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Partisanship, national identity and constitutional preference : an exploration of voting in the Scottish devolution referendum

Mitchell, James and Pattie, C. and Denver, D. and Bochel, H. (1999) Partisanship, national identity and constitutional preference : an exploration of voting in the Scottish devolution referendum. Electoral Studies, 18. 305 - 322. ISSN 0261-3794

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Abstract

The Scottish devolution referendum of September 1997 was a rare event in British politics. The question of Scotland's constitutional position has been a salient issue in Scottish politics for some time, however, and survey evidence shows that electors' preferences on the issue are strongly related to their partisanship and sense of national identity. Electors' participation in the referendum was influenced by the same sorts of factors that affect turnout in general elections but also varied according to the strength of their feelings on the devolution issue. Partisanship and national identity also appear to be the key variables underlying voters' decisions on both referendum questions.