London: Polling in the referendum to decide whether Scotland should stay in Britain or become an independent country have closed and counting is under way, BBC reported.

Counting will be carried out through the night. The final result is expected after 06:30 local time(05:30 GMT) Friday.

Scotland election
Ballot boxes are brought for vote counting at the Emirates Sports Arena in Glasgow. Photo: AFP

A total of 4,285,323 people, which is 97 percent of the electorate -- registered to vote.

The counting will include votes cast from the 789,024 postal vote applications, which was the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland.

Once the results from all 32 local authority areas are known, chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly will declare the result of the referendum at the Royal Highland Centre outside Edinburgh, the report said.