Student Notes

In this chapter, we look more closely at the assumption that politics in Scotland is determined by people’s national identity. We do that by looking at how political behaviour in Scotland has changed since 1945, and particularly at the electoral divergence between Scotland and England.

The chapter aims to:

  • set out the transformation of Scottish politics, and in particular the rise of the Scottish National Party.
  • examine the assumption that there has been an identity shift among Scots from British to Scottish.
  • explore how people talk about national identity in political-constitutional terms.
  • argue that, despite appearances, being British still matters to people, and furthermore, that there is a complicated relationship between identity and politics.
  • analyse political events in the 21st century, notably elections to the Scottish parliament, British general elections and the Scottish Independence referendum in 2014.