their fears were groundless, again with a view to converting them. Don’t shut out or ignore your friends, relatives or neighbours who voted no. We know they were wrong, we know they have made a mistake, but we do have to live together and bear in mind that you can’t persuade someone to see the truth if you don’t communicate, and with friends or family, do you really want to lose them because they were taken in by fear? No, the solution is to communicate, persuade and convert.

    107. Colin Church says:

      I think this article was supposed to lance the conspiracy boil – good and thanks Stu! Can all the grown ups now please move on amd all the children please stop picking at the scab. It would be depressing if this generated a whole days worth of posts and whataboutery.

    108. mary vasey says:

      Thanks Doug, now if only people would move on and start engaging in the best way to proceed. I have, for the first time in 50yrs, joined a political party, the SNP. Here’s hoping we can get those rotten-the-core liebour peeps out.

    109. Alexandra-M- says:

      Sorry Doug, just noticed it was you who wrote this article, not Stu like I said in my last comment!

    110. IheartScotland says:

      We lost because of the MSM and the EBC. We lost in a totally unfair fight. We couldn’t get our message accross.Don’t give up. Stop buying papers. Stop paying for the EBC. They will continue as if nothing happened only if we let them.

    111. dodecostanza says:

      Thanks for that Stu.

      Can you or anyone else clarify something that has confused me for a few days now.

      How could the No camp have been so confident at 10pm as soon as the polls closed?

      And I saw a quote on Peter Arnott’s blog saying he knew something was up when he saw Nicola in Govanhill at 10am “without her game face on”.

      What was informing those views, before the vote was actually counted?

    112. Illy says:

      Ok, Morag, I don’t really want to get into this, because it’s not doing us any good, I wish I had your email so I could ask you some specific questions.

      So I’ll swallow my ego and back off until we get to having another vote, because it’s counterproductive to continue arguing, and counterproductive to talk about rigging the vote.

    113. Dr Ew says:

      Thanks for this very clear and timely intervention, Stu. Your article will carry real weight and help to cool the febrile theories cooking up on social media.

      Although I wasn’t an agent at the referendum count I have been so at elections and have been posting on Facebook to challenge and contextualise conspiracy claims whenever I’ve come across them. Mostly I’ve been ignored but a few have called into question my “commitment” or dismissed me as a dupe. One even went so far as to insinuate I was colluding with “the conspiracy”.

      If we were duped, it was not by Returning Officers or hard-working tellers. There was a “Fix” but it began long before the count: Our Fourth Estate used its highly privileged position to wilfully misrepresent the case for independence and act as an almost unadulterated conduit for Unionist propaganda, lies and misinformation.

      The freedoms of the press and media are something I work daily to defend both here and around the world, but when 45% (or more) of a country’s population can find virtually no honest representation of its views in the mainstream media, when there is such lack of journalistic scrutiny of one side of such a fundamental question, then we are entitled to ask if our democracy has become dysfunctional. Your work – along with Bella, Newsnet and others – have become essential to the future not just of Scotland or the Independence Movement, but to our chances of rebuilding a healthy democratic state in the 21st century.

      Meantime, conspiracy theorists, it’s time to move on from the battle lost and get ourselves fit and strong for the battles ahead. The explosion in pro-independence party memberships – over 30,000 for the SNP, Greens and SSP last I heard – augurs well. Let’s harness that enthusiasm in the co-operative, respectful and bottom-up can-do approach exemplified by the Yes campaign. The future is ours, if we’re big enough to take it.

    114. Jacqui says:

      Whilst I appreciate that it would be difficult to ‘rig’ the vote, can you explain why I have heard that a postal voter also received a voting card which could have been taken to the polling place? Also I beieve that all ballot papers were supposed to have a barcode on the back, I’m sure mine didn’t – is this explainable too?

    115. Nigel says:

      My apologies to Douglas Daniel too!

    116. RMAC says:

      People will believe what they choose to, it doesn’t alter the result and does potentially harm the cause of independence to continue these conspiracy theories. You can shoot the messengers because you don’t like the message but it doesn’t alter the fact there was no widespread fraud or vote rigging. As other have pointed out we lost because of a failure to counter the negative message in the latter stages of the campaign. It will continue to happen until this is addressed as we have no suitable media at the moment that those who voted no will accept an alternative message from. We cannot win with 45% so we need to convert a significant number of those that voted no… being abusive and threatening to remove things they hold important are not necessary, what we need to do is get them to believe that we are a very wealthy nation, their taxes will not go up and we can address the issues of income gaps, jobs, financial stability, poverty without adversely affecting their lifestyles…

    117. Morag says:

      … the video footage of the Edinburgh officer filling in ballots and placing them in a pile in front of him there is evidence of wrong doing…

      My God, Doug actually dealt with that specific point in his ARTICLE. Above the line. The lad was making a note of the number of papers in the bundle, or similar. Part of the normal process. The video does not show him filling in ballots. It would have been impossible for anyone to do this.

      Are people simply coming on this thread to regurgitate the same discredited nonsense, rather than to read the reasoned explanations? For goodness sake get a grip.

    118. Graham says:

      “BECAUSE A LOT OF OLD PEOPLE GOT POSTAL VOTES, AND OLD PEOPLE WERE HEAVILY IN FAVOUR OF THE UNION. ” I’m an “old” person with a postal vote who voted YES, but many of my contemporaries are comfortably off and have nothing to lose from maintaining the status quo. It’s not going to affect us unless we are poor. So we have to get through to this demographic, and like it or not, for the “old” the BBC is the pre-eminent source of trusted news. Just because many of us don’t trust it does’t make any difference, so we’ve got to get real and find ways of getting our message out via the BBC. They are not going to look at Wings or other sites where, frankly, along with some good comments, there’s a lot of dross and swearing which will only put them off.
      Alternatively wait another 20-30 years when we’ve all died off, but just remember, as you get older you get more conservative and reactionary: Darling, Brown, Hain, Blunkett, Straw for example.

    119. The only fraud is the BBC in Scotland telling lies constantly they are the corrupt ones.

    120. No no no...Yes says:

      Good article. I was an observer at the Perth count and had no issues regarding the parts of the process I witnessed: from the arrival of the ballot boxes in the hall to the completion of tables completing their tasks of counting and validating the number of votes cast. There was no opportunity to get involved in the overall tallying up of votes across the council area. I can only comment that at one point I walked around the hall and a quick visual indicated that there were more NO than YES ballot papers, which was indeed the outcome.
      Here is some additional information to assist understanding:
      When the ballot boxes and the accompanying grey coloured sealed bags arrived from the polling station they were handed to the supervisor of each team at the relevant tables. I watched the supervisors at some tables: they opened the grey bags and the contents included pads of ballot papers. Readers will recall an extra 20% of ballot were issued. There were some fully unused pads and one which was partially used. The supervisor counted the stubs of the partially used pad and the remaining unused papers in that pad. They recorded the figures.The number of ballot papers used had to equal the number of ballot papers counted- straight forward reconciliation. I witnessed one table having to carry out three recounts because they were out by one paper.

      The most important thing for me is that EVERY person involved in the whole process had the right and RESPONSIBILITY to challenge ANYTHING that they felt was untoward. If it is not done at the time it is difficult to deal with AFTER the event. If readers think that there were gaps anywhere in the process I suggest they plan ahead and put something in place for the General Election 2015.

      The SNP has always argued that the only time Westminster pays any attention to Scotland is when there is a strong SNP. The Referendum has proved that the whole YES campaign forced them into action they did not want to take. We need to continue that momentum. I believe the best way to do that is to vote for the SNP at the General Election. The increasing numbers of SNP members is an indication that people are willing to back them in securing the best deal for Scotland. I have joined them to help keep the Westminster Parties feet to the fire.

    121. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Doug Daniel.A welcome piece Doug, having previously said if there was any hard evidence of vote rigging that should be made clear & a legal challenge ensue,not on what we have seen on the internet( as you rightly say people that have no understanding of the process are easly mislead. I only wittnessed one ballot paper questioned ie 2 X one in the box one outside the box,it was excepted as clear intent to vote NO.

    122. AuldA says:

      Great article, and very relevant. Rumors of frauds and rigging must be somehow uprooted before they grow, pervade and finally prevail over the real debate. As I already said, the UK as a western democracy cannot indulge itself into such a large scale operation. If discovered it would have large scale consequences and far ranging ripples.

      Although…

      When one considers the measly reaction of the UK folk about the handling to the NSA of thousands of megabytes of personal data without consent… sometimes I really despair. People have become apathetic. That’s maybe the greatest win of the establishment.

    123. dodecostanza says:

      Thanks for that Stu.

      Can you or anyone else clarify something for me please, that has been confusing me for a few days now.

      How could the No camp have been so confident of victory as soon as the polls closed and the TV coverage started.

      Also, on Peter Arnott’s blog he said he knew something was up as soon as he saw Nicola in Govanhill at 10am “without her game face on”.

      What was informing those views, without the vote having been counted yet?

    124. IheartScotland says:

      Just remember that just three months ago that folk were worried about showing any sign that they were a Yes voter.It’s not the case now. We’re out and proud and angry.

    125. yesindyref2 says:

      Thanks Doug, it’s good that’s cleared up so we can move onwards and upwards.

      However, in relation to the promises for Devo-Max which Salmond and the SNP are pushing for to be delivered (NNS), just in case the appropriate page in the Record gets “accidentally deleted” from their archive, it’s on the Web Archive, here’s the URL (16, 17 and 18 Sep):

      http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron-ed-miliband-nick-4265992

      I suggest a few people copy and store the URL, just in case I pop my clogs meantime!

    126. Chris Darroch says:

      Folks are making too many assumptions here.

      The count itself may have been largely legit apart from fire alarm possibilities. However you are assuming that the ballots at the counting centres were the same ones that many folk filled in.

      Many reports of ballots with blank backs. If true then this is a huge concern for a simple switcheroo maneuver PRIOR to counting stage.

    127. David Wood says:

      I think a lot of the talk of a rigged vote is some peoples way of trying to deal with the disappointment of the referendum. Thanks Doug for putting this out there for everyone to see.

      What I think we need to do as our first Minister says is “hold their feet to the fire” not to let them rest on what they have promised the people of Scotland whilst it is not what 45% of us wanted, a good percentage of the 55% that voted NO did so on that promise of further powers, I know of a few people that voted NO that are now having second thoughts and they were out and out no voters, there reasoning is in the way that Westminster already seem to back to their old tricks again and fighting about what they think is right rather than what should be RIGHT, and that is to stick to your promise.

      Scotland will be Independent it may not happen for another 20 years, I sincerely hope it is before that, and I look to the people of Scotland to vote SNP in the general election next year.

    128. Calgacus says:

      The postal voting system is provably fraudulent and the labour party have a long ignoble history of abusing it’s glaring inadequacies. I think we are entitled to be suspicious without being branded as conspiracy theorists by our own side

    129. William J. Swain-Nisbet says:

      I am sharing a very valid comment containing solutions about how to make a vote count less subject to errors. what ever any one thinks happened on the night of the referendum.To move on, we need stringent safe guards so as to minimise any chance of errors: I would like to see photo id used to verify that the people voting match the name on the electoral role, as is required in Canada. If people do not have a drivers license or a passport, they should be issued special polling photo id from a government office. I also think that in a referendum, the ballot box should not leave the polling station and the ballots should be counted on site with outside scrutineers on site, and police security. We have Skype now, we can video call in the results from each polling station and back up with confirmation passwords. I reckon there is too much risk of ballot boxes being switched when they are being transported. Plus, if you have each polling station doing the count, you have a less chaotic environment and it is easier to see if there are people stuffing the wrong pile. If you have one side count the ballots, then the other side count the ballots and they get the same outcome, then you know you have a correct result. If there is a different number, you do a recount. Comment by Beno tenn
      Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hours ago

      William J. Swain-Nisbet You are making some very valid points. You should share this with as many people as possible. I do not know if we will ever get the full truth of the referendum, but we have to take steps that it will not happen ever again.
      Like · about a minute ago
      17 hours ago

    130. IheartScotland says:

      Channeling WGD,
      Wear the 45 with pride..

    131. Scot says:

      I agree with the statement above in explaining the “foul play” videos, however the election was run sub standard.
      This is not a degrading comment towards those who tirelessly took part, it is a statement regarding the lack of official procedures carried out in requirement with an election.
      If anyone can explain the gripe with the “dodgy voting slips”
      The lack of and no need for security tags on ballot boxes etc
      Also ion regards to the witnesses who were told to mix votes in favour of No piles.

      If anyone can explain these then I would appreciate the information as it would be nice to settle this once and for all.

    132. Chris Darroch says:

      The rumours are growing and I hope that they propagate. Get off your cringe and respect the many that claim their ballots were blank on the back at least.

    133. Gemo says:

      So what about these rumours of fake ballots? My Dad who was presiding officer in D&G dismissed the ‘rigging’ as nonsense. But he said the ballot papers should have been ripped out a book and possess a serial number and barcode on the back. Mine didn’t and neither did my friends, they were blank. My dad told me to phone the police. Now, am I wrong for being worried about this? Please someone give me some
      clarification here, why should I not be worried about my ballot paper being blank? Does it even matter if the ballot had a serial number?

    134. Edmund says:

      I think it’s best to move on from the conspiracy theories. It doesn’t matter if it was rigged or not. If you personally believe Westminster stitched it up then that’s all the more reason to be rid of them – but shouting about it won’t change the mind of a single No voter.

      Work out how to win the next battle. Opening up a new front over vote rigging is just going to damage your credibility. You think any of the 55% who just voted to trust the British state are going to be convinced by a few videos on twitter?

      Voters punish people calling for recounts or re-runs, as it smacks of sour grapes.

      The unionist parties have left enough rope lying around without this. Concentrate on pointing out the flaws of the Westminster system, on the lack of choice at the general election, and especially about the lies and betrayal that New Labour has visited on its supporters.

      A SNP/Green/SSP victory in both 2015 and 2016. Going into the next referendum, opinion polls showing 60 or 70 in favour. Make the outcome of the next vote impossible to rig because support will be overwhelming.

    135. Morag says:

      Your explanation for the Yes votes being on the No table defies logic and is the official explanation regurgitated. How can you explain the other woman shuffling the ballots like cards moving them from YES pile to No pile. The whole project was a classic psycops (Psychological Operation, for those not familiar with the subject)

      The explanation for the Yes votes being on the No table is absolutely correct. Give it up.

      The “other woman” apparently shuffling ballot papers from the Yes tray to the No tray is doing nothing of the sort. The video is looped to make it look as if a single action has been done repeatedly.

      Think about it. If a teller wanted to put Yes votes in the No tray, she’d simply do that. She wouldn’t put them in the Yes tray then move them. Anyone doing that would be caught, anyway, if not by a watching agent, then by her partner when the work was checked.

      All that has happened is that someone has been filmed correcting a mistake, once, and the film looped to make it look more sinister.

      Also, can you prove that film is from last week’s count? Someone has suggested to me that it’s from a referendum in Texas, and there are anomalies relating to the layout of the tables and the clothes being worn that could back that up.

      Yes I this this is psyops. I think someone is deliblerately hoaxing Yes supporters into a false and futile conspiracy theory to distract them from constructive action. Both US and Russian forces seem to be behind this. If you want a conspiracy theory, go with that one, because at least there’s evidence for it.

    136. Debra Storr says:

      Thank heavens someone else is blogging against these conspiracy theorists.
      My blog at http://www.debtastorr.org might fill in a few gaps.

    137. Doug D says:

      Thank you Doug. As ever, a voice of reason.

    138. Ken500 says:

      What does Scotland have to do to be a fairer more equal country, without interference from tax evading Tory/Lib/Lab low lives, gerrymandering and telling a pack of lies? They are not even in the Scottish Parliament. The only democratic Scottish elected body.

      The ‘Vow’ not even worth the paper it was written on. The Daily Record gutter Press. May it go down with all the rest.

    139. Chris Darroch says:

      Hear hear @Calgacus

    140. Ken500 says:

      Why hasn’t Davidson been charged and convicted. So she has to resign.

    141. Katherine hamilton says:

      Looking to the future always starts today. Now that Nicola Sturgeon has declared for leader with no likely opponent forget the defeat. We now need to debate the nature of Home Rule. We need to support and empower her to define it for Scotland. We set the terms. If they are not met Brown has failed. Time to marry our idealism with some hard ball, to say to the 45% you have helped create a new context for politics in a new age. Stay engaged keep Yes debates going, join whoever you feel at home with and keep the dialogue with No’s going. Let’s face it, we only need a 5.1% swing from No. Doable?

    142. chalks says:

      I’ve said above that vote rigging probably didn’t take place.

      But there is numerous counts of the process being illegal and not following the rules.

      All over Scotland we had Better Together INSIDE the polling stations, MP’s/MSP’S/Councillors intimidating voters and ballot boxes not being sealed properly. This is the main point imo, it’s a small potatoes but it’s important.

      @dodecostanza

      The SNP thought they had won, due to the exceptional turnout levels being recorded half way through the day. Unfortunately we didn’t quite get there, not just in Dundee or Glasgow but everywhere. You also had soft Yes’s voting no after telling us they were voting yes.

      Nicola was likely shitting it after hearing the news about the turnout that she would soon be the deputy leader of the newest country in the world. I know many of us shed a tear on the day because we thought we were going to do it.

    143. Rona says:

      Can someone explain to me why ballot papers did not have the area they are from printed on the back?

    144. naebd says:

      Ally: “Why were 2 of the major cities (Glasgow & Dundee) that returned a YES majority – 2 places that had some of the lowest turnout??”

      This is easily explained: Yes voter “demographics” skewed towards traditionally lower turnout areas, and these were areas with demographics which normally have lower turnout.

      “Makes you wonder – dunnit?? #justsayin”

      So, if you can’t back up allegations of vote rigging, then just make vague allusions to it? Nah.

    145. chalks says:

      Can I just say in regard to the Yes votes on the No table, Yes Dundee confirmed they were still to be sorted.

    146. Celia says:

      Ruth Davidson made those remarks about the postal vote two days before the ballot. But it’s perfectly legal to sample postal votes ahead of the day of the count. However, it’s not legal to divulge any information gleaned from it before polling stations had closed. That apart from anything else, is a breach of the official secrets act. There you have it. Incontrovertible evidence of the need for a judicial review. No need to keep going on about what happened at the count. That’s a total distraction and waste of time.

    147. naebd says:

      Thanks so much for this Doug. Vote Rigging MacTruthers are doing my head in.

      It’s very embarrassing to see a petition with 90k signatures on this subject.

    148. George says:

      Ill take your word ofr it mate though the vids looked very dodgy i was wondering why noone had reported these misdeeds and why on earth someone recorded them instead of letting the counting agents know about it and i agree we did come from a very low 25$ to 30% for yes it wasnt the counting office that lost it for yes it was the uk friendly media all attacking scotland at once something needs to be done however newspapers should be held to acount for bias against independence maybe some rules which state on important political matters that newspapers and media are only allowed to impartially relay the facts to the public and and not as a weapong to be used against us same goes for the BBC Scotland this organisation needs to be either disbanded or brough under scottish control as the wasy it is right now it is unnacountable to the people of scotland and is far far away froma politically impartial state broadcaster we need the media to work for the people instead of against the people. I am now going to join the SNP with the aim of giving the SNP a majority in scottish parliment and also westminster we need to destroy labour and what little is left of the tories support in scotland we can do that bu pointing out everytime the UK gov lies and goes back on its “VOW” when the next round of cuts hit the pensioners and middle class and they start to feel that they have been used and lied to that’s when we should strike next step SNP manifesto for scottish general elections with a guarantee another referendum or just by virtue of a fully snp goverment we could also flat out decalare independence, what about the act of union clause whereby if englands policies actually damage the scotland we can legally leave as this “act of union is only viable if the uk gov makes decisions that dont do damage to the rest of the country (really all the 4 memebers of the union).

      Before this referendum i hadnt voted in 30 years all the parties made too many promises and kept none of them labour betrayed its roots and its people now all the parties are the same with the notable exception on the SNP (i know they aint perfect who is) but by large they have delivered on their promises to go for indy how many other parties can say they stuck to their manifesto promises?, this is’nt the end and we did make a massive amount of progress remeber that people almost halve of the country has had enough and won’t go back to the way thins were im like many others am awake now and im not going back to sleep. Lets watch the westminster parties attack each other and go back on their promises it just strengthens the yes side as those who voted NO realise they have been cowed beaten by the uk media and flat out lied to by the “bitter together” side soon there will be a lot of duped angry no votres out there and we need to capitalize on this resentment and bring them over to YES we can do this it isnt the end it’s only the beginning and now we know exactly how the UK will play next time (as dirty as possible) we’ll be ready and next time we will win …..one more thing alex made the promise not to go for indy again for the next generation not the scottish people we didnt sign the edinburgh agreement and arent bound by it and if the majority of us who are currently joining demand another go either another referendum or straight out declaration of indu then the SNP will have to deliver or die as a political party the only thing at this point that would disuade me is full DEVO MAX not this bloody vow with no real powers that may actually damage the scottish economy.

      Well thats my 2 cents guys tell me what you think?

    149. naebd says:

      George: lol.

    150. Edulis says:

      We should take Gordon Brown at his word and define federalism as taking full control of our own resources and paying Westminster for the services which they continue to provide viz Foreign Affairs and Defence. When it comes to Trident renewal we make that a game changer irrespective of who has policy control. We have shown that people power trumps everything.

      Independence is still this side of the horizon.

    151. Ken500 says:

      Cameron & Clegg didn’t even honour their electoral manifesto pledge to protect NHS/Education and cut the debt. Brown has never honoured any electoral promise.

    152. Morag says:

      can anyone explain the video of the guy who was filling in ballot papers, while being wary of anyone looking?

      Sob. Doug covered that in his article. The video doesn’t show what he was writing, or even what he was writing on. Tellers did have to make notes at various points during the procedure. So the lad glanced around. Maybe he just farted?

      I find it interesting the way people seem to believe a video clip shows something, if the voiceover tells them it shows that. This is a trick used in several of these fraudulent clips. The film shows nothing of the sort, but because the voiceover says it does, people then rush around claiming that’s what they saw.

      I’m sure there’s a psychology paper in this somewhere.

    153. IheartScotland says:

      What’s the chance of an ‘internet’ newspaper consisting of all the best ‘bloggers’ so we can read proper news instead of the MSM. (It must include sports too, to encourage idiots like me)

    154. Pin says:

      Thanks for this Stu

    155. Morag says:

      owever, my background is in operations management and those videos and photpos tell me that the vote count system is deeply flawed and error strewn.

      No it really isn’t. If you were present at a count you’d realise that. It’s meticulously organised with multiple layers of cross-checking.

      The “conspiracy” videos on the net are manipulated to seem suspicious. Some of them aren’t even of the Scottish count.

    156. PickledOnionSupper says:

      Good article, thanks Doug. And thanks for all the good comments from the Wings Polling & Counting Agents. As a Polling Agent in Glasgow, I’d endorse what you’ve all said.

    157. highseastim says:

      Thanks for clearing that up Doug, I never signed up to the re-ballot theory as it would have taken a helluva lot of dodgy papers to overturn the result, as a few pewvious posters have stated, time to concentrate on round 2. Ding,ding!

    158. Robert Peffers says:

      Let’s face it the problem, if any, is before the count takes place. I know, from many long years doing volunteer work in places for disadvantaged folks, (mainly those with learning difficulties, OAPs, nursing homes and hospices), that the practice of obtaining postal ballots for inmates and, “Helping Them Fill them out”, has gone on for many decades.

      So tell me, how can someone unable to read or write, (and they are not all stupid), tell if their, “Helper”, fills in the form as the voter intended?

      Then we have recorder cases of postal votes being sent in from addresses long demolished or actually non-existent and some from voters already busied in the local churchyard.

      There is no doubt that the postal vote system needs reviewed but I doubt that even with a bit of fraud the referendum was rigged enough by such methods as to be significant.

      The real problem was the serried ranks of the MSM and state broadcasters, lies of the political parties and the spreading of fears to scare people off. Note that the ones most likely to be frightened are the most vulnerable of all.

    159. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I demand a recount and I demand I alone carry it out. I’ll make it realistic- 90% YES!

      Seriously, you’re spot on. Let’s spend our energy expanding the 45%. Making sure we remain active to encourage real change.

    160. Steve B says:

      I totally agree with the article. I think some people are clinging to conspiracy theory as they see it as an easy way out, instead of the hard slog of an ongoing political campaign.

      I was a Yes observer at both some polling stations and at the Fife count. I can confirm what Doug and others have said about the conducts of the counts. Just to add to a couple of points.

      Firstly at the count the yes and no observers were sampling ballots as they were verified on each table. These were fed into laptops and both Yes and No had similar figures to the end result well before counting had actually finished.

      Secondly, the first alarm bells for me were raised when we saw that the turnout in middle-class areas were greater than the turnout in the more Yes-friendly working class areas. For people who don’t know, both sides had official agents who had the right to go into the polling station and ask for the %age vote for each ballot box at any time of the day. Therefore we could keep track of the turnout figures as the day went on.

    161. Ravelin says:

      I was a Polling & Counting Agent for Wings in Aberdeenshire. I can add my support to everyone in a similar position who’s posted already. From what I saw of the process I can see virtually no way the vote could have been rigged, and certainly not to the extent of 400K votes! For it to have happened would have to have involved too many people and too many difficult procedures. So much so that there is no way it could have been kept quiet. Even if it could have been, for a while at least, the implications of it being discovered later would be devastating for any organisation who carried it out.

      We lost because we didn’t persuade enough people, simple as that, but we’re now starting at a higher point than before. Time to move on. Like the tens of thousands of other people who’ve joined the SNP/Greens/SSP it’s now time to focus on ousting the unionist supporting MPs from as many of their cosy seats as possible in the May 15 GE. Let’s make the buggers sweat!!!

    162. manandboy says:

      AND YET

      For the first time in history,

      a country of staggering mineral wealth,

      votes by a majority

      to reject self determination

      and to hand over trillions of pounds

      of oil,gas,and renewable energy

      to its more powerful neighbour,

      which is hopelessly deep in debt

      and whose economic future depends on

      access to , in particular, that oil & gas.
      .

      While the rest of the world shakes it’s head in disbelief,

      1.6 million Scots who voted Yes

      are asked by one of the most corrupt states anywhere

      to suspend intelligence, experience,

      instinct and intuition,

      and to accept a ballot result

      that contradicts normal human behaviour

      as well as their campaign experience.

      A ballot, furthermore, which has been organised by a

      political Party whose name is synonymous with election

      rigging.

      This was a vote that the UK Government

      simply could not afford to lose

      and, in order to make sure it did not lose,

      the UK Gov created the biggest PR campaign in UK history,

      a campaign of fear and smear, of lies and deception,

      in which the entire mass media of the UK was mobilised

      to the Government’s exclusive use for two years.

      It wasn’t just the count, it was so, so much more.

      This was a tiny population versus a giant;

      a giant with Empire experience behind it;

      with all the forces of Neo Liberalism behind it.

      The PR continues unabated

      as the UK Gov seeks for acceptance of the ‘result’

      by the electorate.

      Everything now is a giant squirrel

      because what the UK Gov must now conceal

      is how it was achieved.

      To help, we had no exit polls and no recount is allowed.

      The UK Gov is asking a nation to suspend

      all it’s faculties in order to accept

      what is blindingly obvious, viz

      that what has been stolen was actually a gift.

      Right there is the PR challenge from the beginning –

      how to steal it and make it appear a gift.
      .

      Sure, the count was solid, apart from the postal votes,

      which are a notoriously bad instrument of democracy

      at the best of times,

      but that is not the point.

      The point is – what was the plan from the beginning.

      Once it is known what was in the mind of the victors

      and what they had to do to get a result,

      the mystery of how it was achieved is irrelevant.

      A conjurer never explains how he did it.

      The real trick is to get the audience

      to believe the result.

    163. Sinky says:

      Now over 32,000 new SNP members.

    164. joey says:

      Funny how only get explanation for one of rhe videos thats going about

    165. Scott (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      “How could the No camp have been so confident at 10pm as soon as the polls closed?”

      Same way we knew we’d lost.

      As the votes were being counted (not split into yes and no) we watched and counted how many yes to how many no then extrapolated a likely outcome for that box based on the % observed and the number of ballots in the box once the count was done.

      This was LONG before the votes were split and then actually counted properly.

      The dozens of Yes reps fed their results back to the regional yes rep who then fed it back to Yes HQ who very quickly realised we werent going to make it.

      Its not rocket science. Its just sampling and extrapolation on a grand scale.

    166. Sue says:

      Thanks for this info everyone. Good to have the procedure explained. Admit I was strongly leaning towards believing fraud but unable to see why none of the postulated examples were reported on the night. Always unwilling to press for recount or legal review as it would be pointless.

      Still dubious about the turnout in Glasgow and Dundee, though reassured by the report of conduct during the fire-alarm events at Dundee.

      Totally convinced that the postal vote was rigged to some extent, but now believe it was not on a scale to affect the result, just the margin.

      Am really grateful to Doug, Morag and other comenters explaining all this, and to Stuart for posting it up.

    167. As said above the Women for Indy and the RIC are planning a conference soon. We need the YES preparations for the GE 2015 to begin now.

      Co-ordination, strategy and planning needs organising now, we need clever people with our movement who have experience at this to come together.

    168. handclapping says:

      @Chris Darroch
      The rumours are growing and I hope that they propagate. Get off your cringe and respect the many that claim their ballots were blank on the back at least.

      This is Wings, we don’t do rumours.
      Get off your backside, find the people who swear their ballots were blank, get their affidavits to that effect and present your fraud petition to the courts.
      Do things, not rumours.

    169. Bill Cruickshank says:

      Not got time to wade through posts. Can someone answer me this. Was the ballot paper supposed to have writing on the back of it i.e. a list of instructions? Mine was blank as my wife’s and our two friends. We all voted at the same polling station.

    170. IheartScotland says:

      @Morag,
      I think you’re right, but it also goes to the point that there is so little trust in WM. That’s why we had the referendum, and that’s why we’ll have another.

    171. Michael O says:

      Along with John who commented above I was a Wings Polling Agent (No. PA049) and Counting Agent (CAC0020) in Edinburgh.

      Douglas has given a totally accurate description of the process and I share his confidence that the vote and count were absolutely robust and accurate.

      To people who are still asking questions: I repeat what others have already said – you have to trust us who were actually there. However, next time it could be you who are there. If you get involved and volunteer then you may be an agent at the next vote. You can see for yourself that there is no conspiracy. It is an open process if you choose to get involved.

      In the meantime get involved in local campaigning – join a pro-indy political party and make your voice heard.

    172. The Doctor says:

      Do you honestly think that putting piles of yes and no votes together onto a table is an okay thing to do? WHY is that a ‘standard’ practice? Think about that, really think about the consequences of a yes vote and tell me why you think that it isn’t so ridiculous that this is how our so called democracy works. Do you not think that the utmost care MUST be taken to ensure that NO cross contamination can happen should be in place?

      In other words, nothing to see here people , move along and fall back asleep, you are now being told what to think because being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is simply ‘childish’…

    173. Brian Macfarlane says:

      Theres a lot of hostility even contempt on here and everywhere else to Scots with a genuine suspicion that they were cheated. Its not as if Perfidious Albion don’t have previous. All I would like to see is some kind of official response to claims that have been made. Not everyone is as obviously cleverly brilliant as some of you lot and with something as bloody important to us all, the least people can do is explain and calm the fears without the smartassedness. I thank Wings for this at least though it doesn’t go far enough IMHO. You are way ahead of the official response and not for the first time. Anecdotal evidence isn’t all just hearsay. There are official observers who have raised concerns and there ARE people at counts who have apparently made sworn statements. Regarding Dundee I was lucky enough to be in possession of counting agents claims all round Scotland all were extremely accurate as regards the final results and the only one that wasn’t was the Dundee one which we got as 70-30 YES and ended up was it 55-45 YES? That if true is a huge amount of votes. All I want to see is recognition that some people are less certain it was a clean ballot and if we can’t all be happy it was safe thats wrong. If even half the accounts were right especially outwith the count then it was a bloody shambles and it needs fixed so we can have confidence in future.

    174. Ian says:

      I can confirm that there were ballot papers that were blank on the back out of 15 people I asked 7 said this was the case, can someone please explain the reason behind this as the counting officer at my local council said this was not true and all would of had a Bar code on the back?

    175. As unpalatable as it sounds, we lost because a proud, fearless people who “can rise and be a nation again” completely sh*t it. It’s embarrassing, shameful, downright humiliating in fact although it didn’t help that an extra option appeared and was lumped in with No.

      However, here’s what I don’t get, and this is nothing to do with being suspicious of any counts, processes or whatever:

      Even after this postal vote sampling, why was there this utter blind panic by the 3 main party leaders to get their arses up here and come up with some “Vow”, followed by Broon’s intervention? What did they know that the rest of us didn’t if the postals were 70-30? And why were the No side then so utterly confident on the day?

    176. keith bence says:

      I am a concpiracy theorist addmittedly i do not trust any goverment. But i would like someone to explain why my vote did not have a barcode on it like my coleagues? Is this because i did not fill in the census from 2 years ago mmmmm…oh and Mi5 can fix anything its called a covert operation..but hey im vigorated for round 2 Soar Caesar!

    177. Doug Daniel says:

      Calgacus: “The postal voting system is provably fraudulent and the labour party have a long ignoble history of abusing it’s glaring inadequacies. I think we are entitled to be suspicious without being branded as conspiracy theorists by our own side”

      The postal voting system has been improved massively. At the referendum agents briefing in Aberdeen a few weeks ago, they made a point of saying the postal vote process for the European elections had been very successful, hinting VERY heavily that previous Labour shenanigans had led to improvements being made.

      So no, it isn’t provably fraudulent at all, certainly not on the scale that would have been required to fix the result. And this refusal to just accept that we lost is detracting from those of us who want to get on with the next stage of the movement – and is just *really* pissing us all off – so we are certainly entitled to brand people conspiracy theorists.

    178. Callum says:

      We need a similar write-up that deeply looks at the spending by the campaigns and how that will tally with the Electoral Commission report (not due until oct/nov if i remember correctly).

      However, what happens if a campaign has materially breached it’s spending limits? criminal charges? civil case brought to court? rerun of the referendum (unlikely)?

      Wings has already seen evidence of paid-campaigners (travel, food, board provided for from down south) which is a breach of the rules but nothing has been officially said yet.

    179. Luis Nieto says:

      I too was at the count in falkirk representing yes & I agree with everything you have written, I was also a polling agent and it became clear that the elderly were voting in record numbers, you can tell when you greet someone which way they will vote, the lack of eye contact on the day said volumes.

    180. L Hudson says:

      Scottish Tory mp let’s it out the bag that postal votes information was collected & sampled, sorry but what you’ve stated above doesn’t match up to that and this does need to be looked into to regain faith in voters

      http://angeall.com/blog/2014/09/21/davidson-goes-postal/

    181. Bob Sinclair says:

      What people need to know is that the possibility of a leak increases geometrically the more people are involved. Does anyone seriously believe that, given it would take thousands to pull off a rigged vote, everyone supposedly involved would remain silent.
      As Referendum agent in Glasgow I agree entirely with what Douglas has said.

    182. Haggis Hunter says:

      On to the next phase.
      Personally I do not trust the Brit government, they are capable of any dirty trick, but unless we have proof then no point going on about it, we just need to make sure that the 45% convert at least one each!! Lets use our charisma to make Scotland a country again

    183. Jack Murphy says:

      What won the NO vote was the last minute panic among Bettertogether when their private poll 2 weeks prior to the Referendum returned 52% for Yes.
      Brown was wheeled out,and several days later the Daily Record [Scotland’s Working Class Newspaper] (sic)]
      placed the Tory/Labour/LibDem “Vow” on it’s Front Page,dutifully picked up by the rest of Scotland’s compliant media,including TV News.
      Tactics —NOT FACTS won the NO vote.
      Labour NO voters are already realising the terrible mistake they’ve made.

    184. Finnz says:

      I concur with No no no…Yes says: My polling station had 3 desks and 3 boxes. your vote had to go in the box where you had received your voting slip. I was prevented by the officer from using the one closest to the booth.

    185. yesindyref2 says:

      Apparently, BT had 250,000 activists kidnapping dogs and holding the owners to ransom, “Vote NO or the dog gets it”.

      I wish I hadn’t said that.

    186. theteamcaptain says:

      Nobody is answering the question about ballots being blank on the rear, so many know it alls saying IT’S EMBARRASSING and WE SHOULD MOVE ON… How about – ‘It’s a perfectly valid complaint echoed across the country?’. From almost every part of Scotland there are a mix of ballots with and without ID numbers etc on the rear. The rules are ALL BALLOTS must have this identifying information, and has been confirmed by a number of people and is in the documentation as well. So were they counted or ignored in terms of turnout? Why are so many Yes voters not willing to accept the obvious discrepancy as what it is, instead of just telling us to move on. Are you No voters in disguise?

    187. Mealer says:

      Thanks Doug.
      Before the referendum campaign the three main options of independence,Devomax and status quo enjoyed roughly equal support.If independence is off the table,what level of support does Devomax now have? If 40% of Labour voters voted Yes,how many will now support Devomax? And among trade union members? And what are the arguments against Devomax?

    188. DervalDam says:

      Thank you… oh, thank you. As one of the count assistants (ie counting the votes) I am totally fed up explaining the process and how it could not possibly have been rigged either way. I had started to take it a bit personally as it was starting to feel like my integrity and that of my colleagues, who were proud to be assisting a large percentage of our fellow country men & women to exercise their democratic right, was being called into question.

      If I can add just one extra fail safe put in place that adds to debunk any conspiracy theories. Certainly where I was counting and I suspect this was mirrored in other areas, the count assistants were drawn from mostly council staff, yes, (experience was important to have in this count and it is mostly council staff who have stuck their hands up in the past to count at not such high profile votes, eg. European elections, local government elections etc). But it was clear count assistants were drawn from a range of all the various Departments and different offices. I had no idea who I would be sitting with / near, and on the day was sitting with people I have never worked with, or talked to, let alone conspired with.

      Thank you to all those posting to debunk suggestions of wrongdoing or those who took the trouble to read this and now understand the rigorous processes followed. Please pass this on to the doubters, and if they are still not convinced, suggest they volunteer to count / monitor at the next election. Assisting with / witnessing democracy in action is very rewarding, if tiring.

    189. Murray McCallum says:

      “Pain can make critical faculties go out the window”

      That comment from Doug captures a lot of what is going on for me. We need to step back and consider a range of more pressing things, e.g. older voters, maintaining the contact with reluctant voters, …

      Well done to all involved in the admin of the vote. Given the high turnout, a pretty impressive organisation.

    190. naebd says:

      “I choose to believe against all evidence that there were shennanigans, and I INSIST that you take my evidence-free belief seriously [butthurt moaning about how ‘clever’ other people are bla bla bla]”

      Doesn’t work like that, guys.

      I realise this is always gonna be a religious belief in vote rigging for a small minority of people who refuse to accept reality, but for those who are willing to think, Douglas’s post should allay your concerns.

    191. Nigerian Pirate says:

      Completely agree with Doug Daniel’s comment at 11:46

      I tried to convince my mother (she’s 83) about the benefits in indepepndence. However my late father had served with the Royal Navy during the Malayan and Korean conflicts – there wasn’t a chance in hell that she was going to vote anything other than No, despite what I said to her.

      I was actually visiting her one day and speaking about the Referendum when 2 Yes canvassers came to the door (our local MSP and another SNP stalwart). I answered and had a chat and explained that their efforts would be in vain with my mother as I had already tried very hard. I did give them some hope with the fact that due to her lack of mobility, she probably wouldn’t actually go to the poll on the 18th.

      The guys left and I went back in to tell my mother who it was etc. “Oh” she said “wasting their time, I’ve already got my postal vote in” It left me kind of gobsmacked, but for a huge majority of our elderly, it was always going to be a No vote, unfortunately. And the postal votes confirmed that.

      As regards the actual postal vote ballot papers – I dont remember a barcode on the back but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one on mine. The PVS had the 9 letter/number reference plus a barcode. Once the ballot was inside the first envelope, and then the PVS and envelope were put inside the larger envelope, I dont think there was any way to fiddle this.

      We were beaten by more people voting No. The fact that a lot of these No votes were achieved by lies and fear is what boils my piss

    192. The Indy Ref was LOST.

      The next important ballot is less than 8 months away – for the WM General Election in May 2015.

      SNP Face a real struggle to hold on to what we have got by way of MP`s at WM.

      After the 2010 WM ballot SLAB has 18 X MP`s who have a valid Majority that are all over 10,000 votes.

      In no particular order :-

      Gordon Brown = 23,009 Maj.
      Tom Greatrex = 21,000 Maj.
      Tom Clark = 20,714 Maj.
      Gemma Doyle = 17,408 Maj.
      Douglas Alexander= 16,614
      Lindsay Roy = 16,426
      Michael Mc Cann = 14,503
      David Cairns = 14,426
      John Robertson = 13,000 plus
      Gregg McClymont = 13,755
      Brian Donohoe = 12,007
      Pamela Nash = 12,408
      Tom O`Donnell = 12,228
      Michael Connerty= 12,500
      Anas Sarwar = 10,553
      Margrit Curran =11,000 plus
      David Hamilton = 10,000plus
      Graeme Morrice =10,791

      There are others mentioned previously plus 8 more who hold Majorities of between 8,000 to 10,000.
      On that prior post I mistakenly alluded that the Average SLAB scab MP held a Majority at 7,000 – when the figure is far higher.

      Worse, in many of the SLAB constituencies mentioned above – SNP CAME 3rd or 4th.

      Those who are advocating a “Scottish Alliance” of SNP, Greens and SSP really need to waken-up and face Reality.

      In CRASH`s constituency he got 29,009 votes.
      SNP got 6,650 votes.
      Zero Green candidate.
      Zero SSP candidate. D`oh.

      Douglas Alexander got 23,842 votes.
      SNP got 7,228
      SSP got 375 votes.
      Zero Green candidate.

      We had one near miracle last week – but lost.
      What size of miracle do we need to OVERTURN the numbers outlined above.?

      When I said I was disconsolate – perhaps you will begin to understand.
      History of SNP repeats and for every step forward – since 1967 – we take 3 or 4 steps back at the following election.

      In 1979 SNP had 2 x MP`s under Thatcher`s first term.
      I worry once again.

      When the Rev Stuart Campbell told us to “FUCK-OFF” if we rejected Indy – who can blame him.?

    193. heedtracker says:

      Davidson said quite clearly they had a NO win forecast from sampling over weeks.
      So

      1Why are they sampling

      2 how many ballots are sampled and is it electoral law

      3 why is sampling not public knowledge

      4 why is the envelope holding the ballot paper opened Instead of just the mailed one

      5 if Davidson knew the result weeks before 18th, the bookies were still taking bets which is fraud and above all else sampling makes a total mockery of the actual polling day as either side can change policy offers. Look at THE VOW. Davidson says they were confident of winning from sampling but at what point did the sampled votes tell them this, before THE VOW or after?

      I know it’s tin foils hat stuff or its a historic fraud perpetrated on a Scottish Public that had no idea sampling existed making polling day the day the first postal votes were sent out

      Not happy and still none the wiser.

    194. Morag says:

      Illy, you can tweet me at @DrMoragKerr

    195. I do have a question and would appreciate if someone could help me out with it.

      At my polling station the sitting MP Menzies Campbell came up and walked into the polling station. On coming out, he talked to someone he knew who was stood outside doing what I was doing, and told that person he was going around all the polling stations.

      I never thought anything about it. But after a comment in a post above.

      Can anyone confirm that Campbell doing this was okay?
      Just so as I know.

    196. galamcennalath says:

      I have had little doubt the count was accurate. Thanks for the detailed description.

      We were winning because DevoPlus wasn’t good enough. But not by much because, despite the incompetence of BT, the MSM had a lot of influence in certain quarters.

      Then they panicked and offered DevoMax. If it wasn’t meant to be DevoMax, it certainly sounded like it actually was!

      That swung enough ‘soft’ voters back to No.

      The significant thing here is that the promise of DevMax was enough to swing 5% of voters. If Yes had been further in the lead, it wouldn’t have been enough.

      So, as things stand we all await the delivery of DevoMax/Home Rule within months. That was the promise!

    197. Buster Bloggs says:

      That will be that then, time to move on to next phase, how we destroy Labour in Scotland.

    198. Marion Scott says:

      Thank you Doug.

    199. pmcrek says:

      Thanks for taking the time to post this Dougie, will share it as widely as possible.

    200. handclapping says:

      @Bill Cruickshank
      Was the ballot paper supposed to have writing on the back of it i.e. a list of instructions? Mine was blank as my wife’s and our two friends. We all voted at the same polling station.

      In addition to the Question in its prescribed layout the ballot paper was required to have an Official Mark and a Unique Identifier. There were 32 Councils printing their own ballot papers for counting in their own several manners so there could have been variation between Councils as to the form of the ballot paper. Which of course would make it even more difficult for “someone” to commit large scale fraud.

    201. Marion Scott says:

      Thanks Doug. That helps us to move on.

    202. Dee Sunshine says:

      Thank you for this article. You have addressed at least some of my concerns about vote-rigging, but not ALL of them. There is a blog post with 30 pages of photographs and written testimony that I would like you to look at and consider. If you can also provide logical answers for these other queries it would put everyone’s minds at rest. If not, then you should join the growing call for a public enquiry. If there has been any irregularities, we need them exposed so that there can be no rigging of further elections, so that suitable checks and balances can be put in place. This article outlines concerns about the transportation of votes from polling stations to counting stations, where there is definitely room for the possibility of widescale rigging/ box switching… and what of these seals… would it not be possible to replicate them?

      I urge you to look through every item in this blog post and to answer all that you haven’t. Once you do so, I will certainly shut up about referendum fixing…. but s far, you have not convinced me!

      http://scottishreferedum.blogspot.co.uk/

    203. tehklev says:

      I agree with Doug.

      I was the Wings RA for Perth and Kinross. I was present for the sealing of the ballot boxes in my village. I followed them up to an intermediate collection point in Bridge of Earn where other rural boxes were dropped off and put into the back of a council pickup. I then followed the pickup to the count where the boxes were delivered into the loading bay at the sports centre. I even asked to check the vehicles used to make sure there weren’t ballot boxes already loaded that shouldn’t be there :). Maybe I was a bit over eager, but hey it was an important day and I wanted to have a clear conscience that I personally had done everything possible to ensure the boxes arrived in Perth safely.

      I then parked up and proceeded to the count itself. I couldn’t fault Perth and Kinross’s count or the staff. The tables were very well laid out and there was good visibility of the ballot papers and the boxes being opened. They even laid on free sandwiches, tea, coffee, biscuits and soft drinks. The atmosphere though tense, was friendly and cordial amongst staff, police and interested parties.

      There were loads of eyes on each table from Yes/Wings folks. You couldn’t have gotten away with anything underhand. Remember these are council workers and bank tellers who do these jobs. It’d be one hell of an operation to bribe these folks (even just a handful) and keep them quiet.

      I sampled around nine or ten ballot box openings/mix bundling from a wide range of wards (Highland Perthshire, Perth City and down to Strathallan). I already knew from these samples that we’d lost Perth and Kinross pretty badly. My own samples showed 41% for Yes and this was confirmed by other Yes/Wings count agents. As a side note, this is an essential stage to be sampling because it allows you to capture voting data at a geographic level to see where you did well or were hit hardest. We knew the in the council estates we were doing well, but Perth(shire) has very large middle class housing estates with a hell of a lot of retired folks, and that’s where we took the hit. My partner often jokes about Perthshire being the geriatric capital of Scotland, she’s not far off. Almost all my neighbours are well off retirees on decent occupational pensions.

      When the separation process started (bundling into Yes and No piles) more sampling (I don’t remember how many tables I sampled – maybe 6 or 7) confirmed that we were around 40-41% for Yes. This was at around 2am.

      The actual result was 39.81% Yes, 60.19% No, so we weren’t far off.

      With regards to Ruth Davidson. It does irk me slightly that a person of office had suggested she knew from “postal ballot sampling” that No were in for a good night before the count started, when the rest of us were abiding by the rules.

      “we’ve had people at every sample opening around the country over the last few weeks as that’s been coming in and we’ve been incredibly encouraged by the results from that.” – was what she said live on air at around 22:45.

      If it had been someone from the Yes side that had mentioned this I’m pretty sure the BBC would have reamed us for breaking that particular rule.

      But in the end we lost. We lost because of a tidal wave of fear stories, sh*t, filth and corruption from the mainstream media, BBC, big companies and Gordon Brown scaring the wits out of retired folks over their pensions, in the last few remaining days before the referendum.

      Forty five percent was a pretty good result despite all of what we put up with. We now have to work out how to take advantage of that momentum for the 2015 general election and beyond and consign Scottish Labour to the dustbin.

    204. bookie from hell says:

      excellent post teh

    205. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I believe it could be true that one or two local or Parliamentary seats votes could be fixed, but not a countrywide referendum.

      Too much organisation necessary, too many Murphy factors.

      I believe that Glenrothes was dirty marginally but Glenrothes also was the template for vote harvesting of OAPs. That also could have happened on the 18th.

      The use of fraudulent postal votes seems a lot more common that we realise. I had a chat with a former UK cabinet minister a few weeks before the referendum and said that postal vote fraud was a worry for me.

      He agreed and said there was a big scandal in Tower Hamlets, at that moment. He also told me that the present system of postal voting was designed and applied by Labour to boost voting numbers which have been declining for decades. Instead of asking why, they adopted methods to make it easier to vote and easier to rig. My chat ended with the former minster saying that E C was unfit for purpose and was set up to be so. I believe that John Prescott was the designer.

      This is an archived article from the Guardian by Craig Murray who describes Prescott’s manipulation of the postal voting system and being worse than Uzbekistan

      https://archive.today/Ug8TJ

      There have been a few people charged with postal voting fraud, over the years,in the UK and the proportional voting referendum in the the UK was a bit of a shambles.

      I myself did not vote, as I live abroad, but believe I could have registered, particularly in Glasgow and voted in person or by post. They seem to have been overwhelmed with postal vote applications and only checked a few sample applications.

      Was that the same in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen?

      Anybody know?

      Could that have accounted for 200,000 votes, never mind 400,000 votes? I doubt it, but….

    206. fred blogger says:

      “One thing I think is clear – there will never be another referendum. But don’t breathe a sigh of relief if, as a No voter, you have come this far down the page. Westminster allowed it only because the elite thought it would be a walkover – like 70-30. The campaign gave them a fright, so never again will they risk it.

      But we do not need a referendum, where a biased BBC and print media could set the agenda each day in favour of their side, with attacks on Alex Salmond that were vicious in the extreme.

      No, come the 2016 Holyrood election, all we shall need is a majority of the votes and seats won on a mandate for independence, and Scotland shall have it. As I leave this column for the last time, that is something someone else will write about one day, not so far away.”
      http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jim-sillars-new-generation-can-sow-seeds-for-future-1-3551264

    207. Mike Marshall says:

      The system in the UK is suspect. having seen the system in France, it seems to much more difficult to do anything dodgy. There the first thing is that the boxes are transparent. The ballot paper has no traceability marks on it and is put in an envelope, then in the ballot box. The boxes are opened on sit and not transported to central locations.
      Any member of the public as well as officials can witness the count. The number of envelopes is cross checked against the number of envelopes given out thereby verifying the number of ballots in total expected in the box. The count is then done and verified by the counters. The result is then transmitted to the central control. Knowing the French system, there will no doubt be signed documentation verifying the number of papers etc. All in al it seems a much simpler system and also a much faster one. If there is any fraud, it is then restricted to much smaller counts and easier to follow up

    208. handclapping says:

      @James Caithness
      Ming was OK

    209. cirsium says:

      I supervised my local polling station and the count at Ingliston. I knew we had lost when the polling supervisor told me the turnout in an affluent suburb of Edinburgh was 96% at 9:15pm.

      davyb – the same happened in affluent suburbs in Glasgow. In contrast, what was the turnout in Toryglen? 50%? This is a very useful lesson for the future. It is not enough to encourage people to register to vote, we will have to encourage them to vote. We will need loads of polling agents for the 45 Alliance.

    210. Dee Sunshine says:

      You have covered some of the allegations of vote-rigging, but by no means all. I encourage you to look through the photographs and testimonies here – http://scottishreferedum.blogspot.co.uk/ – and address them

      (ps my last comment did not appear on the board)

    211. Calgacus says:

      At the end of the day I think the postal vote was rigged but that is just my opinion. We lost the overall count because of the treason of tbe Labour party. Let’s all concentrate on retribution by wiping them off the electoral map in Scotland

    212. Doug Daniel says:

      James Caithness – aye, as a referendum agent, I could have popped in and out of polling stations as much as I liked, and asked to see how many folk had voted etc. That’s how we figure out which areas need help getting the vote out, in fact.

    213. Tam Jardine says:

      There is no way the UK government would have agreed to the promises it has made if the fix was on – seems pretty obvious to me.

      That is not to say this is a shining example of democracy – North Korea will have been taking notes on how to successfully subjugate a people without resorting to concentration camps and disappearances. The collusion of the BBC, the press, foreign government’s and big business is the rigging. It was Yes against all of these dispicable enemies of Scotland.

      A big thank you to all the Wingers who took the time to ensure the vote itself was conducted properly but the fix had been going on for 2 years before a ballot paper was crossed. And we still came close.

      This fills me with hope after the depression of the last few days.

      Christine Graham’s speech in Holyrood yesterday was wonderful – makes me wonder why she wasn’t at the front of the campaign pushing the ‘worst pensions in europe’ angle. The deception of the pensioners by labour during the referendum is the most depraved tactic. To paraphrase that embarrassment in Downing Street ‘lessons must be learnt’.

      Thanks Doug

    214. JillP says:

      To all the people wasting energy on counting fraud, please stop and think!

      If you use half of that energy in looking towards the next step it would be more profitable.

      I am certain that this count was more watched and regulated than any other. There would be mistakes due to human error, but there was no way there could have been a fraud of the size needed for a 55%v45% result.

      Let’s not waste any more time on this. It won’t change anything. It will just be seen as the losers complaining.

      Let’s move on to the next step.

      Let’s canvas for these wonderful powers Gordon Brown promised us. Let’s keep reminding him what he promised. We all know in our hearts that these powers will in no way be enough, so while we wait we plan for the step after that. The General Election in May 2015.

      When the VOW is shown to be worthless we target those who voted no because of the promised extra powers, or because they don’t like Alex Salmond. Alex is no longer a valid excuse so we canvas the disappointment that there are no more useful powers. If these people see that their NO vote was worthless they will look for reparation in GE2015. Giving Better Together MPs their marching orders would show that they have let us down.

      Preparation now will pay dividends when we start campaigning for GE.
      Be ready when the soft NOs realise they have been duped,
      -when the pensioners realise their pensions are at more risk from Westminster,
      -when those who insisted the NHS is safe with Westminster yet already Ed Milliband says it isn’t safe under the Tories,
      -when the oil companies announce their new fields and boast about how long the oil will last,
      -and most of all, be ready when David Cameron takes our troops into Syria and Iraq because the Americans want them to. Would he be contemplating it if there had been a YES last week?

      Please let’s leave the disappointment of the result behind. We can’t do anything about it. Let’s look to the future. Not to another referendum, but to proving the lies from Cameron, Clegg. Brown and Milliband. To ensuring that the electorate understand that they were lied to.

      The NO campaign fell to pieces. The political pundits pulled the campaign to pieces at 10pm on Thursday. They are admitting their campaign was a sham. We need to make sure that the NO voters realise this. They are the ones who we need to convince, not the 45%

    215. liz says:

      That Kieser report was really depressing – the wealth that Scotland has is staggering.

      We are now back in the position of having to play a dirty game with Westminster.

      Far from a lot of well off people shitting it, they knew what they were doing. I’m alright jack.

      As I said canvassing in East Ren we experienced exactly that attitude.
      When visiting houses with 4 expensive cars in the driveway etc – why give up your comfy lifestyle when you dont need to.

      We lost it because of the terrifying of mainly OAPs by the BT liars – someone else called it abuse – I for one will never forgive them for that and the liars in the BBC.

      Also in the Keiser report all those Bildeberg lot – how can anyone compete with them ?

    216. thoughtsofascot says:

      @Wonton

      Many people voted Labour in 2010 out of the very real fear of the Tories getting in, and Brown was still (surprisingly) trusted in Scotland at that time.

      Much of the working class vote went to them in 2010. That ain’t gonna happen this time, now that they’ve nailed their colours to the Tory blue flagpole.

      People are also far more engaged in politics than they have ever been in the UK. Labour relies on ignorance to win. Stop being such a pessimist.

      I’d relish the chance to be in Scotland right now, helping mastermind this beautiful this web to catch slab and finish them off. Alas, contract & a significant other prevent this.

    217. thoughtsofascot says:

      *UK, should read Scotland, but for now it doesn’t matter much as we currently remain a province.

    218. bob sinclair says:

      Glasgow City Council has confirmed online these figures which concur with what I saw on the noght.

      Breakdown of Rejected Papers:
      Want of Official Mark 8
      Voting for both answers to the question asked 103
      Writing or Mark by which Voter could be Identified 26
      Unmarked or Void for Uncertainty 401
      Total Rejected Papers 538

      Regarding the ‘Blank’ ballot papers, this is just garbage. Given that the number of papers in the boxes had to tally with votes cast at polling stations it would have been nigh on impossible to replace these supposed thousands of ‘blank at the back’ ballot papers with any degree of accuracy to ensure the number of ballot papers in the boxes tallied correctly. The whole ‘blank back’ thing seems like mass hysteria to me. The key number here for Glasgow is 8 ballot papers with no official mark, all of which I witnessed at the count. These were due to the paper being torn, more than likely by someone spoiling their ballot paper. What is quite telling here is the stupidity of people identifying themself on the ballot paper.

      Unmarked or Void for Uncertainty 401 is the most significant category, In a huge number of cases these were ballot papers where someone had written ‘No’ in the No box. I would suggest that these in the vast majority of cases were likely to be ‘No’ voters attempting to make a statement, however it was agreed by all parties adjudicating that this was a clear case of ‘intent not clear’ and viewed as a double negative.

    219. Cath says:

      “There was no prominent Yes group speaking to pensioners to hammer home the point that their pensions were safe and that the UK has the worst pension in Europe anyway. ”

      This is true and that MUST be rectified over the next few months. Older people have to know they were lied to by Labour and Westminster. There will be a significant number who are just pro-union anyway and won’t be shifted. But it needs a concerted effort from their own age group and people within their own communities to at least speak to them, let them know what’s going on and give them the other side.

    220. Caroline Corfield says:

      just in case someone wishes to find out how this ‘exit poll’ information got out, here is a screen grab of a brief twitter conversation I had at the time, I never thought more about it, since I know that many agents are skilled at seeing through ballot papers, and that both sides were asking for people to tell them how they had voted.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152465780668882&set=pb.743633881.-2207520000.1411560264.&type=3&theater

      But, if it was illegal to tell or publish the information prior to the close of the ballot then something needs to be done about the fact that it happened nonetheless. The whole referendum was treated by the Establishment as a joke, from their cynical campaign of fear, to the disregard for purdah with their ‘vow’ and their ‘tee-hee it was a wee bit illegal’ attitude to the polling result itself.

    221. Valerie says:

      Perhaps we just need to ignore the conspiracy theorists just now. Loss and pain has many stages, and people move thru them at different paces. Those having a dalliance with vote rigging will move on in their own time, and I have empathy for them, but I am 55, and my background helps me to start looking up and forward. Totally agree criminality has taken place, by Project Fear, and their disgusting tactics. The lady who was crying after a No visit should have been dealt with by the police.

    222. Cath says:

      Unmarked or Void for Uncertainty 401 is the most significant category, In a huge number of cases these were ballot papers where someone had written ‘No’ in the No box. I would suggest that these in the vast majority of cases were likely to be ‘No’ voters attempting to make a statement, however it was agreed by all parties adjudicating that this was a clear case of ‘intent not clear’ and viewed as a double negative.

      Yup, and that was a benefit to the Yes side because others had similarly written Yes in the Yes box and that was taken as clear intent because it wasn’t a double negative!

    223. tombee says:

      Douglas Daniel,

      Thank you for that clear and concise explanation.
      I have to put my hands up to being a ‘doubter’, you have put my mind at rest.
      Thank you.

    224. Nana Smith says:

      @Caroline Cornfield

      Link doesn’t work.

    225. Midgehunter says:

      Next time the official campaign should be ruthless and fight an election. Let that get played out in the media. Leave the groundwork of hope to the individual groups that will go unreported.

      In 20 years nobody will remember hope v fear. They’ll remember who won. History is written by the winners.

      Next time, we don’t need to play fair, we play their game and we play to win.

      I hope this is the last thread where we waste so much time instead of getting down to planning the the fight for independence.

      Stop moaning about the past, learn from it and get on with the task of winning.

    226. Cag-does-thinking says:

      Thanks for the comprehensive explanation of the process. What it doesn’t explain is how the politicians like Ruth Davidson had their sampling from the postal vote several days before the 18th. Why is it necessary to open the vote envelope at all prior to the count? I would have thought that was the principal purpose of having two sealed envelopes and it doesn’t add up. I know several postal voters that are horrified that their vote was looked at before the count.

    227. tehklev says:

      My final words with regards to suggestions of voter fraud:

      “Hanlon’s Razor” – Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

      The counting staff were working outside their normal waking hours. Even if they’d been given the day off on the 18th to sleep late it still takes the body a few days to adjust to nightshift working, I know because I used to do nightshifts and had moments of “stupid” in the first couple of shifts due to tiredness.

      The video snapshots of one particular counter moving ballot papers from one pile to another was probably that of a very weary and tired individual having their moment of stupid. But at least she was trying to fix her mistake, if indeed she had made a mistake.

      The separation count in Perth and Kinross didn’t start until around 2am, some of the staff were looking pretty bleary eyed by that point and I’m sure one or two had their moments where concentration was lost.

    228. YESGUY says:

      Big thanks for your work Doug.

      I had little thought that the vote was rigged. It was evident that we lost the pensioners vote. Silly buggers don’t realise that a No vote puts their care and bus passes on the line for cuts.

      John Swinney will be in a pickle trying to keep up the great work he has done . The cuts are coming and the oldies are in for a shock. Sadly it seems they thought of themselves before their own families and friends.

      If cuts are needed then oap’s are big targets. I might be a little mean by saying good, now take their bus passes and council tax freezes along with free care. They voted they suffer.

      Would be nice for Wings to get back to finding the facts and getting the messages out to ordinary folk.

      We won 45% of Scotlands vote folks. No mean feat by anyone’s stretch of imagination. lets work on gaining support and chasing another 10% . We can do this easily. lets leave the issue of the vote behind and get on with more important matters.

      Lets get rid of Labour . The peoples party are now the SNP. Once labour go we are on our way. Get our own people in the SG. That’s the aim. One step at a time.

      Smug bastards think this genie will go back in the bottle. We lost now shut up and do as your told.

      AYE RIGHT

      Tick tock.

    229. BigSteveChisholm says:

      Repost, revised. The first version is probably in moderation. I forgot to remove the http from a Youtube link. Will I never learn? 🙁

      ***

      Thanks, Doug.

      I know a lot of disappointed YES voters want someone to blame; I read that Butterfly Rebellion blog and can see how a conspiracy theory provide comfort during a very black week.

      “I saw all those YES windows, we were sure to win”. Yeah, I wanted to believe that too.

      The British State does have form – there is no length it won’t go to in order to retain its power and wealth.
      (look up ‘Kincora’ for a particularly squalid example which still has repurcusions today)

      However, (deep breath) there is *no evidence* of wide scale vote rigging at the counts. We lost. The Union won. Not enough people think Scotland should go it alone. That’s the horrible truth of the matter.

      There are other ways to ‘rig’ an election. The postal voting system needs tighter scrutiny. I believe that polls were used to manipulate public opinion. I know that the electorate were lied to and bullied. We were blanket bombed by the MSM. The Electoral Commission were piss-weak. What Purdah period? I could go on.

      Saying all that, Project Fear was an effective strategy and that’s what gave Unionist politicians the brass balls to keep on lying on TV when they looked like fucking idiots for doing so. They knew FEAR would win before you even put your cross on the ballot paper.

      There was talk of ‘foreigners’ and separation, Brit nostalgia, World Wars and The Empire but I think they were mostly distractions. Project Fear boiled down to one core issue – money. Scotland will be worse off if it chooses independence. Currencies will fail; employers will flee; bills will go up; you’ll lose your pension; mortgage payments will double; oil will run out; we won’t subsidise you any more. And people swallowed it. Lots of them, especially in the last two weeks of ‘Shock and awe’.

      I don’t know any 65+ NO voters but, depressingly, I know a good few 40yo NO voters. They all thought they’d lose their job or have to pay higher bills or higher taxes. The same fundamental thing drove them to vote NO; they thought they’d be worse off. I heard lots of different excuses but their personal well-being was always somewhere at the back of the argument.

      I’m including a Youtube link to a doco from 2005, ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ (86mins). It’s about US campaign marketing consultants Greenberg Carville Shrum and their efforts to sell the voters of Bolivia on the idea that the country faced an imminent economic and political crisis. Not dissimilar to Project Fear.

      The philosophy of GCS: Keep your message simple and keep repeating it. It’s no different from Goebbels ‘Repeat the lie’.

      Our Brand is Crisis

      youtube.com/watch?v=Ex8liAPhk3I

      We need to take Project Fear and turn it on its head. It’s the UK you should be afraid of. I understand why the YES campaign stayed positive. YES v2.0 should probably do the same. But we, as the ’45’ or whatever don’t need to play nice. Our message from now on, to anyone we can convince, has to be a variation on this –

      The UK is a parasite. The UK is toxic. WE ARE BEING BLED DRY.

      And when the last drop of oil has gone and they’ve burned all the coal, we’ll be too broken to fight. We’ll roll over and say “Take our territorial waters and our lochs for your nuclear playthings, dump your waste in our glens. There’s no Scotland left to save”

      (exhales) My tuppence worth for the day.

      PS – And never, ever, trust the BBC.

    230. Sunshine on Crieff says:

      Thanks for that, Doug. I have been amazed at how the independence supporters have bounced back after this defeat, with many ideas on the way forward, the increase in pro-independence party memberships and the realisation that the Scottish nation has not been put back in its box.

      It dismays me, though, that many people have become mired in wild conspiracy theories about the vote being rigged – apparently in full view of the Sky News cameras and all the counting agents from the Yes side. It is pointless, counter-productive and damaging to the morale of those who want to build on the amazing support of the 1.6 million who voted Yes.

      Let’s use our energy and our commitment to intensify the campaign for Scottish autonomy, starting by ‘holding the feet to the fire’ of those who promised greater powers.

    231. @Buster Bloggs says:

      That will be that then, time to move on to next phase, how we destroy Labour in Scotland.

      Concur and the best people to do that are ex Labour members coming to the fore and speaking out publicly in the MSM.

    232. Hugh Wallace says:

      I was also a Wings Agent at the Aberdeen Count and visited several polling stations during the day as well. I saw no signs suggesting rigging of the vote.

      https://arewebettertogetherscotland.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/vote-rigging-nonsense/

    233. Chic McGregor says:

      I didn’t attend the count but I have attended counts in the past and agree that fiddling the actual count would be next to impossible.

      I do have concerns in regard to postal voting though.

      Most obvious I suppose is the registering of a vote before the latter part of the campaign has been completed.

      There are reasonable questions too as to whether it is more susceptible to impersonation or as free from partisan influences as the polling stations are at the point of execution.

    234. Stevie says:

      The cheating wasn’t in the counting stations the cheating took place in the system of postal voting itself – it was a wide open barn door for 250K phoney postal votes from whatever number of BritNats sent them off via their imaginary friends, uncles and cousins living in their houses. It is very likely that every single English BritNat would have included friends anf family members in this imaginary list.

      Moreover, MI5 / MI6 are mor than able to have hacked into the system and added an extra 100K to 200K postal vote names and addresses nd sent them off. With 3 years to do this it would be utter child’s play.

      Also , let us not forget the Labourites have been using the postal vote system to steal election victories and they would have been at it wherever they could.

      Cheated and we will never win an independence referendum vote whilst the postal vote farce is in operation.

    235. manandboy says:

      liz says:
      24 September, 2014 at 1:04 pm
      That Kieser report was really depressing – the wealth that Scotland has is staggering.

      Please Liz, a link ?

    236. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @cirsium –

      Aha!

      Have been keeping an eye out – was it yourself I spoke to at the last PQ?

      If so, it was a pleasure to meet you.

    237. muttley79 says:

      I agree that the need now is to move on and focus on the future. We have the general election next year, and the Holyrood and local government elections. These three elections are massive, the local government one takes on added significance because independence supporters need to target SLAB and their local power bases. There are a lot of opportunities to continue to press for substantial powers for Holyrood. We need to be ready, motivated and determined to grasp them.

    238. LMcK2020 says:

      My Husband, my Son and I all voted at different times of the day. All our ballot papers were blank on the other side.

      I emailed the police and this was their reply (incidentally, she says I did not recall, but I stated definitely, that the back of the paper was blank):

      Thank you for your e-mail/enquiry in which you have stated that you do not recall your ballot paper, as issued to you at your polling station on Thursday 18 September, having a unique identifying mark on the reverse as is required by legislation.

      The administration of the referendum on independence was under the remit of the Chief Counting Officer, Mary Pitcaithly. Logistical arrangements are the responsibility of the Counting Officer for each local counting area. However, please be assured that there are several stages of the process at which the ballot papers used are quality checked. Part of this quality checking includes ensuring that the unique identifying mark is present on each ballot paper. These checks are carried out:

      • During the printing process.
      • Prior to the ballot papers leaving the elections office for the counting area, when the ballot papers are allocated to each polling station.
      • At the polling station, before the poll opens.
      • At the polling station, when the polling staff issue the ballot paper to each elector.

      It is also worth noting that, in the extremely unlikely event that a ballot paper is issued, completed and placed in the ballot box and does not have a unique identifying number on the reverse, it will still be included in the counting of votes and would not be rejected on these grounds alone. There are measures in place to ensure that each ballot paper counted in the referendum was a validly cast vote, but the presence of the unique identifying number is not one of these measures. Therefore, please be assured that even if you do not recall your ballot paper having a unique identifying number on the reverse, this would not cause your vote to be rejected when the votes were counted.

      I hope this clarifies matters, but if you wish to report this matter to the Counting Officer for your local area you should contact the elections office at your local council.

      I’m happy to discuss this in more detail if it would be helpful.

    239. kendomacaroonbar says:

      O/R or not O/T that is the question :

      Here’s a thought..just to wind everybody up…bear with me please.

      Jimmy Savile was never charged with any wrong doing

      There is a substantial lack of corrobarative evidence that Savile committed any crime other than heresay and anecdotal statements from his accusers.

      Now, in order for ‘closure for all concerned, should we argue the point that Savile is presumed innocent of all these unsubstantiated claims because there is no hard evidence, or do you tell everybody to STFU

      There are quite a few rational individuals who have been directly / indirectly involved in the referendum who have something to say that they feel concerned about. If there are explanations, then let them be put out there as Doug’s article addresses.

      HOWEVER, let’s not pillory people into silence for having an opinion. That’s what happened in Saviles case… but like the referendum, there *must* be a perfectly innocent explanation.

      Keep an open mind guys

    240. turnbull drier says:

      I was the Wings Referendum Agent for Midlothian.

      First off, I want to agree with everything Doug says ATL. His description of the process is spot on.

      I stood outside my local Primary School, after checking the boxes were empty, at 6.45am until close at 10pm. I then put my own seal on the 4 boxes in the station and followed it up to the count, where I was fortunate\unfortunate enough to watch the boxes get turned out in front of me one by one and be sorted.

      At that point I counted them. It was depressing as fuck, watching all the No’s from my neighboring streets and realising that I’d put the info through their doors, I’d talked to these people, but it wasn’t enough to change their views.

      But.. and this is the thing..I was fully confident that this was the view of my neighbors because I’d watched the process from start to finish. I’d seen the looks I’d got when saying “Good Morning” to everyone who passed though the Polling Station door. I knew it was 50-50.. It turned out to be 45-55 ish in my station..

      But that was right. So, to all of you tinfoilhatters.. get a grip, move on, and do something constructive to change the No’s to Yessers.

      /rant over…

    241. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Should read O/T or not O/T

    242. big jock says:

      Will say this again. The truth hurts no-one. Still want this investigated. This opinion and description does not wash away the doubt especially the postal votes.

      Unless we now have double agents on Wings who dismiss everything.

    243. Shinzo says:

      It’s not the actual count of the ballots tht I have concerns with. I’m this procedure was carried out under intense scrutiny. But I have heard reports from hundreds of people, including some close friends, that their ballots did have a unique serial number or barcode on the rear of their ballot. Does that not make it an invalid vote? Can the counting officers confirm every ballot they counted had the serial numbers on the back? If they can then what happened to the peoples ballots without unique identifiers?

    244. Gary says:

      If they were going to rig the vote they would have done it in a way that did not require the cooperation of 100s of people. The easiest way would have been for the UK Parliament to get their Electoral Commission to overstate the registered number of voters. Once the votes had been cast this would give them the chance to include the remaining, falsley registered percentage as NO votes.
      This would only have to involve a few people and would be easily achievable.

    245. Robert Peffers says:

      O/T:
      Tweet from the SNP website : –

      “Peter Murrell 12 o’clock and all’s well as we race past 33,000 new @theSNP members. 9,000 in last 24 hours. Join the 58,642 of us: t.co/kSeYpyEDK8”

    246. Roboscot says:

      Right from when we first knew there would be an independence referendum we expected dirty tricks from the British establishment, based on their past conduct. The ‘panic’ by the establishment that started on Sunday, 7 September, following the opinion poll showing a Yes lead, had abated by the end of that week, despite the polls continuing to show a trend towards Yes. Even on the last day, with the opinion polls showing the campaigns were neck and neck, the panic had gone. The dirty tricks never materialised, but only because we didn’t see them. The counting of the ballots in a counting hall can be 100% reliable but they are only one part of a process that begins with voter registration.

    247. TD says:

      To all those who are alleging wrong-doing, you need to put up or shut up. If you have evidence of fraud, then put it on the table. But remember that a photo of a Yes vote on a No table proves just that – there was, at a moment in time a Yes vote on a No table. Of itself, that does not mean that the Yes vote was counted as a No vote.

      You are doing the independence campaign a dis-service by bleating about the result. There is no mileage in this – better instead to turn our attention to how to address the real problem, which is that more people voted No than voted Yes. I don’t like that any more than you do, but there is no point in deluding ourselves.

      There is of course a completely separate point about dirty tricks used by the No campaign. You might think, and I would agree, that they have demonstrated a total lack of morality by lying, deceiving, scaremongering and misleading. They have demonstrated contempt for the Scottish people and our job, amongst other things, is to help people, particularly No voters, to understand how disgracefully they have been treated.

      But crying foul without solid evidence is just a distraction. You should stop doing this.

    248. gillie says:

      “After this, the ballot papers were removed from their ‘A’ envelopes, ,kept face down so no one could see the vote,”

      It raises the question how could, as Ruth Davidson revealed, the postal votes could be ‘sampled’.

      If the agents could ‘sample’ the postal votes then surely that is a breach and should be investigated.

    249. one less day says:

      O/T

      Sunday Herald reporting 111% year on year increase

    250. Calgacus says:

      @Doug Daniels, I have no desire to piss anyone off and I want to move on as well. I am not calling for a recount or a revote but I am entitled to my opinion. My opinion, and I am not alone in this, is that the postal vote is wide open to all sorts of abuse. Anyway, sorry to have upset anyone.

    251. G H Graham says:

      Of the 32 constituencies, only 4 voted in favour of independence …

      Constituency & variance between YES & NO

      Glasgow (+25,432)
      Dundee City (+13,740)
      West Dunbartonshire (+4,944)
      North Lanarkshire (+4,861)

      The remaining 28 constituencies voted NO.

      The difference between YES voters & NO voters just in Edinburgh (-70,711) is LARGER than the combined variance in the four constituencies that voted for independence above (+48,977).

      This result wasn’t even close.

      For the record, only 3,429 papers were rejected (0.08% of the entire electorate).

    252. Davie Park says:

      Good article Doug. Hopefully anyone reading it will cease and desist.

      However, we must bear in mind that many of these ‘conspiracy theorists’ are people for whom this is a first time involvement in a political campaign. Many are going through something akin to a grieving process.

      We must extend to them the same patience and understanding we’re being asked to extend to folks who voted No.

      If you’re concerned about splits in our movement, telling people on twitter, regardless of how frustrated you are, to ‘shut the fucking fuck up’ about this, is hardly a route to harmony.

    253. chalks says:

      Did it ever cross people that perhaps Ruth Davidson was speaking utter shite? and Spinning like fuck?

    254. Nana Smith says:

      @one less day

      However the revenues support the Herald which was just dreadful pushing the unionist lies.So I will not be buying any more Sunday Heralds.

    255. Roboscot says:

      The panic over the poll on Sunday, 7 September, showing the campaigns neck and neck, abated a few days later despite the polls continuing to show the trend towards the Yes campaign up to the day of voting. We expected dirty tricks. When the panic abated, that is when the dirty tricks were used. We just didn’t see them. Counting the ballot papers is the one part of the process dirty tricks would not have been used because of it being monitored.

    256. David says:

      chalks says:
      24 September, 2014 at 1:36 pm
      Did it ever cross people that perhaps Ruth Davidson was speaking utter shite? and Spinning like fuck?

      Well, it would certainly be keeping in character!

    257. gillie says:

      Sampling of postal votes after they were opened may have not changed the vote but sure hell gave the No campaign an advantage of how the vote was going and may have indicated which parts of their campaigning was making an impact.

      Also if the No campaign were surreptitiously turning over the postal votes who is to know the vote had not been tampered with. Spoiled votes, missing votes, how easy would that have been?

      Instead of reassurance over the vote I think Doug you have unintentionally increased concerns over the vote.

    258. Calgacus says:

      @BigSteveChisolm, excellent comment mate thoroughly agree with your ideas on how to fight back Toxic Labour, Toxic UK parasites

    259. Lee Carruthers says:

      OK, i accept the reasons for what we saw on the TV, the sitting man just happened to look a bit shifty while marking a slip of paper, the lass with the wire baskets can’t tell Yes from No and her Left from her Right, the piles of what appear to be YES votes on the NO table are simply uncounted at the time…

      but…

      people saying the best target from a rig was the postal vote and it’s flawed. fair enough. What about when the polling stations closed? could something not happen between the polling station and the count? I see a few people say they personally sealed the ballot boxes, yet I have seen a number of people say they were given a whole bunch of these peelable seals that leave a watermark when removed. there is a video of one such seal being applied to paper, then the ‘watermark’ being rubbed off. Was each and every box escorted from the polling station to the count by a rep from both sides of the campaign, or was it just left up to one person.

      Anyone seen the apparent written statement from a Lindsay Jarrett (apparently it’s the lass who scaled Edinburgh Castle rock) which states her and 3 other people witnessed ballot boxes being swapped from one vehicle to another in the middle of nowhere. What would be the reason for that if true? It would be easy to organise a swap, simply prefill ballot papers going 3-1 in favour of NO, place them in a box (cos lets face it alot of the boxes are just standard boxes, i have seen the same in Poundstretcher) then swap them out with the actual ballot boxes halfway to the count. Lets face it, it’s not impossible for this to happen, WM didn’t want to lose it’s biggest money maker. Yes, the NO campaign lied through the back of it’s teeth and scared most pensioners into thinking they would lose what pittance thy got, but just to make sure they didn’t lose the vote to the younger informed generation they fucked with it just to err on the side of caution.

      the count itself may not have been rigged, but something certainly smells fishy

    260. liz says:

      @manandboy – see @fred blogger 11.53

    261. Tony says:

      Sorry this articule while explaining some of the various videos circulating, does NOT explain questions that are of far more importance.

      I understand that postal votes, up to 800,000 of them were sent to England (to be scanned/registered or something) and then back to Scotland. Were these ballots observed and secure for the duration of transit either way? Indeed were the votes secure and observed in transit from the post box in the first place?

      In addition I hear that some polling stations were told not to bother recording the ballot box security information – illegal. Were these ballots observed and secure from polling station to counting stations? I hear varous ballots arrived late – fuel to the fire.

      As others have raised I also struggle to accept the two places which voted yes in overwhelming numbers also happened to have turn out around 10% less than the national average.

      I want to have complete trust in our votes, I simply cannot have with these kinds of emerging irregularities taking place. I do not take kindly to being called a conspiricy theorist just for asking for answers.

      Goodness I even hear that Russian international observers state that the referendum “was not conducted to international standards”.

    262. big jock says:

      Suppose something does come out of these enquiries at some point. There are going to be a lot of silly looking people who advised to just drop it.

      Again some genuine some deliberately trying to prevent investigation. Don’t be fooled let people look into this.

    263. Morag says:

      Some people keep asserting their right to their opinion that the voting was rigged. Well you know what they say. You have a right to your own opinion.

      You do not have a right to your own facts.

      The facts as attested by multiple people on this thread are that the voting was not rigged.

      FFS guys, you’re behaving like the people who carry right on asserting that Scotland is subsidised even after they’ve been shown all the financial statistics proving the contrary.

    264. Nana Smith says:

      @BigSteveChisholm

      Sorry but I don’t think the UK is toxic and that just makes English people angry.

      It is Westminster that is toxic along with Scottish unionist party members.

    265. gillie says:

      If there are any doubts that the No campaign were sampling postal votes as they were being opened, then this removes any doubts on the matter;

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcL69gUtPb0

      There should be an investigation by the police.

    266. liz says:

      @big jock – no-one is stopping anyone looking in to anything – go ahead if you want just stop distracting all of us who want to move on and do something constructive.

      If you are correct we will be forever in your debt

    267. gillie says:

      If there are any doubts that the No campaign were sampling postal votes as they were being opened, then this removes any doubts on the matter;

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcL69gUtPb0

      There should be an investigation by the police.

    268. Morag says:

      Don’t be fooled let people look into this.

      And how many people have to look into this and tell you that there was no vote-rigging before you believe them? Or are you just going to sit behind your computer and assert your baseless belief that there was, and insist that the people who have gone to the trouble to find out the facts for themselves are all double agents or something?

      Give it a rest.

    269. If the system was transparent and the security of all votes at all stages was impeccable there would be no doubting the result. Personally I accept the result as stands but the system needs changing so that we can ALL have complete confidence in it. These are our votes and each and every one made adds to our democracy. It is not good enough that they can be scrutinised to any degree prior to the actual count. It is also not acceptable the insecure and sloppy way in which they are transported to the counting stations. Make it as secure as possible, as transparent at each stage as possible, and there will be no grounds for ‘conspiracy’ –simples. Lets get it sorted before the next referendum, the one we are going to win 🙂

    270. Betty Boop says:

      Thanks for posting this, Doug.

      I was at the postal vote opening on one day, husband was there every day. Nothing untoward seen and I have great admiration for the count staff.

      We were also at the count and, again, nothing untoward seen and the place was full of watchers.

      I do have concerns about the high number of postal votes and about some aspects of keeping those votes until the count itself because the boxes are not sealed once the votes have been checked. In our case, the boxes were locked and put in a safe. That is not to say that anything untoward happened to them, just that I think the system has the potential for abuse.

      My preference would be for a return to tighter controls on the need and granting of postal votes because there is, I think, greater risk of abuse (who actually voted, etc.). The verifying/opening process would require less time (fewer days)and could be done closer to the actual count.

      At polling stations, perhaps there should be further verification of who turns up to vote especially if there is no polling card.

      I also noted some things at the count and in photos of other counts in terms of set-up which could give rise to suspicions. I noticed that at the Dundee count, for example, the tables had floor length covers on them and at the count I attended, the count staff had bags at their feet, some of them open and jackets hanging on the backs of their chairs although there were no covers on the tables and they could be seen quite clearly. For me, both of these situations were not ideal given the need for people to be confident in the process.

      I can understand that people are wary of the Dundee count given the fire alarm problems and that along with Glasgow, there is the notion that the turnout seemed lower than expected.

      The referendum process revealed deep flaws in the Electoral Commission which exposed weakness in upholding good practice and adherence to rules, such as the letters Ruth Davidson sent out with an image of a ballot paper with a x in the no box. The fact that the UK government could get away with bringing forward new offers just before the vote, yet the Scottish Government would have been held to account for similar deeds emphasises the need for stricter rules and an EC with teeth. The Yes campaign was hampered by biased media, UK government duplicity, spreading fear and misinformation, and the fact that it acted as a campaigner funded by the taxpayer plus billionaire donors. Voter apathy and reluctance to research the issues added to that.

      When all is said and done, however, the reality is that the Yes vote almost made it. Almost half the country wants change and the other half undoubtedly contains some people who would like change too. Now we have to hold politicians to account and keep people engaged. That means learning lessons from this campaign and not all firing off in different directions.

      I note a number of different proposals for new newspapers, etc. Can I suggest that people who have such ideas talk to each other before we end up with them tugging against each other? There is nothing wrong with indy-biased media, but, I think that what we all would have appreciated during the referendum campaign was a balanced media for a start and that should be the first aim if we also wish to appeal to those who did not vote Yes.

      If you got through this, thank you for your patience! 🙂

    271. yesindyref2 says:

      @Robert Peffers
      New members coming in at between 250-500 an hour, from the progress reports from Murrell. 250 an hour over another 12 hours would be 3,000 for over 61,000 and rising.

    272. David says:

      BigSteveChisholm@ 1:22pm

      I think a good basis for any argument is to get some facts on how poorly the UK is doing as a starting point, such as

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7957110/Government-urged-to-reveal-true-national-debt-of-4.8trillion.html

      Compared with the very real facts of our fossil fuel reserves and renewable energies potential there is no reason that we cannot transition from an oil state to one that provides clean energy to europe just as Iceland has begun to.

      I think we need to tackle the economy issue head on and really take the argument to the nay sayers.

      Its utterly ridiculous to me that anyone can think that a resource rich country of 5 million people is not going to be in a good basic financial position, but there it is. I guess we need to up our argument on this and overturn this belief on its head.

      I just thought while writing this – could we let those assholes in WM have the oil and still make a good go of it as a country? Just musing. Would making winning so much easier if that was feasible! 😀

    273. Bzzzz says:

      I was a counting agent at the Edinburgh count and I was and am still concerned with what I, and many others, saw coming out of the postal ballot boxes. Nothing suspicious with the actual papers per say but more with the actual numbers. Whilst they were being counted for verification we took a sample and these were coming out on average roughly 80% No. Now what concerns me is that there is no other demographic that lends itself to that kind of a figure. There was enough suspicion aroused when the level of postal votes applied for was announce but for this kind of a figure to appear, well, one can’t help but be a tad dubious. Obviously there are many reasons for people to lodge a postal vote but you would expect the demographics to level them out to some kind of average. I’m yet to see any figures for the postal votes nationwide, I’d be VERY interested to see them.

    274. yesindyref2 says:

      I think everyone would accept that there could be as many as 4,000 fiddled votes, and let’s not forget that there are YES supporters worldwide as well as the NO ones, so that 4,000 could be either way or both.

      That’s 4,000, The majority for NO was one hundred times that – 400,000.

    275. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Naturally the British government would never consider doing anything that wasn’t cricket 🙂

      The Stolen Seas
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfbfldSrJ-0

      Killing for oil:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIQ8VVn8AJA

      On the count itself I’ll defer to to Douglas Daniel, but in my patch I was able to observe that about 80% of the Polling officers were a hard boiled unionists.

    276. Free Scotland says:

      Thanks for this post, Doug. You’re doing what all sane-minded visitors to this site should do – soaring above Scottish politics.

    277. Nikkii says:

      So did all the ballot papers properly counted have barcodes on the back or not?

      Because mine didn’t – and if I can find a bloody NO voter at my polling station I will check with them too – I’m just concerned the boxes from my polling station were replaced with “some we made earlier” :/

    278. G H Graham says:

      Furthermore, the total variance between YES & NO across the 28 constituencies that voted NO is -432,914.

      So adding that to the variance between YES & NO in the constituencies that votes YES (48,977), the net result then is -383,937.

      To reverse the result of this referendum, we need to convince at least 383,937 voters (9% of the electorate) to change their mind.

    279. gillie says:

      Council of Europe 2008 report on voting in the UK concluded that “the voting system in Great Britain is open to electoral fraud’…………. that it was childishly simple to register bogus voters ……. and postal voting provides the anonymity to carry out fraud without detection”

      Glenrothes by-election 2008: there was a fourfold increase in postal ballots and Labour’s opponents demanded to see the marked official register which showed whether individuals had voted or not. The Sheriff ’s Clerk’s Office in Kirkcaldy revealed five months later the register had ‘gone missing’.

      Glasgow North East by-election 2009: a dramatic increase in postal votes, with almost 2,000 applications submitted less than three days before the registration deadline.

      In both instances the Electoral Commission complained that Labour ‘did not comply’ with the code of conduct on the submission of postal-vote applications.

      The sampling of postal votes prior to the count is a breach of electoral law. It needs to be investigated by the police.

    280. G H Graham says:

      While no one or indeed, no process can guarantee the validity of every single vote, the result was unequivocal; NO won by a large majority.

      There were 383,937 more NO voters than YES voters. There’s your target.

      Want to know where they are?

      COUNCIL………………YES-NO DIFFERENCE

      1 Glasgow 25,432
      2 Dundee City 13,740
      3 West Dunbartonshire 4,944
      4 North Lanarkshire 4,861
      5 Inverclyde -86
      6 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar -1,349
      7 North Ayrshire -1,944
      8 Clackmannanshire -2,686
      9 Shetland Islands -4,282
      10 East Ayrshire -4,680
      11 Orkney Islands -5,121
      12 Renfrewshire -6,601
      13 Falkirk -7,541
      14 Midlothian -7,602
      15 Highland -9,670
      16 Moray -9,703
      17 Angus -10,148
      18 Argyll & Bute -10,819
      19 Stirling -12,143
      20 West Lothian -12,340
      21 South Ayrshire -12,845
      22 East Lothian -16,816
      23 East Renfrewshire -17,403
      24 East Dunbartonshire -17,690
      25 South Lanarkshire -20,810
      26 Perth & Kinross -21,239
      27 Aberdeen City -24,704
      28 Fife -25,640
      29 Scottish Borders -27,647
      30 Dumfries & Galloway -33,425
      31 Aberdeenshire -37,269
      32 Edinburgh -70,711

      TOTAL -383,937

    281. Luigi says:

      I’m not sure about being better together, but we better move on from this nonsense.

      We lost because the softies in the middle decided to give Westminster one last chance. Some are regretting it already. From what I hear, a few who posted their NO early felt regret even before the 18th! With each passing day, more and more NO voters will come to regret their decision. It’s too late now. There is no point crying over spilt milk. Let’s build on what we have. A 45% YES vote would have been the stuff of dreams, even a few months ago. It is vitally important now, that we consolidate our gains before we make our next big move.

    282. IcySpark says:

      @G H Graham

      You only need to convince half of those +1. Less than 200,000

    283. yesindyref2 says:

      Ruth Davidson was spinning, same as Blair Jenkins was “Quietly confident”. Salmond and Darling both said it would be close. Many of us (me included) were misplacedly very confident, at the end.

      The one good thing about a 90,000 petition and all the facebook and Twitter is that I’d say already a dozen thinktanks and academic groups are starting to look at the whole process to see if fraud could have taken place, and will almost certainly be able to show ways very very small fraud could have. That’ll lead to yet another improvement in the voting proess, making the next Referendum even more clean.

      Statistically though with 45% of the vote, YES supporters would have committed 45% of the fraud, and with 55% of the vote, NO supporters would have done 55%. That is effectively self-cancelling at all levels of relative support.

      And don’t forget the Scottish Government were in charge of the whole process. The Scottish Government were pro-YES.

    284. handclapping says:

      @big jock
      Unless we now have double agents on Wings who dismiss everything.

      That goes on the troll report. Some newbie turns up out of nowhere and accuses us of being liars after we have sweated blood to understand and oversee the electoral system on his behalf, who refuses to accept our explanantions and urges the debate in the direction of uselessness is a troll, possibly even a paid troll.

    285. yesindyref2 says:

      Ruth Davidson was spinning, same as Blair Jenkins was “Quietly confident”. Salmond and Darling both said it would be close. Many of us (me included) were misplacedly very confident, at the end.

      The one good thing about a 90,000 petition and all the facebook and Twitter is that I’d say already a dozen thinktanks and academic groups are starting to look at the whole process to see if fraud could have taken place, and will almost certainly be able to show ways very very small fraud could have. That’ll lead to yet another improvement in the voting proess, making the next Referendum even more clean.

      Statistically though with 45% of the vote, YES supporters would have committed 45% of the fraud, and with 55% of the vote, NO supporters would have done 55%. That is effectively self-cancelling at all levels of relative support.

      And don’t forget the Scottish Government were in charge of the overall process. The Scottish Government were pro-YES.

    286. gillie says:

      In March of this year Richard Mawrey QC, who tries cases of electoral fraud in England stated, “Postal voting on demand, however many safeguards you build into it, is wide open to fraud. And it’s open to fraud on a scale that will make election rigging a possibility and indeed in some areas a probability.”

      Is an 18% level of postal voting in this referendum much higher than normally expected?

      What was the level of postal votes in Glasgow and Edinburgh?

    287. G H Graham says:

      Icy Spark,

      Time you refreshed yourself in arithmetic.

      There were 383,937 more NO voters than YES.

      Convincing only half of them achieves nothing.

    288. Morag says:

      The system is open to low-level petty fraud. People can register at addresses where they’re not living, and it’s possible to register ficticious people at addresses. It’s also possible to give the name of someone you think won’t vote, and vote in their name.

      These things should be tightened up, but they didn’t cause the referendum result to reverse. It’s simply not possible to fiddle these things in large enough numbers without being caught.

    289. Morag says:

      Postal vote fraud could certainly swing a council seat, or even a constituency vote where it was close. So it needs to be tightened up.

      It didn’t swing a Scotland-wide referendum with almost 400,000 votes between the two sides.

    290. IcySpark says:

      @G H Graham

      Sorry my friend but you are wrong.

      Lets take a round 400,000

      If you convince 200,000 No voters then their figures drop by 200,000 and Yes figures go up by 200,000.

      2 million No become 1.8 million No
      1.6 million Yes become 1.8 million Yes

      Therefore you only need to convince 200,000

    291. Calgacus says:

      @Morag,I am not alone in having an opinion and I shall not address the rest of your comment which was characteristacally rude.

      One way or another this was in no way a free or fair referendum and as far as I am concerned democracy is dead in this country.

      You can bleat on about how fair it was in Kelso at the count but as you and Doug very well know, I, and others, have been talking abount the possibility of vote rigging elsewhere.

      Are we not allowed to speculate? Some democracy if that is the case

    292. ilyana says:

      Good article thank you.

      There has to be confidence in the voting system otherwise we get the response – whats the point its fixed anyway. Inducing voter/activist apathy is I think the point of the vote rigging conspiracy. A negative narrative, so not hard to guess at.

      The referendum was last week, it never was an objective on its own, the objective is self determination with economic environmental and social justice, for us and future generations.

      The means are inherent in the end, we emerge from that engagement, on the rise, positive as we organise and build and devise even better tactics.

      Time to move on, we all have great work to continue with right now!

    293. Haha Thats the TV Licence cancelled.

    294. HandandShrimp says:

      Setting aside the postal votes which seem to have been overwhelmingly for No, the actual vote on the day was much closer and more like the 52 No 48 Yes being forecast by the many polls the night before the vote. I think the polls were picking up a move to Yes and we may well have nosed in front before the vote hence all the manic panic by the No side in the last week.

      If the postal votes had reflected the vote on the day this would have been a very tight call.

      I doubt there was much in the way of fraud. The elderly were not keen on change and Labour in particular are good at getting the nursing home vote out. That they might have fibbed about pensions to the pensioners and the like is not cricket but it isn’t voter fraud.

    295. gillie says:

      Over 80,000 postal votes cast in Edinburgh, that is 25% of those who voted.

      Now that seems high compared to the national average of 18%.

    296. Macca73 says:

      The number of Labour majority wins does look pretty stark but it’s what we’re facing folks and we’ve GOT to get in there now to start making people look for a better future than the one we’ve got facing us right now. Tories / UKIP is a real possiblity and Labour aren’t exactly filling anyone with glee at the prospect of putting anyone from that party in power.

      Forever and a day everyone panics in Scotland and votes for Labour because they are scared that the Tories will get in. That’s going to happen because Labour don’t have anyone worth voting for in leadership both England and Scotland so we’ve got to keep plugging the alternative as the only way to make people aware that this is hell on earth if Scotland isn’t away from Westminsters clutches.

    297. yesindyref2 says:

      This petition calling for Devo-Max to be delivered on time could be worth signing.

      http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/69973

      Better would be if Canon Kenyon Wright were to set one up, as these petitions are better with a well-known name, and one which gets media publicity.

    298. BigSteveChisholm says:

      @Nana Smith – You’re right, of course. I should have been more precise with my terminology but the blood was pumping! I should have distinguished between the economic Union and the social Union. Again, it goes back to fiscal control and the subsidy myth. WM / Whitehall is the problem, not the good people of the UK.

      @ David – I agree. We need to get the truth out about the state of the UK economy we’re trying to extricate ourselves from. Masses of debt; QE, and a south-east housing bubble keeping things afloat. We also need to kill the Scottish subsidy myth. How to keep the message simple, though?

      GERS is useful but too dry for some of my NO acquaintances. Maybe I should print it out on heavy paper, roll it up and hit them over the head with it.

      Oh, look, more oil –

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-29342142

      And privatisation is killing the NHS after all –

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-steve-taylor/privatisation-of-nhs_b_5866352.html

      And no scare tactics were used during the referendum!

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/24/scottish-independence-result-rigged-the-45_n_5871912.html

      Loving the framing of ‘the 45’ as some sort of bogeyman. First they’ll bomb ISIS, then they’ll come for your hashtags.

    299. handclapping says:

      @Calgacus
      What good does speculation do?
      If you have proof take it to the courts. If you do not have proof and wish to speculate do so where you do not show people how stupid you are. Speculating about the death of Kennedy does not bring him back to life, Speculating about the referendum does not change the outcome.
      You either have to find proof, real proof not just like minded idiots also without proof, and go to court or get on with the job of destroying the partners in Better Together.

      Which is it for you?

    300. Golfnut says:

      Did vote rigging take place. I don’t know, the question might still be buzzing around the ether in 30 years time. What is to me self evident, is there are quentions to be answered.
      Someone turns up at the polling to be told they have already voted by post? Surely.
      Someone mixing votes from one pile another? Surely.
      Boxes not sealed ? Surely.
      Someone filling vote forms ? Surely.
      The answers may be obvious, innocent explanations available, if so lets hear them.
      Even if it is only to provide confidence for the 2015 GE.
      No person that I have seen on any thread so far is questioning the veracity of those who have stated they have seen no wrong doing, perhaps it is a little early to dismiss those that say they have.

    301. Could someone (not a sarcastic smartarse please ,for they are legion today) just answer two questions?

      Were all the PV`s posted back to the one address or were they sent back to each council address?

      Wherever they were sent back to over nearly three weeks how/where were they kept before the counting?

      If someone (not a sarcastic smartarse) answers these question I would be most grateful .

      Peace and Love Ya all.

    302. As an ultra Tory No voter may I just say THANK YOU for showing more leadership than the SNP over the cyber campaigns attacking our democratic way of life.

      http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/20/how-conspiracy-theories-spread-on-fb

      All this SHARE THIS! SHARE THIS! nonsense. The CIA used it the Arab Spring. Many inexperienced netizens have been fooled over the last few days 🙁

      Again as a complete opponent Rev, thanks for showing the masses the truth over this issue. G

    303. big jock says:

      Newbie me -Big Jock…Been on here for 2 years Handclapping what about yourself?

    304. Chris Baxter says:

      Is there any chance of an actual forum/message board area being created on the site, which would allow various topics to be created and easily bumped (and they could link of course to various articles published)?

      And on a different note, has Anne Begg said any more about her campaining with National Front members?

    305. gillie says:

      There was an increase of nearly 150,000 applications for postal votes in the weeks before the referendum, and it was postal votes which swung this referendum. We know this because they were being sampled before the count. Now that replicates what happened in the Glenrothes and Glasgow North East.

      The marked official registers should be opened for inspection and investigation.

    306. handclapping says:

      @Scot Finlayson
      You were answered at 11:52

    307. handclapping says:

      @big jock
      If you’ve been on that long you’ll know I was here before you.

    308. Calgacus says:

      @Morag, It is perfectly possible for HMG to have done this on a large enough scale. They had the motive and the resources.

    309. big jock says:

      So your point is that only your opinion is valid?

    310. Roboscot says:

      The British establishment has a long and inglorious track record of dirty tricks. It has used them in circumstances far less threatening to it than the referendum. Indeed, the referendum was the biggest threat to the British establishment and its interests since at least the Irish War of Independence. No British government will declare it has ‘no strategic interest’ in keeping Scotland the way it has done for Northern Ireland, yet the British establishment used torture and extra-judicial killing in the war in the north of Ireland.
      If there was no vote rigging in the referendum we have to believe that, with the opinion polls showing the campaigns neck and neck up to the day of voting, the British establishment stopped panicking and simply crossed its fingers and hoped for the best.
      With all respect, Doug and others can only assure us that the part of the whole electoral process that they monitored was carried out properly.

    311. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      If slightly more than half of those 383,937 No voters voted yes instead, we would’ve won.

      (this comments system is creaking)

    312. Hayzo69 says:

      Convincing just over half of them achieve s everything..

    313. handclapping says:

      @Calgacus
      It is perfectly possible for HMG to have done this on a large enough scale. They had the motive and the resources.

      It is perfectly possible for the moon to be made of green cheese. Have you any proof that HMG did this on any scale? If you do we can go to court and get a re-run. If you don’t there is damn all you or anyone can do except get on with the demolition of the Better Together parties

    314. Harry McAye says:

      Minor point to correct Tony Little from much earlier. 2.1 million did not vote No. 2,001,000 is not 2.1 million. That would be 2,100,000.

    315. David Wallace says:

      I don’t believe that the count was fixed, but in this day and age a better way of counting the votes could be devised. Ballot papers which are specifically designed to be scanned and counted would remove a large degree of human error and would ‘spit’ out the papers which needed to be assessed by hand. I understand that then lends itself to ‘fixing’ of the programme but at some point you have to have faith in the electoral system. Equally, console/electronic voting booths could be used which could provide an almost immediate result.

    316. handclapping says:

      @big jock
      No we were there.

    317. Sinky says:

      With 59,000 members the SNP is now easily the third largest political party in the UK.

      Given that we are all part of the one United Kingdom I am sure that this will be reflected on BBC and other “national” political coverage as the SNP gets a seat on the sofa or regular appearances on Question Time on par with the Lib Dem or UKIP representatives from the minor UK parties.

    318. GrantMacD says:

      I’d like to see a post-vote poster campaign – something like this, using the catchy “NO” theme.

      http://s929.photobucket.com/user/osakisushi/slideshow/

    319. Chris Baxter says:

      Calcagus

      It is perfectly possible for HMG to have done this on a large enough scale. They had the motive and the resources.

      They’re too stupid to succeed in what would be a massively complicated operation. Ffs, even MI5 can’t keep hold of laptops without them dropping into unauthorised hands.

    320. big jock says:

      Unless anyone watched the postal votes from receipt to count then the system is open to abuse!

    321. handclapping says:

      @big jock
      What do you think I did!

    322. JimnArlene says:

      In essence, nothing to see here, move along. So let us all move along and get ripped into the unionist back sliders.

    323. Doug Daniel says:

      “Unless we now have double agents on Wings who dismiss everything.”

      I spent the last month or so chapping doors every day trying to get people to vote Yes. I took the last week off work so I could dedicate myself fully to campaigning, and got soaked several times for my trouble, and was up for the best part of 24 hours on polling day helping to get the vote out and then ensuring the counting took place fairly. And that’s after contributing several articles to Wings over the years to try and help debunk unionist scare stories. So I’ll not be having anyone trying to accuse me of being a double agent.

      If we want to be pointing our fingers at potential “double agents”, I think the culprits are far more likely to be folk intent on making the Yes campaign look stupid by perpetuating daft conspiracy theories.

      Just saying…

    324. Alasdair Stephen says:

      I think this is a sensible post. But the idea that the British state would manipulate the vote shouldn’t be dismissed. The country of MI5 would not give up Scotland easily.

      I have seen no evidence of vote rigging in all these clips on Youtube. I do though have some queries and observations though:

      1. The mood on the ground, canvass returns suggested we would win. Additionally according to the Record today Yes HQ own sophisticated tracking system suggested Yes has taken 53% of the vote. A victory speech from Alex Salmond had even been released to a Canadian paper. HQ thought they had won until the first results came in. Why was this so far out?

      2. The final polls all converged to show 47/48% Yes. I thought this surprising that despite huge variations before they suddenly all agreed on a narrow No victory. Then Yougov – who had been miles out for months – call it almost exactly right shortly after the polls close. If a poll was to be rigged it would be important that a trusted pollster backed up the outcome.

      3. It couldn’t have been long after 11 o’clock when I first heard that ‘Labour sources’ were calling it 55% for No. I would like an explanation where they got this information from.

      None of this amount to much but an explanation would be good.

    325. desimond says:

      @Morag
      I dont think there was any rigging but theres a caper movie in there if we wish one..Morag says it woudl be night impossible but anyone been to a magic show?

      I went to see Derren Brown and he got everyone in the audience to fill in a card and place it in a box. A girl collects the box and opens it and empties the cards into a pile..he gets a random member of audience to pick one and then miracously tells everything written on the random card.

      Magic or simply a false bottom loaded box depending on which way you open it up?

    326. Iain More says:

      Even if there was something dodgy going on, we were never going to be able to prove it. This is the British State we are dealing with.

      I remain though suspicious of the whole postal and proxy voting business. I do also remain suspicious of Councils controlling voters registers.

      The situation where employees of old peoples homes can control in theory large numbers of voting cards of gaga residents is clearly something that needs looked at. You could drive a coach and horses through that.

      Electoral Reforms are needed in my view but that is minor as this vote was effectively won/lost due to the control of our Media and Press from individuals and organisations hostile to Scottish Independence and that cartel must be broken.

      It also beggars belief that Executives of Big Businesses allowed themselves to be dictated to by 10 Downing Street in the run up to the Referendum. Businesses or at least weak minded managements making political and not economic decisions was astounding.

    327. Steven Mitchell says:

      I attended the count in North Ayrshire on behalf of Wings and like Doug, I would have been screaming from the rooftops if I had spotted anything like the conspiracy theorists would have you believe.

      Yes Dundee tweeted on the night when concerns were raised about Yes votes on a No table. The ability to consider all possibilities or gather information seems to have been lost on some people desperate to apportion a degree of blame onto someone for not getting the desired result.

      There was even a video from some unknown polling station claiming to be the Referendum but the ballots being added to the box were about 3 times the size of the ballots used last week and even the most myopic of observers would have spotted those amongst legitimate papers.

      We need to get some perspective folks and crying foul does no one any good WITHOUT meaningful and corroborative evidence of wrongdoing. I believe the only instances thus far are being investigated by the authorities and we should leave them to it.

    328. thegooseking says:

      O/T I discovered last night that my brother voted No for actually kind of decent reasons – he thinks independence should come to Scotland, but gradually rather than suddenly. He quoted Feynmann talking about the lurching from one side to the other of the American political system, but I was rather put in mind of Lenin’s (ultimately failed) attempts to accelerate Marx’s timeframe for revolution.

      I’m not sure I entirely agree with him, but it’s certainly the best case for No I’ve heard (though I may be biased, since he does actually agree with me about wanting independence eventually).

      I just wonder how many No voters thought like he did. If it was a substantial number, their decision could be a cause for optimism rather than resentment.

    329. big jock says:

      So someone watched the boxes after they were stored?

    330. Andy-B says:

      Very good article Dougie, thanks for adding a bit of transparency to the matter. I’ve no doubt, if there had been severe misgivings witnesses to the count would have brought the matter to the fore, in a sharpish manner.

    331. Sinky says:

      A waste of time and effort on conspiracy theories by the usual suspects. Impossible to do in scale required to overturn 400,000 votes.

      Lets concentrate on the way forward.

    332. chris kelly says:

      Thank you for posting this. I wasn’t present at any of the counts, but I agree none of the “evidence” you posted above is actually evidence. On my blog, I looked into as much of these claims as I could. I knew the video evidence and the fire alarms weren’t evidence of fraud. The blank ballots concern me. There aren’t any reports I can find of masses of ballot papers being turned away for being blank, however.

      In East Lothian, 0 ballots were refused for want of an official mark. At least 8 people have told me their ballots in East Lothian were blank. Mass hysteria? Maybe. I know 8 isn’t a lot, but that’s 8 from the one area who told me. There could possibly be more that haven’t, or none.

      One other thing concerns me, this statement: “NO apologies for political status today – you don’t like it UNFRIEND! Simple! But when I found out we were ‘used’ in the poll rigging was the moment my mouth refused to stay shut!!!! I and quite a few others were told ‘not to bother recording ballot box seals when they left our poll stations’ – i’v just found out this is a criminal offence! Please open the court doors cause there gonna be jammed!!! Form a line please i’m at the front!!!!!!!!!”

      It’s posted on Facebook, the user is Joyce Armour. In the comments she says the police are looking into it. She posted it on her own wall, where her friends can see it.

      honestly, I don’t know if I believe there was rigging, and I know most of the examples of it are crap. But I have to wonder if the statements coming out now are true or just attention seeking.

      I don’t think it would change the result, to be honest, I think No would still win. But I do wish someone would look into those blank ballot paper claims. Take just ten, or a hundred, people who claim their ballot was blank. Use the official number written beside their name on the register to trace that paper, and prove that their vote was counted and that it is still what they voted for.

      Of course, that might be difficult. When they handed me my blank ballot paper they didn’t write a number beside my name and I didn’t realise until days later that they were supposed to. Then again, maybe I’m part of this mass hysteria.

      Who knows?

    333. Andy-B says:

      Sinky says:
      24 September, 2014 at 2:45 pm
      With 59,000 members the SNP is now easily the third largest political party in the UK.

      Given that we are all part of the one United Kingdom I am sure that this will be reflected on BBC and other “national” political coverage as the SNP gets a seat on the sofa or regular appearances on Question Time on par with the Lib Dem or UKIP representatives from the minor UK parties

      ________________________

      SINKY.

      RE your above comment I wouldn’t hold my breath, the press and media have never really looked upon the SNP in a fair and proper manner.

      I totally agree with you though, the third largest party in the UK deserves more coverage, and if the SNP’s membership continues to grow, who knows how much power they/we could sway.

    334. Valerie says:

      Bit off topic, but on moving forward, just watched the link to the Keiser report, don’t watch if you still feel wobbly, as it made me a bit teary.. Second, amazing left wing speaker, Mayor Bill De Blasio at the Labour conference, seems right out of place at a Tory kite gathering.
      Another disgusting link to EDL, ‘re a Labour East Kilbride councillor tweet.

    335. Doug Daniel says:

      “So someone watched the boxes after they were stored?”

      Well at least we’ve moved on from videos showing “evidence” of count rigging that actually do nothing of the sort…

    336. Doug Daniel says:

      Come to think of it, did anyone check that there wasn’t a little elf in each ballot box rubbing out all the crosses marked next to Yes and changing them to No? Let’s demand a recount.

    337. Nigerian Pirate says:

      O/T so apologies

      With all the talk of getting out own unbiased media on the go, has anyone heard about or know anything about this?

      http://www.thecaledoniannewspaper.com/

      Tried to post about the Doug Daniels article earlier but obviously never got past the filters.

    338. Lemon says:

      Oh look, they have discovered away of extracting more oil from the North Sea, 6 days after the referendum. Funny that.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-29342142

    339. handclapping says:

      @big jock
      So someone watched the boxes after they were stored?
      No someone checked that the 3 seal numbers were still the same
      Next

    340. big jock says:

      Doug it’s the postal votes I was concerned about not the count!

    341. Andrew Haddow says:

      It doesn’t matter if the count was rigged or not (most probably not). It does matter that the whole campaign was rigged to such an degree as to invalidate the result.

    342. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @
      Doug Daniel

      Ah, they are just Aberdeen elves; bit oily though. Bound to have left a mark or two on the ballots.

    343. thorbor says:

      The referendum wasnt rigged but the debate was, the no vote was won on threats lies and a promise lets see how long a contract like that lasts

    344. chalks says:

      Senior Labour figures said Yes were in the lead going by Better Together private polling, Yes on 53%

      If you ever wondered what some of the private mass polls they have commissioned said….then that’s a good indicator.

      Yes also had us winning, there was momentum you all felt it on the street, the dogs of hell were unleashed onto us and the scares couldn’t be refuted in any great measure.

      The scares were allowed to sink in as the vote drew near and we lost support. It’s fairly simple.

      We have to smarten up.

    345. @ handclapping
      So each council got its own postal votes posted back to them not to a central address.
      And they were kept somewhere securely on the Council premises until an observer came along.
      And the PV`s were never all in one place.
      Last thing , the PV`s from offshore/abroad were kept where and added to which council?
      Thanks

    346. Macca73 says:

      All very useful stuff and I’m sure that people will have stuff to say on this forever but I’d rather build on the momentum going forward.

      That vote has been cast..Question is, what can we do now to ensure that we’ve got what we want in may?

    347. Dorothy Devine says:

      “The instructions are designed to help ensure “a successful referendum, with a result that everyone will trust as accurate,” Ms Pitcaithly said

      Because a high turn out is expected, Mrs Pitcaithly wants councils to print 120% of the required ballots for both postal voters and those who vote in person at polling stations, in case any papers get lost or damaged.”

      That is from the BBBC website and it always bothered me.

      If every council printed 20% more how many is that across the country?

      I am more than willing to accept the count was unaffected BUT …..I still have grave misgivings.
      And a purring Queen doesn’t help.

    348. Calgacus says:

      I take your point being a like minded idiot

    349. Doug Daniel says:

      Big Jock – but where’s your evidence that anything went wrong? The point of this article was to debunk the videos going around that purport to “prove” the counting was rigged, but if we’re simply going to make accusations without any evidence at all, then what was the point in having a referendum?

      More importantly, what’s to stop them making the same baseless accusations the next time, when Yes wins?

    350. Bickerstaff says:

      Well, I’m reassured somewhat by the original article and many of the knowledgeable comments from those who participated in the count. However, I’d be grateful to anyone who can answer/comment on these points:

      • whilst the integrity of the count itself may be not be in doubt, the transporting and supervision of the ballot boxes appears to have been lax and, therefore, open to abuse. Can we be entirely confident that the boxes that left the polling stations were the same boxes that arrived at the count?

      • it has been suggested (and confirmed, it seems, by the police) that the ballot papers were not uniform throughout the country. Some had a unique ID number or barcode, others did not. Why this discrepancy? If voters could not be uniquely identified, how did the authorities arrive at the detailed demographic breakdown of the results?

      • the Tory leader admitted that her confidence in a significant NO vote was based on broad sampling of the postal vote. Naturally, she was not asked where and when this sampling took place. Is the scenario outlined in the article a credible means of determining the outcome in the way that has been suggested?

    351. yesindyref2 says:

      This smartarse and postal voter did check the envelope of the filled in postal vote, folded with X inside, into one envelope, and then the outer envelope. It was addressed to NAC at Irvine. The full address I think was:

      The Counting Officer
      North Ayrhsire Council
      Election Office
      Cunninghame House
      Friarscroft
      Irvine
      North Ayrshire
      KA12 8EE

      This is not in London. Oh, and being a naturally suspicious sort of person I watched as the postie emptied the box. It was the regular postie, been there for years. I said Hi.

    352. Calgacus says:

      @handclapping,either you watched the boxes or you checked the seals, which is it?

      Next

    353. Graeme Doig says:

      I,m pretty sure interested party,s have proper investigations in hand re any jiggery pockery.

      I refer to the butterfly rebellion article. There may be others.

      I agree, therefor, that it serves no purpose for any of us to speculate further here.

      If anything is amiss I believe it will come out in the wash.

    354. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Those little plastic seals can easily be duplicated same number as well.

      Not that they would go to such lengths of spending several pennies.

      Note: I know we lost. Just pointing to a glaring hole in your argument.

    355. yesindyref2 says:

      “7 North Ayrshire -1,944”

      From the NO Thanks placards in fields, inclduing in farmers who should know better but rather than looking at YES as a chance to get back the CAP top-up unfairly shared 4 ways, were probably afraid of Scotland being cast out of the EU and losing it completely, I’m surprised the NO vote wasn’t higher. Where I live alone would be enough to swing a NO vote, and in fact, was.

    356. Calgacus says:

      I think that we have established that a lot of us have little or no confidence in the electoral process. It should be reformed particularly the postal voting aspect.

      We lost, our bad, let’s move on together.

    357. big jock says:

      I am suspicious and I think others are. I am concentrating on 2015. However I think it does no harm to try and investigate.

    358. Stephen Hurrel says:

      Many of my close, trusted friends have said the back of their ballot papers were blank.

      1. if so these are not eligible to be counted
      2. if so, one possibility is that they could be replaced with official ones with No votes.

      So although it is good to hear your report of how robust the counting system is, for peace of mind at least, I would like to hear more about the ‘black bank ballots’ issue.

      Secondly, the postal vote is not robust, as proven by this article about Labour rigging in Birmingham:
      http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/apr/05/politics.localgovernment

      I don’t buy into the conspiracy videos – people are projecting wrong interpretations onto those – but the Establishment had a lot to lose, so if someone can explain the ‘blank back ballots’ I’d sleep a lot better. Thanks!

    359. Nigerian Pirate says:

      Well, I take my hat off to Doug Daniel for his balanced article and trying to put some of the ‘rigging’ theories to bed. Judging by some of the comments more cans of worms keep on getting opened.

      As for ‘newbies’ appearing and commenting – I would say that given the sense of disappointment after the result, and the massive surge in joining political parties, then sites like WoS, Bella, WGD et al are going to be far more popular now than before the Ref. With the WBB, Wings especially came much more into the general public domain.

      Finally, the country that I’m working in at present, Nigeria, have an election coming up next year. The locals that I work with have told me they are genuinely afraid for their lives once the ‘campaigning’ gets under way there.

      Not trying to say that we (Scotland) have anything like what these guys have to put up with, just trying to put a bit of perspective on our own situation.

    360. chalks says:

      @Nigerian Pirate

      Have they met Blair MacDougall before?

    361. A.N.Surgent says:

      The count wasn`t rigged and the postal vote was open to abuse, that seems to sum it up. If people want to go to their nearest care home and ask the pensioners there how they voted, do so and report your findings back here.

      In Kirkcaldy today, sad to see young men and woman on the streets
      begging, sad to see the YES shop shut and sad to see I was the only one with a YES badge.

    362. YESGUY says:

      Come on folks.

      lets get past the fuckin vote and get on with something more positive .

      Reading through the comments there are some who are way over the top. We have many different views on Wings but one aim. So lets be a bit more productive and leave the vote where it is. IN THE PAST.

      I never thought i would see a Winger call another a “double agent”. And Doug Daniel to boot. he’s one of the best guys on this site. And contributed to many others. I nearly choked when i saw the comment. I’m with Doug.

      This is divisive and hurtful. Get a grip. We are adults not children . Grow up , get over the vote and move on.

      First things first. get as many INDI MP’s into Westminster. Then SNP in the SE. No devo max no union simples, and it only needs us all to come together. This is what we do here.

    363. gillie says:

      1. Postal voting is open to wide scale fraud according to a Council of Europe report and that of electoral law judge in England.

      2. Labour was criticised by the Electoral Commission over postal vote applications at the Glenrothes and Glasgow North East by elections.

      3. The marked voting register for the Glenrothes by-election mysteriously disappeared.

      4.There was a surge in postal vote applications prior to the referendum.

      5. There was sampling done by the No campaign of the postal votes as they were opened.

      6. The postal vote was 18% of total votes cast, a record high.

      7. 650,000 postal votes in total counted, another record high.

      8. A large majority of postal votes were marked NO.

      9. The only uncertainty in this referendum were the votes being cast on the day.

      10. There should be an investigation into postal voting for this referendum and the sampling of them by the No campaign.

    364. Chris Baxter says:

      if we’re simply going to make accusations without any evidence at all
      Yep, that’s a big shifting of the burden of proof.

      So, what’s happened is that some people have distributed clips that look like there may have been some vote rigging. Said clips have been debunked.

      The logical progression is not to say “but what about the stuff we didn’t see”. It is to say “okay, fair enough, let’s move on”, or provide more evidence.

    365. yesindyref2 says:

      Righty. For 2 years and 8 months I was posting that I thought the result would be 75% YES and 25% NO. This was based on two things, the ’97 Devo ref, but more than that, I couldn’t imagine people actually going into the polling booth and putting an X in the NO box.

      Well, I got that very wrong.

      In my travels around Scotland I found a lot of people who were going to vote NO, more than half easily. I presumed that when it came to the crunch, they would vote YES, as I managed to leave many of them undecided, and surely they would see through the garbage, I’d given them leads, and they would be sceptical and not fooled by scare stories.

      Well, I got that very wrong.

    366. MarkAustin says:

      This is how you sample a reconciliation/postal vote count. The counters are supposed to count them face down, but as they pick them up you can generally see a proportion of them. Also, some people are sufficiently heavy-handed that you can see the result from the back, provided you can remeber how the boxes are placed on the paper. With a bit of luck you can get 5-10% of the votes cast, and scale up from there. You’re not supposed to do this, but everyone does: mostly to get an idea of where your votes are coming from, as the reconciliation count is by polling district, but the actual count is after the papers have been mixed up.

    367. Doug Daniel says:

      “The logical progression is not to say “but what about the stuff we didn’t see”. It is to say “okay, fair enough, let’s move on”, or provide more evidence.”

      Halle-fucking-lujah.

    368. Terry Allan says:

      I am ‘Yes’ voter. It is time to put this idea to rest and concentrate on real issues like bias in media.

    369. Edward says:

      Perhaps someone can explain this
      Since October last year the amount of support for both YES Scotland and Better Together pages on Facebook grew at a steady pace as people got engaged in debate.

      From that point in October last year. Yes Scotland managed to have a slim lead over its rivals

      By the day of the referendum, that lead had grown to a gap of around 30 percentage points, again with Yes with the largest amount of support.

      So on paper at least Yes had an unassailable lead.

      Ok its accepted that its not truely scientific as both camps have support from outwith Scotland. But margins would be about the same.

      So was it a case that the No campaigns scaremongering (it was admitted by Blair McDougall that they set out to scare voters) worked and that when it came to the crunch, people in the main were just too scared to vote YES?

      Also remember during the course of the campaign, Yes were more engaged with the public with very large attended meetings. Where as the No campaign often refused to debate and in effect closed down debate.

      Again with that anecdotal evidence, Yes should have won hands down.

      So it is little wonder people suspect underhand measures being taken to stymie the vote.

    370. goulashman says:

      Thanks, YesGuy. You always talk sense – and it is good to have you back! You are right – we need to be able to debate without falling out and losing our collective energy and purpose and hope. We cannot fail those depending on us – especially those vulnerable who need our collective voice.

    371. DervalDam says:

      A wee bit off topic, but Im curious, does anyone know the process for how members of the armed forces serving abroad vote and to which area they area they are received / counted by. I am assuming it would be where they were posted at the time of registration before being posted abroad? Just wondering if this would create specific areas where a larger number of postal votes are received?

    372. muttley79 says:

      @YESGUY

      Very good post. I am hoping that it is just disappointment that is lingering, as the last thing we need is to be acting paranoid. We do need to get over it and move on. There is a general election in little over 6 months time, and we need to get organised and prepared for it ASAP. As Adam Ramsay says on Open Democracy, we were fortunate to be campaigning to a timetable in the referendum. The next one is the GE. We cannot change the result, but we should continue to be thinking of ways to change Scotland.

    373. Roboscot says:

      The question of vote-rigging is important to address in order to prevent it happening in the next independence vote. Systematic vote-rigging is not going to take place in front of tv cameras and Yes monitors. We must have the whole process transparent and as reasonably fraud proof as possible. The postal vote clearly isn’t. What else isn’t?

    374. pipinghot says:

      I agree with letting it come out in the wash. If there is any case, then that will just be spun by the establishment into somebody else fault anyway.. we all know what we are dealing with. The purdah agreement seems to be about as toothless as the EC, more of a good faith thing. The damage has been done by the embarrassing way that the other parties threw themselves at Scotland, and in the long run it will be a difficult thing to walk away from.
      The biggest question I have is what did labour hope to gain from this? Fucking fools.

    375. gillie says:

      Sampling of the postal vote gave the No campaign a critical edge.

      If that had not been done the uncertainty over voting intentions would have been greater. That would have changed campaign tactics and may have twisted the arms of the NO campaign to offer more concessions.

      The upsurge in postal vote applications may well be an indication of attempted fraud. You cannot rule that out.

      We lost out in the process, absolute terms and maybe due to attempted fraud.

    376. Doug Daniel says:

      Edward – you’re trying to use Facebook likes as a barometer for who should have won? Seriously?

      The section of society most against independence was old people – the very section that is most unlikely to use the internet at all, never mind Facebook.

      And as for public meetings, if you’re a stuck-in-your-ways, “why do things have to change?” closed-minded No voter, why would you go to a public meeting to hear the Yes case?

      Come on folks, this is as bad as making three contacts in a canvassing session and going “well all three said Yes, so we must be on track for a 100% win!”

    377. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I would like to make a serious suggestion.

      After the inevitable sham of the more powers for the Scottish Parliament:

      – The SNP stands down at the 2015 GE.
      – A new party, just for this election is formed, Scottish Home Rule Party. No need to spell out what that would entail.
      – Consist of SNP, Greens and SSP.
      – Would demand Full Fiscal Autonomy if we secured a majority of MP’s

      I’m confident we would secure a majority, as we would part of the UK.
      I’m also confident Westimster would tell us to fuck off!
      Then the SNP campaigns for another Independence referendum for the 2016 Scottish elections.

    378. Macart says:

      I’m more interested in how we can make upcoming votes work for us.

      The GE and the in/out EU vote.

      Priorities won’t change regardless. How do we circumvent the media? How do we make sure the catastrophic effects of the devo clusterfuck coming our way do as little damage to our economy and government as possible? Finally how do we get the bastards who did this to us out of positions of responsibility and away from any possible future governance where they can pull the same stroke again and again?

    379. margaret cuddihy says:

      i emailed glasgow city council to ask if i could check if my postal vote had been used or indeed had been deliverd no reply and this was 2 weeks before the referendum got a reply after referendum telling me to get in touch with the electoral register to allay peoples fears would it not be quite simple to check registers

    380. Nigerian Pirate says:

      Chalks @ 3:41

      Lol – Jesus, no – there’s nobody that corrupt down here. They might have it ‘bad’, but it’s not ‘Blair McDougall bad’

    381. creag an tuirc says:

      It was the scare mongering backed up by the state broadcaster and complicit press + “The Vow” that lost the referendum.

      No risk + substantial new powers for your country sounds like a good deal for a voter, especially one that trusts the media.

    382. handclapping says:

      @Scott
      Overseas voters are registered in their last home register so the troops and permitted overseas participants would be on one of the 32 Council registers depending on where their “home” is/was
      @Calgacus
      Both. I watched the boxes when they were opened, the process while they were open and the sealing at the end of the day. I then went home. The next day I checked the seals.
      Next
      @Ghengis
      So “they” sent out spies to find out what colours and what serial number ranges each council was going to be using so they could duplicate them to use to reseal the boxes with exactly the same numbers through the same locking slots as before?

    383. Steven Middleton says:

      Great insight thanks re postal voting. I waa at the Edinburgh count and agree with most of what you say about stuff on the interernet re the general count. However we saw 10+ postal ballot boxes with seals that had been replaced on 4 or 5 occasions suggesting these boxes may have been tampered with post verification. We raised this at the time and the explanation given was they were pulling the seals too tight when putting them on. This sounded like total nonsense to me and the other agents present.

    384. Ken500 says:

      Do the Unionist liars realise how they have crushed people’s aspiration of a better, more equal and fair country? Do they realise how they have shattered the aspiration. Maybe they should think of that instead of their lying crowing. They are beneath contempt.

      YES was 60% before the contemptible, illegal, gerrymandering ‘Vow’. The Unionist selfish liars can rot in hell.

    385. MarkAustin says:

      Dorothy Devine says:

      24 September, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      “The instructions are designed to help ensure “a successful referendum, with a result that everyone will trust as accurate,” Ms Pitcaithly said

      Because a high turn out is expected, Mrs Pitcaithly wants councils to print 120% of the required ballots for both postal voters and those who vote in person at polling stations, in case any papers get lost or damaged.”

      That is from the BBBC website and it always bothered me.

      If every council printed 20% more how many is that across the country?

      I am more than willing to accept the count was unaffected BUT …..I still have grave misgivings.
      And a purring Queen doesn’t help.

      The over-printing of ballot papers is a non-issue. They did it because they were expecting a high turnout, and a proportion of papers always get damaged (e.g. torn when pulling out of book) and not issued or a duplicate is needed. If that happens these papers are kept for later.

      So, at the end of the voting day, for each polling district, you have a ballot box, the marked register, the book(s) of unused ballots and any void ballot papers. The ballot box goes to the count in one car and the rest in another. From the ballot papers you can calculate the total number of votes issued in that district:

      No. of papers issued from books – No. of void papers

      If necessary, you can double check against the marked register.

      The box is now opened, and the number of votes cast counted. This is the reconciliation count. This number should be the same as the number of votes issued, and they will recount until it is. THE COUNT CANNOT PROCEED UNTIL ALL THE BOXES ARE RECONCILED.

      The number of ballot papers printed is an irrelevance: they over-printed in order to be sure they wouldn’t be caught short at any polling station.

    386. margaret cuddihy says:

      surely the postal votes will tally with council tax payers

    387. Bittie45 says:

      Joined Mon, but unable to post until now. May be a bit off-topic here for which I appologise, but I’m feeling totally scunnert. I don’t think it would be so bad if the NO folk were basing their decisions on balanced facts given by an “unbiased” state broadcaster. If younger viewers not influenced by MSM voted generally YES and that older folk who grew up with trust in MSM voted generally NO then this looks like the MSM’s communication has crucially influenced the outcome of the Referendum.

      So we need to communicate back even more effectively by building up a library of undisputed evidence backed up with court rulings. There must be some lawyers who voted YES and who are also gutted at how things turned out and want to contribute their expertise on the legal side. Use freedom of information act to force MSM to release original footage that will act as evidence. Ask academics to help prove the case – there is at least one paper already, referenced by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajd4R-9BEIw – there are surely others. The collecting of video evidence needs to be done big-time before it gets timed out or “shredded”. Also there must be journalists disillusioned with what’s gone on in their newsroom who’d want to give evidence. Their evidence needs collating.

      Send the evidence to Ofcom to “complement” their (of course) thorough investigation. Definitely think that the voting result need to be challenged to prove if systematic vote rigging went on or not. Then every month everybody email, facebook, twitter etc new findings to everybody. Said elsewhere I know, but just… Arghhh

    388. Graham says:

      Check out bbc new story saying decades added onto oil and gas in North Sea another lie we knew already

    389. thoughtsofascot says:

      @ronald alexander mcdonald

      There would be no need for them to stand down. it would be much simpler to just do what parties to in other countries and form an official coalition with like minded parties to compete in the 2015 general election. Call it the Coalition for Scotland (CFS) or something like that.

    390. Ravelin says:

      O/T (not that that’s likely to matter by this stage)

      Someone mentioned it above, but are there any plans from any of the Indy sites to get a ‘proper’ forum up and running? Wings has served us well by the comments section gets unwieldy and jumps from subject to subject. If we’re going to get organised for the GE we could badly do with a forum with subsections e.g. regions and numerous concurrent subject threads. Shouldn’t be too difficult for someone with the correct know-how to implement and there’s a few good, well used off-the-shelf forum software options out there.

    391. @ chalks
      The problem I and others have is .
      The Postal Vote was started before the dogs of hell were unleashed upon us.
      The only reason they had to unleash said hell dogs was because they saw the Postal Vote and thought `Oh Sh’t we are truly Fricked`.
      Thats when the dirty tricks side of the No campaign were unleashed ie John McTernan.
      The Times poll had us in the lead.

    392. Brian Macfarlane says:

      Of course everything should be investigated to some degree at least. To many real smart arses on here that think they know better than everyone else. Hardly a mention on here about the massive amount of New members for the SNP. Don’t the intolerant eejits treating fellow Scots like imbiciles for having an opinion contrary to theres, not realise that is being fuelled to a high degree by a sense of injustice because they feel as if they have been cheated? WE HAVE BEEN CHEATED whether by the behaviour of the anti democracy parties in Westminster and the shocking performance of the media. Or until somebody proves otherwise the growing evidence that is being sent to the appropriate authorities. Doug only dealt with the counts. Apart from the goings on that I still havent heard explained at Dundee. Its not the counts its the boxes that had Lids that were able to be lifted off. Its the procedures in transportation that were scandalous if true. Its all the genuine concerns about the ballot papers. Its the fact that many people who registered before the deadline werent allowed to vote because they hadnt been processed in time WHAT WAS GLASGOW COUNCILS ROLL IN THAT? Only an inquiry can find out. Now people who only want answers to these questions answered so they have the confidence in the future are miscalled by the rigidly righteous keyboard warriors. Well I’ve fought for 53 years for the freedom of my country but I’ve never been so close to chucking it than you people have made me feel today. As the old saying goes “Wae freends like we’ve got who needs enemies”
      .

    393. George Monaghan says:

      It would appear that Ruth Davidson got to see the votes in the postal ballot as she said she was encouraged (or words to that effect) as the sorting was made. This on live TV. How did she know what the votes were?

    394. Doug Daniel says:

      Scot Finlayson: “The only reason they had to unleash said hell dogs was because they saw the Postal Vote and thought `Oh Sh’t we are truly Fricked`.
      Thats when the dirty tricks side of the No campaign were unleashed ie John McTernan.”

      That would only make sense if the postal votes were going in Yes’ favour, and nobody in their right mind thinks we were winning the postal vote.

      If they had based their strategy on how postal votes were going, they’d have went “everything’s going swimmingly, let’s just carry on as we are”, because they won the postal votes heavily. Instead, they panicked.

    395. TD says:

      Edward

      “Also remember during the course of the campaign, Yes were more engaged with the public with very large attended meetings. Where as the No campaign often refused to debate and in effect closed down debate.”

      That is the whole point. No voters did not take part in campaign meetings, they did not put up posters, they did not go on Facebook and they did not engage (at least not in the same numbers as Yes voters). But they did vote No in large numbers. You cannot judge the relevant strengths of the two campaigns by the number of posters when one side is enthusiastically campaigning FOR something and the other is sullenly campaigning AGAINST something.

      If we only learn one thing from this referendum, that should be it.

    396. big jock says:

      Brian couldn’t agree more. Smart arses know more than everyone we need to shut up as they have spoken.

    397. Edward says:

      Doug Daniel
      Your right of course, it was the pensioner vote that probably had the most effect. It was the pensioners that were targeted by Better Together/UKOK in which they set out to scare the shit out of the pensioners

      And of course pensioners are less likely to be tech savvy connected to the internet , relying completely on TV and radio , which was also doing its bit for Better Together/UKOK

    398. Gary says:

      This seems very reassuring, until – one queations who benefits from the (rigged ) result. If we are aware of the huge importance and the very high stakes of this outcome of thhis referendum, we can safely assume that the westminster government will not leave a single stone unturned to secure a no vote.
      given the way that these governments can send millioins of tons of military hardware to iraq in a few days, surely their inteligence services (spooks) can manipulate a few ballot boxes.?
      It remindes me of the time a bbc reporter was reporting the third building to have been blownnup in new york on 9/11 only for that said buliding to still have been visible in the background a few minuites Before it was actually blown up.
      It would be utterly naive of us to assume that the british government would not be capable of vote rigging. after all didnt they take us to war on a lie?
      My ballot paper was blank on the reverse even though a returning officer said it should not be. it was deemed to be a ‘printing error’.
      the lack of an exit poll and a dodgy you gov poll giving the naws a lead would add to the suspicion.
      the very smug looks on all the naws faces and reporters seemed to me to suggest foul play.
      perhaps in time a spook with a concience confirm these things,
      we ill be long gone though.

    399. yesindyref2 says:

      44 mins ago the SNP got its 60,000th member and still rising.

      The UK wide Conservative party at less than 100,000 is in sight …

    400. Calgacus says:

      @handclapping, so there are seal registers then I take it.And were the boxes under supervision when you were at home.

    401. Paula says:

      I think the reason for this conspiracy theory being so popular is that Better Together and their media cohorts have been involved in so much scummy stuff in the run-up to the referendum that it is not much of a stretch of the imagination.

    402. Morag says:

      In the run-up to the referendum, some people on Wings were asking, how can we know this will be fair, can we have observers at the poll.

      People who had done this before, at elections, reported that the process was generally fair and transparent, and that large-scale fraud was essentially impossible to do without being detected. However Wings did register as a participant and wingers were recruited to act as polling and counting agents. I note that the co-ordinators of this exercise complained that they didn’t have as many volunteers as they had hoped for.

      Nevertheless we had loads of people at the counts, altogether. Wings agents teamed up with agents appointed by Yes Scotland, the SNP, the Greens, the SSP, WFI, Farming for Yes, Generation Yes and numerous other groups. I was actually a Yes Scotland agent, but this was purely nominal. Some agents were inexperienced, but there were many experienced people there including SNP councillors. We were everywhere.

      The people at the counts report that they saw no evidence of misconduct. More than that, they report a system that while having some loopholes, was extremely robust on the macro scale and not susceptible to large-scale vote-rigging. More than that, they report that the people running the counts were our own friends and neighbours, both Yes and No voters, not some shadowy “they” appointed by an evil mastermind.

      Now the people who didn’t volunteer to help with the monitoring of the vote, pile on to those of us who did, calling us double agents. They refuse to believe our assurances. They insinuate that we might somehow have been duped by a magic trick. They imagine that even though we were all over the place, at all of the counts and all of the stages, somehow something happened where we couldn’t see it.

      Can you wonder that Doug and I are getting a tad ratty?

    403. Calgacus says:

      @Big Jock, aye I’m just going to eat my cereal. Our betters have spoken, nothing to see here, just move on.

    404. bookie from hell says:

      Labour bosses are facing allegations that they ejected disabled delegates from their front row seats before Ed Miliband’s speech yesterday to make way for more telegenic members.
      Bernadette Horton, who walks with a crutch, reportedly tripped and fell as she was moved from her chair

      Bernadette told the Morning Star she was told by stewards the seats were for disabled attendees, but was made to leave anyway to make way for “bright young things” to shake Miliband’s hand:

      “As I was going up the stairs I just lost my footing and fell. I was really upset and shaken. The people in suits saw this but didn’t say anything. I said ‘if you’re Labour you should be ashamed. We’re like pariahs in our own party. It has to stop.”

    405. Bittie45 says:

      Most folk my wife spoke to in Ayr were NO, and South Ayrshire was 58% NO, so no surprises there. However most people I spoke to here on Mull said they were YES voters, yet the result for Argyll & Bute was 59% NO. Either Mull is not representative of Argyll & Bute or folk misrepresented how they were voting, something I find hard to accept. I phoned the Election Office and asked for the results of my local Polling station to be told that this could not be given as boxes were merged so that the results could not be traced back to individual voters. Since many hundreds of people voted I cant see how they could imagine that think that this could happen.

    406. Caroline Corfield says:

      Sorry Nana still trying to figure out a way to get screen captured image available without fb account.

      Basically Juan Jose Domiguez @juanjodom posts a tweet :
      ” exit poll at 20:00 (hora espanola) 58% NO 42% YES ” then some hashtags

      I answered saying there are no exit polls allowed and as it was not 10pm this was rubbish

      He replied ” Yes, but I publish them because I live in Spain and I have access to the partial results collected during the day. ”

      Like I said I thought this was just based on rumour/gossip I didn’t realise the act of publishing such rumour was against the rules. Why is it different in a GE?

    407. kalmar says:

      No question that the actual counting was above board, though it’s good to have it confirmed.

      How did the postal vote return rate look in the places which ended up going Yes – dundee and glasgow etc?

    408. Dr Jim says:

      I keep hearing from labour for YES voters they need to organise a new labour because this one is dead in the water
      Well, no offence friends but there is the alternative that you voted for. Labour joined with Tories, Liberal Democrats,
      British National Party, National Front, Orange Order,just in order to keep their own cushy number going and “SOD YOU”
      Join the “Scottish National Party” and see these people gone
      Going for a cup of tea now to calm down

    409. Morag says:

      Bittle, your local counting agents will have sampled as many ballot boxes as they could, to get an idea of the strength of the Yes vote in each town, village or area. That information will be internal to the Yes group.

      At our misery party on Saturday our list was circulated so we could see how our own areas had gone. Relatively speaking it chimed pretty well with our impressions on the ground. Someone involved in the Argyll and Bute count will have the information you’re looking for.

    410. bookie from hell says:

      Malcolm Chisholm labour

      “That the Scottish NHS would have to be privatised after a No vote is the biggest lie of the referendum campaign.”

      labour conference

      Miliband says he’ll save the NHS. Tonic of not one but two standing ovations for him

      Malcolm Chisholm

      today Scottish parliament

      Gordon brown never said devo+

    411. handclapping says:

      Now we are done with the tinfoil hat stuff
      @Scott
      Lets try and work though the logic of this early sight of the postal votes.
      Old people vote by post so WE should be getting 70:30. However there are now many more under 65s voting by post so what WE found in OUR early sight was 60:40. As the polls are giving 52:48 the on the day voters are going to be heavily pro-Yes so WE need to head them off at the pass with “The Vow”.
      Are we damaged, yes we didn’t win; are they damaged, yes they’re stuck with “The Vow”.

      As for postal vote sampling it can refer to two different things.
      Information as to the number and outcome of votes obtained deliberately or inadvertently at postal vote openings prior to 2200 on the 18th which is not of itself illegal but any communication of that information at any time is illegal.
      The first boxes on the counting tables are the postal vote boxes as they are already at the counting place. There is no restriction on learning the numbers or outcomes of ballots except on any particular ballot so in the case of Fife 36 boxes of postal votes hit the tables at 2214 so by 2219 any decent counting agent organisation should have had a good idea how the postal vote went.

    412. Valerie says:

      Well said Dr Jim! Totally agree, I feel like I’m in some parallel universe at the moment, hinging around with right wingers that I don’t want to be around – just unliked a Yes page for this. I want to spend my time properly.

    413. Andy Anderson says:

      I agree with the main point you make that there was no ‘Shenanigans’ at the count as you put it. I also participated at the count in Argyll and would agree with you that the process was well and fairly conducted. Yet I will be submitting a complaint to the Electoral Management Board for Scotland that there was a serious flaw in the Ballot on behalf of the Democratic Socialist Federation.
      My complaint is based on the fact that the postal vote was corrupted before it even got to the counting stations and I will be presenting evidence to that effect. I think I can show that the UK Government agencies did get involved in corruption of the ballot and this needs to be identified as we intend to do, But you are right the real story is not UK corruption which we have known about for years, it is the awakening of democratic forces in Scotland.

    414. Davie says:

      A reasoned explanation of the count process. I also worked at one of the counts and would be horrified to think any kind of tampering went on, as would the thousands of people who worked through the night to ensure a timely, accurate and fair process. I’m actually astonished at how many people can sign up to conspiracy theories without doing any sort of independent checking of the facts. “No” won because they got many more votes than “Yes”. I’ll leave the reasons for that to others to debate.

    415. Doug Daniel says:

      Morag: “Now the people who didn’t volunteer to help with the monitoring of the vote, pile on to those of us who did, calling us double agents. They refuse to believe our assurances. They insinuate that we might somehow have been duped by a magic trick. They imagine that even though we were all over the place, at all of the counts and all of the stages, somehow something happened where we couldn’t see it.

      Can you wonder that Doug and I are getting a tad ratty?”

      Exactly. I do wonder how much door-knocking etc the conspiracy theorists put in, because I’ve yet to see anyone who was properly active in the campaign complain about the process at all. Those I saw at the count, and those who I knocked doors with, they all agree we lost this because we simply didn’t do enough to combat the crap that was thrown at us.

      Nicola said we should make sure we didn’t reach the 19th and wish we’d done more. Are people perhaps feeling a bit guilty, and trying to blame the process rather than have to admit that they just didn’t do enough themselves?

    416. Morag says:

      As someone said, it’s quite legitimate to speculate that the moon might be made of green cheese. However, what we have here goes beyond that. People have gone to the moon on your behalf, and come back with chunks of rock.

      Now they say, but maybe they fooled you and you only went to Kansas. Or maybe they planted these bits of rock for you to pick up. Or maybe they switched the cheese that was in your sample box for rock when you weren’t looking.

      On being reassured that all these eventualities had been thought about and ruled out, the next one is, well maybe only the bit of the moon where you went is rock. Other bits might be green cheese.

      On being reassured that lots of people went and everyone found rock on every part of the moon, they go back to accusing us of being dupes or liars.

      Nobody has presented any plausible scenario whereby the vote might have been falsified on a large scale, without being detected. All we’re getting is, well I still think it’s possible.

      I really don’t know what any of us can do against such stubborn refusal to face reality. Maybe people who are expressing these doubts should have volunteered to stay up all night and observe the process, like we did.

    417. andy howie says:

      Now that is interesting. If postal vote gave 30% Yes and it was 1/5 of the vote that would suggest on the day it was 48% no. If it was as low as 25% yes it was a Dead heat

    418. Dal Riata says:

      Check out this blog post from Ross Dawson:

      “Newspaper extinction timeline for every country in the world”

      NB (UK 2019) Let’s make it even earlier than that!

      http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2010/10/launch_of_newsp.html

    419. Ravelin says:

      @Bittie45

      From the ballot boxes I ‘sampled’ in Aberdeenshire there were some large variations between different towns. Most were in line with the eventual 60/40N result but a couple were 50/50 and one from one town was easily 60+ Y. Even across the same town you could see obvious variations, that could well have been explained by one being from the ‘posh’ end of town and another from the ‘financially challenged’ end of town. Mull could well have voted Yes and the best way of finding that out would be if someone (SNP) holds the sampling data done at the count as I don’t think the official count broke it down below the regional level.

    420. bob sinclair says:

      Calgacus

      If you want to speculate wildly about fraud then there are numerous Facebook groups which I’m sure would welcome your input.

      This is not the place for it. We should be discussting the next move rather than getting bogged down in this garbage.

    421. thoughtsofascot says:

      On the poll thing, lets be honest here, if it was a stitch up, they did a pretty poor job of it. They needed at least 60% NO to completely crush the Yes movement and decisively end any bid for Scottish independence in the future. They failed to achieve that and the 55% No 45% Yes puts the union in its most perilous position since 1707. It only takes a few wrong moves and some backtracking on promises to send No’s over to Yes.

    422. ewen says:

      There are some things that don’t seem right but it is a waste of time and energy pursuing a recount. We shouldn’t let ourselves be sidetracked into the ballot rigging recount campaign. It makes us look like bad losers and takes us away from the real fight.

    423. Chris Baxter says:

      The UK wide Conservative party at less than 100,000 is in sight
      It’s 130,000.

    424. h_johnny says:

      @drjim – would it not be good to have a new new Labour party who support independence in the Scottish Parliament? Why are you shouting at them for not joining the SNP? Does everyone have to agree with the SNP who want independence? The more parties that support independence the better as far as i am concerned, even right wing ones(as long as no were near power).

    425. Morag says:

      The worrying thing about all this conspiracy theorising is that people who cling to it are in denial that Yes lost the referendum. Yes did lose the referendum. Lots of people have made perceptive posts explaining how and why it happened.

      It’s essential to take on board the fact that we lost because of a vertiable napalming of scare-stories (culminating in one about queues of people desperate to withdraw all their money from the banks on 19th September), topped off by the deceptive offer of further devolution. Only when we accept this can we think about how to handle the way forward so that we don’t get bulldozed like that again.

      Clinging to the desperate fantasy that we really won is not helping.

    426. Nana Smith says:

      Thanks Caroline.

    427. Valerie says:

      Iain Gray in the Scottish parliament at 16.57

      “Mr Gray says “it is quite wrong to say ‘No’ voters were tricked by promises of new powers” adding it could easily be said the ‘Yes’ campaign had tricked the voters over exaggerated oil revenues and promises.”

      People, we really should be getting organised with all this shit.

    428. chalks says:

      As Doug says, the postal was ALWAYS going to go against us. We were on course to win, the scare stories ramped up and to be perfectly honest, they piled up, the currency thing affected some, the EU thing affected some, the interest rates affected some, the pensions affected some, the economy scares affected some.

      You ever wonder why the past two Quebec referendum has seen support drop? Like ours, they also had the scares ramped up and like us people believed it.

      The no campaign always knew that the old people would go their way, due to lack of social media and reliance on mainstream media, what I didn’t think would happen, as I also thought we would win, was that people would bottle it, because they did, there is no question of that, we were well up, on course for a 53% – 57% win.

      The interest rate scare combined with no currency union was quite pivotable, currency on it’s own was not, but when linked to mortgage it was.

    429. Nana Smith says:

      @Valerie

      When did the idiot Gray say that?

    430. Cassandra Lee says:

      Thank you,Doug for that sensible explanation -and all the other people commenting who were at the counts. While I always felt the ref was too big to steal,I did feel rigging claims should be investigated so that if it had happened we would be better prepared next time. Now I am asking myself in whose interest is it for us to be sidetracked into arguing about rigging instead of moving on to the next stage in the campaign.

    431. Triangular Ears says:

      This is all very interesting reading, and I appreciate the insight into how it works. Thanks Doug.

      However, I’ve always said that elections are not rigged at the count, but before it even gets to the count.

      I’d be interested on views on the potential for ballot box stuffing. Clearly with the turnout so high, the scope for this is reduced and I guess it would be difficult to coordinate across lots of different polling stations.

      People have also raised the prospect of swapping ballot boxes. There’s supposed to be escorts for the boxes, but we hear stories where this has supposedly not happened.

      I guess there’s also the potential for the disappearance of ballot boxes from known Yes areas. I would hope that at the very least there were counts kept of ballot boxes going in and out.

      Sure, there’s no evidence of any of these misdeeds going on. But are people really surprised about the suspicions surrounding this referendum given the absolutely catastrophic results for the UK state if it went the ‘wrong way’ (destabilising global peace according to some!), and the way Glenrothes was handled?

      Still nobody is any the wiser about what happened there and it was simply not taken seriously by the authorities. But perhaps this was part of the plan. Deliberately corrupt a high profile Scottish election, and then not deal with it, to encourage claims of the same in a future independence referendum which can then be dismissed as rantings of sore losers.

      The fact is that there HAS been high profile electoral fraud in the UK before. Clearly this does not logically lead to the referendum being a fraud too. I don’t believe the counts were rigged, but I am less sure about other attack vectors.

      I said to several high profile ministers of the Scottish Government when I met them at meetings that I believed that there should have been international observers in and each time I was told it wasn’t necessary.

      I don’t see how anyone could argue that they would have been a bad thing in this referendum. It would certainly have stopped a lot of the current meritless complaining.

    432. Robert Louis says:

      Hi folks,

      Yet another important person in Scotland has just joined the SNP. Tommy Sheppard, former assistant general secretary to the Scottish Labour Party.

      This IS important when taken in conjunction with the mass exodus we have seen from the sham of a party called Labour and the truly awesome membership increase for the SNP.

      He explains his reasons over on Bella Caledonia. They are good reasons, and if you are one of the many who worked like a trojan to secure a YES vote, read his words and see if you too can see the SNP as a place to carry on our fight.

      Right now we are simply waiting for Westminster to screw up. Submissions will be made on new powers, and they have the timetable to stick to – a few months. When they do not deliver their promised home rule/Devo max (Gordon Brown repeatedly referred to it) then we will be ready to punish them hard at the UK general election, just a few months away.

      This gives us a clear focus. The fight is not over, and we’re not going away. keep all your campaign contacts, because we’re going to need them sooner than most people predict.

    433. crisiscult says:

      I keep hearing from Brit parties ‘the settled will’. Can anyone tell me what they mean? It feels a bit vague but with the hint that we can never ever seek independence again. I’d like to hear one of these politicians questioned on what that means for them.

      After reading some of the things said at Holyrood today, I’m even more fired up. They will be hoping we go away. Any word if the Rev is gonna continue with this blog? It is a very effective medium because it uses a more robust style than some others, which is what some people need to give them the energy to fight the British state.

    434. Cag-does-thinking says:

      @ Doug Daniel. That’s the contradiction I can’t reconcile. If the postal vote was so overwhelmingly in favour of No there would have been no mad change of policy at the last minute.

      I’m not a consipracy theorist. None of the videos I saw made me in the least suspicious of the process at the counts and polling stations (apart from the fire alarms and of course being a council hall these would have had CCTV and it would have been easy to check that after the count, wouldn’t it?). However we have six weeks to shake the tree. And right now shaking that tree tends to suggest that the leader of one of the BT parties was party to information which was obtained illegally. That alone is worth putting effort in to.

      I was active at the 1979 vote and putting it all behind us and moving on led to the disintegration of the SNP and destruction of Scotland’s industry, so perhaps it to be expected that I feel happier if people continue to engage with something. It’s great people joined the SNP but if a movement is to keep together it has to have a focus and a political party has it’s own political credibility to look after.

      It’s individuals who can ask questions, however dumb some of them may seem it’s all part of the process of political awakening for many. There were many strands to the Yes campaign. We need them all for next time if there is to be a next time.

      I was very downhearted after the vote as I’m sure many were. Asking lots of questions is a way of reconciling that disappointment and understanding more fully how it happened. It has kept people engaged as this website is just as busy as ever. That’s a good thing.

      IF international bodies had concerns about parts of the UK’s system of voting then exploring those areas is not a wasted exercise as it may mean they are tightened up before another important vote. And that will be in all of our interests.

    435. Robert Louis says:

      I see there are still the usual suspects on here again, trying to sow hatred and division amongst us.

      Please folks, get wise to the way some people are posting on here, pretedning to be YES supporters etc… Don’t fall for it. It is the oldest trick in the book, divide and conquer. Wise up. Don’t indulge them, FFS.

    436. Barontorc says:

      If anyone was held personally responsible for the security of voting in the next poll, would they:-

      (A) Use the present system and declare it safe to so do?

      (B) Look at areas of potential risk and build in precautionary measures?

      (C) Eliminate all areas of concern to ensure rigid security?

      I would hazard a guess, that if your head was on the chopping block if voting security was flawed, you’d damn well go for (C) and bugger the cost. So what is the cost of Scotland’s democracy?

      I realise there is an irritation expressed by certain folk here who want to ‘move on’, but a sloppy attempt at security is no way to run a ballot as important as this and if it needs to be tackled head on, get it done.

      One final point, I was also at the polling stations from 10.00 till 1.00 and at the count till 5.30 on Friday morning and some things bothered me, like people not requiring any ID to vote and while I readily admit the actual table count was fair and accurate, who actually witnessed the final total tally-up? It was just declared by the Returning Officer; Votes cast, YES, NO, could/should this have been witnessed?

      This post also intrigues me:-

      [Elizabeth says:
      24 September, 2014 at 11:25 am
      It’s not the physical counting that bothers me it’s the transfer of counting to gathering the statistics. In REnfrewshire the count finished 2-3 hours before they announced the outcome and a lot of very worried looking people hogged a laptop. There are many ways to fudge the result and I would like to know what went on in Douglas Alexander’s seat to delay the announcement by that length of time. It was not as being suggested a TV slot as I watched as the results came in there was plenty time for the announcement when the count was over. This type of delay seemed to be in many returning areas… I would like an answer.]

      There was a similar delay at my count. Only saying, like, but I tend to think we can move on, as well as, getting the bare facts out into the open and if that means a re-count then bloody well do it without worrying about image and cringe.

      In fact, the gap is so large just bloody well weigh the YES and NO ballot papers – I take they’re still in existence?

    437. Ian Brotherhood says:

      This has to be one of the most bad-tempered threads ever to appear on WOS.

      A bit ironic that some of our most enjoyable get-the-githers were in ‘The Counting House’, eh?

    438. Betty Boop says:

      @ Tartan Tory, 11.20am

      I know how she had a feel for it. I drove home from the council offices after the first postal vote opening and there were tears running down my cheeks on that day – a week before the referendum. Perhaps that says enough? 🙁

      I feel your pain 🙁

      By the time of the referendum, there was also a chance to sample postal voters simply by checking if they had received their papers and asking if they had sent them back. Many were happy to tell how they voted.

      When it came to the count, as soon as the Western Isles result was announced (only the third), I knew the game was up and had to endure the rest of the night in the company of jubilant no voters and despondent yes voters – a turnaround from the campaign beforehand, which, as you know, was energising and hopeful.

    439. Voters were lied to by the media attack them not in trying desperately blaming the referee made the wrong decision we lost 11/9.

    440. Calgacus says:

      @ bob sinclair why don’t you take your garbage to facebook you patronising so and so.

    441. yesindyref2 says:

      Anyway, what does occur to me is that at least this is an appropriate thread for both smartarses and conspiracy nuts to fight it out on. It’s on topic for this thread 🙂

    442. Morag says:

      Ballot-box stuffing is impossible. That’s what the reconciliation is set up to prevent.

      Ballot-box switching is impossible on the scale that would have been required. Even a single ballot box switch would be at very high risk of being found out, such are the cross-checks that are made.

      No ballot boxes went missing. These things are followed and recorded and checked to within an inch of everyone’s life.

      Is there any evidence at all that the conspiracy theorists would accept to reassure them that the count was honest? Because if there isn’t, we’re into countering blind faith. And that’s an impossible task.

    443. Robert Louis says:

      As regards counts, let’s just say, the SNP have been doing voting checks, since before I was a twinkle in my mothers eye (and that was a very long time ago). Their was no significant foul play. If their had been they would not just ignore it.

      Please stop believing the rubbish people. Doug Daniel and Morag have been regular contributors to this site since it started, they are both extremely capable and intelligent people devoted to a YES vote, and if they say things were ok, THEN THEY WERE OK.

      So, thanks Doug and Morag, and the other count observers from Wings.

      There is nothing more needs to be said. 🙂

    444. Ravelin says:

      @Cag-does-thinking

      That’s the contradiction I can’t reconcile. If the postal vote was so overwhelmingly in favour of No there would have been no mad change of policy at the last minute.

      One possible explanation…The No side knew the postal vote was looking good for them. Then polls (public & internal) revealed a spike in the Yes vote large enough to potentially overwhelm their ‘lead’ in the postal vote. Now that would have sparked panic. All speculation of course.

    445. Calgacus says:

      @triangular ears, there were international observers. They said that the referendum was not carried out correctly. Legal action is being taken ie a petition is being lodged with the court of session.

    446. handclapping says:

      @Barontorc
      see my post at 11:23
      Westminster sets the rules for elections. Its a schedule 5 matter so if you think its a lousy system thank Westminster for it.

    447. Robert `louis says:

      SNP membership now at 60,000. On the night of the referendum last week, it was just over 25,000. Unreal!

      Now the third biggest political party in the UK. Are you listening BBC?

    448. Craig P says:

      Thanks Doug, Morag for helping put a lid on the conspiracies. It is pretty clear what lost us the referendum is the unionists’ long-term dominance of the media. This is a huge structural advantage.

      Our challenge is to either become the mainstream media, or somehow (and I’ve no idea how) to get them on our side, and embed in people’s minds (and it will take time after decades of Britwash) that independence is normal.

    449. Derick fae Yell says:

      Total agreement with this article. Time to move on and focus on the huge opportunity we have in May 2015.

      Fairly clear that the postal vote sealed the deal for No, and that’s an elderly vote in the main.

    450. Not yet, Not yet... says:

      @cynicalHighlander.

      In trying to grapple with the significance of all the voter numbers flying about, I rationalised them thus;

      If, when the polls had us at 50/50, this is represented by 20 people split 10 Yes, 10 No, then the final result occurred because just one person moved across.

      Doesn’t seem so bad then, does it?

    451. Morag says:

      Ravelin, I think you’re right. Ruth was spinning away saying the postal vote sampling was looking good for No, and we know that was the case. (She made a big mistake saying that in public though.) However, internal polls from both sides of the referendum were showing a bandwagon developing for Yes that could have been enough to overwhelm the postal vote No majority.

      That’s why we were subjected to the enhanced fear-bombing in the final week or two, culminating in the false promise of more devolution to give frightened voters a positive reason to switch.

      A guy I work with told me today that it worked on his mother. He had been working on her for two years to persuade her to vote Yes, including giving her A Wee Blue Book I provided to him. He succeeded. She was going to vote Yes. She switched back to No at the last minute when Brown made his speech assuring everyone of substantial new powers. One of many, I suspect.

    452. Derick fae Yell says:

      Robert Louis says: 5:12 pm I see there are still the usual suspects on here again, trying to sow hatred and division amongst us

      GOT IT IN ONE!

      Social media is going to be less useful in the run up to May 2015. Good job we’ve got tens of thousands of activists out in the real world!

    453. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Can we abandon any talk of Full Fiscal Autonomy. Like “Devo max” and federalism it is a deceit and a diversion.
      The only way you can have FFA is through independence

    454. Morag says:

      The so-called “international observers” Calgacus is referring to were not so far as I know people at the count. They are American and other interests (including Russian) watching online and stirring the pot. They are the ones responsible for putting together the hoax videos that people have been falling for.

      This petition to re-run the referendum is a shame and an embarrassment.

    455. Ronnie says:

      @cynicalHighlander.

      With all the various voter numbers flying about, I tried to rationalise them thus;

      If, when the polls had us at 50/50, this is represented by 20 people, ie. 10 Yes, 10 No, then the 55/45 split resulted from just one person moving.

      Doesn’t seem so bad then, does it?

    456. Les Wilson says:

      Well conspiracys will no doubt continue, but as Dougie has explained, most of the issues we have seen and heard are now debunked. We do need to move on, even if we are unsure, unless irrefutable evidence surfaces.

      My one remaining thought is the turnaround of D. Cameron, from a nearly snivelling wreck, to a confident smirk before the vote kicked off. BT has done enough he suggested, rather knowingly. That does make you wonder. But hey, enough is enough, lets start thinking of the future things to come.

    457. muttley79 says:

      @Morag

      The worrying thing about all this conspiracy theorising is that people who cling to it are in denial that Yes lost the referendum. Yes did lose the referendum. Lots of people have made perceptive posts explaining how and why it happened.

      Yes, if people are in denial over the referendum result, then they will never have to face up to the required need to acknowledge the disappointment. It is time to face up to the fact that we lost. This is the reality.

      Anyway it makes no sense for people who have fought their whole political careers for independence to go along with, and accept, a rigged referendum. I am thinking of Salmond, Russell, Winnie Ewing, MacAskill etc, while others, such as Nicola Sturgeon, have been in the SNP since the 1980s, and she is only 44 (I think)! If these people accept the vote was fair, it really is time for all independence supporters to do the same.

    458. Skip_NC says:

      Triangular_Ears, low-level ballot box “stuffing” does happen. When I campaigned for Mungo Bovey in the 1986 council elections, I was there at Portobello Town Hall. In the early evening we had, as you might expect, a flurry of voters. The polling agents of all parties asked voters going up the steps the initial letter of their surname, so that we could direct them to the correct table. A few people said “err…” whilst looking down at the poll card they had in their hand. That always seemed rather odd to me. However, I doubt it added more than a couple of dozen votes and it certainly did not change the result.

      Here in North Carolina, it will be necessary to show ID to vote from 2016. Then again, most people here have a driver’s license, which has a photo and physical characteristics noted. Those who do not drive can get a Non-Driver ID at minimal cost. I have been away from Scotland for a long time (far too long) but I cannot think of anything universal that would suffice as ID.

      Another thing we have in the States is early in-person voting. There are between five and ten such places in my county (depending on expected turnout) and anyone in the county can go to any one to vote for a couple of weeks, up to the Saturday before the Tuesday election. It’s all computerized, so you couldn’t run from place to place and vote multiple times. I think early voting, combined with postal voting for good cause only, would be a reasonable step forward.

    459. Calgacus says:

      @Morag, one person accused no one in particular of being double agents and you and Doug have been bleating on about it. The count is not, generally speaking, the problem as has been stated several times. The problem is we do not have confidence in the postal vote for several very good reasons

    460. tammcgarvey says:

      Aye but, is it not a bit unprofessional at least to put a stack of YES voting slips on a table marked NO? they should know they are being scrutinised and such actions would lead to misreading of the situation. Shoddy work.
      Anyway, there are many ways to skin a cat.
      Do we really accept that Westminster, with all the powers they have at their disposal, would not employ subterfuge if it was necessary to retain the power they have over Scotland’s assets?
      They do it for a living, here and around the world all the time.

    461. Red Squirrel says:

      Time to move on – we lost, the vote didn’t need to be rigged cos BT were so successful at alternately lying to the 55% or scaring the crap out of little old ladies about their pensions.

      We need to look at what’s next that will help Scotland to independence, the conspiracy theories aren’t going to achieve anything other than to alienate people the very people we need on our side.

      Please stop wasting time and energy on tinfoil hat theories – we need each other more than ever now to pull this together. If we can do that, I think we can turn this around in a couple of years and win by a decisive margin too.

    462. Calgacus says:

      No confidence in postal vote. End of.

    463. Morag says:

      Skip, what you are describing isn’t ballot-box stuffing but personation. Ten allegations of that were identified in Glasgow and the police are looking into it. It’s part of the low-level fiddling the system is open to. Of course it should be tightened up, but low-level fiddling didn’t lose the referendum.

    464. @Ronnie

      It was close, saved by bringing on the extras at the last minute without realising what they had done.

      Talk Constitution John Drummond, Edinburgh

    465. Skip_NC says:

      You are correct Morag, and I am sorry I did not make that clear in my post. Yes lost for a variety of reasons but I cannot imagine it was as a result of procedural failings. Your and Doug’s explanations of the count accord with my memory of my experiences as a counting agent in the 1980’s.

    466. Morag says:

      What are the reasons for not having confidence in the postal vote? The great care with which postal votes were scrutinised has been described by several people on this thread and elsewhere. Just saying “end of” is pointless. It’s back to believing the moon is made of green cheese, despite having the moon rocks and their detailed analysis in front of you.

      Again it’s down to understanding the difference between low-level fiddling and the sort of wholesale fraud that would be needed to manufacture a 400,000 vote win for No. Fraudulent voter registration happens. Some people doing it would have done it to cast a Yes vote, of course. It’s small-scale tampering. It didn’t influence the result. Accept it.

    467. Juteman says:

      This blog frightened the British State during the campaign. The State will attempt to make sure its gravitas is diminished, so it can be dismissed in the future.
      A good way of doing that is to flood the comments with ‘truthers’.
      Has anyone suggested the Illuminatti fixed the referendum yet?

    468. Morag says:

      Damn, losing posts again. Curse Akismet. Always happens when you didn’t take a copy.

    469. Mealer says:

      At the start of this campaign most people thought an independent Scotland just couldn’t survive.Now a majority think independence is a viable alternative worth consideration.And the leaders of the unionist parties all agree.That is a big step forward.Its why Westminster never wanted a referendum or a debate.

    470. caledonia says:

      Lets get the next one started as we know they will renege on their promises

      lets hear the queen bark instead of purr

      this time we have to fight dirty like them ie no free prescriptions if we vote no
      no council tax freeze if we vote no
      you will need a credit card if you vote no to pay for NHS
      pay for uni if you vote no

      you will not win against the likes of the BBC etc if you do not play them at their own game

    471. caledonia says:

      btw still think Glasgow and Dundee lost thousands of votes somewhere

    472. heedtracker says:

      Well am now the wiser but the only referendum on the horizon is the EU because Scotland will be lucky to see one ever again. All we can do is devo away from the UK and that could take a long time too.

    473. handclapping says:

      @Calgacus
      At 1:29 big jock said
      Will say this again. The truth hurts no-one. Still want this investigated. This opinion and description does not wash away the doubt especially the postal votes.

      Unless we now have double agents on Wings who dismiss everything.
      So Morag, Doug, I are all double agents? Just what the hell did you do in the run up to and on polling day to make sure of a Yes win and a fair vote?
      And what are your several very good reasons for not having confidence in the postal vote? And will they make enough difference to have the vote rerun?

    474. Golfnut says:

      Agree with both Barontorc and Ian Brotherhood.
      Conspiracies are a comfort blanket for some, a crusade for others and an errelavance to many. Getting shouty will not change any of those positions.
      The voting process is a potential weakness for us, we should be grateful to those willing to explore the possibility of how it may have/ could be used against us.
      I have been a commercial director for nigh on 30yrs, partly in audit and a great number of years in security. A closed mind discovers nothing.

    475. Famous15 says:

      This allegation of fraud is nonsense.The establishment had a range of possible tactics to secure their ends and at another time they may have used fraud but because of a compliant media and a largely supportive business world they used stick and carrot.
      The “stick” was effective as I know several elderly people who were making themselves Ill with the terrors on pensions and welfare .I know many working people contacted by their employers and threatened with redundancy and the whole of the financial services industry workers were emailed about capital flight if they voted the “wrong ” way.That travel agency boss was a mere amateur in the fear programme.

      The “carrot ” was vowed in the Record and Gordon Brown had us all shouting Hallelujah etc etc

      There can be no “settled will of the Scottish people” in these circumstances.We fight on but let’s not look for spooks where there are none;there is enough without this fraud stuff.

      We lost because their propaganda was too effective and truth was buried.We have a right to fight such evil and time will show how big the lies were. Be calm and careful and we will win!

    476. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Sensible enough article from a position of knowledge, and numerous other knowledgeable people. And then you have the rest.

      You get arguments because, in exactly the same way as it was difficult to get some No voters to see Yes was sensible, people who hold firm opinions based on what they believe to be evidence find it very difficult to lose those opinions even in the face common sense and actual knowledge.

      I personally believe there MAY have been small scale electoral fraud, by which I mean at the voting stage and not the count. But I do not, and never will, believe that there was systematic fraud on a level that would have changed the result.

      The result is pretty good considering what we were up against. And if you’re looking for verifiable cases of fraudulent behaviour you need look no further than damn near everything carried by the unionist press in the run up to the vote. And everything out of the mouths of their politicians…

      I agree with Doug; we didn’t lose anyone was being dodgy at the counting stage. We lost because the fuckers campaigning against us lied, and lied, and lied. The only upside from all those lies is that they are rapidly coming home to roost; evidence for this?

      SNP membership through the roof.

      Scottish Green Party youth sector bigger than the whole membership was a week ago.

      Scottish Socialist Party up by three thousand, I think.

      All these independence supporting parties growing faster than a colony of over sexed rabbits; can’t think why.

      We will be independent. It is not longer if.

      It’s when.

    477. Ninja Penguin says:

      I have no doubt that the referendum was conducted unfairly but the dodgy stuff happened long before the polls opened and there’s nothing we can do about it now.

      If there’s any kind of conspiracy going on it’s a conspiracy to keep Yes voters tied up with arguments about electoral fraud. I’ve seen several extremely suspicious Tweets and Facebook posts over the last couple of days purporting to be “eyewitness” accounts of electoral fraud/ballot rigging. They didn’t ring true and looked as if they had been written by activists (Labour, Tory, who knows?) pretending to be “ordinary” vote counters.

      These accounts are being spread in an attempt to keep us distracted and fragment our movement by causing us to squabble amongst ourselves. Wake up and don’t fall for it, people.

    478. kalmar says:

      juteman: You’re probably right. I saw a baffling exchange between Morag (I’m assuming the one who comments here) and a person on twitter, whose determination to claim that it was rigged just seemed completely non-rational and unreasonable in rejecting all of Morag’s (personally verified) explanations.

      It’s just more of the psy-ops we saw in the lead up to the vote if you ask me. Spread tinfoil hattery, squabbles over trivialities and personalities, split the movement up and turn dedicated yessers off continued campaigning.

    479. Morag says:

      Postal voting is vulnerable to low-level fiddling by means of fraudulent registration. I’m bloody sure it happened. People registered at their parents’ homes (as Stu could have done if he hadn’t been honest). People registered at their holiday homes. Maybe people registered phantom voters at their address (I threatened to put my cat on the register, as he turned 16 in June).

      Some of these would have been Yes people trying to vote while living in England, of course. Some would have been No people. It will have happened. So in that sense we can agree the postal vote is open to misuse.

      What needs to be acknowledged that this is again small beer. Both sides have access to the electoral register, and are capable of spotting significant numbers of phantom voters appearing on the list. We did not lose the referendum because of 400,000 fraudulent voter registrations.

    480. kestral says:

      Well done Stu

      I was also a counting agent at the glasgow count and can assure everyone it was fair

      lets face it a lot of the council workers / police etc were yes supporters

      Infact I watched one counter find a yes votes in the no pile and pull them out before I could even get the words out – the place was crawling with yesers all standing watching everything

      Been through this with my son – his first real campaign, I could see his hope in the conspiracy theories -all of which I could explain away – but rather that than let a rumour continue which only destroys our ability to move forward

      ps the table with the no sign and mixed yes no’s on top of it

      the local yes campaign tweeted about the incident with an explanation – well done yes group

      thanks Rev – we have better things to turn our people power to 🙂

    481. Joker says:

      Even as a Yes supporter, the paranoia evident on this page is absolutely laughable.

      Get a grip people. Stop playing e-detective and pretending you’re in a James Bond movie.

      “We” (readers of a f’king blog) have not been “infiltrated”, the vote was valid, votes did not go missing in high enough numbers to make a difference. If you’re so sure “it” happened, or if you’re going to insist on repeating how little confidence you have in the system, get up and find evidence, come back and make a story out of it.

      Stuff like this makes a brilliant argument for moderation of comments, it really does.

    482. galamcennalath says:

      The option of Independence had to go to a referendum.

      Whatever DevoThingy package they come up with should also go to a referendum.

      It shouldn’t be forced on Scotland. If it’s dodgy, or insufficient, we should have the chance to reject it.

    483. I stopped my TV Licence earlier today. Was quite pleased with myself.

      That is until my mate was telling me if you have SKY you don’t need a BBC licence as long as you don’t watch BBC. He hasn’t been paying his TV Licence for years now.

    484. Morag says:

      Kalmar, that’s right. I did have an argument with someone who was impervious to all reason and started accusing me of harassment simply for replying to her tweets. When I checked her profile it seemed to me that she doesn’t live in Scotland, despite being very avtive tweeting about the referendum.

      She was also one of those behind getting this rather unfortunate “45” meme off the ground, for what it’s worth.

    485. A.N.Surgent says:

      OT. Can anyone tell me why the mayor of NYC is speaking at the blab conference. From this link I know that he is a supporter of predictive policing and he was elected as mayor by promising a policy that he wasn`t in a position to deliver….Oh

      http://socialistworker.org/2014/07/31/de-blasio-balance-sheet

    486. Calgacus says:

      If the vote was rigged anybody who dared to question it would be branded a truther, a conspiracy theorist, an idiot so carry on shills feel free

    487. liz says:

      @Ian Brotherhood – the reason it is bad tempered is because some people refuse to take advice and keep reposting the same stuff over and over.

      I don’t have the patience of Morag and Daniel – some folk don’t want an answer, they just want to keep distracting our attention.

      I’m sure when the Rev gets back to base it will get sorted.

      I said earlier in the thread – go ahead and prove/disprove what you like but stop trying to involve everyone else.

    488. Morag says:

      Just saw a really good tweet.

      “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” – Thomas Paine

    489. Paula Rose says:

      I was at the count for Angus and at various polling stations, I agree with Douglas Daniel, Morag, Tartan Tory and others.

      So – various people have vowed or promised or suggested Devo-max, can we have an article on the subject. If that is the best on offer at the moment, then lets go for it. Suggested slogan that can have more than one meaning.

      Yes to the Max

      (and I’m still mad)

    490. Lanarkist says:

      Macart, I fully agree with that!

      We know more now and need strategies to counter their misinformation.

      I am thinking of starting local social groups to improve people’s online skills. Teach them how to use Twitter, get online, proficient on Facebook or whatever.

      Get groups together to help improve situations, community gardens, to improve group talk and feed the community, arts groups, knitting groups, talking societies, even bridge clubs.

      Anything that brings people together and promotes discussion, planning and dissemination of information. Tailored to each situation.

      New media would be a good way in, improve network communication locally and Nationally.

      Improve community involvement and plan for acceptance of info sheets, pamphlets and gossip from people you trust!

      Regular get-togethers with visible Yes flags and badges to keep up visibility and to keep pressure on would run in tandem with these other ideas.

      Bottom up! Government decision making that is!

    491. handclapping says:

      @Golfnut
      A closed mind discovers nothing.
      Especially one that doesn’t bother to find out how the system works beforehand!
      If they were worried about the boxes on the journey, they could have followed them to the count. They didn’t.
      If they were worried about dummy postal voters they could have canvassed the premises they were said to have inhabited and notified the police of the absence of those voters. But they didn’t. Etcetera, etcetera.

      At best they are only keyboard warriors for Yes



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