Referendum Day: Polling stations busy across Falkirk

The polling place at Bantaskin Primary School
The polling place at Bantaskin Primary School

Polling stations across Falkirk were busy this morning as voters rushed to make their decision on whether Scotland should become an independent country.

There were small queues outside the polling places at St Francis Xavier church hall in Falkirk town centre and nearby Thornhill Community Centre when they opened at 7 a.m.

PIC LISA FERGUSON 03/09/2014'Chris Highcock, deputy counting officer for Ed Council at mock polling booths in City Chambers ''Ballot box, polling place.

PIC LISA FERGUSON 03/09/2014'Chris Highcock, deputy counting officer for Ed Council at mock polling booths in City Chambers ''Ballot box, polling place.

Canvassers from the Yes and No campaigns were standing outside hoping to convince any last minute undecided voters to back their respective cause.

Kate Arnot, a Labour party member from Grahamston, who has taken part in political campaigns since the 1980s, said it was the busiest election day she had ever been involved in.

Standing in the vestibule of St Francis Xavier church hall, she said: “I’m quietly confident the No campaign will prevail.

“There are more visible signs of the Yes campaign in windows and such like, but I think people will see the benefits of being both Scottish and British.”

Along at Westfield Community Centre, which lies just a goalkick from The Falkirk Stadium, there were seven Yes canvassers outside - but none from the No camp.

“People have been very positive when they’ve passed by,” said Paul Gilligan (35), an SNP member from nearby Westfield Street.

“I would estimate that the majority of people here have voted Yes.

“I got here at 6.45 a.m. and plan to stay until the polls close at 10 p.m. I’ll then be heading down to Grangemouth for the count. It’s going to be a long night.”

There was also a steady of stream of voters coming and going from Thornhill Community Centre, close to the Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College.

Graham Day, representing the No campaign, estimated that around 780 voters had already cast their ballot by 11 a.m.

“The atmosphere is very friendly, everyone says hello,” he said. “I think the No campaign will win - as long as people get out to vote.”

Standing nearby was SNP Councillor David Alexander, former leader of Falkirk Council.

“I’ve visited three polling stations so far, and the message is the same everywhere - it’s busy.

“It’s been positive, it’s great to see so many people involved in the Yes campaign.”

The polls close at 10 p.m. this evening.