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Background

The Scottish Government was formed after the May 5, 2011 parliamentary election at which the SNP gained a clear majority with 69 of the 129 seats at Holyrood and a mandate to govern until the next election in 2016.

Prior to the Your Scotland, Your Referendum consultation, the SG conducted the National Conversation between August 2007 and November 2009 inviting public comment on a range of potential changes to the country’s constitution.

It began with the publication of a discussion paper Choosing Scotland’s Future, and culminated in the publication of Your Scotland Your Voice, a White Paper laying out options supported by detailed policy papers.

The independence referendum consultation, Your Scotland, Your Referendum was launched by the First Minister on Burns Night, January 25, 2012, and closed at midnight on Friday, May 11, 2012. It attracted more than 26,000 responses.

On October 15, 2012, the Edinburgh Agreement was signed by First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron. The Agreement ensured that the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood was able to deliver a referendum that met the highest standards of fairness, transparency and propriety.

On February 5, 2013, the Scottish Government published the first in a series of papers intended to show how a constitutional platform ould be put in place in the event of a yes vote in the independence referendum.

On March 21, 2013 the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament, setting the conditions for the referendum and for it to be held on September 18, 2014.

Scotland’s Future: Your Guide to an Independent Scotland was published on Tuesday November 26, 2013.

The referendum was held on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

The Question on the ballot paper was ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’

The official result of the Scottish Independence Referendum was:

Yes 1,617,989 (44.5 per cent)

No 2,001,926 (55.5 per cent)

Turnout was 84.6 per cent

The day after the Referendum the Smith Commission was set up with a remit to take forward the commitments made on further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government published its proposal for More Powers on October 10.

The Elections and Constitution Division in the Scottish Government supports constitutional reform work.