Scottish Football League clubs have voted 22 to eight against further talks with the Scottish Premier League about a second division of the top flight.
The 30 clubs were meeting at Hampden to consider a report into the implications of an invitation from the SPL to form a new, 10-team breakaway league.
SFL president John Smith described the rejection of SPL2 talks as "a good day for football".
But rebel clubs have threatened to push through a breakaway despite the vote.
Livingston chairman Pearse Flynn told BBC Sport before the meeting that, if he lost the democratic vote, "a revolution" might be necessary.
The eight clubs in favour could yet accept the SPL's invitation, allowing the present 12-team top flight to become two leagues of 10.
And the rebels have received legal advice that they would not have to give the two-year notice period required by SFL rules.
Some of the clubs who shouted loudest about forming an SPL2 didn't vote for it
Dundee chief executive
Livingston chief executive Vivien Kyles said: "Yes, it's still a good idea and yes it can still happen."
Dundee chief executive Davie MacKinnon felt let down by some clubs who would not back up their original intentions.
"I'm not surprised at the outcome, but I'm disappointed," he said.
"Some of the clubs who shouted loudest about forming an SPL2 didn't vote for it.
"I'm disappointed about that and I have told them that."
Livingston, Dundee, Clyde, Hamilton Academical and St Johnstone were the First Division clubs who voted for SPL2.
Second Division clubs Ayr United, Peterhead and Stirling Albion also voted in favour of the proposal.
Thursday's meeting also rejected a proposal for the top four teams in the present First Division to play off for the sole promotion place to the SPL.
Alloa owner Mike Mulraney spoke on behalf of the 22 clubs that voted against the breakaway.
"The meeting went well," he said. "There were positive discussions.
"Six proposals were passed and two were not, one of those was for the play-offs.
"But the management have a mandate as an organisation not to discuss the SPL2."
The SFL and the SPL are in dispute about how annual compensation paid from the top flight to lower league clubs would be distributed should there be a breakaway.
A majority of clubs agreed that the Scottish FA should be asked to arbitrate.
"We have to go forward with an arbitration process," said Mulraney.
"It's up to the eight clubs - five First Division and three Second Division - who voted for it to decide what they want to do."