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Settled will or divided society? : voting in the 1997 Scottish and Welsh devolution referendums

Mitchell, James and Pattie, C. and Denver, D. and Bochel, H. (1999) Settled will or divided society? : voting in the 1997 Scottish and Welsh devolution referendums. British Elections and Parties Yearbook, 9 (1). 136 - 153.

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Abstract

At least partly because they appear to undermine the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, referendums have been rare events in the United Kingdom. The only UK-wide referendum was in 1975 (on membership of the European Community) and before 1997 there had been only three other significant sub-national referendums - in Northern Ireland (1973) and in Scotland and Wales on proposals for devolution (1979). The election of a Labour government in 1997 has resulted in a revival of interest in the device, however, and during the first 12 months of the new parliament there were four significant referendums - on a devolved parliament for Scotland, a representative assembly for Wales, the peace proposals and a parliament for Northern Ireland, and the government of London. Further referendums have been mooted on electoral reform, membership of the European single currency, and devolution to the English regions.