Alex Salmond's lifelong dream of leading an independent Scotland is over.
Scotland rejected independence by 55% to 45% leaving Britain's 307-year union remains intact and as a result Salmond has stepped down as First Minister and leader of the SNP.
Meanwhile, Westminster's relief over the vote has given way to the realisation that this campaign will change the way the UK is run.
David Cameron has today announced more powers for England and that will have huge repercussions for the whole of the UK.
ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports:
ITV News Scotland Correspondent Debi Edward reports from Glasgow:
Dozens of cars with Union Jacks from their windows are heading for George Square. Roads closed so traffic-jam party http://t.co/X7qndKBllt
The Queen said Scotland's vote to stay part of the UK was "a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect".
After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the Referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect.
For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions - among family, friends and neighbours. That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country. But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.
Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all. Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.
My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task.
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.
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 paid tribute to her "friend, mentor and colleague" Alex Salmond calling his achievements as First Minister "second to none".
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.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she "can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead" the SNP after Alex Salmond's resignation.
Alex' 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.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said he believed his "party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership" as he announced his resignation.
"For me right now, therefore, there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward," Salmond said.
"I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership."