KindaLingers (kindalingers) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Scottish independence: Which famous Scots can't vote?

On 18 September voters will go to the polls to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country. Only those registered to vote in Scotland will have a say. Here are some glittering icons in the Scottish firmament who won't.

Of the four million people in Scotland that are eligible to vote in the referendum, most will be Scots. Those from the rest of the UK, Irish and other European citizens will also get a say if they are resident in Scotland. So will some Commonwealth citizens in Scotland.

Scots living outside Scotland - such as the 800,000 Scots living in other parts of the UK - will not.

Some, such as tennis player Andy Murray, whose Surrey postcode means he can't cast a vote, have remained famously tight-lipped on the subject.

Others, such as actor Sir Sean Connery, who lives in the Bahamas, have advised their countrymen to vote "Yes". Meanwhile former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who lives in Cheshire, wants a "No".

Here are some other glittering icons in the Scottish firmament who you might not realise can only look on as Scotland goes to the polls.

Gordon Strachan

Born: Muirhouse, Edinburgh
Lives: England
Job: Scotland football team manager

Views on independence: As the manager of the national side, Strachan is no stranger to the harsh glare of public opinion and newspaper headlines. Yet he has largely stayed out of the debate since the Scottish Sun reported comments he made in 2013 suggesting he would be willing to back independence if the Scottish government would invest more in football schemes to keep children off the streets. Speaking in the Scotsman after the England-Scotland match in August last year, Robert Colls, professor of cultural history at De Montfort University, argued that independence would revitalise the profile of international football's oldest rivalry. He added that the match (3-2 to England) "sort of summed up the union in a way, with England shading a win".

Annie Lennox

Born: Aberdeen
Lives: London and South Africa
Job: Singer-songwriter

Views on independence: Lennox has also shied away from picking a side. Writing on her Facebook page, she asks: "Would breaking away from the UK bring long term benefits, or would the cessation of union be an unmitigated disaster from which there would be no turning back?" and appeals to her fans to "seriously weigh up the pros and cons". The social media network has not always been her friend when it comes to steering clear of referendum controversy. She got an angry reception from those who felt a picture of the Union Jack she posted on Facebook could be interpreted as sending a message that she wanted Scots to vote "No". She responded: "I can't vote on the issue of Scottish independence as I don't live in Scotland. The people who reside there will decide for themselves what they want to do. My flag post yesterday had no hidden message or agenda."

Irvine Welsh

Born: Leith, Edinburgh
Lives: Miami/Chicago
Job: Novelist

Views on independence: If you've read Trainspotting or Filth, you'll know Welsh's books pull no punches. Neither does he. He's all for independence, calling it "inevitable" in one interview and greeting the referendum thus in the Evening Standard: "Welcome back participatory democracy. How these islands have missed you." The writer claims "part-residency in the UK" would entitle him to vote, but it's unclear whether he would be able to register as the Electoral Commission states that only those with a house in Scotland as their primary address can take part. Either way, he says he will not be casting his vote. In May he said: "I'm happy not to be part of the process."

Billy Connolly

Born: Anderston, Glasgow
Lives: New York; has said he will be in New Zealand on 18 September
Job: Comedian

Views on independence: The comedian has said he doesn't want to get involved in the "morass" of the debate and that he doesn't want to influence anybody so he keeps quiet. More than once he has said he's "never been a nationalist and never been a patriot". He said: "I've always remembered that I have a lot more in common with a welder from Liverpool than I do with someone with an agricultural background from the Highlands, although I do love them, I love Scotland and all its different faces". He's also said he thinks the Scots will come to a "good conclusion" in the referendum: "They'll get what they deserve."

David Tennant

Born: Bathgate, West Lothian
Lives: London
Job: Actor

Views on independence: The Dr Who actor has previously implied he takes a dim view of the case for independence - saying: "Why do we want to become smaller? Surely we want to expand and look outward?" But to find those comments you need to take a tardis back to 2011, when the referendum had not yet been announced. Since then he's been more circumspect, saying it's not for him to have an opinion on as "sadly I don't count as a Scottish person any more".

Tags: british celebrities, david tennant, politics

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