The No campaign have failed to deliver on their boasts of a few hours ago that they were heading for a victory margin of 58/42, or possibly 60/40, or even greater. The BBC are in fact predicting a result of 55/45 (some would say that they authored that result as well as predicting it, but that's an argument for another day). As Murdo Fraser himself said, once the relief wears off, the London establishment will know that's a far, far tighter outcome than they could have originally expected or possibly feel comfortable with. If the Yes vote had been several points lower, and in particular if they had failed to win the symbolic prize of Glasgow, the long-term aim of another referendum in 12-20 years might not have seemed credible. As it is, we have a result that is much narrower than the 1980 Quebec referendum, which as we all know was followed by a very-nearly-successful second attempt just fifteen years later.
That's a consolation for us, but it's also a long-term threat for London, and that's the one reason for thinking we might possibly get some traction in the push for more powers. It's going to be a hell of a hard slog, though, and I think much will depend on whether the SNP can at least make some kind of breakthrough on 'away soil' in the UK general election that is just a few short months away.
One thing that intrigues me is whether the Greens will continue to support independence as a long-term goal, or will argue that the matter has been permanently settled. Although I'm not exactly James Mackenzie's greatest fan, I've been encouraged to see him make a number of comments along the lines of "if not now, next time", and hopefully that sentiment will be shared by many of his colleagues.
Although I'm finding this result as difficult to come to terms with as anyone, I'm hoping to carry on with Scot Goes Pop until at least the general election. The money from the fundraiser won't last for much longer, though, so realistically I'd have to run another one. I don't want to try anyone's patience by doing it too soon, but on the other hand I would probably be foolish to leave it too long, because the blog's readership is bound to drop sharply as interest in the referendum subsides. I'm happy to take advice on what the most sensible timing would be.
In the meantime, we can all take pride in a 45% Yes vote that once upon a time was supposed to be impossible. In a long-term sense, the dream lives on.