Scotland’s parties and politics

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.

Scottish election 2016: disaster for Labour, reality check for the SNP – and the Tories are back

Scottish election 2016: disaster for Labour, reality check for the SNP – and the Tories are back

Craig McAngus offers an overview of the fallout of yesterday’s Scottish Parliamentary Elections, which saw the SNP fall short of a majority and a surprisingly strong Conservative revival.

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Missing out on the majority puts a dampener on recent success. Credit: Ewan McIntosh CC BY-NC 2.0

The big accountability lie: in Scottish Parliament elections you have to pretend that you’ll succeed

The big accountability lie: in Scottish Parliament elections you have to pretend that you’ll succeed

Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday, with the SNP looking set to retain their majority and their status as the sole party of government. Here, Paul Cairney assesses what exactly you can and can’t lay at the door of the Scottish Government, and what is to the credit or fault of the UK government, or indeed Europe. 

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.

The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

The time is right for an audit of Scottish democracy

Last year, we launched Democratic Audit – Scotland to provide meaningful, in depth, scrutiny of Scotland’s democratic record. The aim of the site is to provide a democratic audit, to examine the effectiveness of its political system, a democratic dashboard, to help members of the public make an informed choice when they participate in Scottish elections, and regular blog posts, to report on current developments in areas such as elections and representation, political parties, accountability, and human rights.

By 22nd January 2016 0 Comments Read More →
For a second independence referendum to result in a Yes, the pro-independence case must be framed around empirical – rather than emotive – arguments

For a second independence referendum to result in a Yes, the pro-independence case must be framed around empirical – rather than emotive – arguments

The referendum on Scottish independence in 2014 was the culmination of a life’s work for Alex Salmond, who had beaten the drum first for devolution, and then for independence since the 1970’s as a campaigner, MP, MSP, and finally as First Minister for Scotland. Andrew Scott Crines looks at the way Salmond used – and uses – language and rhetoric, both in support of independence but also in support of his other political passions. He concludes that the former First Minister’s approach of justifying independence through civil nationalism should be supplanted by one which emphasises empirical facts. 

By 16th November 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Scottish Labour’s move towards great autonomy raises difficult questions, but its logic is inescapable

Scottish Labour’s move towards great autonomy raises difficult questions, but its logic is inescapable

Kezia Dugdale recently attracted attention for proposing that the party she leads, the Scottish Labour Party, should have a far greater degree of autonomy from the London-based British Labour Party. Eric Shaw looks through the ramifications, arguing that though the move raises questions, its logic is entirely inescapable given the SNP’s current dominance.

By 12th November 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Could a Jeremy Corbyn leadership victory revive Labour in Scotland?

Could a Jeremy Corbyn leadership victory revive Labour in Scotland?

Could a Corbyn victory win former Scottish Labour voters back from the SNP? Craig McAngus suggests that they may agree with him on many issues but the constitution would remain a sticking point. 

By 17th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →