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The highly-anticipated publication of 'Scotland: A New Case for Optimism' outlines the new economic case for independence but, asks Coree Brown-Swan, it remains to be seen whether this will prompt a constructive debate by Unionists and Nationalists alike about some of Scotland's economic woes. 

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The First Minister's statement to parliament was uncomfortable for her but at least gives her a deadline. In the light of which, suggests Richard Parry, political observers might like to look at a calendar.  
 
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The SNP machine has been quick to point out that the party has just won its (and any party’s) highest ever share of constituency votes.   The translation of constituency votes into seats highlights the disproportionality of that element of the system: 46.5% delivered 81% of seats.  This compares with the result from last year’s Scottish results in the UK general election when the SNP won 95% of seats with 50% of the vote.  But this was not a first-past-the-post election.  The SNP advanced in the constituencies but fell back on the lists.
 
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The influence of the SNP at Westminster is yet to be truly measured, says Nicola McEwen, but the Scotland Bill may demonstrate that real change is achieved behind the scenes. 
 
It was 27 years ago when the Jim Sillars, flush from winning the Govan by-election for the SNP, taunted Scottish Labour MPs for being the ‘feeble fifty’, unable to defend Scotland against the excesses of Thatcherism. As the Westminster parliament begins its summer recess, we can reflect on what, if anything, the 56 SNP MPs have been able to achieve.  
 
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Craig McAngus looks at how the SNP has to both protest and oppose, and this won’t be an easy balancing act. This post orignally appeared on Holyrood.

The SNP’s result at the General Election was nothing short of astounding. Despite being on the losing side of the referendum, the party has become a winner in an electoral contest that it has never managed to conquer before.

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The results of the general election in Scotland were described by Ed Miliband as a "nationalist surge" however, explains Jan Eichhorn, voting for the SNP and supporting and supporting independence are two different things. 
 
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  • 16th August 2018

    A week after the state of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in the UK was highlighted by the UK government’s law officers standing in opposition to their devolved counterparts in the UK Supreme Court, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee published a report on improving IGR after Brexit. Jack Sheldon discusses the methods by which England could gain distinct representation — something it currently lacks — in a new IGR system.

  • 10th August 2018

    Brexit is re-making the UK’s constitution under our noses. The territorial constitution is particularly fragile. Pursuing Brexit, Theresa May’s government has stumbled into deep questions about devolution.

  • 8th August 2018

    The UK in a Changing Europe has formed a new Brexit Policy Panel (BPP). The BPP is a cross-disciplinary group of over 100 leading social scientists created to provide ongoing analysis of where we have got to in the Brexit process, and to forecast where we are headed. Members of the UK in a Changing Europe Brexit Policy Panel complete a monthly survey addressing three key areas of uncertainty around Brexit: if —and when—the UK will leave the EU; how Brexit will affect British politics; and what our relationship with the EU is likely to look like in the future. The CCC participates on the Panel.

  • 2nd August 2018

    The House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee issued its report ‘Devolution and Exiting the EU: reconciling differences and building strong relationships’. Discussing its contents, Professor Nicola McEwen suggests that the report includes some practical recommendations, some of which were informed by CCC research. It also shines a light on some of the more difficult challenges ahead.

  • 31st July 2018

    The politicisation of Brexit, combined with deteriorating relations between London and Dublin, has created a toxic atmosphere in Northern Ireland, says Mary Murphy, which will require imagination and possibly new institutions to resolve.

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