Scottish independence: 97 per cent of Scotland's eligible population register to vote


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The Independent Online

The Scottish independence referendum will be decided by the largest electorate in the country’s history, officials have revealed.

More than four million people, 97 per cent of those eligible, have registered to take part in next week’s historic vote, according to figures published by the chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly. Anticipation is building after a series of opinion polls showed how the campaign for Scottish independence has gained ground, making the result too close to call.

A total of 4,285,323 people have registered to vote on 18 September, including 789,024 people who applied for a postal ballot. On the day voters will head to one of the 2,608 polling stations across the country, with extra electoral staff being drafted in to reduce the risk of queues.

In anticipation of a huge turnout, Ms Pitcaithly urged voters to plan ahead to minimise delays. “Polling places are busiest during the early morning and in the evening as people vote on their way to and from work,” she said. “If you are able to avoid these times, I would encourage you to do so to ensure everyone can vote without having to queue for any length of time.” First Minister Alex Salmond has previously predicted that the turnout for the referendum could be as high as 80 per cent. With the result likely to be extremely close, both the Yes and No campaigns have been keen to focus on winning the votes of people who usually do not take part.