You often hear people say that they’re going to vote No because they can’t stand Alex Salmond.
Although I personally think he’s a great politician, I do understand he’s not really everyone’s cup of tea.
However, it’s possibly the worst possible reason for voting No.
Firstly, choosing between independence and being part of the UK is a decision that will potentially last hundreds of years. The last time this was being discussed, the outcome lasted for more than 300 years (from 1707 until at least 2014). Very few people today remember who were the leading politicians of Scotland and England back then, but their decision still stands.
Secondly, I’d be very surprised if Alex Salmond stayed in power for many years after a Yes vote in 2014. He will already have earned his place in the history books, so why should he go on and on? I’m not saying he’ll necessarily resign the day after the referendum — he might quite possibly stay in power until Scotland has become independent once again in March 2016 — but my guess is he’d step down around the time of the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2016.
On the other hand, if Scotland votes No to independence, I think there’s a fair chance Salmond will feel he needs to stay in power for longer to make sure that Westminster doesn’t start rolling back devolution.