Town’s MSPs split over indy vote claims

The town’s MSPs were at loggerheads this week over Hawick’s voting percentages in last week’s referendum.

According to figures provided by John Lamont, Hawick voted overwhelmingly to reject independence by 62 per cent but Nationalist MSP Paul Wheelhouse claims that 44 per cent of townsfolk backed the YES campaign.

The turnout for the Scottish Borders was 87.4 per cent, with 83,526 voters returning a ballot paper from a total registered electorate of 95,542. A total of 27, 906 votes (33 per cent) were cast for Yes and a total of 55,553 votes (67 per cent) were cast for No.

Sixty-seven votes were rejected, including 11 which voted in favour of both answers, one included writing or a mark by which the voter could be identified, and 55 were unmarked or void for uncertainty

Voting in the town was pretty much in line with the Borders according to statistics compiled by local Better Together campaigners which suggests that 62 per cent of Hawick voters rejected independence and in the Borders that figure was 67 per cent.

Mr Lamont said: “From the information that we collected from the ballot boxes it was clear that Hawick, like the rest of the Borders, was overwhelmingly rejecting independence.

“The samples taken by the Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem teams suggest that 62 per cent of all Hawick voters said No. The Yes campaign are clutching at straws to suggest otherwise.”

But Mr Wheelhouse hit back, saying: “Overall in Burnfoot, we ended up just ahead of No. If John Lamont is suggesting Better Together got 62 per cent of votes in the town, then they are stretching the truth well beyond the figures.

“There is no sceneraio where we get as low as 38 per cent for Yes. We assess the situation as 44 per cent Yes, with 56 per cent No. As you can see, there was real support for
Yes.”