Big changes are likely across the UK - including Yorkshire - in the wake of the historic Scottish referendum.

The decision by voters to reject independence by a 10% majority is expected to mean more moves towards devolution from MPs at Westminster.

And that was welcomed by Scots living in Huddersfield as they digested the news that the huge voting turnout saw a 55% to 45% vote in favour of staying within the UK and the subsequent resignation of Alex Salmond as Scottish First Minister.

Alex Salmond has announced he is to step down as First Minister of Scotland
Alex Salmond has announced he is to step down as First Minister of Scotland
 

Graham Johnston, secretary of the Huddersfield St Andrews Society, said: “I’m very pleased with the result. It is good news for Scotland and for the UK.

“It means that we stay as we are for the foreseeable future, although the Scottish Nationalist Party may decide to push again, but there will be change ahead.

“There was a massive turnout and a 10% difference is a big win. I think it will promote changes and not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK, and perhaps even in Yorkshire.

“There will have to be some sort of self-determination and it is good to shake things up”.

Huddersfield University politics expert Dr Andy Mycock was in Glasgow to see and hear the result and he spoke of a “flat” feeling.

“It is incredibly banal. It is like the morning after a big New Year party.

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“The No voters were more attuned to keeping themselves to themselves and they are not prone to wild celebrations.

“It has been a two-year campaign and that’s a long time to keep up enthusiasm. I think we will now have a period of normality.

“I always felt the No voters would win through, with many opting not to change, but the result will have a major effect on the union and not just here in Scotland. It will have big impact on Wales, on Northern Ireland and in the English regions, like the north.

 

“Those at Westminster have to listen to the arguments and will have to devolve more power. It will be a question of the MPs being like turkeys and voting for Christmas; things have to change”.

Clr Peter Box, who chairs the West Yorkshire Combined Authority including Kirklees and Calderdale, welcomed the impending changes.

“While the Scottish people have voted against independence, a decision which I think is the right one and personally welcome, a result of the whole referendum process is that Britain’s political and administrative landscape has changed permanently.

“What we now need to see is all the main parties, who in the lead up to the Scottish vote have been talking about the need for more devolution and taking an interest in our cities across the north, making good on their proposals.

“That means a fundamental reorganisation of how government deals with the City Regions. Not a symbolic tinkering at the edges, so-called commissions or imposed gimmicks that some current Ministers might want to see. We need real changes that enable us to make our own decisions based on local experience and expertise rather than have them made for us by civil servants 200 miles away”.

Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman said: “These results will hopefully get our Party to look root and branch at the structure, strategy and organisation.

“A lot of people will claim credit but Alastair Darling and Jim Murphy stand out as the stellar performers for me”.

Colne Valley Tory MP Jason McCartney tweeted as the vote was announced: “Delighted Scotland has voted No, we are four great Nations, we are still one United Kingdom, we are #bettertogether”.

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