Voting and volunteering in Scotland : who participates?

Catalano, Allison (2022) Voting and volunteering in Scotland : who participates? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 46 (3).

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On 5th September, the Conservative party elected a new prime minister of the United Kingdom. Scotland has not voted for a conservative government since 1955, and Liz Truss marks the twelfth prime minister in the last hundred years elected without majority support in Scotland. The last time Scotland's vote mirrored the majority was in 2005 – the last time that a general election resulted in a Labour majority. The Brexit vote in 2016 is another good example of how far Scotland's opinion differs from that of the UK majority – less than 40% of Scottish voters approved the referendum to leave the EU, compared to more than 50% from Wales and England. Scotland's status as a minority among the UK electorate isn't so surprising from a population standpoint – Scotland only accounts for about 9% of the total UK electorate. England, by contrast, claims 84% of all voters2. The vast difference between Scotland's opinion and UK electoral outcomes may result in worsened well-being for the Scottish population. People derive a sense of satisfaction from having the ability to participate in and impact politics and governmental structures. This satisfaction, termed "democratic well-being," is weakened by perceived or structural inequalities3. Participatory inequality stems from any situation in which a particular group is unlikely to or discouraged from some form of civic participation, which includes behaviours like voting, interacting with political campaigns, activism, or volunteering.


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