|Written by Lindsay McGarvie|
So at last the people of Scotland have spoken and it’s a decisive No vote in the independence referendum with a margin of 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
But that’s not the end of the story by a long chalk.
We’ve already heard this morning from the Prime Minister David Cameron that this result will mean major constitutional change for not only Scotland, but for the UK as a whole.
The detail of any new constitutional settlement for Scotland and the UK is a long way from being on the table. But the unprecedented 85 per cent turnout and the sheer exuberance of the referendum.
From first time 16 and 17-year-old voters to older people who have never engaged with politics in their lives, as First Minister Alex Salmond said this morning, Scottish politics can never return to business as usual.
The energy of this long and hard-fought campaign must now be harnessed. Let’s face it, politics has been in a pretty dreary state for some time, with regard for our legislators at an all-time low after expenses scandals and the long climb back from the toughest recession in a generation.
Now is an opportunity for our politicians to step up to the mark and repair that reputational damage.
A 10-point win will be claimed as a resounding victory by the Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour members of Better Together. But this isn’t a time for triumphalism, whether at Holyrood, Westminster, in the media – traditional and digital, or in our pubs, factories, offices and schools.
For the good of the people and businesses of Scotland and the entire UK, our politicians need to set aside the divisions that the independence referendum brought into sharp relief.
The job at hand is now working together for an improved devolution settlement that helps Scotland to prosper.
For that to become a reality politicians from across the spectrum must do all they can to work respectfully with business and civic Scotland to repair any divisions caused by this long and bruising campaign.
Lindsay McGarvie is a Director at 3x1 Public Relations with over two decades experience in journalism/communications (former Scottish Political Reporter of the Year). He is a PR and public affairs consultant with unrivalled UK media contacts and extensive crisis/reputation management experience and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.