19 Sep 2014

Scottish Independence: The Leaders' Reactions

The referendum on Scottish independence has been momentous. The campaigns have seen record highs in voter engagement and concluded with 'Better Together' winning, with 55% of Scots answering 'no' to one simple question: 'Should Scotland become an independent country?'

The leaders have now issued their responses to the #indyref. David Cameron built the foundations of a "fair and new settlement" where powers will be dispersed among all nations of "our United Kingdom". Alistair Darling, leader of the 'No' campaign, declared that "we've chosen unity over division", whilst Alex Salmond, leader of the 'Yes' campaign, conceded defeat whilst hailing the 86% voter turnout and called on Westminster's pledges to be "honoured in rapid course".


Below are three word clouds showing what the leaders chose to focus on after this monumental decision.

David Cameron Scottish Independence
David Cameron focused on building unity in "our United Kingdom" in his speech, establishing a settlement will will instil power in all four nations of the UK, including England, which he described as a "crucial part missing" from the devolution debate. He repeated the phrased "better together", whilst emphasising the "strength" and security" of the United Kingdom.

He concluded by saying: "Now we must look forward, and turn this into the moment when everyone - whichever way they voted - come together to build that better, brighter future for our entire United Kingdom."



Alistair Darling Scottish Independence
Meanwhile, Alistair Darling declared that "as we celebrate, let us also listen" to the 85% of Scotland who voted. "Change", "commitments" and "unity" were all core themes he chose to focus on, establishing that whilst the 'Better Together' campaign had won, there were key issues to address in Scotland. 

His speech was finished with a rally for unity to work for a better future: "Come on Scotland, let’s get on with it together. "



Alex Salmond Scottish Independence
Alex Salmond issued the first statement when it was clear that #VoteNo had won the night. He retained the positive themes which had characterised his lexis during the campaign, with words such as "inspired", "forward" and "democratic" taking the forefront. 

Again, similar to Cameron and Darling, he called for unity after the electrifying campaign: "Today of all days as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward and we shall go forward as one nation."

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