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18th December 2019

Since it was established in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the function of WhatScotlandThinks has been to provide all those who visit it with impartial, up-to-date information on public attitudes towards how Scotland and the constituent parts of the UK are, and should be, governed. In order to maintain our commitment to […]

A Tale of Two Trends

2nd December 2019

So far, two Scotland-only polls of vote intentions in the Westminster election on December 12th have been published. One, by Panelbase for Sunday Times Scotland was released in two tranches over the last two weekends. The other, by Ipsos MORI, was published by STV News last Thursday – the first poll from this stable for […]

Can The SNP Meet The Three Conditions For An Independence Yes Vote?

14th October 2019

The message from the polls continues to be promising for the SNP, who are gathered this week in Aberdeen for their autumn conference. But the path towards holding a second independence referendum that delivers a majority vote for Yes still potentially contains many sharp corners and diversions. Three conditions are likely to have to be […]

An Unresolved Question? The Independence Debate Five Years On

18th September 2019

Five years ago today, Scotland went to the polls to decide whether it should become an independent country or remain part of the UK. The ballot was meant to settle the issue for a generation. In practice, however, it appears to be as unresolved as it has ever been. The result of the 2014 referendum […]

Not So Hypothetical A Swing After All? First Post-Boris Poll from Lord Ashcroft

5th August 2019

In recent weeks and months more than one poll has asked people in Scotland either how they would vote in anther independence referendum should Boris Johnson become Prime Minister or how they would vote in the event that the UK left the EU without a deal. The responses to these hypothetical questions suggested that either […]

Could Brexit Yet Undermine the Future of the British State?

1st July 2019

Twenty years ago today, the Scottish Parliament acquired the legislative powers that it had been granted under the 1998 Scotland Act. The new body, housed temporarily in the Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland at the top of the Mound in Edinburgh, was formally opened by the Queen, and the occasion marked by a […]

Twenty Years of Devolution: A Lesson in the Law of Unintended Consequences?

6th May 2019

Twenty years ago today, Scots went to the polls to elect their new devolved Scottish Parliament. Although in specifying that the new parliament should be elected by a system of proportional representation Labour had accepted that it might not be able to win an overall majority and might need to share power with the Liberal […]

The Scottish Conservatives: Facing Cold Winds From The South?

3rd May 2019

Last year Scots Tories had to abandon their annual conference thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’. This year it is political winds from the south that are blowing cold for the party as it gathers this weekend in Aberdeen. In similar vein to the pattern in England and Wales, much of the advance achieved […]

The Swings and Roundabouts of Nationalist Fortune

27th April 2019

There is, perhaps, likely to be an unspoken hope stalking the corridors of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre where the SNP gather for their spring conference this weekend. It is that, rather than being resolved via a second referendum, the Brexit impasse should eventually precipitate a general election. For, so far as voting intentions for […]

Can Scottish Labour Deliver for Jeremy Corbyn?

8th March 2019

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 […]

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