How Brexit Became A Problem For Nicola Sturgeon

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 […]

A Question of Focus? The Choices Facing the SNP

The SNP seems set to start its conference in Aberdeen on Friday in a somewhat uncertain mood. Now just over two years into its third term in office, the party has to decide what to do with the three years that it has left before it has to face the voters again. Should it try […]

Does The SNP’s ‘Growth Commission’ Matter?

One of the most widely discussed and debated issues in the Scottish independence referendum campaign was whether leaving the UK would be good or bad for Scotland’s economy. Those on the Yes side argued that public policy could be tailored more effectively to Scotland’s distinctive economic needs, while those advocating a No vote claimed that […]

Is There Any Room for the Liberal Democrats?

Back in 1999, the creation of the Scottish Parliament seemed like a heaven-sent opportunity for the Scottish Liberal Democrats. Given that the new body was to be elected using proportional representation (the result of successful bargaining with Labour in the Scottish Constitutional Convention), it was unlikely that any single party would ever win an overall […]

Back from the Brink? Prospects for Scottish Labour

When Scottish Labour gathered for its spring conference in Perth twelve months ago, the party seemed to be heading for disaster. Its standing in polls of vote intentions for Scottish Parliament elections averaged just 16%, while its reading on vote intentions for a Westminster election were, at 14%, even slightly worse. The party was seemingly […]

The Scottish Conservatives: Still Swimming Against The Tide?

Scottish Conservatives are due to meet in Aberdeen this weekend against the backdrop of sustained electoral success after having spent nearly twenty years in the doldrums. As a result, the party is now firmly ensconced as Scotland’s principal opposition party. However, it now faces the challenge of whether it can build on that progress, and […]

How Much Does Scotland Care About Brexit?

Scotland voted very differently from the rest of Britain in the EU referendum: 62% of Scottish voters supported Remain compared with 48% across the UK as a whole. The result north of the border chimed with the avowedly pro-European stance adopted by the Scottish government throughout the referendum campaign, and suggested that the Scottish electorate […]

Time For Some Rethinking in Scotland’s Brexit Debate?

Brexit has added some new twists to the debate about Scotland’s constitutional status. The most obvious of these is that it led the Scottish Parliament in March 2017 to request the authority needed to hold another independence referendum, only for the First Minister to put the idea back on hold in June after losing 21 […]

How Much Difficulty Are The SNP In?

So just how much difficulty are the SNP in as they gather in Glasgow for their autumn conference?  Are they, as some reporting seems to suggest, fatally wounded in the wake of the setback that the party suffered in the UK general election in June? Or does the party simply need to bide its time […]

The Three Characteristics of the Scottish Conservative Revival

The revival of the Conservative party in Scotland during the last two years has been regarded by many as remarkable. This, perhaps, is hardly surprising. After all, in the nine UK and Scottish Parliamentary elections held between 1997 and 2015, the party had consistently flatlined at around 16-17%  – and indeed in 2011 and 2015 […]

Raising An Anniversary Glass?

How should a poll be reported when it finds that around half agree with something while half do not? Does it mean the glass is half full or half empty? Does the answer, perhaps, simply depend on your political perspective? Last week marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 devolution referendum in which voters in […]

The Labour Surge Washes Over Hadrian’s Wall

North of the border the election was meant to be a battle between a nationalist movement that was on the defensive and a Conservative party that was seeking to cement its newly acquired position as the principal voice of unionism in Scotland. Labour, meanwhile, was to be consigned to the margins of Scottish politics. However, […]

A Very Different Election?

A poll from YouGov for The Times, whose results first started to emerge on Friday and the final instalment of which is published today, is the first Scottish poll to have been conducted since the week the UK general election was announced. It suggests that, so far at least, the sound and fury of the […]

The First Full Week of Election Polling

There have been various bits and pieces of polling published during the first full week of campaigning since Theresa May announced a snap general election to take place on June 8. Most important was a new poll from YouGov for The Times which provided us with another reading of Westminster vote intentions. in Scotland. Most […]

A Tory Revival – And A Yet More Polarised Scotland?

Theresa May’s decision on Tuesday to seek Commons approval for an early UK general election means that the strength of her party’s revival north of the border will not only be tested in the local council elections on 4 May, but also in a Westminster ballot five weeks later. Two polls of vote intentions for […]

Older posts