Campaigning with devolved Governments and the EU
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Campaigning with devolved Governments and the EU Ben McKendrick & Julia Toft – the British Heart Foundation. The theory…. What is devolution? How we campaign (in Scotland and beyond) Why is devolution/ Europe important? One size doesn’t fit all – where it doesn’t work so well

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Campaigning with devolved Governments and the EU

Ben McKendrick & Julia Toft – the British Heart Foundation


The theory…

  • What is devolution?

  • How we campaign (in Scotland and beyond)

  • Why is devolution/

    Europe important?

  • One size doesn’t fit all – where it doesn’t work so well

  • Case studies – where it has worked well


The theory…

  • Scotland Act 1998, SP 1999

  • Devolved/reserved powers?

  • Education, foreign affairs, local government, health, taxation, energy, the armed forces, criminal justice



What is different at Holyrood to Westminster ?

  • Constituency and list MSPs...

  • Minority govt- so arguments matter

  • Access to MSPs/Ministers is easier

  • They expect you to talk to them - first

  • Effective campaigns less confrontational

  • Civic society more influential (?)


What doesn’t work at Holyrood?

  • Saying - England’s done it, why aren’t you?

  • Shouting too loud...

  • Bombarding MSPs with content - when they will listen to YOU anyway

  • Shoehorning Scottish campaigners into an action eg A Fit Choice?





Example from Holyrood – vending machines

  • BHF focus on Vending machines across UK

  • Building consensus- eg via CPG

  • Close working with Ministers, SPADs, other parties

  • Govt and other parties onside....

    Then - Industry lobby + change in Labour ranks =

    a last minute wobble...

  • 2 weeks of intense lobbying to get a u turn...


When e-campaigning really worked

  • Parliamentary motion- 26 signatures, 4 party support- campaigners crucial

  • Using the media- eg letters to editors

  • Countering the tobacco industry/small retailers’ arguments - in each constituency

  • Result... Labour vote against own amend

  • So - as a TACTIC - can be very effective


Case Study - Headline goes here

Campaigning in a 4 nation way can be really hard...