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Scottish swimmers compete in European Special Olympics

A pair of swimmers from the Border region are in action this week at the Special Olympics European games.

They've travelled from Dumfries and Galloway to Antwerp in Belgium, to take part in the sporting event for those with learning disabilities.

Lauren Hall's been finding out how they're getting on.


'The Final Push' for Yes and No campaigns

On the eve of the independence referendum Scotland's First Minister is calling on Scots to choose hope over fear.

Alex Salmond will tonight address the final rally of his long campaign and claim tomorrow's vote is what he calls "the opportunity of a lifetime".

But Gordon Brown, speaking at his final rally in Glasgow earlier, made a passionate plea for the Union.

The former Prime Minister told supporters the SNP want to break links with neighbours and friends in the United Kingdom and he claimed SNP policies could send Scotland down an economic trapdoor.

Below are Border's reports from both campaigns, as they geared up for the The Final Push:

Farming community as divided as the rest of Scotland

Many of the people in Scotland come from rural towns and villages, where farming has a huge impact on the economy. Farming subsidies and trade has been a key battleground for local campaigners from both sides.

Jenny Longden has been speaking to two farmers with opposite views, on what they think the referendum means to The Farming Industry.

Scotland Decides: How the Referendum Will Work

Millions of Scots will head to the polls to vote in the independence referendum Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
  • 32 counts across Scotland
  • 2,608 polling places
  • Two counts in the Border region: Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders
  • Over 4.2m people have registered to vote
  • That's 97.8% of the population
  • 789,024 of those are postal votes
  • Approximately 80% of postal votes have been returned
  • 120% of ballot papers required have been printed so they shouldn't run out.
  • Polls open at 7am Thursday September 18th 2014
  • Polls close at 10pm - but anyone still in a queue to vote at that point will be able to cast their vote.
  • Local results will be announced at individual counts
  • The Chief Counting Officer will announce the final result.


  1. National

Salmond: Underdogs have a habit of winning sometimes

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said the Yes campaign may still be the underdog in the referendum, but added, "Underdogs have a habit of winning sometimes".

Alex Salmond meets shoppers at East Kilbride Shopping Centre on the last day of campaigning. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Scotland's First Minister signs autographs the day before the historic referendum. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Shoppers crowd around Alex Salmond as he leaves East Kilbride Shopping Centre. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Slender lead for No camp in latest poll

The No campaign continues to have a slender lead over Yes ahead of tomorrow's Scottish independence referendum, the latest opinion poll has suggested.

A Panelbase survey found 52% of Scots are to vote for the union, with 48% favouring independence, when undecided voters are excluded. The result is exactly the same as three separate polls which were published last night.

The Panelbase survey, which came out less that 24 hours before voting gets under way in the referendum, continues to suggest the campaign over the future of the UK could go down to the wire.

  • Exactly half of the 1,004 people who were questioned said they would be voting No to independence, with 45% voting Yes
  • Just five percent of voters have still to make up their mind
  • 54% of all men questioned were Yes voters, ahead of 44% voting No and three percent who are undecided
  • 39% of women questioned said they would be voting Yes tomorrow, with 54% backing No and seven percent undecided

McDonald rules himself out from United boss move

In a statement released by Carlisle United this afternoon, the club announced Neil McDonald has ruled out a move to join the Blues.

Neil McDonald had been linked with a move to the club Credit: Adam Davy/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The West Ham assistant manager has been linked with a move to the club in the past week, in a process that United's managing director has admitted is taking longer than expected.

In a post on the club's website, John Nixon said despite McDonald's withdrawal, he was still confident about the candidates on the club's shortlist, and hoped to meet with them in the next few days.

“Obviously there has been a lot of speculation in the local press about Neil McDonald, and I think it’s only fair to say that he has formally withdrawn his name from the process and we respect that decision totally. “That has made a difference to the short list because he was a strong candidate, as far as we were concerned. He’s given it a great deal of thought over the last five to ten days and he has spoken to us about the situation today.

"He has told us that he has discussed it with his family, having thought about it long and hard, and he has decided that it isn’t the right career move for him to make at this point in time.”

“I’m still confident that our short list has some extremely strong candidates and we will now go on to meet some of them for a second time. “The aim will be to get a firm answer in the next 24 to 48 hours. I’d like to think there will be an indication, at the very least, in that period of time."

– John Nixon, Managing Director of Carlisle United

Clegg: Consequences for Westminster post-referendum

The way Scottish MPs vote at Westminster will have to change if new powers are handed to the Scottish Parliament in the event of a No vote in the referendum, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader said it was "not logical" that Scottish MPs should be able to carry on voting on issues which affect only England if there is a further devolution of power from Westminster to Holyrood.

The Deputy Prime Minister, speaking last week Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mr Clegg, along with David Cameron and Ed Miliband, has signed a pledge to hand sweeping new powers to Scotland, if Scots vote to reject independence and remain part of the United Kingdom in tomorrow's referendum.

He made clear, however, that would have consequences for the way votes are organised in the House of Commons.

"When the decision is made in the coming months and legislation is passed to give these new significant powers - on welfare, on borrowing, on tax raising - to Scotland that should be accompanied by a decision about how the votes are organised in Westminster. "Clearly, when you have that degree of devolution, saying that a Scottish MP has precisely the same say over matters in English as an English MP doesn't make any sense. That's why you then decide how you divvy votes in the House of Commons. "It's not logical, it's just simply not fair to say, okay we have a more devolved (group) of nations that make up the United Kingdom but somehow that new devolution settlement isn't reflected in any way in changes in Westminster. "That doesn't make any sense. You have to make changes in Westminster as well."

– Nick Clegg MP

His comments echo concerns by some Tory MPs who have expressed anger at the way the three leaders have promised greater devolution to Scotland without consulting the Commons. Mr Clegg, however, rejected calls from some campaigners for the creation of a separate English parliament to deal with England-only legislation.

"We don't need just to create another talking shop for politicians, another institution, another English parliament, to solve this issue."

– Nick Clegg MP
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