UPDATED 09/19/14 1:59 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Voters in Scotland on Thursday decided against a proposal to become a separate nation, choosing to remain in the United Kingdom.

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About 55 percent of voters in Scotland chose “no” against independence, compared with 45 percent who cast “yes” votes for independence, according to results reported by the BBC.

The “yes” vote won in some of the most populous councils, including Dundee, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. But Edinburgh voted 61 percent against independence compared with 39 percent in favor, the BBC reported.

In New York City, many with ties to their homeland watched closely as the vote was taken.

Malcolm Boyd, a Scottish expatriate who owns his own Midtown consulting company, organized a pub viewing party that he expects to go late into the night.

“A lot of us wanted to get together with other people from Scotland or with an interest in Scotland and hopefully celebrate the results as they come in,” Boyd, who left Scotland 20 years ago, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Colin Reed, a Chelsea entrepreneur, is so passionate about the issue he formed a group called Americans for an Independent Scotland.

“Scots are pragmatic enough to recognize it’s not risk-free, but the benefit is that we’d be standing on our own two feet and making our own decisions,” Reed said. “What country wouldn’t want to be independent?”

Polls before the vote showed it could have gone either way.

Three newspaper surveys earlier gave the anti-independence side 52 percent of the vote over the pro-independence side’s 48 percent. But with a 3 percent margin of error, it was too considered close to call as the polls opened earlier Thursday, CBS 2 reported.

As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, hundreds were expected to be glued to TVs at St. Andrew’s Pub in Midtown, and tensions could be running high.

“There might be some fisties,” said a laughing Jim Russell.

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The excitement at the bar Thursday night, usually centered around a sporting event, was the result of the BBC and Sky News on TV.

“People aren’t being killed in the streets. There’s no guns, no violence,” Andrew Weir told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “I’m very proud of my country. I’m proud of my family. I’m proud of my fellow countrymen.”

“Scotts have always been separate in their spirit, perfect opportunity to come into their own,” Joan Harrison said.

Harrison has lived in the U.S. for a while but said that her heart is still in Scotland.

The vote is a perfect opportunity, especially for students at the Alexander Robertson school.

The school has strong Scottish roots. It was founded by Scottish farmers 225 years ago. The school flies the Scottish flag, and the thistle, Scotland’s national symbol, is part of their logo.

“They want to separate from all UK, but I think they shouldn’t because they’ve been together for so many years,” Gabriela Tinaj, 9, said

“I have mixed feelings. Mostly I think they should separate because they deserve a chance to be on their own,” Olivia Kieffer said.

It was a sentiment echoed by the young and the not as young.

“If it’s a yes vote we’ll be ecstatic,” Glasgow resident James Robertson said.

If Scotland had voted for independence, the Queen would still have reigned, the pound may or may not have remained the currency, and Scotland would have needed to apply to become a member of NATO.

The BBC estimated turnout at more than 84 percent.

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