The result of the Scottish independence referendum was a huge blow for the Yes campaign this morning, worsened by the announcement this afternoon that the man who made it all possible - Alex Salmond - will step down in November.
ITV Border's Political Editor Peter MacMahon was at the press conference where Salmond announced his exit from the top of the SNP leadership, and from his office as First Minister.
Alistair Darling has praised Alex Salmond for the "huge contribution he has made to public life in Scotland." The leader of the Better Together campaign was speaking after the Scottish First Minister made the announcement he will step down in November.
"Alex Salmond is a formidable political figure. He transformed the SNP into a party of government and delivered their referendum on independence which they had craved so long. "Today he has accepted Scotland's verdict, recognising that it is for others in his party to take the SNP forward. "He has rightly said that the referendum was a once-in-a-lifetime event and that we all need to work to bring Scotland together. "He can look back with pride on being the longest-serving First Minister and to the huge contribution he has made to public life in Scotland. I wish him well in the future."
Alex Salmond has announced his intention to end a 24-year career at the forefront of Scottish politics. Here is a brief look at his career.Read the full story ›
Ed Miliband called Alex Salmond "a formidable frontline politician" after Scotland's First Minister announced he was stepping down.
"Whatever our disagreements, he has always spoke his mind and he has always stood up for what he believed in," the Labour leader said.
The referendum gave sixteen and seventeen year olds their first chance to vote.
At Dumfries Academy this morning young people had mixed reactions to the result.
While older voters at a day centre in Annan were also divided as to whether the decision to remain in the UK was best for Scotland.
David Mundell, the MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale has tweeted that Alex Salmond was a "consummate politician."
He also used the social media forum to tell his followers that he had predicted Salmond's exit earlier in the day.
Prime Minister David Cameron has called Alex Salmond "a politician of huge talent and passion" after the First Minister announced he was stepping down.
He has been an effective First Minister and always fights his corner.
While we disagree profoundly about his goal of a separated Scotland, and many other things, I respect and admire his huge contribution to politics and public life.
Alex Salmond was right to resign from his post, and his resignation will allow the "country to come back together", according to the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.
Ruth Davidson released a statement this afternoon acknowledging the politician's efforts in the independence referendum, and expressing hope for the future of the country.
“Alex Salmond has been the dominant figure in Scottish politics for the last seven years. “No-one can dispute his political achievements, nor fail to acknowledge his political gifts. “He has done the right thing in resigning. “While the referendum campaign has been hugely invigorating, by its very nature it has divided too. “His decision to step down will help our country come back together again. “I am pleased that the First Minister says he will continue to serve in Scottish politics. “Scotland will benefit from his experience and service as we move forward."
Nicola Sturgeon has said that in the aftermath of Alex Salmond's resignation as First Minister, it would be a "privilege..to seek to lead the Party."
"Alex's announcement today inevitably raises the question of whether I will be a candidate to succeed him as SNP leader.
"I can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the Party I joined when I was just 16. However, that decision is not for today.
"My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family.
"I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest First Minister Scotland has had.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to Alex Salmond, after he announced he would be leaving his post in the wake of the independence referendum rejection.
In a full statement on her website, she praised Salmond's achievements whilst in office as "second to none."
Nicola Sturgeon also said that the personal debt she owed him was "immeasurable."
"Alex Salmond's achievements as SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister are second to none.
"He led the SNP into government and has given our country a renewed self confidence.
"Through policies such as the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and the scrapping of tuition fees, he has made a real difference for hundreds of thousands of Scots.
"And yesterday he inspired 1.6 million of our fellow citizens to vote Yes to independence.
"The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years."