Scottish Devolution

Authors Avatar by han1201 (student)

 Politics B: The United Kingdom and Scotland. Outcome 2 Report.




                                                     Contents Page

Contents                                                                                                           Page Number

1. The process of establishing devolution in Scotland                                       3      

2. The Scottish Parliament and Executive                                                         4

3. Impact of Devolution in Scotland                                                                  6

4. The Scottish parliamentary electoral system                                                  7

5. Concepts relating to Scotland’s constitutional position                                9


    6.1 Table of Scottish Parliament Election Results

7. References and Bibliography                                                                        10

1.                         The process of establishing devolution in Scotland                     P.3          

There has been more change in the devolved decision making of Scotland since the mid 1990s than at any time since Scotland united with England in1707.

Pressure for devolved power grew in the years after the Second World War. Before this there was little demand for ‘Scottish’, rather than ‘British’ solutions to challenges. For example the Scottish National Party only formed in 1936.

Changes affecting Scotland’s traditional industries created a ‘North-South’ divided in terms of prosperity. As Scotland’s steel mills, mines, and shipyards disappeared, the needs of Scotland became noticeably different from those of most of England.

The conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major(1979-97) governed Scotland but with a minority of Scottish MP s and with low percentage of the vote in Scotland, some political commentators called this a ‘democratic deficit’. some of the policies implemented by the Conservatives including the unpopular Community Charge, popular known as the Poll Tax, increased support for those calling for Scottish solutions to Scottish problems. In 1979, a referendum failed in rather controversial circumstances, people complained the turnout percentage requirement was unreasonably high. Arguably, however, with all the parties except the Conservatives came round to the idea of some kind of devolved decision making for Scotland, it was only a matter of time before the return of a Scottish Parliament would prevail.

In the U.K election in 1997, Labour were elected to government at Westminster. They put a referendum on devolution to Scotland after a white paper produced on Home rule. The pro devolution campaigners were effective as they drew from all the big parties in Scotland at the time Labour under Donald Dewar, Liberal Democrats under Jim Wallace and the SNP with Alex Salmond as leader. The results were profoundly supportive of devolution with 74.3% of voters supporting a Scottish Parliament to be reinstated and 63.5 % supporting that the Scottish Parliament should have some tax varying powers. (Devine,2008).

Join now!

The first devolved Scottish Parliament sat for the first time in May 1999 with Labour and the Liberal Democrats forming a coalition. The new Parliament building at Holyrood opened in October 2004.

2.                            The Scottish Parliament and Executive                               P.4

Although Scotland has its own parliament it is not an independent nation. It is not a sovereign ...

This is a preview of the whole essay