It is a bonus (though unsurprising given his defeat) coup for Unionists that Alex Salmond has resigned. The backhanded compliment might surprise you, but the fact is that he was an extraordinarily skillful politician, and the SNP are not likely to produce a leader as capable for another generation at least. None of the three leaders of the mainstream parties at Westminster were a match for him individually. Gordon Brown rose to the occasion, but in all probability the Union survived in spite of Cameron, Clegg, and Milliband, not because of them.
The Union won, but 1,617,989 votes against it
is not negligible. The Westminster politicians bear a good deal of
responsibility for the discontent (hardly confined to Scotland) that
fueled the "Yes" vote.
The Better Together
campaign, though successful, could have been...better. The margin of
victory should have been even larger than it was, given the comfortable
lead Unionism enjoyed prior to this summer. There was too much emphasis
on economic fears and not enough of a positive patriotic case for the
Union until the very end.
HM the Queen has issued a statement urging Scots to move forward.