FIRST Minister Alex Salmond looked despondent early this morning as he made his way to Edinburgh to face the possibility of Scotland rejecting independence.
Mr Salmond arrived at Aberdeen International airport around 2.30am looking downbeat as the first two results - Orkney and Clackmannashire - came out with No votes.
The First Minister was taken through a side gate onto the airfield to a waiting private plane.
Many had expected Mr Salmond to show up at the Aberdeenshire count - his home turf as MSP for Aberdeenshire East - after the polls closed at 10pm.
But he failed to show up at the Aberdeen Exhibiton and Conference Centre and there was speculation that he had cancelled his appearance as rumours of a defeat of the Yes campaign spread.
SNP aides later denied that Mr Salmond had been scheduled to appear at the Aberdeenshire count.
The plane - belonging to Air Charter Scotland - left Aberdeen at 3am with Mr Salmond understood to be heading to Ingliston.
• The Scotsman will be running a live blog to cover the referendum on Scottish independence, with news, pictures, tweets and much more from around Scotland and further afield as the country goes to the polls.