Can Scottish Labour Deliver for Jeremy Corbyn?

8th March 2019 Comment Elections, parties & leaders

Not so long ago, what happened in Scotland appeared immaterial to the outcome of a UK general election. The country was full of safe Labour seats that seemed unlikely to change hands, while the Conservatives appeared unable to do much more than secure the odd crumb.  The prospects for a change in the tenancy of […]


Tough New Questions For The Liberal Democrats?

22nd February 2019 Comment Elections, parties & leaders

In truth, until the events of this week at Westminster, the opening salvo of this spring’s Scottish party conferences – the Liberal Democrat gathering this weekend in Hamilton –  looked as though it would be a rather uninteresting affair.  However, the formation of the new Independent Group of MPs has given the occasion some unexpected […]



How Well Do Voters Understand Tax Devolution?

5th December 2018 Comment Perceptions of government & the Union

Next week’s Scottish Budget (on December 12) will be the third since the Scottish Parliament acquired full responsibility for setting the tax rates and bands in Scotland on earned income, a development that represents one of the most important changes to the devolution settlement since the advent of devolution. While initially the Scottish Government adopted […]



A Tale of Two Scenarios: Actual and Hypothetical Independence Polling

8th October 2018 Comment Elections, parties & leaders The Scottish independence referendum

Almost inevitably, the SNP conference has occasioned something of a flurry of polling. After nearly three months without any polls of voting intentions in an election or any future  independence referendum, yesterday two polls commissioned by newspapers were published, one by Panebase for Sunday Times Scotland, and one by Survation for the Sunday Post In […]


Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit Dilemma

5th October 2018 Comment How Scotland should be governed Policy issues

Doubtless the question that delegates gathering at the SNP conference in Glasgow this weekend will have uppermost in their minds is whether Nicola Sturgeon will fire the starting gun for a second independence referendum. When in June of last year she announced that she was putting on hold the Scottish Parliament’s request to Westminster that […]


How Brexit Became A Problem For Nicola Sturgeon

7th June 2018 Comment Elections, parties & leaders Policy issues

When the outcome of the EU referendum was announced, it looked at first glance as though it represented a golden opportunity for the nationalist movement. The divergence between the majority Remain vote in Scotland and the majority Leave vote across the UK as a whole provided what must have seemed to nationalists like a perfect […]