Scotland

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Brexit may open a new constituency of support for Scottish independence but, says Nicola McEwen, the implications of the change for independence are about far more than political arithmetic.
 
In September 2014, Scots voted by a clear majority to remain within the United Kingdom. Less than two years on, might a vote for the UK to leave the European Union trigger a second independence referendum and the potential break-up of the UK? 
 
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If the internet polls are correct, England will vote narrowly to leave the EU but be held in by, principally, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Charlie Jeffery crunches the numbers to assess the territorial implications of the EU referendum vote. 
 
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The SNP machine has been quick to point out that the party has just won its (and any party’s) highest ever share of constituency votes.   The translation of constituency votes into seats highlights the disproportionality of that element of the system: 46.5% delivered 81% of seats.  This compares with the result from last year’s Scottish results in the UK general election when the SNP won 95% of seats with 50% of the vote.  But this was not a first-past-the-post election.  The SNP advanced in the constituencies but fell back on the lists.
 
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If you’re staying up to watch the results of the elections tonight, you’ll have their choice of friends and fellows of the Centre to keep you company through the night and into Friday. 
 
You can join us on: 
 
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After the high drama of #Indyref and the cliffhanger-that-wasn't of #GE2015, this year's Scottish Parliament election campaign may have seemed a little modest by comparison. However, says Prof Paul Cairney, it has had its talking points. 
 
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Politically, Scotland looks promising with regards to gender equality. One of Nicola Sturgeon’s first acts as First Minister was to announce a 50/50 gender equal cabinet, and to stay characteristically calm and dismissive in the face of criticism. This sent an important symbolic message about her style of politics, which added to the fact that the leaders of the three main parties are women, the co-convener of the Scottish Greens is a woman, and four of the party leaders are also openly gay or bisexual. The importance of this symbolically cannot be underestimated.
 
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We should, says James Mitchell, be glad that Scotland's political parties are debating how to use Holyrood's new powers but we should also hope that they begin to acknowledge the complexities - including the likelihood of unintended consequences - that those policies imply.
 
Scotland faces significant public policy challenges over the coming years. Scotland’s ageing population is not looming on the horizon but presents challenges – and opportunities – that are already with us and set to become more pressing.
 
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  • 16th October 2018

    Bavaria’s long-dominant party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), has reached its worst election result in 60 years. As well as causing a headache for Angela Merkel, argues Patrick Utz, this political earthquake reveals Bavaria’s predicament between regionalism and populism,.

  • 15th October 2018

    As the buildup to the EU Council meeting reaches fever pitch, Richard Parry explains that deals at dawn may work in Brussels but they don't always play to the home crowd.

  • 13th October 2018

    Theresa May’s efforts to keep her DUP allies onside may, suggests Prof Nicola McEwen, end up easing Nicola Sturgeon’s path to independence following any subsequent referendum on the subject.

  • 12th October 2018

    The Commission on Justice in Wales, chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will further clarify the legal and political identity of Wales within the UK constitution. Doing so, explains Prof Dan Wincott, will also bring clarity to the enduring significance of other territorial legal jurisdictions.

  • 11th October 2018

    The Brexit and Environment network has spent the last year researching the implications of Brexit for environmental policy, with a particular focus on the devolved nations, which are all too often overlooked in these debates. They have developed three reports that detail their findings from meetings with stakeholders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and they bring together insights from these in an overarching UK report. In this blog post, they summarise their key findings and recommendations.

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