Local voters out in force

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Forfar’s voters have been out in force to have their say in the Scottish Independence Referendum since polling began at 7 a.m.

There has been a steady stream of traffic to and from the town’s polling stations reflecting the high level of interest locally in the referendum.

It also reflects the national interest as, with more than 4.2 million people eligible to vote, the referendum has attracted the highest ever registered electorate.

Todays voting follows a flash-mob rally held in the centre of Forfar on Wednesday evening by the ‘Yes’ campaign.

Despite the public’s obvious enthusiasm to have their say, many were remaining tight-lipped and reluctant to comment on how they had voted.

Local SNP councillor Lynne Devine, who had been out and about since the polling stations opened, said she was pleased to see the turnout.

She said: “It’s been steady generally, although the leisure centre has been really busy. I started off at the British Legion, which was quiet up until around 8 a.m. when it started to get busier, and there’s been a steady flow throughout the morning at the Reid Hall.

“It’s just such an exciting day.”

Forfar SNP member Eva Stirling said she had voted for independence as a legacy for her grandchildren and future generations.

She said: “I’ve been a staunch SNP member for years and this is the first time I haven’t been involved in the campaigning, but I think it’s important for my grandchildren.

“Scotland needs more powers and more of a say. I’m not saying it’s going to happen overnight, but it will be a benefit to my grandchildren and their kids. They’re the future of Scotland.”

But some members of the public remained unconvinced by the ‘Yes’ campaign’s arguments.

One local 19-year-old ‘No’ voter, who asked not to be named, said he felt the whole campaign has been “a sham”.

He continued: “I like things the way they are.

“I did some research as I want to go into nursing and work for the NHS, and I felt that voting ‘Yes’ would have a negative effecton the NHS, so that’s why I voted ‘no’.

“I’m excited for today to be over and done with as I’m just fed up with all the campaigning.”

Another ‘No’ voter, who also asked not be named, said he saw no need to change the status quo.

He added: “I don’t have a wish for independence. I think Scotland has functioned well as part of the union and I think that can continue. Personally I’m happy to be Scottish and British and there are benefits for both sides.

“For me the ‘yes’ arguments just haven’t been convincing and there’s been too much negative campaigning.”

With polling stations due to close at 10 p.m., the Angus votes will be counted in Arbroath with the return expected around 3 a.m. You can follow live updates during the count on our website at www.forfardispatch.co.uk