'New' Scots vote crucial to independence result

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'New' Scots vote crucial to independence result
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: A discarded Yes sticker lies on cobble stones along the Royal Mile after the people of Scotland voted no to independence on September 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The majority of Scottish people have today voted 'No' in the referendum and Scotland will remain within the historic union of countries that make up the United Kingdom. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A pro-independence supporter is pictured in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence. Scotland rejected independence on Friday in a referendum that left the centuries-old United Kingdom intact but paved the way for a major transfer of powers away from London. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-independence supporters are pictured in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence. Scotland rejected independence on Friday in a referendum that left the centuries-old United Kingdom intact but paved the way for a major transfer of powers away from London. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-independence supporters console each other in George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence. Scotland rejected independence on Friday in a referendum that left the centuries-old United Kingdom intact but paved the way for a major transfer of powers away from London. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-independence supporters push each other in a shopping trolley in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014, following a defeat in the referendum on Scottish independence. Scotland rejected independence on Friday in a referendum that left the centuries-old United Kingdom intact but paved the way for a major transfer of powers away from London. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Leader of the UK Independence Party, UKIP Nigel Farage gives interviews on Abingdon Green on September 19, 2014 in London, England. The majority of Scottish people have today voted 'No' in the referendum and Scotland will remain within the historic union of countries that make up the United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: 'Better Together' supporters celebrate the result of the Scottish referendum on independence at the count centre for the Scottish referendum at Ingleston Hall on September 19, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The majority of Scottish people have today voted “No” in the referendum and Scotland will remain within the historic union of countries that make up the United Kingdom. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Leader of the UK Independence Party, UKIP Nigel Farage posts letters to Scottish MP's urging them not to vote on English laws on September 19, 2014 in London, England. The majority of Scottish people have today voted 'No' in the referendum and Scotland will remain within the historic union of countries that make up the United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
British Labour Party MP and pro-union supporter Alistair Darling addresses supporters during a 'Better Together' referendum event in Glasgow, Scotland, on September 19, 2014. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on Friday conceded defeat in his party's campaign for independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, after all but one result from the historic referendum was declared. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN (Photo credit should read Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the media outside 10 Downing Street in London, on September 19, 2014, following results in the Scottish referendum on independence. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond on Friday conceded defeat in his party's campaign for independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, after all but one result from the historic referendum was declared. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond poses for photographs after casting his ballot at Ritchie Hall in Strichen, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Yes campaign and No campaign posters stand outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The young son of a Yes campaigner takes a picture of a sign outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A young voter leaves after casting his ballot at Ritchie Hall in Strichen, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, file photo, a "No" campaign supporter and a "Yes" campaign supporter chat holding posters after a No campaign event where a number of speeches were made by different people and politicians in Glasgow, Scotland. Breaking up is hard to do, especially after 300 years. The people of the United Kingdom will find out just how hard if Scotland votes for independence on Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and figurehead of the Yes campaign for the Scottish independence referendum delivers a speech to Yes campaign supporters at the concert hall, in Perth, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence. With opinion polls suggesting the result is too close to call and turnout expected to reach record levels, supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory — but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People react during a pro Scottish independence campaign rally, in central Glasgow, Scotland,Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. The two sides in Scotland's independence debate are scrambling to convert undecided voters, with just one day to go until a referendum on separation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)
DALMALLY, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Pro-Scottish independence 'Yes Scotland' campaign stall at the Dalmally Agricultural Society Show on September 6, 2014 in Dalmally, Scotland. The Dalmally show is an annual event in which prizes are given to best livestock, best-grown vegetables, for cooking and home industries arts. Exhibitions, festivities and demonstrations also take place at this major Scottish agricultural show. Scotland will vote on whether or not to Leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Political viewpoints decorate the exterior of premises- one reads 'Vote No' in favour of the Union, the other is a 'Yes' sign for a 'Yes Scotland' pro-independence office, showing opposing sides of the argument for the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum, on September 4, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Scotland will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, speaks from the soapbox in support of the Union as he continues his '100 towns in 100 days' tour outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on September 4, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Mr Murphy resumed his tour this week after having to suspend it last week following disruption and attempts to silence him by supporters of the pro-Independence vote. Scotland will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, speaks from the soapbox in support of the Union as he continues his '100 towns in 100 days' tour outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on September 4, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Mr Murphy resumed his tour this week after having to suspend it last week following disruption and attempts to silence him by supporters of the pro-Independence vote. Scotland will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, arrives carrying his soapboxes as he continues his '100 towns in 100 days' tour outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on September 4, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Mr Murphy resumed his tour this week after having to suspend it last week following disruption and attempts to silence him by supporters of the pro-Independence vote. Scotland will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Pro-Union supporters listen to Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, as speaks in defence of the Union during his '100 towns in 100 days' tour, outside the Gallery of Modern Art, on September 4, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Mr Murphy resumed his tour this week after having to suspend it last week following disruption and attempts to silence him by supporters of the pro-Independence vote. Scotland will vote on whether or not to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum to be held on September 18th this year. (Photo by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images)
BLANTYRE, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Labour Leader Ed Miliband joins the Scottish Labour Party's independence campaign trail on September 4, 2014 in Blantyre, Scotland. Miliband urged Scots to reject independence in a referendum on the September 18, promising he will win a national election next year and give them the changes they desire. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 29: Better Together leader Alistair Darling joins the Deputy leader of the Scottish Labour party Anas Sarwar during a visit to Glasgow Central Mosque on August 29, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. Mr. Darling and Mr. Sarwar were making the case for keeping the Scotland in the Union ahead of the referendum vote on independence on September 18th. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 27: Yes and Better Together supporters exchange views with one another as Jim Murphy Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (not seen), speaks on his soapbox during his '100 Towns in 100 Days' tour on August 27, 2014 in Dundee, Scotland. Mr. Murphy, Labour MP, is touring Scotland on behalf of the Better Together, spreading his message about the benefits of Scotland remaining part of the union and informing the public of the risks that independence poses for the country. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 27: Yes and Better Together supporters exchange views with one another as Jim Murphy Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (not seen), speaks on his soapbox during his '100 Towns in 100 Days' tour on August 27, 2014 in Dundee, Scotland. Mr. Murphy, Labour MP, is touring Scotland on behalf of the Better Together, spreading his message about the benefits of Scotland remaining part of the union and informing the public of the risks that independence poses for the country. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
DUNDEE, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 27: Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends a Better Together rally on August 27, 2014 in Dundee, Scotland. Both encouraged Scots with postal votes to vote no to independence, as postal ballots are being sent out this week to voters across Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
FENWICK, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 26: Yes campaign placards are placed in a field on August 26, 2014 in Fenwick, Scotland. In less than a month voters will go to the polls to vote yes or no on whether Scotland should become an independent country. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond poses for photographs after casting his ballot at Ritchie Hall in Strichen, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Children too young to vote play with a Yes campaigner, right, using Yes campaign big hands outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Yes campaigners stand outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A Yes campaigner and a No campaigner stand outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Voters leave after casting their ballots at Ritchie Hall in Strichen, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Flemish nationalists and others in support of Scottish independence stand in front of a 'Yes' banner in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Scots held the fate of the United Kingdom in their hands Thursday as they voted in a referendum on becoming an independent state, deciding whether to unravel a marriage with England that built an empire but has increasingly been felt by many Scots as stifling and one-sided.(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond meets members of the public on a walkabout in Newmachar, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
A man repairs part of a makeshift Scottish national flag before a demonstration in favor of Scottish independence in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Scots held the fate of the United Kingdom in their hands Thursday as they voted in a referendum on becoming an independent state, deciding whether to unravel a marriage with England that built an empire but has increasingly been felt by many Scots as stifling and one-sided. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Flemish nationalists and other supporters carry flags as they take part in a demonstration in favor of Scottish independence in Brussels on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Scots held the fate of the United Kingdom in their hands Thursday as they voted in a referendum on becoming an independent state, deciding whether to unravel a marriage with England that built an empire but has increasingly been felt by many Scots as stifling and one-sided.(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Scottish independence referendum Yes supporter 83-year-old Edinburgh resident Isabelle Smith, who lived in the U.S. for three decades, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. For Smith, who went to the polling station decked out in a blue-and-white pro-independence shirt and rosette, statehood for Scotland was a dream nurtured during her time living in the United States with her late husband. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A school boy arrives at a polling station to vote in the Scottish Referendum in Peebles, Scotland,Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Scotland votes on independence. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds can vote in the referendum. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, centre left, talks to the media after casting his ballot at Ritchie Hall in Strichen, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
People react during a pro Scottish independence campaign rally, in central Glasgow, Scotland,Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. The two sides in Scotland's independence debate are scrambling to convert undecided voters, with just one day to go until a referendum on separation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond and figurehead of the Yes campaign for the Scottish independence referendum smiles at the start of his speech to Yes campaign supporters at the concert hall, in Perth, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence. With opinion polls suggesting the result is too close to call and turnout expected to reach record levels, supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory — but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Former British Finance Minister and No campaigner for the Scottish independence referendum Alistair Darling gestures at the end of his speech at a No campaign event in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Will the ayes have it, or will Scotland say naw thanks? No one is certain. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence. With opinion polls suggesting the result is too close to call and turnout expected to reach record levels, supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory — but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The audience applaud and hold No campaign posters during a No campaign event where a number of speeches were made by different people and politicians in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Will the ayes have it, or will Scotland say naw thanks? No one is certain. Excitement and anxiety mounted across the country Wednesday, the final day of campaigning before Thursday's referendum on independence. With opinion polls suggesting the result is too close to call and turnout expected to reach record levels, supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory — but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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By PAUL KELBIE

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- On the south side of Glasgow, in the heartland of Scotland's Asian community, support for independence from the United Kingdom is strong as Thursday's referendum nears.

Colorful displays of Yes posters outnumber those backing the Better Together campaign. Talk on the street is of opportunity and a chance to create a fairer country more welcoming to immigrants.

Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, and its most ethnically diverse. Over the last 60 years an influx of Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Chinese, Italians, Poles and others have created new communities which, because of their relative small size, have had to merge with the culture of their adopted country.

Across Scotland, there are some 140,000 people who class themselves as Asian Scots, along with around 30,000 Africans, 7,000 from the Caribbean, 55,000 Poles and over 160,000 other non-British EU Citizens eligible to vote in the landmark referendum. These "New Scots" represent more than 4 percent of the population and with the polls putting both sides of the debate neck-and-neck just days before Thursday's vote, their views could be critical.

Alyas Hamidi, 21, was born in Glasgow and regards himself first and foremost as a Glaswegian. In public, with his friends, he is a Scot but at home - where English is rarely spoken with his parents and grandparents - he is Iranian. He identifies with both places - and wants his adopted homeland to embrace independence.

"I was the only Iranian boy in my class and apart from a few rude comments over the years I've never felt my background was a problem for anyone," he said. "I'm proud to be Scottish. I'll be voting yes."

He said that when his father moved to London more than 30 years ago it was hard to fit in, so his family tended to mix only with others from the same background. But after his parents moved to Glasgow, they had no choice but to mix with Scottish people because it was so much smaller than the British capital.

Research by the Center on Dynamics of Ethnicity, based at Glasgow University, recently found that minority groups in Scotland are more likely to claim a Scottish identity when compared to minority groups in England deciding whether to choose an English identity. Overall 94 percent of those from ethnic communities born in Scotland identify as being Scottish rather than British - likely giving independence forces a boost.

For many ethnic minority voters, contrasting attitudes on immigration between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. are a prominent factor in their decision making. Scotland, with a population of around just 5 million, wants a more open policy to attract people and talent, while the British government is under political pressure to curb immigration.

However, many European Union nationals living in Scotland fear they will have problems if an independent Scotland is refused entry into the EU.

Many are also concerned that a referendum on EU membership promised by Prime Minister David Cameron after the 2015 general election - assuming he retains power - could result in Scotland being forced to leave the EU if the rest of the U.K. votes that way.

"The one thing that does worry me is if Scotland votes No and the rest of the U.K. then decided to leave the EU, what would happen then?" said Monika Macko, 37, who moved from Krakow, Poland 11 years ago.

Despite calling Glasgow home she said she still felt very much Polish and part of the EU rather than Scottish or British.

"Most people have been very nice to me, but I did have one woman shout at me on the bus about why was I here and that I should go home to Poland," she said. "It has not always been easy to fit in. I suppose there are rude people everywhere but it doesn't make me feel like I'm Scottish."

Despite her fears about Britain eventually leaving the EU, Macko is leaning toward what she feels is the safer choice: No to independence.

"I have not been convinced there is a need for Scotland to separate from the rest of the U.K.," she said. "Most of my neighbors feel the same."

At the Central Gurdwara temple in Glasgow, serving a Sikh population of some 10,000, there are concerns that separation could lead to some of the same problems experienced between India and the nascent Pakistan in 1947.

Many of the older generation feel strong ties to Britain and are proud of the historic links between the two countries. This trend is mirrored throughout Scotland, where older voters tend to favor remaining part of Britain.

"I've lived in Scotland for 18 years. I was born in India and I was in London for 35 years before coming to Glasgow," said Naranjan Singh Benning, 63, a retired businessman and committed No voter. "I definitely feel British rather Scottish. We are all one country; it doesn't matter where you live."

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