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Referendum day: turning up in tartan for the vote

Glasgow recovers the day after #indyref

Dazed speaks to Scots on the post-referendum streets after the country says no to independence

Given the intense campaigning and media speculation in the weeks leading up to the Scotland's independence referendum, results day in Glasgow turned out to be pretty anticlimactic. Once the ballot papers were counted up and the 55% No result was announced at 7 am today, the streets remained disconcertingly hushed.

Maybe it was partly due to a grudging acceptance of the democratic process by those on the losing side; maybe others just wanted to return to their normal lives and welcomed an end to the media storm. Either way, daily life in Glasgow returned to distinctly less political activities – like queueing up for the launch of the new iPhone 6. 

George Square was originally meant to host to an optimistically planned independence party; now it just provided a impromptu meeting point for those unhappy with the result. Campaigners at the Square made passionate speeches highlighting the difficulties still faced by poorer families in Glasgow, with discontented voters eager to point out that the four local authorities which voted Yes – Dundee City, West Dumbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and Glasgow – also have the highest levels of poverty. 

On adjacent Buchanan Street we encountered a more moderate response to the vote in the form of students Shagufta Bhatti and Matt Johnston. Bhatti had once been one of the poster girls for the Better Together campaign, even apepearing in some of their promotional videos. While their initial feelings were of happiness, they expressed a slight regret at the No vote.

"We are ready for change," the pair said, a view echoed by many we spoke with. "It would have been a struggle but could have done it, though now the vote is over we just need to stick together." 

There were also those who had been swayed in the opposite direction in the lead-up to voting day. One politics student from Glasgow Caledonian University, Caroline Fleeting, said the aggressive campaign tactics on the Yes side had inadvertently disillusioned her.

"I think a lot of people were pissed off by the Yes people, I honestly do," she explained. "I was a Yes, but they pissed me off because there was no political campaign there, it was just against the No vote which I don't think helped their case."

Some of the loudest voices of the Better Together campaign have been those of the "silent majority" mothers seeking to protect their families from the financial uncertainties that might accompany any transition to independence. (The #PatronisingBTLady advert for the Better Together campaign might have totally missed its mark, but maybe it was onto something.)

"I hope the children can be secure in their future now that everything has been settled," retired grandmother Carole Buchan told us, explaining that putting family first translated to an unwavering No vote for her.

Maybe it was the dull, grey weather. Maybe people know just how contentious independence has been in a place as divided as Glasgow. Either way, mixed emotions have been the order of the day in this city as Scotland heads into its post-referendum future as part of the United Kingdom.