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The 1997 devolution referendum in Scotland

Mitchell, J. and Denver, D. and Pattie, C. and Bochel, H. (1998) The 1997 devolution referendum in Scotland. Parliamentary Affairs, 51 (2). pp. 166-181.

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Abstract

On 11 September 1997, voters in Scotland voted emphatically for the establishment of a Parliament and convincingly in favour of it having tax-varying powers. This was the culmination of years of debate. The result came shortly after the Labour Party under Tony Blair was returned to power with a huge House of Commons majority following eighteen years in opposition. A previous referendum in Scotland on devolution had been held in March 1979, in the dying days of the last Labour government. A narrow majority had then voted for devolution. The recent referendum saw the three main parties favouring a Scottish Parliament -Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party (SNP) - combine to win an overall majority on both questions, leaving only the Conservatives, who had lost all their seats in Scotland as well as losing office in the general election, campaigning against devolution. Elections to the new Parliament will take place in May 1999.