Scotland votes to stay

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Voters in Scotland have rejected a referendum to gain independence from the United Kingdom.

Those voting "no" outnumbered those voting "yes" by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin, according to results released Friday. The ballot measure read simply: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" 

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Reports indicated record turnout for an election that was promised by the Scottish National Party, when it gained power in 2011. More than 4 million people had registered to vote, according to reports, and nearly 85 percent of eligible voters went to the ballot box. 

The New York Times pegged the vote total at 1.6 million in favor of the referendum, while just over 2 million opposed it. 

"This referendum has been hard fought," Prime Minister David Cameron said after the votes were counted. "It has stirred strong passions. It has electrified politics in Scotland, and caught the imagination of people across the whole of our United Kingdom."

He added: "So there can be no disputes, no re-runs — we have heard the settled will of the Scottish people."

Cameron said he would work to ensure the commitments made to grant more power and independence to the Scottish Parliament during the campaign would be honored.  

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the decision to keep the more than 300-year-old union in tact was welcome news.

“This is a welcome vote," he said. "The Scottish people’s decision to remain part of the United Kingdom will allow our robust cooperation on security, humanitarian, and economic issues to continue uninterrupted.  I look forward to further deepening the exceptional relations between our countries.”