James Mitchell

How Westminster will shape the SNP

There has been much fevered speculation on the implications of a group of Scottish National Party MPs creating havoc in the Commons after this election. In this piece, James Mitchell writes that a more informed and sober assessment suggests that a ‘large’ contingent of SNP MPs will create opportunities but also challenges for the SNP and that the greatest impact will […]

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    The answer to the Scottish question remains unresolved following the Smith Commission report

The answer to the Scottish question remains unresolved following the Smith Commission report

James Mitchell reviews the political parties’ responses to Smith Commission on further devolution to Scotland. He writes that Labour’s dilemma lies in the need to respond to demands for more powers while preventing this resulting in changes in Scotland’s representation at Westminster. Overall, he argues, the Scottish question remains unresolved.

The publication of the Smith Commission report on the further […]

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    In a major U-turn, the Tories have now committed to further Scottish devolution. But will they follow through in the event of a No vote?

In a major U-turn, the Tories have now committed to further Scottish devolution. But will they follow through in the event of a No vote?

The Tories have changed their stance on devolution dramatically over the last couple years. Having recently been firmly opposed to any further concessions to Holyrood, the Strathclyde Commission report released this week and backed by the Prime Minister commits the Tories to granting income taxation powers to Scotland, suggesting growing unease amongst the ‘No’ camp with the direction the […]

It remains open whether the September 2014 referendum will prove ‘historic’ in any meaningful way for most Scots

2014 is the year that will see the Scottish Referendum. We’ve asked top experts to discuss how the campaign is likely to evolve in the final months. In the first of the series, James Mitchell argues that the extent to which the debate widens beyond the narrow terms it currently inhabits will affect levels of public engagement and ultimately turnout. September 18 […]

January 6th, 2014|James Mitchell|1 Comment|

Top experts give their views on the government reshuffle

We’ve asked top experts what they thought about the cabinet reshuffle this week. Richard Mottram writes that the modest scale of the 2013 reshuffle is welcome recognition of the dangers in too much Ministerial churn. Claire Annesley and Francesca Gains argue that there has been little change to the record of weak representation of women in the government. James Mitchell writes that the sacking of […]

The Scottish Question: The notion that constitutional politics can be separated from ‘ordinary’ politics is unconvincing

With the Scottish referendum less than one year away, James Mitchell offers three broad types of issues in the debate: those that are core, such as the economy, defence and welfare; those that are insulated, for example the lively debate on public service reform that continues outside of the Scottish referendum context; and issues that are being insinuated into the debate, […]

October 3rd, 2013|James Mitchell|1 Comment|

The Scottish National Party’s success in winning an outright majority at Holyrood in May 2011 was an extraordinary result in an ‘ordinary’ election. Research shows that Scots voters did not move further towards secession and independence.

The coalition government at Westminster has promised more devolution to Scotland. But in May 2011 Scottish voters gave SNP leader Alex Salmond a clear majority in the Scottish Parliament, thus making a referendum on secession from the UK inevitable by 2014. Rob Johns, James Mitchell and Chris Carman from the Scottish Election Study read the runes on what Scots voters […]