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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 05:40 pm
Can I stop now?  Why not?
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:30 pm

Posted by Andrew Sparrow , Claire Phipps and Paul Owen in Edinburgh

Rolling coverage of the results of the Scottish independence referendum as they come in, with reaction and analysis of the vote that could lead to Scotland leaving the United Kingdom

Here are the YouGov poll figures.

#BREAKING:Latest YouGov poll suggests Scottish Referendum exit poll results are 54% No, 46% Yes. Counting underway. No results expected soon

And heres some more hardcore data for readers who really want to get stuck into the figures.

The votes are being counted by local authority area. There are 32 local authority areas, and this chart tells you, authority by authority, when the results are due.

Scottish Referendum results - Expected Timing pic.twitter.com/tVIrWMRUNq

If you enjoyed the referendum turnout graphic, here's the full story: http://t.co/JWM30m5jZw #indyref @AndrewSparrow pic.twitter.com/Orh0kNYzT3

Alberto Nardelli, our datablog editor, is going to be giving us a running analysis of the results as we get them. He explains the approach hes going to take:

At the top of this liveblog we will have an interactive embedded that will keep a tally on the results as they are announced. One key element to keep in mind will be how far we are in the count and how many results are left to come - were visualising this using a progress bar in which each segment represents a council. Early in the evening, the results will bounce around a bit due to the relatively small number of votes counted at that stage so be careful not to read too much into early results.

The key set of figures we will be reporting on as the evening progresses is the size of the gap between yes and no, and the amount of votes the side that is behind would need to catch up, and how probable this is based on remaining councils.

Here are 10 key moments from the campaign

5 May 2011 SNP wins a majority in Scottish parliament elections. Scotland uses a system of proportional representation unofficially intended to stop any one party gaining an overall majority, but the SNP, which had run Scotland as a minority government since winning in 2007, can now pass legislation without needing the support of other parties. This means that an independence referendum a longstanding SNP aim, but one sidelined from 2007 to 2011 now becomes almost inevitable.

Reports of high turnout are starting to come in.

Reports from a count officer in Dunfermline that their polling place saw 82% turnout #indyref

The Guardians #indyref correspondents are stationed at counting centres across Scotland tonight. Heres the view from a handful of them:

Steven Morris is in Dundee:

The waiting begins. Atmosphere muted, tense at the international sports complex, where the Dundee count will take place. Frankly, people look done in already and the result is still an estimated six hours away

Boxes of postal ballots are just about to arrive at the Aberdeenshire referendum count which takes in the backyard of the man who has been leading the charge for Scottish independence, Alex Salmond.

The Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) has been the scene of victory speeches during electoral glories by the SNP leader in 2007 and 2011. Will we see him here again tonight in a similarly buoyant mood?

Calm (before storm?) at Aberdeenshire count (includes Alex Salmond's patch) Aberdeen City counting elsewhere #indyref pic.twitter.com/O982jNyFzA

The Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston, where the Edinburgh count is taking place, is still very quiet there are many more tables and facilities than journalists. They are reading out the protocol for reporting the results to the gathered media in the media hall. Over in the huge count room, in the neighbouring building, they have distributed the boxes of votes and are emptying them onto the table one-by-one.

The Glasgow count has just begun at the Emirates Arena in the east end of the city, where the ballots are divided into eight mini counts for Anniesland, Kelvin, Pollock, Shettleston, Cathcart, Maryhill and Spirngnurn, Provab and the Southside. Referendum agents for campaign groups ranging from Farming for Yes to the Labour party are gathering around the stage to the right of the photo. The huge halls is still fairly empty bar the packed rows of count staff, but that will change as campaigners leave polling stations and head for the arena.

Were getting the poll at 10.30am.

YouGov poll carried out today to be released at 10.30. Not an exit poll but the best we are going to get

If youve followed the Scottish independence campaign closely, you can give this a miss.

But if you havent read much about this, here are some posts that will help make sense of it.

My name is Andrew Sparrow and Ill be the main anchor for the blog tonight, with contributions from Polly Curtis and Paul Owen.

At the Edinburgh count we have Severin Carrell, Nicholas Watt, Ewen MacAskill, Frances Perraudin, John Crace and Michael White. Martin Kettle is also on hand for instant analysis of the voting. And Josh Halliday is spending the night in an Edinburgh pub as voters raise their glasses, drown their sorrows and eat crisps.

Over the next eight hours or so, the future of the United Kingdom - one of the worlds G7 powers and home to 64m people - will be decided. Scotland is deciding whether to stay or to leave.

After a referendum campaign lasting effectively two years, the Scots (but not the English, Welsh or Northern Irish - the other members of the union of nations that make up the UK) have been voting today. The campaign has generated extraordinary interest and excitement, turnout seems set to break all records and the polls have just closed. The first area result is due at about 2am UK time - in four hours - and the final outcome should be known by breakfast tomorrow morning (ie, 4/5 hours later). If Scotland votes to go it alone, the decision will be final and Alex Salmond, Scotlands first minister and leader of the Scottish National Party, wants independence on 24 March 2016.

Continue reading...






Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:23 pm

Posted by James Ball

The absence of an exit poll means well be robbed of a post-vote analysis of how this momentous referendum was decided

Anyone whos sat up watching the TV on election night knows theres a pattern to how things go: before the polls close, early in the evening, broadcasters assiduously say as little as possible to avoid breaking election broadcasting rules.

Then comes 10pm, and the polls close. Moments later, the anchor behind the desk (almost always a Dimbleby of some description) gives the results of the exit poll often the only bit of red meat to talk about for the next several hours.

Continue reading...






Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:18 pm

Posted by Sachin Nakrani

Official NFL games at Wembley have been going on for eight years and organisers think there could be a market for an English franchise
NFL system makes their game exciting

Press your ear to the ground and you may be able to hear the rumble, that now distinct sound of hulking Americans with big plays and even bigger shoulder pads coming across the Atlantic. Yes, it is that time again when summer waves goodbye and the NFL says hello, with Wembley Stadium again the destination for a gridiron invasion.

This is the eighth successive year that regular-season NFL games will take place at the home of English football and the first time that three contests will form part of the leagues international series, with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins getting it all under way on 28 September before the Atlanta Falcons face the Detroit Lions on 26 October and the Dallas Cowboys meet the Jacksonville Jaguars on 9 November.

Continue reading...
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:08 pm

Posted by Sean Ingle

No1 to recharge batteries after eight tournaments in 10 weeks
Vice-captain said: You can go stale a rest clears your mind
Memory Lane: Ryder Cup in pictures

Rory McIlroy is right to take a complete break from golf in the week before the Ryder Cup to avoid going stale, according to Europes vice-captain Des Smyth.

McIlroy admitted he had been unable to muster the energy to win the Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sunday after playing eight tournaments in 10 weeks, and said he would be putting his clubs away for a few days. Smyth is convinced that is the right strategy, despite fears the world No1 could lose his form before the Ryder Cup starts at Gleneagles next Friday.

Continue reading...
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:02 pm

Posted by Andy Hunter

Evertons traditional Z-Cars anthem was rudely interrupted by the Europa League theme tune before kick off, but that was as deep as the teething troubles went for Roberto Martínezs side against Wolfsburg. Clinical finishing divided Everton from the Bundesliga team as they demonstrated genuine intent on their first European outing in five seasons.

The winning margin suggests a comfortable nights work for the home side at Goodison Park when it was anything but. Tim Howard was by far the busier goalkeeper in the second half and Everton were gifted a penalty that never was for their third goal when Aiden McGeady was tripped outside the area.

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:00 pm

Posted by Paul Weaver in Singapore

Formula One chief executive confirms move is in pipeline
Well know after the next two or three races

Bernie Ecclestone has spoken with team principals before this weekends Singapore Grand Prix as speculation mounts that the future of Formula One will be built around just eight teams running three cars each.

Indeed Ecclestone, F1s chief executive, fuelled the speculation himself when, prior to going to the paddocks, he said a decision regarding a 24-car grid was likely to be made by the middle of next month.

Continue reading...
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 08:06 pm

Posted by Michael White

The yes camp's supporters seemed to be making all the noise on Thursday but the quieter no voters were no less determined

As his car swung past the bus station in Gordon Brown's home town of Kirkcaldy on Thursday a young man waved a clenched fist out of his car window and shouted "Ayeee" at no one in particular. "I think he's a yesser" explained a passerby helpfully.

With Scotland voting in record numbers on the greatest existential challenge to the British state since Spitfire dogfights in 1940, not every Scot felt quite so gleefully uninhibited. Far from it. Along Kirkcaldy's High Street, some no supporters heading to and from the Philip hall polling station were decidedly more reticent.

Continue reading...
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 04:26 pm
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] janetmiles, you can read the first 26 verses of "Pitfalls."  Darrel and Brenda get ambushed by drugrunners and have to make their way back to civilization.

Microfunded poetry releases new material in pieces as each verse gets funded.  At $.50 per line, this is a great way get new poetry if you're on a tight budget.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 05:20 pm
*settles down with cup of tea to follow the Scottish referendum*

What coverage are you watching? What are you reading? Have you found any good liveblogs and open threads?

Right now I'm fuming that C-SPAN has put its BBC stream on C-SPAN 3, which my cable company doesn't carry. I'm listening to BBC Radio 4 and holding other potential solutions in reserve (although I imagine that iPlayer may be a bit overwhelmed tonight anyway).

What are you up to? Feel free to use this post as an open thread if you feel like chatting. I'll be around.

Liveblog commences )
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 10:24 pm
I would be unsurprised by anything between 45% Yes and 52% Yes. I am hoping it comes in over 50%, but expecting it to be around 48%.

I'm guessing at 85% turnout, and very happy about that.

I'm hazarding a stab in the dark that the "extra powers for Scotland" will turn out to be entirely illusory.

I predict that 95% of people who have been politically motivated over the last three months will stop doing so as of tomorrow. Which is a massive shame - if we could raise this level of interest over politics across the UK then I'd be a very happy person.
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 09:00 pm
Everton make a winning return to European football as they beat Wolfsburg 4-1 in their Europa League Group H opener.