Scottish National Party
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Scottish National Party

Scottish National Party

Scots National Pairty
Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba
LeaderNicola Sturgeon
Depute LeaderKeith Brown
Leader in the House of CommonsIan Blackford
Deputy Leader in the House of CommonsKirsten Oswald
Chief ExecutivePeter Murrell
Founded7 April 1934
Merger of
HeadquartersGordon Lamb House
3 Jackson's Entry
Edinburgh
EH8 8PJ
Student wingSNP Students
Youth wing
LGBT wingOut for Independence
Membership (2018)Increase 125,691[1]
Ideology
Political position
Big tent[16][17][18]
European affiliationEuropean Free Alliance
Colours  Yellow
  Black
SloganStronger for Scotland
AnthemScots Wha Hae
House of Commons (Scottish seats)
Scottish Parliament[19]
Local government in Scotland[20]
Website
www.snp.org Edit this at Wikidata

The Scottish National Party (SNP; Scots: Scots National Pairty, Scottish Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba) is a Scottish nationalist, regionalist, and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence within the European Union,[10][21][22] with a platform based on civic nationalism.[23][24] The SNP is the third-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, behind the Labour Party and the Conservative Party and it is the largest political party in Scotland, where it has the most seats in the Scottish Parliament and 47 out of the 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons at Westminster. The current Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has served as First Minister of Scotland since 20 November 2014.

Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation in Westminster since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election.[25] With the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second-largest party, serving two terms as the opposition. The SNP gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election, after which it formed Holyrood's first majority government.[26] It was reduced back to being a minority government at the 2016 election.

The SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of both seats in the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, and membership, reaching 125,482 members as of December 2018, 47 MPs, 61 MSPs and over 400 local councillors.[27] The SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance (EFA). The party does not have any members of the House of Lords, as it has always maintained a position of objecting to an unelected upper house.[28][29]

History

Foundation and early breakthroughs (1934-1970)

The SNP was formed in 1934 through the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, with The Duke of Montrose and Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as its first, joint, president.[30]Sir Alexander MacEwen was its first chairman.[31]Professor Douglas Young, who was the leader of the Scottish National Party from 1942 to 1945 campaigned for the Scottish people to refuse conscription and his activities were popularly vilified as undermining the British war effort against the Axis powers. Young was imprisoned for refusing to be conscripted.

The party suffered its first split during this period with John MacCormick leaving the party in 1942, owing to his failure to change the party's policy from supporting all-out independence to Home Rule at that year's conference in Glasgow. McCormick went on to form the Scottish Covenant Association, a non-partisan political organisation campaigning for the establishment of a devolved Scottish Assembly.

However, wartime conditions also enabled the SNP's first parliamentary success at the Motherwell by-election in 1945, but Robert McIntyre MP lost the seat at the general election three months later. The 1950s were characterised by similarly low levels of support, and this made it difficult for the party to advance. Indeed, in most general elections they were unable to put up more than a handful of candidates.

The 1960s, however, offered more electoral successes, with candidates polling credibly at Glasgow Bridgeton in 1961, West Lothian in 1962 and Glasgow Pollok in 1967. Indeed, this foreshadowed Winnie Ewing's surprise victory in a by-election at the previously safe Labour seat of Hamilton. This brought the SNP to national prominence, leading to the establishment of the Kilbrandon Commission.

Becoming a major force (1970s)

In October 1974 the SNP won 11 constituencies, a record that would stand until Nicola Sturgeon assumed the party's leadership.

Despite this breakthrough, the 1970 general election was to prove a disappointment for the party as, despite an increase in vote share, Ewing failed to retain her seat in Hamilton. The party did receive some consolation with the capture of the Western Isles, making Donald Stewart the party's only MP. This was to be the case until the 1973 by-election at Glasgow Govan where a hitherto safe Labour seat was claimed by Margo MacDonald.

1974 was to prove something of an annus mirabilis for the party as it deployed its highly effective It's Scotland's oil campaign.[32] The SNP gained 6 seats at the February general election before hitting a high point in the October re-run, polling almost a third of all votes in Scotland and returning 11 MPs to Westminster. Furthermore, during that year's local elections the party claimed overall control of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth.

This success was to continue for much of the decade, and at the 1977 district elections the SNP saw victories at councils including East Kilbride and Falkirk and held the balance of power in Glasgow.[33] However, this level of support was not to last and by 1978 Labour revival was evident at three by-elections (Glasgow Garscadden, Hamilton and Berwick and East Lothian) as well as the regional elections.

This was to culminate when the party experienced a large drop in its support at the 1979 general election, precipitated by the party bringing down the incumbent Labour minority government following the controversial failure of that year's devolution referendum. Reduced to just 2 MPs, the successes of October 1974 were not to be surpassed until the 2015 general election.

Factional divisions and infighting (1980s)

The 79 Group sought to define the party on the left.

Following this defeat, a period of internal strife occurred within the party, culminating with the formation of two internal groups: the proto-fascist Siol nan Gaidheal[34] and left-wing 79 Group. Traditionalists within the party, centred around Winnie Ewing, by this time an MEP, responded by establishing the Campaign for Nationalism in Scotland which sought to ensure that the primary objective of the SNP was campaigning for independence outwith a traditional left-right orientation, even though this would have undone the work of figures such as William Wolfe, who developed a clearly social democratic policy platform throughout the 1970s.

These events ensured the success of a leadership motion at the party's annual conference of 1982, in Ayr, despite the 79 Group being bolstered by the merger of Jim Sillars' Scottish Labour Party (SLP) although this influx of ex-SLP members further shifted the characteristics of the party leftwards. Despite this, traditionalist figure Gordon Wilson remained party leader through the electoral disappointments of 1983 and 1987, where he lost his own Dundee East seat won 13 years prior.

Through this period, Sillars grew influence in the party, developing a clear socio-economic platform including Independence in Europe, reversing the SNP's previous opposition to membership of the then-EEC which had been unsuccessful in a 1975 referendum. This position was enhanced further by Sillars reclaiming Glasgow Govan in a by-election in 1988.

Despite this moderation, the party did not join Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens as well as civil society in the Scottish Constitutional Convention which developed a blueprint for a devolved Scottish Parliament due to the unwillingness of the convention to discuss independence as a constitutional option.[35]

First Salmond era (1990s)

In 1994 the SNP gained control of Tayside, the only time the party controlled a regional council, albeit without a majority.

Alex Salmond had been elected MP for Banff and Buchan in 1987, after the re-admittance of 79 Group members, and was able to seize the party leadership after Wilson's resignation in 1990 after a contest with Margaret Ewing. This was a surprise victory as Ewing had the backing of much of the party establishment, including Sillars and then-Party Secretary John Swinney. The defection of Labour MP Dick Douglas further evidenced the party's clear left-wing positioning, particularly regarding opposition to the poll tax.[36] Despite this, Salmond's leadership was unable to avert a fourth successive general election disappointment in 1992 with the party reduced back from 5 to 3 MPs.

The mid-90s offered some successes for the party, with North East Scotland being gained at the 1994 European elections and the party securing a by-election at Perth and Kinross in 1995 after a near-miss at Monklands East the previous year.

The party was part of the successful devolution campaign in 1997.

1997 offered the party's most successful general election for 23 years, although in the face of the Labour landslide the party was unable to match either 1974 election. That September, the party joined with the other members of the Scottish Constitutional Convention in the successful Yes-Yes campaign in the devolution referendum which lead to the establishment of a Scottish Parliament with tax-varying powers.

By 1999, the first elections to the parliament were being held, although the party suffered a disappointing result, gaining just 35 MSPs in the face of Salmond's unpopular 'Kosovo Broadcast' which opposed NATO intervention in the country.[37]

Opposing Labour-Liberal Democrat coalitions (1999-2007)

This meant that the party began as the official opposition in the parliament to a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Salmond found the move to a more consensual politics difficult and sought a return to Westminster, resigning the leadership in 2000 with John Swinney, like Salmond a gradualist,[38] victorious in the ensuring leadership election.[39] Swinney's leadership proved ineffectual, with a loss of one MP in 2001 and a further reduction to 27 MSPs in 2003 despite the Officegate scandal unseating previous First Minister Henry McLeish.[40] However, the only parties to gain seats in that election where the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) which like the SNP support independence.

After an unsuccessful coup attempt in 2003, Swinney stepped down following disappointing results in the European elections of 2004[41] with Salmond victorious in the subsequent leadership contest despite initially refusing to be candidate.[42]Nicola Sturgeon was elected Depute Leader and became the party's leader in the Scottish Parliament until Salmond was able to return at the next parliamentary election.

Salmond governments (2007-2014)

The First Salmond government in the Cabinet Room.

In 2007, the SNP emerged as the largest party in the Scottish Parliament with 47 of 129 seats, narrowly ousting the Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats and Alex Salmond becoming First Minister after ousting the Liberal Democrats in Gordon. The Scottish Green Party supported Salmond's election as First Minister, and his subsequent appointments of ministers, in return for early tabling of the climate change bill and the SNP nominating a Green MSP to chair a parliamentary committee.[43] Despite this, Salmond's minority government tended to strike budget deals with the Conservatives to stay in office.[44]

In May 2011, the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament with 69 seats. This was a significant feat as the additional member system used for Scottish Parliament elections was specifically designed to prevent one party from winning an outright majority.[45][46] This was followed by a reverse in the party's previous opposition to NATO membership at the party's annual conference in 2012[47] despite Salmond's refusal to apologise for the Kosovo broadcast on the occasion of the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.[48]

This majority enabled the SNP government to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. The "No" vote prevailed in a close-fought campaign, prompting the resignation of First Minister Alex Salmond. Forty-five percent of Scottish voters cast their ballots for independence, with the "Yes" side receiving less support than late polling predicted.[49] This was suggested as due to Salmond's unpopularity among women[50] and Nicola Sturgeon won that year's leadership election unopposed.

Sturgeon years (2014 onwards)

Winning 56 of 59 seats in 2015 and 50% of the popular vote.

The SNP rebounded from the loss in the independence referendum at the 2015 UK general election, led by Nicola Sturgeon. The party went from holding six seats in the House of Commons to 56, mostly at the expense of the Labour Party. All but three of the fifty-nine constituencies in the country elected an SNP candidate in the party's most comprehensive electoral victory at any level.[51]

At the 2016 Scottish election, the SNP lost a net total of 6 seats, losing its overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, but returning for a third consecutive term as a minority government despite gaining an additional 1.1% of the constituency vote, for the party's best-ever result, from the 2011 election however 2.3% of the regional list vote. On the constituency vote, the SNP gained 11 seats from Labour, but lost the Edinburgh Southern constituency to the party. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each gained two constituency seats from the SNP on 2011 (Aberdeenshire West and Edinburgh Central for the Conservatives and Edinburgh Western and North East Fife for the Liberal Democrats).

This election was followed by the 2016 European Union referendum after which the SNP joined with the Liberal Democrats and Greens to call for continued membership of the EU. Despite a consequential increase in the Conservative vote at the 2017 local elections[52] the SNP for the first time became the largest party in each of Scotland's four city councils: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, where a Labour administration was ousted after 37 years.[53]

At the 2017 UK general election the SNP underperformed compared to polling expectations, losing 21 seats to bring their number of Westminster MPs down to 35 – however this was still the party's second best result ever at the time.[54][55][56] This was largely attributed by many, including former Deputy First Minister John Swinney,[57] to their stance on holding a second Scottish independence referendum and saw a swing to the Unionist parties, with seats being picked up by the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats and a reduction in their majorities in the other seats. Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, came out of this election with a majority of just 2 to the Liberal Democrat candidate. High-profile losses included SNP Commons leader Angus Robertson in Moray and former party leader and First Minister Alex Salmond in Gordon.

In response to Brexit, Sturgeon made pro-Europeanism central to the SNP's policy.

The SNP went on to achieve its best-ever European Parliament result in the final election before Brexit, the party taking its MEP total to 3 or half of Scottish seats and achieving a record vote share for the party. This was also the best performance of any party in the era of proportional elections to the European Parliament in Scotland. This was suggested as being due to the party's europhile sentiment during what amounted to a single-issue election, with parties that lacked a clear message performing poorly, such as Labour finishing in 5th place and losing all of their Scottish MEPs for the first time.

Later that year the SNP experienced a surge in the 2019 general election, winning 45.0% of the vote and 48 seats, its second-best result ever. Although the party suffered a loss to the Liberal Democrats, it gained the seat of its then UK leader Jo Swinson, along with 7 from the Conservatives and 6 from Labour. This victory was generally attributed to Sturgeon's cautious approach regarding holding a second independence referendum and a strong emphasis on EU membership during the election.[58] Despite this, the UK-wide Conservative majority ensured that the UK left the EU the following January.

Constitution and structure

The local Branches are the primary level of organisation in the SNP. All of the Branches within each Scottish Parliament constituency form a Constituency Association, which coordinates the work of the Branches within the constituency, coordinates the activities of the party in the constituency and acts as a point of liaison between an MSP or MP and the party. Constituency Associations are composed of delegates from all of the Branches within the constituency.

The annual National Conference is the supreme governing body of the SNP and is responsible for determining party policy and electing the National Executive Committee. The National Conference is composed of:

  • delegates from every Branch and Constituency Association
  • the members of the National Executive Committee
  • 15 members elected by the National Conference
  • every SNP MSP and MP (and previously MEPs)
  • several SNP local councillors, and
  • delegates from one of the SNP's Affiliated Organisations (Young Scots for Independence, SNP Students, SNP Trade Union Group and the Association of Nationalist Councillors)

The National Council serves as the SNP's governing body between National Conferences, and its decisions are binding unless rescinded or modified by the National Conference. There are also regular meetings of the National Assembly, which provides a forum for detailed discussions of party policy by party members.

The party has an active youth wing, the Young Scots for Independence, as well as a student wing, the Federation of Student Nationalists. There is also an SNP Trade Union Group. There is an independently owned monthly newspaper, The Scots Independent, which is highly supportive of the party.

The SNP's leadership is vested in its National Executive Committee (NEC), which is made up of the party's elected office bearers and six elected members (voted for at conference). The SNP parliamentarians (Holyrood and Westminster) and councillors have representation on the NEC, as do the Trade Union Group, the youth wing and the student wing.

National Executive Committee

The 42 members of the current (2020-2021) National Executive Committtee:

  • President: Michael Russell MSP (Argyll and Bute)
  • Leader: Nicola Sturgeon MSP (Glasgow Southside)
  • Depute Leader: Keith Brown MSP (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane)
  • National Treasurer: Douglas Chapman MP (Dunfermline and West Fife)
  • National Secretary: Stewart Stevenson MSP (Banffshire and Buchan Coast)
  • Business Convener: Kirsten Oswald MP (East Renfrewshire)
  • Organisation Convener: Stacy Bradley
  • Local Government Convener: Cllr Lynne Anderson (Stepps, Chryston and Muirhead)
  • Women's Convener: Cllr Caroline McAllister (Leven)
  • Equalities Convener: Cllr Lynne Anderson (Stepps, Chryston and Muirhead)
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Convener: Cllr Graham Campbell (Springburn/Robroyston)
  • Disabled Members' Convener: Jamie Szymkowiak
  • Member Support Convener: Douglas Daniel
  • Policy Development Convener: Chris Hanlon
  • Joanna Cherry MP (Edinburgh South West) (Scottish Parliament and House of Commons parliamentary groups)
  • Alison Thewliss MP (Glasgow Central) (Scottish Parliament and House of Commons parliamentary groups)
  • Findlay MacGregor (Central Scotland Regional Association)
  • Farah Farzana (Central Scotland Regional Association)
  • Cllr Christina Cannon (Springburn/Robroyston) (Glasgow Regional Association)
  • Alexander Kerr (Glasgow Regional Association)
  • Cllr Ian Cockburn (Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh) (Highlands and Islands Regional Association)
  • Laura Mitchell (Highlands and Islands Regional Association)
  • Cllr Dr Robert de Bold (Livingston North) (Lothian Regional Association)
  • Catriona MacDonald (Lothian Regional Association)
  • Allison Graham (Mid Scotland and Fife Regional Association)
  • Roger Mullin (Mid Scotland and Fife Regional Association)
  • Dorothy Jessiman (North East Scotland Regional Association)
  • Cllr Ciarán McRae (Northfield/Mastrick North) (North East Scotland Regional Association)
  • Cllr Heather Anderson (Tweeddale West) (South Scotland Regional Association)
  • Amanda Burgauer (South Scotland Regional Association)
  • Brian Lawson (West Scotland Regional Association)
  • Emma Hendrie (West Scotland Regional Association)
  • Ruth Maguire MSP (Cunninghame South) (Scottish Parliament parliamentary group)
  • Chris Law MP (Dundee West) (House of Commons parliamentary group)
  • Bailie Norman MacLeod (Pollokshields) (Association of Nationalist Councillors)
  • Greg McCarra (SNP Trade Union Group)
  • a member representing the Disabled Members Group
  • Cailyn McMahon (Young Scots for Independence)
  • a member representing the SNP BAME Network
  • Abdul Majida (Scots Asians for Independence)
  • Julia Stachurska (SNP Students)
  • Josh Mennie (Out for Independence)

Membership

Since 18 September 2014 (the day of the Scottish independence referendum), party membership has more than quadrupled (from 25,642), surpassing the Liberal Democrats and, briefly, Conservatives to become the second-largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of membership.[59] As of December 2018, the Party had 125,482 members.[1]

European affiliation

The SNP retains close links with Plaid Cymru, its counterpart in Wales. MPs from both parties co-operate closely with each other and work as a single parliamentary group within the House of Commons. Both the SNP and Plaid Cymru are members of the European Free Alliance (EFA), a European political party comprising regionalist political parties. The EFA co-operates with the larger European Green Party to form The Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) group in the European Parliament.

Before its affiliation with The Greens-European Free Alliance, the SNP had previously been allied with the European Progressive Democrats (1979-1984), Rainbow Group (1989-1994) and European Radical Alliance (1994-1999).

As the UK is no longer a member of the EU, the SNP has no MEPs.

Policies

Ideological foundations

The Scottish National Party did not have a clear ideological position until the 1970s, when it sought to explicitly present itself as a social democratic party in terms of party policy and publicity.[60][61] During the period from its foundation until the 1960s, the SNP was essentially a moderate centrist party.[60] Debate within the party focused more on the SNP being distinct as an all-Scotland national movement, with it being neither of the left nor the right, but constituting a new politics that sought to put Scotland first.[61][62]

The SNP was formed through the merger of the centre-left National Party of Scotland (NPS) and the centre-right Scottish Party.[61] The SNP's founders were united over self-determination in principle, though not its exact nature, or the best strategic means to achieve self-government. From the mid-1940s onwards, SNP policy was radical and redistributionist concerning land and in favour of 'the diffusion of economic power', including the decentralisation of industries such as coal to include the involvement of local authorities and regional planning bodies to control industrial structure and development.[60] Party policies supported the economic and social policy status quo of the post-war welfare state.[60][63]

By the 1960s, the SNP was starting to become defined ideologically, with a social democratic tradition emerging as the party grew in urban, industrial Scotland, and its membership experienced an influx of social democrats from the Labour Party, the trade unions and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[64][65] The emergence of Billy Wolfe as a leading figure in the SNP also contributed to the leftwards shift. By this period, the Labour Party were also the dominant party in Scotland, in terms of electoral support and representation. Targeting Labour through emphasising left-of-centre policies and values was therefore electorally logical for the SNP, as well as tying in with the ideological preferences of many new party members.[65] In 1961, the SNP conference expressed the party's opposition to the siting of the US Polaris submarine base at the Holy Loch. This policy was followed in 1963 by a motion opposed to nuclear weapons: a policy that has remained in place ever since.[66] The 1964 policy document, SNP & You, contained a clear centre-left policy platform, including commitments to full employment, government intervention in fuel, power and transport, a state bank to guide economic development, encouragement of cooperatives and credit unions, extensive building of council houses (social housing) by central and local government, pensions adjusted to cost of living, a minimum wage and an improved national health service.[60]

The 1960s also saw the beginnings of the SNP's efforts to establish an industrial organisation and mobilise amongst trade unionists in Scotland, with the establishment of the SNP Trade Union Group, and identifying the SNP with industrial campaigns, such as the Upper-Clyde Shipbuilders Work-in and the attempt of the workers at the Scottish Daily Express to run as a co-operative.[60] For the party manifestos for the two 1974 general elections, the SNP finally self-identified as a social democratic party, and proposed a range of social democratic policies.[67][68] There was also an unsuccessful proposal at the 1975 party conference to rename the party as the Scottish National Party (Social Democrats).[69] In the UK-wide referendum on Britain's membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) in the same year as the aforementioned attempted name change, the SNP campaigned for Britain to leave the EEC.[70][71]

There were further ideological and internal struggles after 1979, with the 79 Group attempting to move the SNP further to the left, away from being what could be described a "social-democratic" party, to an expressly "socialist" party. Members of the 79 Group - including future party leader and First Minister Alex Salmond - were expelled from the party. This produced a response in the shape of the Campaign for Nationalism in Scotland from those who wanted the SNP to remain a "broad church", apart from arguments of left vs. right. The 1980s saw the SNP further define itself as a party of the political left, such as campaigning against the introduction of the poll tax in Scotland in 1989; one year before the tax was imposed on the rest of the UK.[60]

Ideological tensions inside the SNP are further complicated by arguments between the so-called SNP gradualists and SNP fundamentalists. In essence, gradualists seek to advance Scotland to independence through further devolution, in a "step-by-step" strategy. They tend to be in the moderate left grouping, though much of the 79 Group was gradualist in approach. However, this 79 Group gradualism was as much a reaction against the fundamentalists of the day, many of whom believed the SNP should not take a clear left or right position.[60]

Economic policies

With the SNP's policy base being mostly in the mainstream Western European social democratic tradition, the party is committed to policies such as progressive personal taxation. This vision was achieved by the Sturgeon Government in 2017, reducing income tax rates for a slight majority of the population by shifting the tax burden to the wealthier.[72] Previously the party had replaced the flat rate Stamp Duty with the LBTT, which is founded on progressive principles.[73] Whilst in government, the party was also responsible for the establishment of Revenue Scotland to administer devolved taxation.

Having previously defined itself in opposition to the poll tax[60] the SNP has also championed progressive taxation at a local level. Despite pledging to introduce a local income tax[74] the Salmond Government found itself unable to replace the council tax and the party has, particularly since the ending of the council tax freeze[75] under Nicola Sturgeon's leadership, committing to increasing the graduated nature of the tax.[76] Conversely, the party has also supported capping and reducing Business Rates in an attempt to support small businesses.[77]

It has been noted that the party contains a broader spectrum of opinion regarding economic policy than most political parties in the UK due to its status as "the only viable vehicle for Scottish independence",[78] with the party's parliamentary group at Westminster including socialists such as Tommy Sheppard and Mhairi Black, capitalists such as Stewart Hosie and former Conservative, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.[78][79]

Social policies

The SNP can be seen to be at the heart of the secularisation[80] and liberalisation of Scotland with the party achieving the legalisation of same sex marriage in 2014,[81] indeed under Sturgeon's leadership Scotland was twice in succession named the best country in Europe for LGBTI legal equality.[82] Party policy aims to introduce gender self-identification[83] to allow an easier process of gender recognition for transgender community.[84] This is in stark contrast to Scotland's recent history as a deeply socially conservative country[85] although this transformation can be seen to have taken place in the country's other main political parties largely simultaneously.[86][87]

Particularly since Nicola Sturgeon's elevation to First Minister the party has highlighted its commitments to gender equality - with her first act being to appoint a gender balanced cabinet.[88] The SNP have also taken steps to implement all-women shortlists whilst Sturgeon has introduced a mentoring scheme[89] to encourage women's political engagement.[90]

Stressing that their brand of nationalism is civic nationalism, the SNP are keen to show their support for multiculturalism[91] with Scotland receiving thousands of refugees from the Syrian Civil War.[92] To this end it has been claimed that refugees in Scotland are better supported than those in England.[93] More generally, the SNP take a liberal stance on immigration, seeking to increase numbers to combat a declining population[94] and calling for a separate Scottish visa even within the UK.[95]

Foreign and defence policies

The SNP increasingly support Atlanticist institutions like NATO.

Despite traditionally supporting military neutrality[96] the SNP's policy has in recent years moved to support both the Atlanticist and Europeanist traditions. This is particularly evident in the conclusion of the NATO debate within the party in favour of those who support membership of the military alliance.[97] This is despite the party's continuing opposition to Scotland hosting nuclear weapons and then-leader Salmond's criticism of both the Kosovo intervention[98] and the Iraq War.[99] The party has placed an emphasis on developing positive relations with the United States in recent years[100] despite a lukewarm reaction to the election of Scottish American Donald Trump as President due to long running legal disputes.[101]

Sturgeon meets EU leader Jean-Claude Juncker, 2017. Pro-Europeanism has been central to the SNP under Sturgeon's leadership.

Having opposed membership in the 1975 referendum, the party has supported membership of the European Union since the adoption of the Independence in Europe policy during the 1980s. Consequentially, the SNP supported remaining within the EU during the 2016 referendum where every Scottish council area backed this position.[102] Consequently, the party opposed Brexit and sought a People's Vote on the withdrawal agreement,[103] ultimately unsuccessfully. Indeed, the SNP would like to see an independent Scotland as a member of the European Union and NATO[104] and has left open the prospect of an independent Scotland joining the Euro.[105]

The SNP has also taken a stance against Russian interference abroad - the party supporting the enlargement of the EU and NATO to areas such as the Western Balkans and Ukraine to counter this influence.[106][107] Indeed, the party has called for repercussions regarding the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal[108] and has criticised former leader Alex Salmond for broadcasting a chat show on Kremlin-backed[109] network RT.[110] Consequently, party representatives have expressed support for movements such as Euromaidan that support the independence of countries across Eastern Europe.[111]

The party have supported measures including foreign aid which seek to facilitate international development[112] through various charitable organisations.[113] In recognition of Scotland's historic links to the country, these programmes are mostly focused in Malawi[114] in common with previous Scottish governments. With local authorities across the country, including Glasgow City Council being involved in this partnership since before the SNP took office in 2007.[115]

Health and education policies

The SNP abolished parking charges at hospitals including the Victoria Hospital, Glasgow

The SNP have pledged to uphold the public service nature of NHS Scotland and are consequently opposed to any attempts at privatisation of the health service,[116] including any inclusion in a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States. The party has been fond of increasing provision under the NHS with the introduction of universal baby boxes based on the Finnish scheme.[117] This supported child development alongside other commitments including the expansion of free childcare for children younger than school age and the introduction of universal free school meals in the first three years of school.[118]

University tuition fees were abolished under Alex Salmond.

Previously, SNP governments have abolished hospital parking charges[119] as well as prescription charges[120] in efforts to promote enhanced public health outcomes by increasing access to care and treatment. Furthermore, during Sturgeon's premiership, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce alcohol minimum unit pricing to counter alcohol problems.[121] Recently, the party has also committed to providing universal access to sanitary products[122] and the liberalisation of drugs policy[123] through devolution, in an effort to increase access to treatment and improve public health outcomes.

The party also promotes universal access to education, with one of the first acts of the Salmond government being to abolish tuition fees.[124] More recently, the party has turned its attention to widening access to higher education[125] with Nicola Sturgeon stating that education is her number one priority.[126] At school level, the Curriculum for Excellence is currently undergoing a review.[127]

Constitution policies

The SNP is neutral on the continuance of the monarchy.

The foundations of the SNP are a belief that Scotland would be more prosperous by being governed independently from the United Kingdom, although the party was defeated in the 2014 referendum on this issue.[128] The party has since sought to hold a second referendum at some point in the future, perhaps related to the outcome of Brexit,[129] as the party sees a referendum as the only route to independence. The party is constitutionalist and as such rejects holding such a referendum unilaterally or any course of actions that could lead to comparisons with cases such as Catalonia[130] with the party seeing independence as a process that should be undertaken through a consensual process alongside the UK Government. As part of this process towards independence, the party supports increased devolution to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government, particularly in areas such as welfare and immigration.[131]

Official SNP policy is supportive of the monarchy however members are divided on the issue. The party does propose reducing the funds spent on the royal family.[132] Separately, the SNP has always opposed the UK's unelected upper house and would like to see both it and the House of Commons elected by a form of proportional representation.[133] The party also supports the introduction of a written constitution, either for an independent Scotland or the UK as a whole,[134] going as far as producing a proposed interim constitution for Scotland during the independence referendum campaign.[135]

Fundamentalists and gradualists

With how to achieve independence, the party was traditionally split between fundamentalists and gradualists.

The SNP leadership generally subscribe to the gradualist viewpoint, that being the idea that Scottish independence can be won by the accumulation by the Scottish Parliament of powers that the UK Parliament currently has over time. It is also a philosophy that emphasises the election of an SNP government should bring about trust in the Scottish people in the ability to govern themselves, thus bringing increased support for independence.

Fundamentalism stands in opposition to the so-called gradualist point of view, which believes that the SNP should emphasise independence more widely to achieve it. The argument goes that if the SNP is unprepared to argue for its central policy then it is unlikely ever to persuade the public of its worthiness.[136]

Leadership

Leader of the Scottish National Party

Leader of the Scottish National Party
Leader
(birth-death)
Portrait Political Office Took Office Left Office
Sir Alexander MacEwen
(1875-1941)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Provost of Inverness (1925-1931)
Councillor for Benbecula (1931-1941)[137]
founding member, Scottish Party
7 April 1934 1936
Andrew Dewar Gibb
(1888-1974)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Candidate for Combined Scottish Universities (1936, 1938)
former Scottish Party member
1936 1940
William Power
(1873-1951)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Candidate for Argyllshire (1940) 1940 30 May 1942
Douglas Young
(1913-1973)
Douglas Young, circa 1945.jpg Candidate for Kirkcaldy Burghs (1944) 30 May 1942 9 June 1945
Prof Bruce Watson
(1910-1988)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg 9 June 1945 May 1947
Dr Robert McIntyre
(1913-1998)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for Motherwell (1945)
Provost of Stirling (1967-1975)
Councillor for Stirling (1956-1975)
May 1947 June 1956
James Halliday
(1927-2013)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Candidate for Stirling and Falkirk (1955 and 1959)
Candidate for West Fife (1970)
June 1956 5 June 1960
Arthur Donaldson
(1901-1993)
Arthur Donaldson, circa 1945.jpg Councillor for Angus (1946-1955)
Councillor for Forfar (1945-1968)
5 June 1960 1 June 1969
William Wolfe
(1924-2010)
William Wolfe (cropped).gif Candidate for West Lothian (1970-79) 1 June 1969 15 September 1979
Gordon Wilson
(1938-2017)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for Dundee East (1974-1987) 15 September 1979 22 September 1990
The Right Hon. Alex Salmond
(b. 1954)
(1st Term)
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland (cropped).jpg MP for Banff and Buchan (1987-2010)
MSP for Banff and Buchan (1999-2001)
22 September 1990 26 September 2000
John Swinney
(b. 1964)
John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Sustainable Growth (1).jpg Deputy First Minister (since 2014)
MSP for Perthshire North (since 2011)
MSP for North Tayside (1999-2011)
MP for North Tayside (1997-2001)
26 September 2000 3 September 2004
The Right Hon. Alex Salmond
(b. 1954)
(2nd Term)
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland (cropped).jpg First Minister (2007-2014)
MSP for Aberdeenshire East (2011-2016)
MSP for Gordon (2007-2011)
MP for Gordon (2015-2017)
3 September 2004 14 November 2014
The Right Hon. Nicola Sturgeon
(b. 1970)
Nicola Sturgeon election infobox 3.jpg First Minister (since 2014)
MSP for Glasgow Southside (since 2011)
MSP for Glasgow Govan (2007-2011)
MSP for Glasgow (1999-2007)
14 November 2014 Incumbent

Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party

Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party
Depute Leader
(birth-death)
Portrait Political Office Took Office Left Office
Sandy Milne
(b. 1920)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Councillor for Stirling (1950s) 17 May 1964[138] 5 June 1966[138]
William Wolfe
(1924-2010)
William Wolfe (cropped).gif Candidate for West Lothian (1966) 5 June 1966[138] 1 June 1969
George Leslie
(b. 1936)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Councillor for Calderwood/St Leonards (1974-1978) 1 June 1969 30 May 1971[138]
Douglas Henderson
(1935-2006)
(1st Term)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for East Aberdeenshire (1974-1979) 30 May 1971[138] 3 June 1973[138]
Gordon Wilson
(1938-2017)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for Dundee East (1974-1987) 3 June 1973[138] 2 June 1974[138]
Margo MacDonald
(1943-2014)
MSP for Lothian (1999-2014)
MP for Glasgow Govan (1973-1974)
2 June 1974[138] 15 September 1979[138]
Douglas Henderson
(1935-2006)
(2nd Term)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for East Aberdeenshire (1974-1979) 15 September 1979[138] 30 May 1981[138]
Jim Fairlie
(b. 1940)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg Candidate for Dunfermline West (1983) 30 May 1981[138] 15 September 1984[138]
Margaret Ewing
(1945-2006)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MSP for Moray (1999-2006)
MP for Moray (1987-2001)
MP for East Dunbartonshire (1974-1979)
15 September 1984[138] 26 September 1987[138]
The Right Hon. Alex Salmond
(b. 1954)
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland (cropped).jpg MP for Banff and Buchan (1987-2010) 26 September 1987[138] 22 September 1990
Alasdair Morgan
(b. 1945)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MSP for South of Scotland (2003-2011)
MSP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (1999-2003)
MP for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (1997-2001)
22 September 1990 22 September 1991[138]
Jim Sillars
(b. 1937)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MP for Glasgow Govan (1988-1992)
MP for South Ayrshire (1970-1979)
22 September 1991[138] 25 September 1992[138]
Allan Macartney
(1941-1998)
Male portrait placeholder cropped.jpg MEP for North East Scotland (1994-1998) 25 September 1992[138] 25 August 1998[138]
John Swinney
(b. 1964)
John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Sustainable Growth (1).jpg MSP for North Tayside (1999-2011)
MP for North Tayside (1997-2001)
25 August 1998[138] 26 September 2000
Roseanna Cunningham
(b. 1951)
MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire (since 2011)
MSP for Perth (1999-2011)
MP for Perth (1997-2001)
MP for Perth and Kinross (1995-1997)
26 September 2000 3 September 2004
The Right Hon. Nicola Sturgeon
(b. 1970)
Nicola Sturgeon election infobox 3.jpg Deputy First Minister (2007-2014)
MSP for Glasgow Southside (since 2011)
MSP for Glasgow Govan (2007-2011)
MSP for Glasgow (1999-2007)
3 September 2004 14 November 2014
Stewart Hosie
(b. 1963)
MP for Dundee East (since 2005) 14 November 2014 13 October 2016
The Right Hon. Angus Robertson
(b. 1969)
MP for Moray (2001-2017) 13 October 2016 8 June 2018
Keith Brown
(b. 1961)
MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane (since 2011)
MSP for Ochil (2007-2011)
Leader of Clackmannanshire Council (2003-2007)
Councillor for Alva (1999-2007)
8 June 2018 Incumbent
Ian Hudghton, President of the Scottish National Party

President of the Scottish National Party

National Secretary of the Scottish National Party

Leader of the parliamentary party, Scottish Parliament

Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster Leader

Leader of the parliamentary party, House of Commons

Chief Executive Officer

Current SNP Council Leaders

Government Ministers and Shadow Cabinet

Scottish Parliament

As of February 2019, the Cabinet of the Scottish Government is as follows:

House of Commons

As of January 2020, the Shadow Cabinet of the SNP in Westminster is as follows.[140]

Portfolio Shadow Secretary/Minister Image
Westminster Leader The Right Hon. Ian Blackford MP
(Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
Official portrait of Rt Hon Ian Blackford MP crop 3.jpg
Westminster Deputy Leader
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Wales
Kirsten Oswald MP
(East Renfrewshire)
Kirsten Oswald MP.jpg
Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP
(Glasgow Central)
Official portrait of Alison Thewliss MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Foreign Secretary Alyn Smith MP
(Stirling)
Official portrait of Alyn Smith MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Home Secretary
Shadow Justice Secretary
Joanna Cherry QC MP
(Edinburgh South West)
Official portrait of Joanna Cherry QC MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU
Dr Philippa Whitford MP
(Central Ayrshire)
Official portrait of Dr Philippa Whitford MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Nicolson MP
(Ochil and South Perthshire)
Official portrait of John Nicolson MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Mhairi Black MP
(Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
Official portrait of Mhairi Black MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government David Linden MP
(Glasgow East)
Official portrait of David Linden MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Anne McLaughlin MP
(Glasgow North East)
Official portrait of Anne McLaughlin MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Stewart Hosie MP
(Dundee East)
Official portrait of Stewart Hosie crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Drew Hendry MP
(Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Official portrait of Drew Hendry crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Neil Gray MP
(Airdrie and Shotts)
Official portrait of Neil Gray MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Defence Secretary Stewart McDonald MP
(Glasgow South)
Official portrait of Stewart Malcolm McDonald MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Minister for Immigration Stuart McDonald MP
(Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East)
Official portrait of Stuart C McDonald MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Gavin Newlands MP
(Paisley and Renfrewshire North)
Official portrait of Gavin Newlands MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Shadow Minister for Military Personnel and Veterans
Carol Monaghan MP
(Glasgow North West)
Official portrait of Carol Monaghan MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Chris Law MP
(Dundee West)
Official portrait of Chris Law MP crop 3.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Deidre Brock MP
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Official portrait of Deidre Brock crop 3.jpg
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
Pete Wishart MP
(Perth and North Perthshire)
Official portrait of Pete Wishart crop 3.jpg
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Tommy Sheppard MP
(Edinburgh East)
Official portrait of Tommy Sheppard MP crop 3.jpg

Present elected representatives

Members of the Scottish Parliament

Members of Parliament

Councillors

The SNP had 431 councillors in Local Government elected from the 2017 Scottish local elections.

Electoral performance

Scottish Parliament

Year[141] Leader Regional Members Constituency Members Total seats Change Position Government
% Seats % Seats
1999 Alex Salmond
MSP for Banff and Buchan
27.3%
28.7%
Steady Steady 2nd Labour-Lib Dem coalition
2003 John Swinney
MSP for North Tayside
20.9%
23.7%
Decrease 8 Steady 2nd Labour-Lib Dem coalition
2007 Alex Salmond
MSP for Gordon (2007)
MSP for Aberdeenshire East (2011)
31.0%
32.9%
Increase 20 Increase1st SNP minority
2011 44.0%
45.4%
Increase 22 Steady1st SNP majority
2016 Nicola Sturgeon
MSP for Glasgow Southside
41.7%
46.5%
Decrease 6 Steady1st SNP minority

House of Commons

Election[141] Leader Votes Scotland Seats Scotland Position Government
# % # ± Scotland United Kingdom
1935 Sir Alexander MacEwen
Candidate in Western Isles
29,517 1.1
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1945 Douglas Young
Candidate in Kirkcaldy Burghs
26,707 1.2
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1950 Robert McIntyre
Candidate in Motherwell (1950)
Candidate in Perth and East Perthshire (1951 and 55)
9,708 0.4
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1951 7,299 0.3
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1955 12,112 0.5
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1959 Jimmy Halliday
Candidate in Stirling and Falkirk
21,738 0.5
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1964 Arthur Donaldson
Candidate in Kinross and Western Perthshire
64,044 2.4
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1966 128,474 5.0
Steady Steady Steady N/A
1970 William Wolfe
Candidate in West Lothian
306,802 11.4
Increase 1 Increase 4th Increase 5th Opposition
February 1974 633,180 21.9
Increase 6 Increase 3rd Increase 4th Opposition
October 1974 839,617 30.4
Increase 4 Steady 3rd Steady 4th Opposition
1979 504,259 17.3
Decrease 9 Decrease 4th Decrease 6th Opposition
1983 Gordon Wilson
MP for Dundee East
331,975 11.7
Steady Decrease 5th Decrease 7th Opposition
1987 416,473 14.0
Increase 1 Increase 4th Increase 5th Opposition
1992 Alex Salmond
MP for Banff and Buchan
629,564 21.5
Steady Steady 4th Decrease 7th Opposition
1997 621,550 22.1
Increase 3 Increase 3rd Increase 5th Opposition
2001 John Swinney
MSP for North Tayside
464,314 20.1
Decrease 1 Steady 3rd Steady 5th Opposition
2005 Alex Salmond
MP for Banff and Buchan (2005)
MSP for Gordon (2010)
412,267 17.7
Increase 1 Steady 3rd Steady 5th Opposition
2010 491,386 19.9
Steady Steady 3rd Steady 5th Opposition
2015 Nicola Sturgeon
MSP for Glasgow Southside
1,454,436 50.0
Increase 50 Increase1st Increase 3rd Opposition
2017 959,090 36.9
Decrease 21 Steady1st Steady 3rd Opposition
2019 1,242,380 45.0
Increase 13 Steady1st Steady 3rd Opposition
2017 is the SNP's best local election performance to date.

Local councils

Year[141] Votes Seats won Notes
FPv% Position
1995 26.1% Steady 2nd
1999 28.9% Steady 2nd
2003 24.1% Steady 2nd
2007 29.7% Increase1st
Single transferable vote introduced.
2012 32.3% Steady1st
2017 32.3% Steady1st

Results by council (2017)

Council Votes Seats won Administration
FPv% Position
Aberdeen City 32.6% Increase1st
Opposition
Aberdeenshire 28.4% Decrease 2nd
Opposition
Angus 31.2% Steady1st
Opposition
Argyll and Bute 27.7% Increase1st
Opposition
Clackmannanshire 37.2% Steady1st
SNP minority
Dumfries and Galloway 21.6% Increase 2nd
SNP-Labour coalition
Dundee City 41.3% Steady1st
SNP-Independent coalition
East Ayrshire 38.5% Steady1st
SNP minority
East Dunbartonshire 29.2% Increase1st
SNP minority (2017-2018)
Opposition (since 2018)
East Lothian 27.9% Decrease 3rd
Opposition
East Renfrewshire 24.3% Increase 2nd
SNP-Labour coalition
City of Edinburgh 27.0% Increase1st
SNP-Labour coalition
Falkirk 38.8% Increase1st
SNP-Independent coalition
Fife 33.6% Increase1st
SNP-Labour coalition
Glasgow City 41.0% Increase1st
SNP minority
Highland 24.9% Steady 2nd
Opposition
Inverclyde 32.8% Steady 2nd
Opposition
Midlothian 30.7% Steady 2nd
Opposition
Moray 31.6% Steady1st
Opposition (2017-2018)
SNP minority (since 2018)
Na h-Eileanan Siar 19.2% Steady 2nd
Opposition
North Ayrshire 35.2% Steady1st
Opposition
North Lanarkshire 38.5% Increase1st
Opposition
Orkney 0.0% Steady 4th
Opposition
Perth and Kinross 31.2% Decrease 2nd
Opposition
Renfrewshire 37.6% Increase1st
SNP minority
Scottish Borders 21.4% Steady 2nd
Opposition
Shetland 0.0% Increase 2nd
Opposition
South Ayrshire 30.2% Steady 2nd
SNP-Labour-Independent coalition
South Lanarkshire 35.7% Increase1st
SNP minority
Stirling 34.8% Decrease 2nd
SNP-Labour coalition
West Dunbartonshire 40.1% Increase1st
SNP-Independent coalition
West Lothian 37.3% Increase1st
Opposition

European Parliament (1979-2020)

The SNP achieved pluralities in all mainland council areas in 2019.
Election[141] Party Group Votes Scotland Seats won Notes
% Position
1979 EPD 19.4% Steady 3rd
1984 EDA Decrease 17.8% Steady 3rd
1989 RBW Increase 25.6% Increase 2nd
1994 ERA Increase 32.6% Steady 2nd
1999 G-EFA Decrease 27.2% Steady 2nd
Proportional representation introduced.
2004 Decrease 19.7% Steady 2nd
2009 Increase 29.1% Increase1st
2014 Decrease 29.0% Steady1st
2019 Increase 37.8% Steady1st
Last European election before Brexit.
The party won control of 5 districts in 1977.

Two-tier local councils (1975-1996)

District Councils Regional and Island Councils
Year[141] Votes Seats won Councils won Year[141] Votes Seats won Councils won
% Position % Position
1974 12.4% Steady 3rd
1974 12.6% Steady 3rd
1977 24.2% Steady 3rd
1978 20.9% Steady 3rd
1980 15.5% Steady 3rd
1982 13.4% Decrease 4th
1984 11.7% Decrease 4th
1986 18.2% Steady 4th
1988 21.3% Increase 3rd
1990 21.8% Increase 3rd
1992 24.3% Steady 3rd
1994 26.8% Increase 2nd

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Brand, Jack, The National Movement in Scotland, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978
  • Brand, Jack, 'Scotland', in Watson, Michael (ed.), Contemporary Minority Nationalism, Routledge, 1990
  • Winnie Ewing, Michael Russell, Stop the World; The Autobiography of Winnie Ewing Birlinn, 2004
  • Richard J. Finlay, Independent and Free: Scottish Politics and the Origins of the Scottish National Party 1918-1945, John Donald Publishers, 1994
  • Hanham, H.J., Scottish Nationalism, Harvard University Press, 1969
  • Christopher Harvie, Scotland and Nationalism: Scottish Society and Politics 1707 to the Present, Routledge (4th edition), 2004
  • Gerry Hassan (ed.), The Modern SNP: From Protest to Power, Edinburgh University Press, 2009, ISBN 0748639918
  • Lynch, Peter, SNP: The History of the Scottish National Party, Welsh Academic Press, 2002
  • John MacCormick, The Flag in the Wind: The Story of the National Movement in Scotland, Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1955
  • Mitchell, James, Strategies for Self-government: The Campaigns for a Scottish Parliament, Polygon, 1996
  • Mitchell, James, Bennie, Lynn and Johns, Rob, The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power, Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN 0199580006
  • Mitchell, James and Hassan, Gerry (eds), Scottish National Party Leaders, Biteback, 2016.
  • Jim Sillars, Scotland: the Case for Optimism, Polygon, 1986
  • William Wolfe, Scotland Lives: the Quest for Independence, Reprographia, 1973

External links


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