New Zealand-based Scots were last night hoping English political leaders would honour promises to treat their homeland better if it stayed British.

"Good luck to Scotland, I hope now they're treated better within Britain," said Scottish-born Auckland Council member Cathy Casey.

Despite being a strong supporter of independence, Dr Casey said she had to accept "with good grace" what the Scots people wanted for their future.

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"Of course I'm personally disappointed but that's what referenda are about - you go to the people, the people speak, that's the voice of Scotland, and if Scotland said they want to stay with Britain, then so be it," she said.

"I was born a Yes, but that's not the will of the people, and the will of the people prevails.

"Maybe [the British Government in] Whitehall won't be so complacent now in its governance of Scotland."

Liam McIlvanney, Stuart professor of Scottish studies at Otago University and another independence supporter, said social media had been dominated by a young and vibrant Yes campaign, but "of course it's come up against the silent majority that said No".

"It's a pretty decisive victory for No, and I'll accept that," he said.

"There's nothing to stop more referenda but I think you would be looking at five or 10 years down the line, at a minimum."

Party over: Yes campaign supporters in George Square in Glasgow. Photo / AP

He hoped the fact that almost 45 per cent of Scottish voters wanted to leave the union with England might focus the minds of leaders who had promised constitutional change, but feared the British Government might have trouble getting that passed through the House of Commons.

Scottish "tribal" band leader Frankie Mac said that although he had to graciously accept the will of the country he left almost four years ago, it had been a "bitter pill" that expatriate Scots like him were not allowed to vote in the referendum but foreign residents of his homeland aged 16 or older had been given a say.


Although Scottish independence leader Alex Salmond was a hero of his, he did not think the Yes campaign had been intellectual enough to build up people's confidence to go it alone.

"It should have addressed people's concerns about the currency and other financial affairs," Mr Mac said.

Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond concedes defeat. Photo / AP

"They had the figures to talk about the massive generation of tax revenue that England takes and only gives Scotland half that back. Maybe if they had reinforced that better, the scaremongering would not have had such a big effect."

But there were celebrations last night in Waipu, home to a community of descendants of Scots who originally migrated to Nova Scotia before moving to the warmer climate of Northland. Waipu Caledonian Society chief Colonel Fraser Sim said he was relieved by the referendum result, because of the financial difficulties he feared may have befallen an independent Scotland.

He had feared disruption to global marketing deals involving Scottish businesses, and difficulties for their country's membership of the European Union.

"For example, I like single-malt whisky, and all the big distillers were a bit concerned as well."

'No' campaigners at a Better Together party in Glasgow. Photo / Getty Images