Procedure for the Count
The Chief Counting Officer is Neil McIntosh. He is an independent officer responsible for the conduct of the count. He has
appointed a counting officer from each of Scotland's 32 local
Once each count is complete, the return will be submitted to the
Chief counting officer for certification. Once the return is certified, the chief counting officer will advise the local counting officer when he is about to declare it; declarations will be made simultaneously from the EICC and the local count venue.
The first declarations are expected around 12.30am on Friday,
September 12, with the main cluster coming in between 2.00am and
3.00am, and the final return around 4.30am.
A short period of time will elapse between each declaration.
An electronic display board on the platform will display the local result as it is declared by the chief counting officer.
The introductory form of words which the chief counting officer will use is as follows:
'I will now declare the result for [name of council area].'
For each area, he will then announce:
the number of electors eligible to vote;
the number of electors voting;
the turnout percentage;
the number of votes cast for 'I agree that there should be a Scottish
Parliament' and the percentage this represents of the valid votes
the number of votes for 'I do not agree that there should be a
Scottish Parliament' and the percentage this represents of the valid
the number of rejected voting papers;
the number of votes for 'I agree that a Scottish Parliament should
have tax-varying powers' and the percentage this represents of the
valid votes cast;
the number of votes for 'I do not agree that a Scottish Parliament
should have tax-varying powers' and the percentage this represents
of the valid votes cast;
the number of rejected voting papers.
The local result will appear on the display board behind the
chief counting officer for the duration of the announcement.
Turnout figures for each local authority area will be available
before that local count is completed and will be made available to the
media as soon as these are known. The chief counting officer will
announce the national turnout figure once all these turnout figures have been received (this is likely to be between 1am and 2am).
During the course of the night, a national running total of all
four options will be kept by the chief counting officer's staff and will be shown on the cumulative display board.
When the last return has been declared, the chief counting
officer will make a final declaration, of the national result.
Recounts may be required by the local counting officer for
procedural reasons but will not be undertaken on the basis of a close
count since this will feed into the national result figures.
Local counts will be open to the media. Unlike a general
election, there will be no disclosure of results to anyone before the
result is declared by the local counting officer and, simultaneously, by the chief counting officer.
At the EICC, other than the chief counting officer, the only
person on stage will be a signer, making the declaration in sign
An invited audience of around 600 people, comprising a cross-
section of Scottish life, will be in the EICC. They will include
members of parliament, civic leaders, representatives of the
campaigning groups and local parties, and the neighbours from across
the road in Morrison Street.