Theme: Society & Culture | Content Type: Journal article

Staying Power: The Resilience of the Scottish Independence Movement

Lesley Riddoch


K. Mitch Hodge

| 1 min read

This article challenges the narrative that the SNP was mortally wounded by its ‘seismic’ by-election defeat in Rutherglen and that the victor—Scottish Labour—will inevitably recapture its lost status as Scotland's largest political party in the next general election. There is no question the Rutherglen result was a shock—the first ever by-election loss for the SNP in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon's surprise resignation, a fractious leadership contest to select her successor, the weariness and policy failures that beset any ruling party after sixteen years in government and the 2022 Supreme Court ruling that effectively banned the Scottish Parliament from holding a lawful referendum. But just as the SNP's earlier invincibility was exaggerated, so too are predictions of its imminent demise. Much depends on whether the party can devise an independence strategy that generates enough belief and excitement to motivate Yes voters, who still constitute roughly half the electorate and two-thirds of Scots aged 30 and under.

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    Lesley Riddoch

    Lesley Riddoch is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist, author, cyclist, land reform campaigner

    Articles by Lesley Riddoch
Volume 95, Issue 2

Latest Journal Issue

Volume 95, Issue 2

Includes a collection edited by James Hampshire on Immigration and Asylum Policy After Brexit, exploring how recent immigration and asylum policies reflect the ambivalent, unstable and unresolved meanings of Brexit itself. There are a wide range of other articles including 'A Hundred Years of Labour Governments' by Ben Jackson; and 'The Good, the Not so Good, and Liz Truss: MPs’ Evaluations of Postwar Prime Ministers' by Royal Holloway Group PR3710. Reports and Surveys include 'Addressing Barriers to Women's Representation in Party Candidate Selections' by Sofia Collignon. Finally, there is a selection of book reviews such as Nick Pearce's review of When Nothing Works: From Cost of Living to Foundational Liveability, by Luca Calafati, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal and Karel Williams; and Penelope J. Corfield's review of The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time, by Yascha Mounk.

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