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A record 4m Scottish people have registered to vote in the independence referendum next Thursday, more than any previous election or referendum in the country. Scotland has a total population of 5.3m.
With one week to go until the country decides whether to split off from the UK, Scotland’s chief counting officer for the referendum confirmed on Thursday that 4.29m people had registered to vote, with 18 per cent of these registering for a postal vote – another record for a Scottish election.
The number of voters has been boosted due to the inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds who have been permitted to vote in the plebiscite. Only people who live in Scotland are eligible to vote, something that has been criticised by campaigners who say this will disenfranchise nearly 1m Scots who live elsewhere in the UK.
Voters will be asked one question with a Yes or No answer: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Officials said Scotland’s 32 local authorities had “put measures in place” to reduce the risk of lengthy queues at more than 5,500 polling stations across the country next Thursday. The cut-off point for voting is 10pm, with individual authorities set to declare their results throughout the night.
The largest authority is Glasgow, with nearly half a million registered voters representing more than 11 per cent of the total electorate, followed by the City of Edinburgh with nearly 400,000 voters making close to 9 per cent of the electorate.
Fife is the next largest, with about 7 per cent of voters, followed by North and South Lanarkshire, which have 6 per cent each, and Aberdeenshire, which is home to nearly 5 per cent of registered voters.