Supporters from the "No" Campaign react to a declaration in their favour, at the Better Together Campaign headquarters in Glasgow REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The people of Scotland have voted to preserve 307 years of Union and stay in the United Kingdom after the country's historic referendum ended in a 'No' vote.

With only six districts left to declare, the Scottish electorate have voted against independence by a margin of 56% to 46%.

The result marks the end of the one of the most fiercely contested and high-profile elections in British political history.

The 'Yes campaign', led by Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, had hoped to pull their country out of the UK. However today's decision means the union between Scotland and England, which has stood since 1707, will remain intact.

The Better Together campaign, headed by former Chancellor Alistair Darling, has been in the lead throughout the campaign. However recent polls showed a Yes campaign surge sending panic through the Westminster political elite.

Prime Minster David Cameron headed north to beseech Scotland to reject the nationalistic adventure of independence. "Don't break up our family of nations," he pleaded at an Edinburgh press conference nine days before the vote.

The Scottish Spring

Democracy has been hailed as the victor of the referendum campaign.

"The Scottish Spring, like the other democratic upheavals of recent years, was at heart a huge mobilisation of people power," wrote Alex Renton in Newsweek.

After many months of invigorating debate and intense campaigning, with an electoral college that included school pupils as young as 16, and an unprecedented turnout of almost 90%, Renton was able to declare: "We are a Scotland rebooted, energised, empowered and – above all, after decades of feeling ignored and discounted by London – heard."

The Westminster party leaders will breathe a huge sigh of relief this morning.

But they still have a huge task ahead in dealing with all the big constitutional questions raised by the extraordinary campaign, not least delivering on the so-called "home rule vow".