Union hosts bustling indyref all-nighter

By Émer O’Toole, News Editor

Around 600 students from Strathclyde and other universities attended the Strathclyde Union all-nighter event on September 18 in the Yard, which showed the results live as the votes came in from the 32 areas.

In line with Glasgow’s ‘Yes’ vote, most of the students watching the results in the Yard were in favour of independence.

Even though the majority of students who attended the event were Yes voters, students remained good natured throughout the night.

Alison, a second year Politics and History student, said: “Both sides have come together, I haven’t seen any negativity tonight at all. Everyone is getting on really well.”

The event also attracted international press, from BBC Radio to reporters from one of France’s biggest newspapers, Le Monde.

Scotland rejected independence – the final result put the No vote ahead at 55.3 per cent and the Yes vote at 44.7 per cent with an overall turnout of 84.6 per cent.

More than 3.6m people turned out to answer the referendum question: ‘Should
Scotland be an independent country?’, the highest voter turn out in Scottish history.

According to a survey published by Lord Ashcroft Polls which surveyed over 2000 voters, 52 per cent of 18-24 year olds voted against Scottish independence while 48 per cent voted in favour of independence.

However, 71 per cent of 16-17 year olds voted Yes while 29 per cent voted No.

Strathclyde’s Professor John Curtice, told the BBC: “The No side were always favourites to win, which is why the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times which put the Yes vote ahead about 10 days ago created such an upset. At the end of the day, Scotland still feels moderately British.”

Strathclyde’s president, Gary Paterson, said: “Personally, I feel it was good for Strathclyde students to come here and see the situation unfold. In spite of the result, I honestly feel that this has been one of the most inspiring and engaging political discussions within Scotland and it’s going to be remembered for a long time.”

Glasgow was one of the four areas to vote in favour of independence- along with Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire- with a 75 per cent turnout and the Yes vote at 53.5 per cent.

Rory, a third year Economics student, said: “I think as long as we have the stratospheric upper class of Westminster, we’re never going to get the same engagement as we’ve seen in this vote.”

Kirsty Haigh, National Union of Students Scotland Vice-President Communities, spoke of how the referendum had ‘disproved the myth’ that students are apathetic about voting and politics.

She said: “In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with our partners across civic society to ensure that continues, and that as we start to consider the future of Scotland within the UK, that power stays in the hands of Scottish society, through a process led by Scottish society.”

Paterson added: “The step forward now is that we start to see a discussion on the future of Scotland and make sure that students are actually at the centre of that.”