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The lack of clarity about how the next prime minister should be chosen may be just the start of the post-election constitutional headaches, writes Elliot Bulmer. However, he argues, Westminster could learn a trick from Holyrood is this area.

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It’s almost 100 years since the first woman was elected to the House of Commons – the Irish politician Constance Markievicz. 

75 years later and the percentage of women at Westminster is still a paltry 22%. As the parties make their selections for the ‘closest election ever’, we can see what kind of commitment they are making to increasing the number of women selected, the number selected in winnable seats, and therefore the number of women we might actually see elected. 

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Polls indicate that the general election will see a fundamental rewriting of the Scottish political landscape, with the SNP poised for a near sweep. The party also seems poised to take over from Labour as leaders on the issue of women’s representation in this election at least, although it is far from clear whether that will translate into support for quotas in the future, write Meryl Kenny and Fiona Mackay.

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The turnout out for last year's referendum broke all records and is now the subject of extensive research. Dr Malcolm Harvey considers the experience and what implications it may, or may not, have for May's general election. This article originally appeared in The Herald.
 
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Another month, another set of Lord Ashcroft's constituency polls. These ones have somehow managed to raise the electoral temperature in Scotland still further. This time the news is even more severe for Labour, with the polls now indicating that the Scottish National Party (SNP) is set to win 56 of 59 Scottish seats. At present, the SNP has six whilst Labour has 41. If the result is anything close to what the polls are suggesting, Labour’s night will be nothing short of catastrophic.
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The pressure is on Ed Miliband to rule out any post-election deal with the SNP. With the Tories and Labour head-to-head and Lord Ashcroft's polling showing the nationalists claiming 50 of 59 seats north of the border, it's likely Nicola Sturgeon's party could be kingmaker on May 8th. This would almost certainly take the form of confidence-and-supply agreement, rather than an outright coalition, which Ed Balls has pretty much ruled out. But it's enough to put the frighteners on London.
 
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