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The 2011 Scottish Parliament election. Dr Nicola McEwen University of Edinburgh. SNP wins 53 out of 73 constituencies and 16 regional seats… A majority of constituencies in every region, except south of Scotland Clean sweep of North East and still won a regional seat

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The 2011 Scottish Parliament election


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    1. The 2011 Scottish Parliament election Dr Nicola McEwen University of Edinburgh

    2. SNP wins 53 out of 73 constituencies and 16 regional seats… A majority of constituencies in every region, except south of Scotland Clean sweep of North East and still won a regional seat By far the highest share of the vote & seats of any winning party in a devolved election Election Result

    3. Parties’ Vote/Seat Share

    4. Why? • First class SNP campaign • presentation, issues, leadership, organisation, new media • Collapse of Liberal Democrats vote • Wholesale shift to SNP? • Second-order effects • Weak party identification • Labour overall vote share down by only 0.5% on constituency vote and 2.9% on regional vote • But this masks significant variation & failure to capitalise on Lib Dem weakness • Leadership problem in Scotland and change in nature of UK party • Poor campaign, wrong overall strategy and no 2nd vote strategy

    5. No ‘second order’ bounce for Labour

    6. Implications in Parliament • Overall majority in parliamentary chamber • Overall majority in parliamentary committees • Shift in balance of power between parliament and executive • Large new intake of (inexperienced) parliamentarians across parties – for Labour, coincides with significant loss of experience

    7. What might we expect in parliament? • Early introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol, but few other legislative pledges • Reform of structure of public services, but no significant change to universal provision • New localism agenda? Community empowerment discourse • Reform of higher education • Continuity in business/economic policy – Small Business Bonus; Scottish Futures Trust; drive toward renewables • Independence referendum

    8. Implications for Relationswith UK Govt • No debate now about who speaks for Scotland • More use of JMC? • Continuity in nature of IGR, but possible shift in power balance • Strengthening the Scotland Bill is a priority: • Control over Crown Estates • Enhanced borrowing powers • Control over corporation tax • Independence referendum a means of winning concessions

    9. IndependenceReferendum • All we know is that a consultative referendum will happen • HIGHLY unlikely to happen quickly, whatever calls made to this effect • Constitutional powers and economic policy are intrinsically linked for SNP • Single question or multi-option referendum? • One referendum or two? • Victory for the NO side is not a foregone conclusion