Back to the Ballot Box: Prospects for the Local Elections

2nd May 2022 Comment Elections, parties & leaders

Just twelve months after last year’s Holyrood election, Scotland goes to the polls again this week. This time the ballot is for all 1,226 seats on Scotland’s 32 councils. The electoral system, however, is very different. The local elections will be held using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of proportional representation that was first […]


Can The Scottish Conservatives Escape Boris Johnson’s Shadow?

18th March 2022 Comment Elections, parties & leaders

It has not been an easy winter for the Scottish Conservatives, whose conference takes place in Aberdeen today and tomorrow. The spring might not prove any easier either. The party reacted nervously to the ‘partygate’ row that engulfed the Prime Minister before and after Christmas. Most immediately it led to a call from its leader, […]


A Natural Fit? The Greens in Government

11th March 2022 Comment Elections, parties & leaders

Being a junior partner in government can be a painful and difficult experience. Just ask the Liberal Democrats, who still have to recover from the fallout from their decision in 2010 to enter into a coalition with the Conservatives at Westminster. Yet, so far at least, the decision of the Scottish Greens, who meet in […]



How Voters View the Economics of Independence

14th February 2022 Comment Expectations of constitutional change

Voters’ evaluations of the economic consequences of independence played a central role in the choice they made in the 2014 independence referendum. In their final poll conducted before polling day, YouGov found that no less than 98% of those who said the country would be worse off if Scotland became independent were backing No, while […]


Runes from the Polls as the SNP Meet Again

26th November 2021 Comment Elections, parties & leaders How Scotland should be governed The Scottish independence referendum

The SNP meet (virtually) again this weekend for their second conference in three months. But have the polls changed significantly since the party’s previous conference in September, just before the seventh anniversary of the 2014 independence referendum? There is little sign of any erosion of the party’s dominance of vote intentions. Three polls of vote […]


Questions of Values and Identity

21st October 2021 Comment Cross border attitudes How England should be governed How Scotland should be governed National identity and cultural issues

Today’s British Social Attitudes report contains two chapters of particular relevance to the subjects covered by this website. The first is a chapter  by Chris Deeming of Strathclyde University that compares attitudes in Scotland towards aspects of social justice and inequality with those in England on the one hand and those in the three Nordic […]



A Question of Timing

8th September 2021 Comment The Scottish independence referendum

Now that the summer is over, Scottish politics is kicking back into life. Last week witnessed the sealing of the agreement between the SNP and the Greens as a result of which the two Green co-leaders, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, have joined the government. The SNP are now assured of the Greens’ backing on […]