The Scottish electorate is sophisticated, distinguishing between voting at different levels of election. While this has led to divergence in party support at different levels (though this might be about to change), the bulk of that vote tends towards the centre-left.
Scotland is not inherently more left-wing than England. It does, however, tend to vote more consistently for social democratic parties. This makes the question of Scotland’s political economy pertinent.
Trumpeted by the Prime Minister as the “one of the biggest transfers of power” in the fledgling history of Welsh devolution, the publication of the UK Government’s command paper, Powers for a Purpose: Towards a Lasting Devolution Settlement for Wales, represents the culmination of months of cross party negotiations on the future of devolution in Wales.
Wales is the one part of the United Kingdom that finds its stable position under all-round devolution in which it sits, without serious support for independence, alongside Scotland and Northern Ireland in balance with the UK centre. Today’s announcement on the cross-party talks process marks a further example of how, since 1999, Wales has picked up the pace-setting on devolution set by Scotland.