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Revolution or Evolution? The 2007 Scottish Elections

John Curtice, David McCrone, Nicola McEwen, Michael Marsh, Rachel Ormston

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The Scottish parliamentary and local elections of 2007 were significant for two key reasons: the SNP was brought to power for the first time in its history, posing a fundamental challenge to the 300-year Scottish-English Union; and the local elections used the Single Transferable Vote - the first time such an electoral system has been used in Great Britain since 1945.

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Contents

Introduction
1. A watershed election?
Part I: The Impact of Devolution
2. What do Scots want? Identities, values and attitudes
3. What has devolution achieved? The public's view
4. Governing Scotland: what do people want?
Part II: The Parliamentary Election
5. What swayed voters? Records, Personalities and Issues
6. Why did the SNP win?
Part III: The Local Elections
7. Do voters care about parties any more?
8. A personal vote? How voters used the STV ballot
Conclusion
9. The 2007 Elections: Revolution or Evolution?
Appendices
1. Summary of results of Parliamentary and Local Elections
2. Technical Details of Survey

About the Author

John Curtice is a Professor of Politics and Director of the Social Statistics Laboratory at Strathclyde University, and Research Consultant to the Scottish Centre for Social Research. He is a regular commentator in the Scottish and British media. Publications include The Rise of New Labour, (with Heath, A. & Jowell, R.) (Oxford University Press, 2001) and New Scotland, New Politics? (with Paterson, L., Brown, A., Hinds, K., McCrone, D., Park, A., Sproston, K., & Surridge, P.) (Polygon, 2001).

David McCrone is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He co-founded the university’s Institute of Governance in 1999, and has written extensively on the sociology and politics of Scotland, and the comparative study of nationalism.

Nicola McEwen is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Edinburgh and Co-Director of the University of Edinburgh's Institute of Governance. Publications include Nationalism and the State: welfare and identity in Scotland and Quebec (2006).

Michael Marsh is a Professor of Comparative Political Behaviour and Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. Publications include (with Marsh, M., Sinnott, R., Garry, J. and Kennedy, F) The Irish voter: the nature of electoral competition in the Republic of Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2008).

Rachel Ormston is Research Director at the Scottish Centre for Social Research and co-director of the Scottish Social Attitudes survey. Publications include Attitudes to government in Scotland (Scottish Government Social Research, 2008).