Northamptonshire is in a celebratory mood today after Scotland voted ‘no’ to independence.
Corby is known as Little Scotland for its huge Scottish population - and earlier in the summer the town held its own referendum that produced a resounding ‘no’ vote.
Borough councillor and ‘no’ campaigner Gail McDade was unable to travel up to Scotland with her Labour colleagues as she was bed-bound after recent surgery. So instead, in recent weeks, she and other local supporters set up a telephone bank from her home in Corby to try to persuade people in Scotland to vote no.
Cllr McDade said: “Between me and Andy Sawford and a few other local volunteers, we’ve managed to call 600 undecided Labour voters to talk to them about their vote.
“Most of them were in North Lanarkshire and the vote there was close so we like to think we made a small difference.
“There was a point last weekend when I did think the ‘yes’ vote would win.
“You get a feel for these things when you’re speaking to people on the phone and they were annoyed because they heard David Cameron speaking and they thought that he wasn’t representative of their views and didn’t know what he had to do with the vote.
“But I stayed up all night to hear the results anyway and I am so glad with the result.”
Speaking on social media, Corby MP Andy Sawford said: “The turnout is incredible. Huge credit to the campaigns and to the voters for taking this awesome responsibility so seriously.
“Devolution in England means transferring powers out from Westminster to communities - not an introspective discussion about Parliament.”
Local Labour party members around Corby had spent the past few weeks telephone canvassing people in Scotland urging them to vote ‘no’.
MP Andy Sawford also hit the campaign trail earlier this month when he visited Scotland for a cross-party rally.
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone, speaking to a national newspaper, said he was concerned that pre-referendum promises of more cash for Scotland would mean his constituents might miss out. He said: “I don’t see why people in the East Midlands should be worse off to the tune of thousands of pounds than the people of Scotland.”
Northants Telegraph reporter Huw Silk spent the night in Edinburgh. Speaking this morning, he said: “I was expecting the mood to be a lot more fractious because of the ‘no’ vote but I haven’t seen any issues here today.
“The streets were packed overnight with people waving Saltires and singing but obviously as the night went on and the votes started coming in, things calmed down a bit.
“There are lots and lots of ‘yes’ posters around but obviously the silent majority has spoken.
“There are still people around the streets wearing their ‘yes’ t-shirts.”
Corby-born Downton Abbey star Brendan Coyle has tweeted his own delight at the outcome of the referendum. He said: “Thank you Scotland for galvanising us. Sorry independents but I’d hate to lose a union with one of the greatest countries on God’s earth.”
And East Midlands MEP, Margot Parker, who grew up in a village near Corby, said: “The people of Corby voted overwhelmingly earlier to keep the United Kingdom just that, united. The result confirms their common sense view. UKIP has always supported Scotland as part of the United Kingdom and long may it remain so.”