Voting begins in Scotland

Millions of Scots are voting for either a seperation from or to remain under the British government.

Referendum cupcakes featuring a Scottish Saltire, (L) a Union flag (R) and a question mark (Below) symbolising the 'undecided voter' are pictured at a bakery in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 16 September 2014. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - On the day Scots vote on whether or not to become independent, it's been revealed banks have been transferring millions of banknotes from England into Scotland amid fears of a high demand on cash machines if the country votes for independence.

Despite today being the day millions will cast their votes, it's still not clear what currency an independent Scotland would use.

With the uncertainty over currency, it's predicted if the pro-independent movement wins, many Scots could rush to withdraw many pounds as possible from banks and cash machines.

In an anticipation of that prospect, huge excess supply of cash have been transferred north of the border to reassure Scottish account holders that they will still have access to their money.

Those wanting independence are demanding a full formal currency union with the rest of the UK, with the pound backed by the Bank of England as it is now.

But the leaders of the UK three main political parties have rejected this idea which could lead to an independent Scotland setting up its own separate currency, leaving Scottish people savings at risk of being devalued if the runs into economic trouble.

At the same time, in the final hours before polling stations opened, leaders of both sides urged Scots to seize the reins of history in a vote that has divided families, friends and lovers but also electrified this country of 5.3 million.

From the remote Scottish islands of the Atlantic to the toughest city estates of Glasgow, voters are being asked to answer "Yes" or "No" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

"This is an historic day for Scotland. I've waited all my life for this. It's time to break with England. 'Yes' to independence," said a businessman who gave his name as Ron and was the first person to vote at Edinburgh's Waverley Court.

As he spoke, a couple of workers hurrying by in the morning mist and drizzle shouted "Vote No!"

Five surveys - from pollsters YouGov, Panelbase, Survation, Opinium and ICM - showed support for independence at 48 percent, compared with 52 percent for the union.

An Ipsos MORI poll showed it even closer at 49 percent to 51 percent, while a second Survation poll, conducted by phone, showed unionists at 53 percent and separatists at 47 percent.

The surveys also showed as many as 600,000 voters remained undecided, making the vote far too close to call. Polling stations close at 21h00 pm local time and a result is expected early on Friday.

"This is our opportunity of a lifetime and we must seize it with both hands," Alex Salmond, Scotland's 59-year-old nationalist leader, told hundreds of supporters who waved the white on blue Scottish flag and chanted "Yes we can."

"Scotland's future must be in Scotland's hands," Salmond said in Perth, a city in eastern Scotland740 km north of London.

The independence movement says Scots should be able to choose their own leaders and make their own decisions rather than be ruled from London. Supporters of the union say Scotland is more prosperous and secure as part of the United Kingdom and the ties that bind them are too tight to be undone.

But with a mix of shrewd calculation and nationalist passion, Salmond has hauled the "Yes" campaign from far behind to within a few percentage points of winning his dream of an independent Scotland.

Facing the biggest internal threat to the United Kingdom since Ireland broke away nearly a century ago, Britain's establishment - from Prime Minister David Cameron to corporate bigwigs and the princes of pop culture - have united in a last-ditch effort to convince Scots that the United Kingdom is "Better Together".

Cameron's job could be on the line if Scotland breaks away, but the 47-year-old prime minister has conceded that his privileged English background and Conservative politics mean he is not the best person to win over Scots.

That has left the leadership of the unionist case in the hands of the opposition Labour party, winner of 41 Scottish seats in the 2010 British election and the only party with the local support capable of checking the secessionist Scottish National Party.

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot who has in recent days led the battle cry for the union, on Wednesday warned Scots in Glasgow, Scotland's biggest city and a crucial battleground, that Salmond was "leading us into a trap".

"Have confidence, stand up and be counted tomorrow," Brown thundered, fists clenched, to applause and cheers from unionist supporters. "Say to your friends, for reasons of solidarity, sharing, pride in Scotland, the only answer is vote 'No'."