Scotland spurns independence in a historic referendum that threatened to break the United Kingdom apart, sow turmoil in financial markets and diminish Britain's remaining global standing. Ciara Lee reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE** No - the answer the world woke up to. In the end 55 percent of Scottish residents voted against independence. Scottish First Minister and head of the Yes campaign Alex Salmond. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER, ALEX SALMOND, SAYING: "Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland." British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of his delight at the result. Ahead of the vote Cameron pledged to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament if it chose to remain in the union. But some are asking whether he may now be softening that promise. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "So now it is time for our United Kingdom to come together and to move forward. A vital part of that would be a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well." Fears Scotland may choose to leave the 300 year old union had caused jitters in international markets, with investors around the world braced for political chaos. Bill Blain from Mint Partners says despite the no vote, the turmoil is far from over. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL BLAIN, STRATEGIST AT MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: "The main risk for international investors looking at the UK now is political risk. Will the UK be able to balance the comments that Cameron was making just there, which do sound a little bit backsliding from the promises he had made. Being fair to the Scots is one thing, you made them promises, but he knows that he cannot deliver his own party to deliver these promises. What we really need to see is constitutional reform in the UK." Record numbers of voters turned out to decide Scotland's future, with more the 85% of voters taking part. It was also the first time 16 year olds were able to cast their vote. Referendum fever engulfed Scotland in recent weeks, and despite voters showing a clear divide on the issue, many also welcomed how it brought political debate alive for them as never before.