How it all adds up

R E TAIT (Letters, 14 February) asks for “some actual facts concerning the referendum” and then proceeds to give us a simple computation showing one side of the equation.

I stand to be corrected, but I believe the facts are that, on an actual turnout of 3,619,915, being 84.6 per cent of the electorate, that gives us a registered electorate of 4,278,859, of whom 37.8 per cent voted Yes and 46.7 per cent voted No. Thus the No voters were clearly larger in number, but still less than half the registered electorate.


Derby Street


R E Tait says 15 per cent of the voting population did not vote in the referendum. This is incorrect, as at any time some of those on the electoral register will be dead, so the turnout must have been higher than 85 per cent of those alive and eligible to vote.

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Only in a dictatorship is it possible to achieve 100 per cent turnout. Indeed, the infamous 40 per cent rule in the 1979 referendum meant that for the first time the dead had a vote.

The rule stated that not only did there have to be a majority for a Scottish parliament, but also that 40 per cent of the electorate had to vote Yes. A failure to vote was counted as a No, so the dead had a vote. At least the dead did not have a vote in 2014. How they and living non-voters might have voted is conjectural.


South Street

St Andrews