Coverage of the Scottish referendum on Thursday evening/Friday morning will be widespread of course, so a quick note on what we are looking for through the night (all times UK):
2200: Polls close (although those still queuing may still vote). The broadcast networks are not conducting an Exit Poll, so in fact we will know little at this stage.
0200: Key declaration: North Lanarkshire.
With over 6% of the electorate, it is important for “Yes” to win North Lanarkshire (albeit it will likely be fairly narrowly) if it is to win overall. Smaller declarations (in descending order of likely yes” vote) will also come over the hour from Clackmannanshire, Perth/Kinross and Moray with a likely majority for “Yes”; and East Lothian, Inverclyde and Orkney for “No”.
0300: Key declarations: South Lanarkshire and Aberdeenshire.
Similar to the above, South Lanarkshire should be a win (perhaps a more comfortable one) for “Yes” it is to win overall. The same applies to the slightly smaller Aberdeenshire, although watch also for regional discrepancies. Smaller declarations over this hour likely from Angus, Dundee, Falkirk, Stirling and East Ayrshire for “Yes”; Renfrewshire which is a toss-up if it’s close; and East Renfrewshire for “No”.
0330: Another raft of smaller declarations from Midlothian and West Lothian for “Yes”; and Argyll/Bute, South Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire and Shetland for “No”.
0400: Key declaration: Fife.
Fife at over 7% of the electorate is really a toss-up – “No” could do with winning it if it’s close. Highland is also a large declaration at this time for “No”, and North Ayrshire should follow soon after as a toss-up (really “Yes” would want to win it if it’s close).
“Yes” should be ahead at this stage if it is to win.
0500: Key declarations: Glasgow and Edinburgh.
With nearly 12% and 9% of the electorate respectively, Scotland’s two largest cities and their margins could be critical if it is still close. For “No” to win, it will need to win Edinburgh relatively comfortably. For obvious reasons, both sides need to be at least close in Glasgow. Scottish Borders should also declare for “No” around this time.
0600: Key declaration: Aberdeen.
Aberdeen with over 4% of the population could decide it right at the end if it is a cliffhanger! It should narrowly favour “No” all other things being equal – but remember the rules are very simple, all that matters is the overall score across Scotland, so if it is close “No” may need to win by a particular margin.
Frustratingly, I have work meetings the next morning…
Thanks to BBC Scotland and Credit Suisse for estimates.