Scottish Socialist Party
The Scottish Socialist Party is a left-wing political party campaigning for the establishment of an independent socialist Scotland. The party was founded in 1998, it campaigns for Scottish independence, against cuts to public services and welfare and for democratic public ownership of the economy. The SSP was one of three parties in Yes Scotland, the official cross-party campaign for Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum, with national co-spokesperson Colin Fox sitting on its advisory board; the party operates through a local branch structure and publishes Scotland's longest-running socialist newspaper, the Scottish Socialist Voice. At the height of its electoral success, the party had six Members of the Scottish Parliament and two councillors, but since 2017 it has had no councillors or MSPs; the party has two national co-spokespersons, Colin Fox and Róisín McLaren, who are elected by party members at the annual national conference, which determines party policy. The day-to-day business of the party is handled by a small Executive Committee, elected by the membership.
The primary decision-making bodies are the following: National Conference, convening yearly National Council, convening four times a year Executive Committee, convening The Scottish Socialist Party emerged from the Scottish Socialist Alliance, a broad-based group of left-wing organisations in Scotland. The decision was taken to transform the SSA into a party to contest the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament, where the SSP polled well and saw Tommy Sheridan convener of the party, elected in Glasgow; the period following that election saw sustained growth for the SSP, where it doubled in size in twelve months, the RMT trade union affiliated to the party. In 2003, the SSP was buoyed by the election of five additional MSPs across Scotland; the party changed the character of Scottish politics by winning widespread electoral support and demonstrating how socialist ideas could be popularly presented. One of the first bills the SSP put forward in Holyrood was the Abolition of Poindings and Warrant Sales Act 2001, a popular action which transformed debt recovery systems in Scotland.
The party presented bills to replace the council tax with an income-based alternative, for the abolition of prescription charges, the introduction of free school meals. On 11 November 2004, Sheridan resigned as convener of the party, he was replaced by a Lothians MSP, in the 2005 leadership election. Following Sheridan's resignation, the News of the World revealed that he had an extramarital affair and visited a swingers' club in Manchester. Sheridan launched legal action against the newspaper. During the high-profile media circus, the SSP was thrown into turmoil as Sheridan publicly branded those who refused to support him as "scabs". Leading SSP figures, including the party leader, refused to lie for Sheridan in court. Sheridan won the initial legal action but went to jail for perjury in 2010, which the party said discredited him and vindicated their position. Ex Member of the Scottish Parliament Rosie Kane said of the ordeal: "Sheridan vilified the women in the party who refused to bow to him.
Our lives have been devastated by his actions." Neither the SSP or Sheridan's breakaway party Solidarity won seats in the 2007 elections to the Scottish Parliament. The SSP did experience a recovery in by-elections from 2008–09, increasing its vote share compared to the 2007 national result; the party contested the 2009 European elections around the slogan of "Make Greed History", campaigning for a Europe-wide tax on millionaires, achieved a higher vote share than in the Scottish Parliament election. The party ran ten candidates at the 2010 general election, said the blame for the eventual Conservative victory lay "with New Labour and the failure of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown these last thirteen years, who have, quite frankly, exploited working people, with the poorest and most vulnerable being hit hardest". Fox said his party's manifesto would tackle the "worst economic crisis in eighty years" without punishing ordinary people; the SSP launched their manifesto for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election with promises to oppose cuts and tax the rich.
The party contested all eight Scottish Parliament regions with gender-balanced lists of candidates. Following the 2011 elections to the Scottish Parliament and the resulting Scottish National Party majority, the Scottish Government announced its intent to hold an independence referendum in 2014. In May 2012, a cross-party organisation called Yes Scotland was established to campaign for a "Yes" vote; the SSP's national co-spokesperson, Colin Fox, was invited to sit on its advisory board at the insistence of Yes Scotland's non-partisan chief executive, Blair Jenkins, in the face of SNP opposition. During the referendum campaign, the party continued to campaign on other issues including the bedroom tax, fuel poverty, equal marriage, the latest Israel-Gaza conflict. On 11 September 2013, the SSP launched a pamphlet called The Case for an Independent Socialist Scotland, the publication of, welcomed by MSPs, it became the party's fastest-selling pamphlet ever. In June 2014, the party published another pamphlet outlining its case for "a modern democratic republic".
In response to the publication of Scotland's Future, the party said the Scottish Government had set out a vision that represents "significant advance for the people of Scotland", but reaffirmed the SSP's commitment to socialism. As part of the party's campaign for independence, it held dozens of public meetings across Scotland with a range of speakers; the party's final meeting, sched
Eastwood (Scottish Parliament constituency)
Eastwood is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election. However, it is one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole; the other nine constituencies of the West Scotland region are Clydebank and Milngavie, Cunninghame North, Cunninghame South, Dumbarton and Inverclyde, Renfrewshire North and West, Renfrewshire South and Strathkelvin and Bearsden. The region covers part of the Argyll and Bute council area, the East Dunbartonshire council area, the East Renfrewshire council area, the Inverclyde council area, North Ayrshire council area, the Renfrewshire council area and the West Dunbartonshire council area; the Eastwood constituency was created at the same time as the Scottish Parliament, in 1999, with the name and boundaries of an existing Westminster constituency.
In 2005, the name of the Westminster constituency was changed to East Renfrewshire. In boundary changes in time for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, the constituency of Eastwood was redrawn to be formed from the following electoral wards: In full: Giffnock and Thornliebank, Netherlee and Williamwood, Newton Mearns South, Busby and Eaglesham In part: Neilston and Newton Mearns North The Eastwood constituency is a affluent middle-class commuter seat located south-west of Glasgow, it covers a majority of the East Renfrewshire council area, based principally around the suburbs of Newton Mearns and Eaglesham in the hinterlands of East Renfrewshire, alongside the suburban towns of Giffnock, Netherlee, Williamwood and Clarkston which adjoin the City of Glasgow. According to data derived from the Scottish Index for Multiple Deprivation 60% of the seat's datazones are among the 10% most affluent areas in Scotland, with a further 15% of the seat's datazones being among the 20% most affluent areas in Scotland.
Data from the 2011 Scottish Census suggests that the seat has a substantial number of home-owners residing in large bungalows in comparison to the national average, with large portion of the seat's working population being employed in managerial and professional occupations. The MSP for this constituency from its creation in 1999 was Ken Macintosh of Labour. In the 2016 election, Macintosh lost the seat, finishing third behind the Conservative victor Jackson Carlaw.
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Eligibility varies by country, the voting-eligible population should not be confused with the total adult population. Age and citizenship status are among the criteria used to determine eligibility, but some countries further restrict eligibility based on sex, race, or religion. After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1980s. In general, low turnout is attributed to indifference, or a sense of futility. According to Stanford University political scientists Adam Bonica and Michael McFaul, there is a consensus among political scientists that "democracies perform better when more people vote."Low turnout is considered to be undesirable. As a result, there have been many efforts to increase voter turnout and encourage participation in the political process. In spite of significant study into the issue, scholars are divided on the reasons for the decline.
Its cause has been attributed to a wide array of economic, cultural and institutional factors. Different countries have different voter turnout rates. For example, turnout in the United States 2012 presidential election was about 55%. In both Belgium, which has obligatory attendance, Malta, which does not, participation reaches about 95%. In Belgium there is obligatory attendance, misinterpreted as compulsory voting The chance of any one vote determining the outcome is low; some studies show that a single vote in a voting scheme such as the Electoral College in the United States has an lower chance of determining the outcome. Other studies claim that the Electoral College increases voting power. Studies using game theory, which takes into account the ability of voters to interact, have found that the expected turnout for any large election should be zero; the basic formula for determining whether someone will vote, on the questionable assumption that people act rationally, is P B + D > C, where P is the probability that an individual's vote will affect the outcome of an election, B is the perceived benefit that would be received if that person's favored political party or candidate were elected, D stood for democracy or civic duty, but today represents any social or personal gratification an individual gets from voting, C is the time and financial cost involved in voting.
Since P is zero in most elections, PB is near zero, D is thus the most important element in motivating people to vote. For a person to vote, these factors must outweigh C. Experimental political science has found that when P is greater than zero, this term has no effect on voter turnout. Enos and Fowler conducted a field experiment that exploits the rare opportunity of a tied election for major political office. Informing citizens that the special election to break the tie will be close has little mobilizing effect on voter turnout. Riker and Ordeshook developed the modern understanding of D, they listed five major forms of gratification that people receive for voting: complying with the social obligation to vote. Other political scientists have since added other motivators and questioned some of Riker and Ordeshook's assumptions. All of these concepts are inherently imprecise, making it difficult to discover why people choose to vote. Several scholars have considered the possibility that B includes not only a personal interest in the outcome, but a concern for the welfare of others in the society.
In particular, experiments in which subject altruism was measured using a dictator game showed that concern for the well-being of others is a major factor in predicting turnout and political participation. Note that this motivation is distinct from D, because voters must think others benefit from the outcome of the election, not their act of voting in and of itself. There are philosophical and practical reasons that some people cite for not voting in electoral politics. Robert LeFevre, Francis Tandy, John Pugsley, Frank Chodorov, George H. Smith, Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy, Lysander Spooner are some moderately well-known authors who have written about these reasons. High voter turnout is considered to be desirable, though among political scientists and economists specializing in public choice, the issue is still debated. A high turnout is seen as evidence of the legitimacy of the current system. Dictators have fabricated high turnouts in showcase elections for this purpose. For instance, Saddam Hussein's 2002 plebiscite was claimed to have had 100% participation.
Opposition parties sometimes boycott votes they feel are unfair or illegitimate, or if the election is for a government, considered illegitimate. For example, the Holy See instructed Italian Catholics to boycott national elections for several decades after the creation of the state of Italy. In some countries, there are threats of violence against those who vote, such as during the 2005 Iraq elections, an example of voter suppression. However, some political scientists question the view that high turnout is an implicit endorsement of the system. Mark
An electoral swing analysis shows the extent of change in voter support from one election to another, expressed as a positive or negative percentage. A multi-party swing is an indicator of a change in the electorate's preference between candidates or parties. A swing can be calculated for the electorate as a whole, for a given electoral district or for a particular demographic. A swing is useful for analysing change in voter support over time, or as a tool for predicting the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems. Swing is usefully deployed when analysing the shift in voter intentions revealed by opinion polls or to compare polls concisely which may rely on differing samples and on markedly different swings and therefore predict extraneous results. A swing is calculated by comparing the percentage of the vote in a particular election to the percentage of the vote belonging to the same party or candidate at the previous election. One-party swing = Percentage of vote − percentage of vote.
Examples include the comparison between the 2007 Ukrainian Parliamentary elections. The above charts show the change in voter support for each of the six major political parties by electoral district and nationwide vote results. In many nation states' media, including in Australia and the United Kingdom, swing is expressed in terms of two parties; this practice is most useful where most governments tend to be from an existing two-party system but other candidates do sometimes run, is used to predict the outcome of elections in constituency-based systems where different seats are held with different previous levels of support. An assumption underlies extrapolated national calculations: that all districts will experience the same swing as shown in a poll or in a place's results; the advantage of this swing is the fact that the loss of support for one party will in most cases be accompanied by smaller or bigger gain in support for the other, but both figures are averaged into one. Employing the two assumptions allows the analyst to compute an electoral pendulum, predicting how many seats will change hands given a particular swing, what size uniform swing would therefore bring about a change of government.
In Australia, the term "swing" refers to the change in the outcome of an election from the viewpoint of specific political parties in the preferential voting system. The UK uses the two-party swing, adding one party's increase in share of the vote to the percentage-point fall of another party and dividing the total by two. So if Party One's vote rises by 4 points and Party Two's vote falls 5 points, the swing is 4.5 points. For disambiguation suffixes such as: must be added where three parties stand. Otherwise a problem when deciding which swing is meant and which swing is best to publish arises where a lower party takes first or second. Originating as a mathematical calculation for comparing the results of two constituencies, any of these figures can be used as an indication of the scale of voter change between any two political parties, as shown below for the 2010 United Kingdom general election: Swing in the United States can refer to swing state, those states that are known to shift an outcome between Democrats and Republican Parties, equivalent on a local level to marginal seats.
By contrast, a non-swing state is the direct equivalent of a safe seat, as it changes in outcome. The extent of change in political outcome is influenced by the voting system in use; some websites provide a pie chart based or column-based multi party swingometer where ± x%, ± x%, ± x% and so on is displayed or can be input for three parties. This tool or illustration provides outcomes wherever more than two political parties have a significant influence on which politicians are elected. Swing vote Swingometer Notes References
Dumbarton (Scottish Parliament constituency)
Dumbarton is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election. However, it is one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole; the other nine constituencies of the West Scotland region are Clydebank and Milngavie, Cunninghame North, Cunninghame South, Eastwood and Inverclyde, Renfrewshire North and West, Renfrewshire South and Strathkelvin and Bearsden. The region covers part of the Argyll and Bute council area, the East Dunbartonshire council area, the East Renfrewshire council area, the Inverclyde council area, North Ayrshire council area, the Renfrewshire council area and the West Dunbartonshire council area; the Dumbarton constituency was created at the same time as the Scottish Parliament, in 1999, with the name and boundaries of an existing Westminster constituency.
In 2005, the Westminster constituency was abolished in favour of new constituencies. The constituency takes in Helensburgh and Lomond from the Argyll and Bute council area and covers Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven in West Dunbartonshire; the rest of West Dunbartonshire is covered by the Milngavie. The rest of Argyll and Bute is covered by the Argyll and Bute constituency, within the Highlands and Islands electoral region. From the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, Dumbarton had its boundaries altered to include the following electoral wards: From West Dunbartonshire: Dumbarton, Lomond From Argyll and Bute: Lomond North, Helensburgh Central and Lomond South
2005 United Kingdom general election
The 2005 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2005, to elect 646 members to the House of Commons. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, with Blair becoming the only Labour leader beside Harold Wilson to form three majority governments. However, its majority now stood at 66 seats compared to the 160-seat majority it had held; as of 2019, it remains the last general election victory for the Labour Party. The Labour campaign emphasised a strong economy. Despite this, Labour retained its leads over the Conservatives in opinion polls on economic competence and leadership, Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard struggled to capitalise on Blair's unpopularity, with the party trailing Labour in the polls throughout the 2001-5 Parliament; the Conservatives campaigned on policies, such as immigration limits, improving poorly-managed hospitals and reducing high crime rates, all under the slogan "Are you thinking what we're thinking?".
The Liberal Democrats, led by Charles Kennedy, were opposed to the Iraq War, given that there had been no second UN resolution, collected votes from disenchanted Labour voters. Tony Blair was returned as Prime Minister, with Labour having 355 MPs, but with a popular vote of 35.2%. In terms of votes, it was only narrowly ahead of the Conservatives, but still had a comfortable lead in terms of seats; the Conservatives returned 198 MPs, with 32 more seats than they had won at the previous general election, won the popular vote in England, while still ending up with 91 fewer MPs in England than Labour. The Liberal Democrats saw their popular vote increase by 3.7% and won the most seats of any third party since 1923, with 62 MPs. Anti-war activist and former Labour MP George Galloway was elected as the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow under the Respect – The Unity Coalition banner. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party, the more moderate of the main unionist parties, which had dominated Northern Irish politics since the 1920s, was reduced from six MPs to one, with party leader David Trimble himself being unseated.
The more hardline Democratic Unionist Party became the largest Northern Irish party, with nine MPs elected. Following the election, Conservative leader Michael Howard resigned and was succeeded by future Prime Minister David Cameron. Blair resigned as both Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in June 2007, was replaced by then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown; the election results were broadcast live on the BBC, presented by Peter Snow, David Dimbleby, Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Marr. The governing Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was looking to secure a third consecutive term in office and to retain a large majority; the Conservative Party was seeking to regain seats lost to both Labour and the Liberal Democrats since the 1992 general election, move from being the Official Opposition into government. The Liberal Democrats hoped to make gains from both main parties, but the Conservative Party, with a "decapitation" strategy targeting members of the Shadow Cabinet; the Lib Dems had wished to become the governing party, or to make enough gains to become the Official Opposition.
In Northern Ireland the Democratic Unionist Party sought to make further gains from the Ulster Unionist Party in unionist politics, Sinn Féin hoped to overtake the Social Democratic and Labour Party in nationalist politics.. The pro-independence Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru stood candidates in every constituency in Scotland and Wales respectively. Many seats were contested by other parties, including several parties without incumbents in the House of Commons. Parties that were not represented at Westminster, but had seats in the devolved assemblies and/or the European Parliament, included the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party; the Health Concern party stood again. A full list of parties which declared their intention to run can be found on the list of parties contesting the 2005 general election. All parties campaigned using such tools as party manifestos, party political broadcasts and touring the country in what are referred to as battle buses.
Local elections in parts of England and in Northern Ireland were held on the same day. The polls were open for fifteen hours, from 07:00 to 22:00 BST; the election came just over three weeks after the dissolution of Parliament on 11 April by Queen Elizabeth II, at the request of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Following the death of Pope John Paul II on 2 April, it was announced that the calling of the election would be delayed until 5 April. Thanks to eight years of sustained economic growth Labour could point to a strong economy, with greater investment in public services such as education and health; this was overshadowed, however, by the issue of the controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq, which met widespread public criticism at the time, would dog Blair throughout the campaign. The Chancellor, G
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce