VOTERS in Alex Salmond’s own constituency of Aberdeenshire resoundingly rejected independence.
With a turnout of 87.2%, there were 108,606 votes cast for No (60.3%) compared with 71,337 for Yes (39.6%).
Politicians from the three main pro-union parties said they were delighted with the result in the north east.
Sir Malcolm Bruce, Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon, said: “It’s a terrific result and I think it’s a complete rejection of Alex Salmond and the SNP’s Yes message, which in my view is totally irresponsible and I think people have rejected it for that reason.
“I think it’s an assertion that we are better together, that people do recognise that we have a Parliament which gives us self-government over much of what we can do and we can do more, but at the same time being part of the UK is a huge advantage.”
Mr Salmond had been expected to make an appearance at the count at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre but did not arrive.
Sir Malcolm said: “This is the SNP’s backyard, it’s Alex Salmond’s backyard. He didn’t have the guts to come to his own count in his own area because he knew he had been comprehensively rejected.”
Alex Johnstone, Conservative MSP for North East Scotland, said: “I’m delighted at the figures.
“The key thing is that we here in Aberdeenshire, along with so many other areas up and down Scotland, have given a resounding vote of confidence in the union and we can go forward now and continue to enjoy the benefits of this economic recovery that the United Kingdom is now leading the world in.
“We will deliver on the promise of more powers. However, you must realise that one of the key things that needs to be delivered to the Scottish Parliament is responsibility for its own decisions.
“This will not be an easy path towards more powers without responsibility. This will be about the maturing of the Scottish Parliament into a body which really does take responsibility for its own actions. It hasn’t been that in the first 15 years, it must be that in future.”
Lewis Macdonald, Labour MSP for North East Scotland, said: “It’s a fantastic result and a fantastic credit to the Better Together team and the parties that have worked together to get that result and a reflection of how north east folk are clear that Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are better off in a Scotland that’s in the union than a Scotland that heads off on its own.
“I think that takes for good the question of Scottish independence off the political agenda. That means that all parties are going to have to come together around a programme of self-government within the union and the kind of changes that we want to make Scotland the kind of country we want to see.”
Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banff and Buchan, said the result was “not unexpected”.
He said: “It’s clear that across Scotland there’s a very tight correlation between the votes for No and the economic income and in areas that are not doing so well, they’ve been voting for Yes.
“We always knew that Aberdeenshire would be a big challenge, but the challenge now is for the No campaign to deliver on the big promises that the three UK party leaders made.
“We shall be watching that with interest, and when I say we, I mean the people of Scotland who have got themselves re-engaged with politics.”
Eilidh Whiteford, SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, said: “Expectations in Aberdeenshire were never going to be that stellar. We always realised that if you win Aberdeenshire, you’re going to win everywhere.”