Scottish Politics

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The campaign for the Scottish Parliament election of 2016 has lacked the energy and enthusiasm of #indyref1 or the general election of 2015. The winner has been known from the start – and long before. Most commentators have focussed on who comes second and becomes the official opposition in Holyrood.

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I’m often asked to speak to groups of visiting international students about Scotland’s referendum process – providing them with a primer on the Scottish political system, how the referendum came about, and how we, as academics, understand and explain these results. Once they get over their disappointment that they aren’t speaking to a real life Scot (the accent gives it away), they are intrigued by both the political arrangements and process of political transformation. 
 
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The electoral system for the Scottish Parliament means that candidates rejected by voters in the constituency section may still find themselves in Holyrood, courtesy of the regional lists. Malcolm Harvey suggests that those very parliamentarians may be called on to address this quirk in the system in the next session. 
 
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Much has been said about the possibility that the Conservatives could come second in May's Scottish Parliament election. However, says, Alan Convery, both their past record and the wider context mean they should be cautious about 2016. 
 
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Latest blogs

  • 13th June 2018

    While populist leaders and movements make headlines worldwide, an often more subtle majority nationalism remains an endemic condition of the modern world. This phenomenon is comparatively understudied. The Centre on Constitutional Change invites calls for abstracts for an international workshop on the topic of majority nationalism, to be held in February 2019.

  • 31st May 2018

    The recent report by the Growth Commission contains some interesting ideas, says Michael Keating, but also makes some problematic assumptions.

  • 30th May 2018

    The Scottish and Welsh Governments worked together closely during their negotiations with the UK Government over those aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that related to devolution. Despite ultimately choosing different paths, say Hedydd Phylip and Greg Davies, this spirit of cooperation looks set to continue.

  • 28th May 2018

    The highly-anticipated publication of 'Scotland: A New Case for Optimism' outlines the new economic case for independence but, asks Coree Brown-Swan, it remains to be seen whether this will prompt a constructive debate by Unionists and Nationalists alike about some of Scotland's economic woes.

  • 18th May 2018

    Different political actors have responded to the decision by the Scottish Parliament to withhold its consent for the UK Government’s showpiece EU (Withdrawal) Bill in very different ways. Prof Nicola McEwen sifts the facts from the hyperbole and explains where we are and where we go from here.

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