Edinburgh's part in the Scottish Independence Referendum: 10 facts

As Scotland goes to the polls, have a look at the numbers and facts that go into running the Referendum for Edinburgh's voters.

1. Edinburgh counts for around 8.7% of Scotland’s electorate – second most behind Glasgow – and has seen a record 377,413 people registering to vote in the Referendum.

2. For the first time, people aged 16 and 17 across Scotland will be able to vote in the Referendum. In Edinburgh there are 7467 people under the age of 18 registered to vote - around 2% of the total.

3. A total of 81,648 people chose to cast their vote by post and, as of the day before the Referendum, 73,149 of them - almost 90% - had sent it back with their vote.

4. Running the Referendum in Scotland’s capital city is no mean feat. The Council employs 834 polling staff across the city’s polling places, plus an additional 516 count staff who will count papers at the Royal Highland Centre on Thursday night.

5. The 145 polling places in Edinburgh - buildings in which people vote - range from primary schools and community centres to church halls and even a mobile library. Across these there are 383 polling stations (each with one ballot box) and 1850 polling booths.

6. There’s a lot of stationery involved in a Referendum – more than 400,000 ballot papers have been printed for the capital’s voters. 3830 pencils will also be issued, to be attached to the 1850 polling booths using approximately 2km of string.

7. 17 different campaign groups have appointed a Referendum Agent for Edinburgh, including Better Together, Yes Scotland and a number of smaller groups representing other interests and political parties.  All can appoint agents to attend polling and the count to make observe processes and make sure that all is being done properly and to the highest standards.

8. Hundreds of international news reporters have flocked to Edinburgh in the lead-up to the Referendum, broadcasting from everywhere from Calton Hill to the Royal Mile. In the days before the vote, 250 organisations made use of the This Is Edinburgh Media Centre in the Grassmarket’s Apex International Hotel, travelling from as far afield as South Korea, Turkey and USA. 

9. Voters are assured that from the moment they cast their vote to the final result, it is secure and accounted for. Officers follow special guidance to make sure of this, including the sealing of ballot boxes, the presence of at least two impartial members of staff at every stage of the process and secure transportation of ballot boxes to the count. Full details of the process are available on the Council website.

10. Edinburgh’s count will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, where the national count is also being held. Counting Officer for Edinburgh Sue Bruce, who is also Chief Executive of City of Edinburgh Council, will announce the city’s result. Once all 32 local authorities have declared their outcome, Chief Counting Officer Mary Pitcaithly will read out the final result for Scotland.

Find out more details on how, where and when to vote on the Council website.

Follow @Edinburgh_CC for information on voting and live updates on 18th September.

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