Day: 19 September 2014

What a day and what a night! And what a vote! A turnout of 86%! Politicians, the press, pollsters and pundits will be dissecting and spinning this verdict for weeks to come. But I am hoping it will change attitudes in Westminster forever. Has there ever been a bigger turnout for a non-compulsory democratic election anywhere in the world? It’s simply incredible and heart-warming. The depth of political engagement in recent weeks has been greater than anything seen in our island’s history. The “Yes” campaign may have failed but it has succeeded in demonstrating people can still be engaged in democracy in our cynical age. For the first time, we also allowed 16 and 17 year-olds to vote. And they turned out too. We should allow them to vote in all elections from now on. If we engage young people in politics earlier, we might keep them engaged. Who knows, we might even get better politics. I type this as Alex Salmond concedes defeat, with just one result to declare. He is emphasising that more than one and a half million people voted “Yes”. That is a clear mandate for further devolution of power to Scotland. He’s going to insist…

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