Scottish Politics

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The campaign for the Scottish Parliament election of 2016 has lacked the energy and enthusiasm of #indyref1 or the general election of 2015. The winner has been known from the start – and long before. Most commentators have focussed on who comes second and becomes the official opposition in Holyrood.

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I’m often asked to speak to groups of visiting international students about Scotland’s referendum process – providing them with a primer on the Scottish political system, how the referendum came about, and how we, as academics, understand and explain these results. Once they get over their disappointment that they aren’t speaking to a real life Scot (the accent gives it away), they are intrigued by both the political arrangements and process of political transformation. 
 
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The electoral system for the Scottish Parliament means that candidates rejected by voters in the constituency section may still find themselves in Holyrood, courtesy of the regional lists. Malcolm Harvey suggests that those very parliamentarians may be called on to address this quirk in the system in the next session. 
 
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Much has been said about the possibility that the Conservatives could come second in May's Scottish Parliament election. However, says, Alan Convery, both their past record and the wider context mean they should be cautious about 2016. 
 
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  • 17th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses a memorable day in UK parliamentary history as the Commons splits 432-202 on 15 January 2019 against the Government's recommended Brexit route. It was the most dramatic night at Westminster since the Labour government’s defeat on a confidence motion in 1979.

  • 17th January 2019

    What is the Irish government’s Brexit wish-list? The suggestion that Irish unity, as opposed to safeguarding political and economic stability, is the foremost concern of the Irish government is to misunderstand and misrepresent the motivations of this key Brexit stakeholder, writes Mary C. Murphy (University College Cork).

  • 17th January 2019

    Brexit is in trouble but not because of the Irish backstop, argues the CCC's Michael Keating.

  • 16th January 2019

    Fellows of the Centre on Constitutional Change respond to the rejection of the Withdrawal Agreement by the House of Commons and the impending no-confidence vote in the government.

  • 11th January 2019

    Richard Parry assesses the unfolding drama at Westminster around no-deal scenarios. The deal ‘would be an uncomfortable outcome for the EU: providing quota-fee, tariff-free access to the EU market without any accompanying financial obligations; without any access to UK fishing waters in the absence of further agreement; and without any commitments to align with the majority of so-called level playing field arrangements’. For Tory leavers, what’s not to like in this negotiating triumph for Theresa May?

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