Anyone watching the Labour leadership’s refusal to rule out a post-election agreement with the SNP, would be forgiven for thinking such an arrangement was unique. However, explains Daniel Cetrà, pro-independence parties offering support to minority governments is nothing new – as evidenced by Spain.
There has been a great deal of comment recently about the prospect of the SNP supporting a minority Labour government in Westminster.
*Join the Centre on Constitutional Change & Territorial Politics Research Group for Frédéric Bastien's seminar on Thursday 11 December 2014. Trudeau, Thatcher and the Fight for Canada’s Constitution – and lessons for Scotland*
Yesterday there was a symbolic and non-binding vote on independence in Catalonia. In a festive atmosphere, 2.3 million Catalans made their way to polling stations. Voters were asked two questions: whether Catalonia should be a state, and if they replied yes, whether it should be an independent state. Results showed that 80.7% (almost 1.9 million) voted yes to both questions, 10% (more than 230.000) voted yes to the first question and no to the second, while 4.5% (almost 105.000) voted no.
The effects of the independence referendum are playing out beyond Holyrood, Westminster and the party conferences. The 19th of September also saw Catalonia, itself no stranger to constitutional debates, enter a new stand-off with Madrid. The dispute has once again set the Spanish Prime Minister on a collision course with the Catalan President, leading to an intervention by Spain’s Constitutional Court but, explains Dani Cetrà, that is unlikely to be the end of the story.