With global attention now turned to the referendum on Scottish independence, it’s worthwhile to recall that the cause has a much longer history, predating the 1707 Acts of Union; regardless of the outcome of the current vote, it will certainly continue.
The Scottish National Party succeeded in getting a referendum on the country’s future largely by focusing on that demand over decades, pursuing multiple strategies to stay relevant, building inroads in mainstream political institutions, and taking advantages of opportunities, including political errors by its opponents.
The SNP has been competing in UK parliamentary elections since the 1930s, and it’s NEVER done very well.
The best showing, in 1974, was just over 30% of the vote, but the single member district system meant that this translated into just 11 of 650 seats. More recently, the SNP has posted roughly 20 percent of the vote in Scotland, never winning more than 6…
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