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The1997 Scottish referendum : an analysis of the Scottish referendum

Mitchell, James and Denver, D. and Pattie, C. and Bochel, H. (1988) The1997 Scottish referendum : an analysis of the Scottish referendum. Scottish Affairs (22). 1 - 15. ISSN 0966-0356

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Abstract

Referendums are rare events in the United Kingdom. Only one UK-wide referendum has been held - on membership of the European Community (as it then was) in 1975 - and before 1997 there had been only three other significant referendums: in 1973, in Northern Ireland, on the constitutional position of the province, and in 1979, in Scotland and Wales, on proposals for devolution. Thus the scarcity of cases available for study in itself makes the 1997 referendum on a Scottish parliament worthy of close attention. In addition, however, the fact that Scottish voters were asked to vote on, not one, but two questions - whether or not they were in favour of a Scottish parliament and whether such a parliament should have tax-varying powers - made the Scottish referendum unique among the (admittedly few) referendums that have been held in Britain.