09/18/2014 05:22 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 00:59 EDT

Scotland independence referendum polls closed

WATCH LIVE: CBC News is providing live coverage of results on and on CBC News Network, starting at 5 p.m. ET.

Polls have closed in Scotland, where millions of voters were expected to cast ballots today in an independence referendum that most experts say is too close to call.

The question on the ballot asked voters simply: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" and a record number of voters were expected to turn out for their chance to weigh in on the question. 

Earlier, voters had lined up outside some polling stations even before they opened at 7 a.m. For some, it was a day they had dreamed of for decades. For others, the time had finally come to make up their minds about the future — both for themselves and for the United Kingdom.

Alex Salmond, the first minister who led the independence campaign, made a final effort to woo voters Wednesday, saying the referendum represented an "opportunity of a lifetime." 

British Prime Minister David Cameron made a case for a No vote days earlier, warning that a vote for independence would be 'forever' and urging voters to choose to stick together. 

Local results are expected to come in through the night, as councils tally up what's expected to be a record number of votes.