Can Scottish Labour Deliver for Jeremy Corbyn?

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?

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 […]

A Tale of Two Scenarios: Actual and Hypothetical Independence Polling

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]