Where can I watch the Scottish Independence Referendum returns live?
September 14, 2014 5:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm hoping to follow the Scottish Independence Referendum returns live as we do here in America for our big elections. Does anyone know where someone in the USA could watch as the counts come in? (Does this even happen over there, making a night of it?)
posted by drowsy to Law & Government (20 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Maybe follow Twitter for updates? Invariably those twiter posts will have links, some of which may be to live TV.

Scottish TV also has a dedicated site, though I don't know if it's available in the US.
posted by dfriedman at 6:05 PM on September 14, 2014

Best answer: You'll want to watch Scotland Decides on the BBC.
posted by Thing at 6:09 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It'll be live on BBC World News, for sure, if you have that channel.

The count will happen immediately after polls close at 5pm EST. First results are expected around 8pm EST. We should have an definite result by 2am EST at the latest. F. They are being counted by local authorities and the Press Association estimates of which ones are due when can be found here. All times there are listed in local time (currently GMT+1).

(edit: I should add that these times could be bollocks because there's wind of a spectacularly-large turnout, perhaps of over 90%. That could either cause delays, or mean that one side is obviously landsliding it before the end.)
posted by genghis at 6:47 PM on September 14, 2014

Best answer: Hola, the chrome extension to set you with a British IP, will let you watch BBC on your browser if you don't get BBC on your tv.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:51 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! That was very quick! BTW all the URLs work so far!
posted by drowsy at 6:53 PM on September 14, 2014

Can I piggyback on this and ask for the most useful (for following the referendum) Scottish twitter feeds?
posted by latkes at 7:15 PM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

oh boy recommendations for twitter feeds.
Depends what you want. For the results the @britainelects , @BBCbreakingnews and @STVNews .
For general reporting @BBCJamesCook has been even handed. Other than that pick what side you want to hear from and follow away. There are polarizing figures on both sides, for YES @WingsOverScotland and NO @Blairmcdougall . You will pick up other names from following and reading the timelines of those two at the very least.
posted by stuartmm at 12:09 AM on September 15, 2014

Latkes, the obvious ones to start with are the official Yes and No campaign feeds.

Regarding the parties involved, the SNP aren't the only movers in the Yes campaign—the Scottish Greens are prominent too, and their leader Patrick Harvie is pretty active on Twitter.

On the other side, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, is also much more interesting than her party. Alistair Darling, the senior Labour politician who's been the main spokesman for No, is precisely no more interesting than his party, which is in fact divided on the issue. The actual leader of Labour in Scotland is Johann Lamont, who is a prominent No campaigner (but if the vote goes to Yes I'd still place a small bet on her as first non-SNP prime minister of an independent Scotland). The Scottish Liberal Democrats don't appear to have a separate feed; here is the UK-wide party's, for what it's worth.

Beyond the parties, my own sympathies start becoming a bit more obvious. A couple of journalists you might want to follow: Lesley Riddoch is the author of Blossom, a book which has inspired quite a few people on the Yes side. Iain Macwhirter writes for the Sunday Herald, the only newspaper in the UK to come out squarely in favour of a Yes vote. Women for Independence are a necessary voice (or rather, collection of voices) who will be even more necessary if Scotland becomes independent: notwithstanding deputy leader and stalwart Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP is by some way the most blokeish of Scotland's main parties. There are some interesting and some less interesting people involved in the Radical Independence Campaign; Cat Boyd is one of the former.

Skimming some of those will give you a sense of which ones are worth following—and which other feeds to check out. You'll often find that the best feeds on either side are being followed by people on both.
posted by lapsangsouchong at 12:30 AM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's a good summary of when the results can be reasonably expected to start coming in.

Short answer, a trickle from about midnight, a rush about 3am with a probable announcement, barring a very close vote that causes multiple recounts, about 7am.

Note that all bets are currently off on recounts, since a frankly staggering 97% of the eligible voting population has registered. Also worth noting that this isn't a constituency election, so overall recounts won't matter - neither side needs to 'win' a particular area, they just need to get the most votes country-wide. The result will be announced as soon as the Electoral Commission are sure that it's mathematically impossible for the lagging side to win, but the complete totals will likely come along some time later.

You'll need coffee, is what I'm saying.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:37 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

My sympathy for a certain side of the debate is also reflected in the following Twitter recs:

+ @WeAreNational is the twitter account for National Collective, the cultural movement for independence. Plenty of writers, artists, and cultural stuff.

+ @DocumentingYes does what it says on the tin. It shares photographs of activists/event, ordinary folks' windows, and street art.
posted by kariebookish at 4:46 AM on September 15, 2014

Note that the Hola Chrome extension, free version, allows only 4 hours per day plus some advertising.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:35 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

And to answer your parenthetical question (Does this even happen over there, making a night of it?)

I can confirm, sometimes yes. I held a general election party last time. It ended badly though...
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:21 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've heard that exit polling isn't something that is done, so you don't have the US practice of the results essentially being known as soon as people stop voting.
posted by smackfu at 6:46 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

smackfu: "I've heard that exit polling isn't something that is done, so you don't have the US practice of the results essentially being known as soon as people stop voting."

Exit polling is done, but it's illegal to release any result until all polling stations are closed (to avoid the appearance or reality of a 'wave effect', where people don't vote or change their vote based on which way they think the polls are going). This is much less of a factor for the UK where we're all in a single time zone, compared to the US and all the polling stations close at the same time.

I haven't seen anything saying that exit polls are going to be used or not used for this vote, FWIW.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:09 AM on September 15, 2014

Response by poster: Wonderful, thanks again everyone. Very happy to have the media info, late night info, and the exit polling info too!
posted by drowsy at 9:11 AM on September 15, 2014

There's probably going to an exit polls if for no other reason than it's the only thing the TV people will have to talk about for the first 3.5 hours after the 10 O'Clock News ends.

That said, TV orgs do not "call" elections in this part of the world, partly because it is not considered enormously important that we know the result before 11pm.

(In fact, lots of smaller elections don't even start counting until the morning after any more.)
posted by genghis at 10:53 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Radio coverage is often better during the lull between polls closing and the first results being announced from regional counts: television can get lured into graphics nonsense or daft round-table interviews, but radio has a bit more flexibility, and you'll often get better insights and fewer canned responses. The UK-wide BBC broadcast will be on Radio 4 (presented by James Naughtie, who's an 'expat' Scot) while BBC Radio Scotland will have its own programme. Radio streams don't usually get geo-blocked.
posted by holgate at 12:32 PM on September 15, 2014

Best answer: BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC World Service

There's been a lot of muttering about bias from the BBC, but they should stay reasonably factual when it comes to election night reporting.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2014

When your 4 hours of free Hola runs out, you can get more VPN goodness through Tunnel Bear.
posted by mumkin at 10:59 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Scottish TV android app is playing the news video today in Canada, FYI.
posted by chapps at 10:39 AM on September 16, 2014

« Older How do I boost my old dog's quality of life?   |   Maker Faire New York - Travel Advice Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.