Dreich, dull and drizzly. The weather just had to be typically Scottish on the day the country decided its destiny.
However, passions burned bright today as Dundee and the surrounding area played its part in the biggest decision in Scotland’s history.
At more than 130 polling stations city-wide, numbers not normally seen on polling days streamed into booths to answer one question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
There was a Braveheart spirit from some who donned kilts, while campaigners from both sides made their last-minute attempts to sway voters one way or another with colourful displays at the doors of schools and community centres.
Snap polls by the Tele showed that many parts of Dundee were favouring Yes but at some other locations it was a split decision, even among families.
At Downfield Primary School, our quick poll of 34 people showed that 64% favoured independence from the UK a percentage much higher than the national polls have predicted.
Meanwhile, 54-year-old Ann Goth said she was undecided as she entered Craigowl Primary School to vote. She said: “I’m thinking Yes on the stuff that I have read, but I’m still not that sure.”
As she left the building, however, she revealed: “I’ve done it. I’ve voted Yes.”
First-time voter Matthew MacAulay, 17, was wearing his school uniform as he came to vote. He said: “The process was actually really easy I enjoyed it. I think there has been a lot of lying, particularly from the No campaign, so that influenced my decision.”
At Hill Street polling station in the Hilltown, one couple were divided.
Vivian Cairns, 62, a museum assistant, voted No, while her husband Ron Cairns, 63, a psychologist, voted Yes. Vivian said: “I’m voting No because I think that’s what’s best for Scotland. I’m sure we’re not the only couple living on both sides of the divide. But it’s been great fun.”
But Ron insisted: “My vote is based on hope, not fear.”
It was a similar scene on Marryat Street, with more Yes voters than No. Elaine Mitchell, 33, an accountant from Coldside, said: “I voted Yes. I was a No voter right up until Monday. It was the No campaign that changed my mind. It’s almost as though their toys got thrown out the pram.”
Voters out in Douglas were overwhelmingly saying Yes.
Oven cleaner Edward Coutts, 47, said he voted for independence because he wanted a change. He said: “I am sick fed up of Westminster telling us what to do.”
Lorraine Jamieson, 30, a voluntary sector worker said she voted Yes because she thought that was the campaign which had put forward better arguments.
“I think there are many advantages to us being independent,” she said.
Pensioner Etta Moncur, 85, voted No, saying: “I think the best thing for us is to stay part of the UK. We don’t have the jobs or the population to sustain an independent country.”
Dundee City Council said there has been a “great response” to the independence referendum. A council spokeswoman said: “Some polling stations have reported a 10-14% turnout already, while others said that queues had formed prior to polls opening.”
Police were stationed at many Dundee polling booths, but by this afternoon there had been no reports of trouble. A spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland’s priority is to ensure public safety and security and facilitate a peaceful democratic process. We will respond appropriately to any issues that may arise.”