They would not accept a crushing bloody defeat. 51-49 or 52-48 would give fire in the belly for the fight to come; 55-45 would be a hurt for a generation. 60-40? That could never happen if Scotland was honest with herself.
Robbie put his cross where his heart was and breathed out. That was it. Let that be an end to it. He folded the paper once, lifted the curtain aside and walked over to the ballot box. As he dropped the paper in, the mechanical buzzing in the box grew louder, died away again. But nobody heard. Not then.