Political and civic partipcation in Scotland

To what extent was there split voting in the Scottish Parliament election – and did it matter?

To what extent was there split voting in the Scottish Parliament election – and did it matter?

The Scottish Parliament election saw the SNP emerge victorious, with the Scottish Conservatives overtaking Labour to finish in second. The voting system in use is designed to ensure that a majority is very difficult to achieve, which worked against the SNP in terms of their final share of MSPs. Here, Sean Swan asks whether voters ‘split’ their votes, and whether this had a tangible affect on the outcome of the election. 

A guide to making up your mind in the referendum on EU membership

A guide to making up your mind in the referendum on EU membership

Andrew Glencross and Paul Cairney give some advice on how to wade through all the information on ‘Brexit’ to make an informed choice. Andrew offers a more thorough discussion in Remain or Leave? A MOOC on the UK Referendum on EU Membership.

The Scottish Conservatives did well because of their campaign, their Leader, and Scottish Labour’s unpopularity

The Scottish Conservatives did well because of their campaign, their Leader, and Scottish Labour’s unpopularity

Last week, the Conservatives have overtook Labour to become the main opposition party in Scottish politics. Alia Middleton considers the factors that worked in their favour, including new leadership and a distinctive campaign, but also writes there is a possibility that their success does not reflect a major shift in Scottish politics at all.

Bland, predictable, and unrealistically positive: the Twitter use of candidates during the Scottish Parliament election

Bland, predictable, and unrealistically positive: the Twitter use of candidates during the Scottish Parliament election

Graeme Baxter, Flora Barton and Caroline Hood give their initial impressions of how the parties and candidates used social media during the 2016 Scottish Parliament election campaign.

In Scotland, Wales and the London Assembly elections every voter has TWO choices. Here’s how to use both votes well

In Scotland, Wales and the London Assembly elections every voter has TWO choices. Here’s how to use both votes well

Voters are used to a two-vote electoral system for the Edinburgh Parliament, and the Assemblies in Cardiff and London. But how these systems operate changes a bit every time, with changing party fortunes. And this year some politicians (especially in Scotland) are advising voters to do things that may ‘waste’ one of their votes. Wherever you stand politically, Professor Patrick Dunleavy explains how to use both your votes so as to achieve more of what you want.

Scottish Parliament Election preview: Labour’s setting sun in the West

Scottish Parliament Election preview: Labour’s setting sun in the West

The West of Scotland is, in common with the rest of the country, a region where Labour has lost seats at a considerable rate, with 2016 likely to continue the trend. Here, Murray Leith rounds off Democratic Audit’s Scottish Parliament election previews, suggesting that Labour’s sun is setting in the West.

Scottish Parliament election preview: the last beats of a Labour ‘heartland’ in Central Scotland?

Scottish Parliament election preview: the last beats of a Labour ‘heartland’ in Central Scotland?

The Scottish Parliament elections take place early next month, with the SNP expected to solidify their dominance in the post-referendum Scotland. The Central Scotland region has long been a Labour stronghold with the party’s legendary and revered first leader Keir Hardie from the area. Here, Judith Sijstermans previews the contests, and suggests that this election may represent the ‘last beats’ of the Labour ‘heartland’. 

Scottish Parliament election preview: Continued SNP dominance in the North East, but who will pick up the scraps?

Scottish Parliament election preview: Continued SNP dominance in the North East, but who will pick up the scraps?

The North East of Scotland contains Scotland’s third and fourth largest cities in Aberdeen and Dundee, with these cities representing ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ strongholds during 2014’s independence referendum. In the 2011 election, the SNP swept the board in this region, even managing to win a list MSP – something which the voting system in use was specifically designed to prevent. Here, Graeme Baxter and Iain MacLeod run the rule over the constituency and list contests, and predict continued SNP dominance. 

Scottish Parliament election preview: From four party politics to further consolidation in the South of Scotland?

Scottish Parliament election preview: From four party politics to further consolidation in the South of Scotland?

The Scottish Parliament elections are upon us, with the SNP expected to consolidate their current dominance over Labour and the Conservatives. Here, Alistair Clark looks at the contest in the South Scotland region, an area which has had a recent history of four party politics but may be seeing its political profile shift.

Scotland will continue to be a psephologist’s delight for the foreseeable future

Scotland will continue to be a psephologist’s delight for the foreseeable future

The Scottish Parliament election is next month, with the SNP looking set to increase their majority in the Holyrood Parliament, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats looking likely to suffer further losses following 2014’s independence referendum. Here, Sean Swan looks over the forthcoming contest, reflecting that Scotland will continue to delight psephologists owing to its supremely interesting political make-up.