Theme: Parties & Elections | Content Type: Journal article

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A Second Scottish Independence Referendum: Should the Diaspora get a Vote?

Duncan Sim and Murray Stewart Leith


James Stringer

| 1 min read

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum settled little in terms of Scotland's constitutional future. The after-effects of what was the largest exercise in democracy in Scottish history certainly increased Scotland's devolved authority but, following withdrawal from the EU and with continuing differences and disagreements between the Westminster and Scottish governments, there have been increasing demands for a second referendum. One aspect of these conversations has been about the voting rights of Scots living outside Scotland, whose relationship with the nation would certainly be impacted by any successful vote for Scottish independence. And yet, they have had no voice in that decision and despite calls for their inclusion in any future vote, such inclusion remains unlikely. This article examines the reasons why such inclusion would be challenging and then considers what the Scottish diaspora think about Scottish independence and voting rights, by considering qualitative responses to a survey of members of the Scottish diaspora.

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  • Duncan Sim

    Duncan Sim

    Duncan Sim is Honorary Senior Research Fellow (and formerly Reader in Sociology) at the University of the West of Scotland. His research interests lie in issues of ethnicity and identity and particularly in relation to migrants and diasporas.

    Articles by Duncan Sim
  • Murray Stewart Leith

    Murray Stewart Leith

    Murray Stewart Leith is Professor of Politics at the University of the West of Scotland. He has written extensively on aspects of politics, devolution and identity.

    Articles by Murray Stewart Leith