Scottish independence referendum: Everything you need to know about Scotland's vote

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More than three years after Alex Salmond's SNP secured a landslide victory at Holyrood, the long-awaited referendum on independence is finally taking place.

Polling stations opened at 7am and people have until 10pm to cast their ballot, with the result expected to be known by breakfast time tomorrow.

The crucial ballot, which could see the 307-year-old union between Scotland and England brought to an end, is expected to go down to the wire, with polls showing the contest is too close to call.

A YouGov survey for The Sun and The Times and a separate poll by Panelbase both found 52% of Scots will to vote to stay in the union, with 48% favouring independence, when undecided voters are excluded.

But research by Ipsos-Mori for the broadcaster STV suggested the gap could be even closer, indicating 51% of people will vote No to 49% saying Yes.

After a frenetic final day of campaigning from the rival sides yesterday, the turnout is expected to be high, with 4,285,323 people registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission.

Here is the Independent's comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about the referendum:


'We cannot risk our children’s future'
'A fairer Scotland is within our grasp'
'Hope, hatred - but modern democracy at its best'
Editorial: Yes vote would diminish Britain and Scotland
Beware last-minute promises and vote yes
Sketch: Cameron speech on Scotland was stick, carrot and passion
Welcome to the nation formerly known as the UK

Latest news

Salmond leads euphoric followers to promised land
Brown eulogy is apology of biblical proportions
Final polls show undecided voters could swing result
All-night session guaranteed to give Scots a hangover
Cameron to recall Parliament if Yes wins
Salmond: 'No one can stop Scotland using the pound'
Bank of England on high alert
Miliband forced to cut short campaign by Yes activist heckling
Salmond 'tried to influence senior Scottish university chief'
Clinton on Scotland: 'Unity sends a powerful message'
Leonard Cohen: 'People trying to make their lives matter'
View from the border: 'Famous for what we achieved together'
Andy Murray backs Yes vote

The polls

Almost half of 'No' voters felt 'threatened' by 'Yes' campaign
Nail-biting time for politicians – but for pollsters too
Scotland's future on knife-edge with No ahead on 52%

The referendum explained

What would happen to Labour if Scotland votes Yes?
The vote: When will the result in Scotland be announced?
Five reasons Alex Salmond is secretly hoping for a No vote
Possible referendum results by region
The vote: When will the result in Scotland be announced?
What a Yes vote would mean - the experts' view
Who gets Jim Naughtie and will pillar boxes be painted blue?
The big talking points

For the first time 16 and 17-year-olds across the country will be able to take part.

The question facing voters is a simple one: Should Scotland be an independent country?