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The mixed public reaction contrasts sharply with the response from architectural critics. Its rampant complexity, iconography and layering of meaning and metaphor are widely regarded as producing a building which is "quite a meal".[12] This prompted Catherine Slessor, writing in the Architectural Review, to describe it as "A Celtic-Catalan cocktail to blow both minds and budgets, it doesn't play safe, HP GC057015VH-A CPU FAN

energetically mining a new seam of National Romanticism refined and reinterpreted for the twenty-first century."[6] Jencks attempted to dampen criticism of the cost overruns by questioning how 'value for money' might be judged. For him, the building is not just a functional or economic enterprise, it is an exploration of national identity and in comparing it to other comparable assemblies, HP GC057514VH-A CPU FAN

not least the Palace of Westminster, he argues the cost is comparable.[12] The conception of the building has been singled out for praise, particularly in the way it re-establishes Scotland's traditional focus towards mainland Europe and its values by means of the layout of the non-adversarial debating chamber and the creation of the public spaces in front of the building, "HP KDB0505HB CPU FAN

where people can meet and express themselves as a force". In an era of the Bilbao effect and the iconic building, Jencks is impressed that rather than being a monumental building, as is usual for capital landmarks, the building creates a complex union of nature and culture that nestles itself into the landscape.[12]

The building has also won a number of awards, including an award at the VIII Biennial of Spanish Architecture, HP KDB05605HB CPU FAN

the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture, and the 2005 Stirling Prize, the UK's most prestigious architecture award.[67] The inclusion of the Scottish Parliament Building on the shortlist for the Stirling Prize in 2004, led the judges to describe the building as "a statement of sparkling excellence".[68] In October 2005 the building was identified as Scotland's 4th greatest modern building by readers of Prospect magazine. HP KSB0605HB CPU FAN

The construction of the Scottish Parliament Building has generated controversy in several respects. Rising costs and the use of public money to fund the project generated most controversy.[8] Initial estimates for constructing a new building were projected to be between £10m and £40m in 1997.[8] By early 2004, the estimated final cost of the project was set at £430m, some ten times greater. HP KSB06105HA CPU FAN

Notwithstanding the level of controversy surrounding cost, the Scottish Parliament Building proved controversial in a number of other respects: the decision to construct a new building, the choice of site, the selection of a non-Scottish architect, and the selection of Bovis as construction manager after having earlier been excluded from the shortlist.[8] HP MCF-811AM05 CPU FAN

In 1997, the initial cost of constructing a new Parliament building was given as £40 million, a figure produced by the Scottish Office, prior to the September 1997 devolution referendum, and subsequently revealed to be the figure for housing MSPs.[70] Further controversy surrounding the project sprang from the selection of the Holyrood site, HP MCF-W13BM05 CPU FAN

which was a late entrant onto the list of sites to be considered, and the rejection of the Royal High School on Calton Hill, long thought to be the home of any futuredevolved Scottish Parliament. After a formal visit to the Royal High School by Dewar and his aides on 30 May 1997, it was rejected as unsuitable on the grounds of size and location.[74] HP 540 CPU FAN

Control of the building project passed from the Scottish Office to the cross-party Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body(SPCB) on 1 June 1999, headed by the Parliament's then Presiding Officer, Sir David Steel, at a time of increasing costs.[8]Rising costs sprang from the need for a formal entrance and the need to accommodate parliamentary staff in light of better knowledge of how Parliament was working at its primary location on the Royal Mile, HP 550 CPU FAN

where it was clear there were staff overcrowding problems.[74] With the cost increases in mind, and heightened media interest in the Holyrood Project,[8] the Members of the Scottish Parliament held a debate on whether to continue with construction on 17 June 1999 voting by a majority of 66 to 57 in favour to complete the project.[75] HP 6445B Series CPU FAN

In August 1999, the architect informed the project group that the Parliament would need to be further increased in size by 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft).[8]A subsequent costing revealed that taking into account the increased floorspace net construction costs had risen to £115m by September 1999.[8] Early in 2000, the SPCB commissioned an independent report by the architect John Spencely. HP 6520s CPU FAN

The report concluded that savings of 20% could be made on the current project and that scrapping the project completely at that stage or moving to another site would entail additional costs of £30m.[76] Spencely also cited poor communication between the SPCB and construction officials as increasingly costly.[76] Given the outcomes of the Spencely report, HP 6545B Series CPU FAN

MSPs voted to continue with the construction project on the Holyrood site in a debate in the Scottish Parliament on 5 April 2000.[77]

The project was also complicated by the deaths of Miralles in July 2000, of Dewar the following October and the existence of a multi-headed client consisting of the SPCB, the Presiding Officer and an architectural advisor. HP 6720 CPU FAN

The client took over the running of the project from the Scottish Executive (formerly the Scottish Office) while it was already under construction. Subsequently, the events of 9/11 led to further design changes, especially with regard to security, which again resulted in rising costs.[8] However, it was later rejected that the re-designs required to incorporate greater security into the building structure were the "single biggest" factor affecting the increased costs of the project.[8] HP 6820s CPU FAN

By March 2004 the cost had reached the sum of £430m (compared to an original budget of £55m in July 1998 when the architects were appointed).[8] This equates to £85 for each of the 5.1 million people in Scotland.[78] A report published by the Auditor General for Scotland in July 2004 specifically identified elements that contributed to both increasing costs and the delay in completing the project. HP EliteBook 6930P Series CPU FAN

His report criticised the overall management of the project and stated that had the management and construction process been executed better, costs could have been reduced.[79] The report attempted to identify the reasons why there had been an acceleration in cost from £195m in September 2000 to £431m in February 2004 and concluded that over 2000 design changes to the project were a major factor.[79] HP EliteBook 8530 Series CPU FAN

The building was finally certified for occupation in the Summer of 2004, with the official opening in October of the same year, three years behind schedule.

In May 2003 the First Minister, Jack McConnell, announced a major public inquiry into the handling of the building project. The inquiry (known as the Holyrood Inquiry, or the Fraser Inquiry) was headed by Lord Fraser of Carmyllie and held at the Scottish Land Court in Edinburgh. HP EliteBook 8530p Series CPU FAN

The inquiry took evidence from architects, civil servants, politicians and the building companies. Evidence was taken over the course of 49 hearings and the final report ran to 300 pages.

Presenting his report in September 2004, Lord Fraser told how he was "astonished" that year after year the ministers who were in charge were kept so much in the dark over the increases in cost estimates.[10] HP EliteBook 8530w Series CPU FAN

He also stated that a Parliament building of sufficient scale could never have been built for less than £50m, and was "amazed" that the belief that it could be was perpetuated for so long.[10] He believed that from at least April 2000, when MSPs commissioned the Spencely Report to decide whether the building should continue, it should have been realised that the building was bound to cost in excess of £200m.[10] HP Envy 13 Series CPU FAN

Furthermore, £150m of the final cost was wasted as a result of design delays, over-optimistic programming and uncertain authority.[10]

Despite having only an outline design, the designers RMJM/EMBT (Scotland) Ltd stated without foundation that the building could be completed within a £50m budget.[80] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

Nevertheless, these estimates were believed by officials.[80] The two architectural practices in the RMJM and EMBT joint venture operated dysfunctionally and failed to communicate effectively with each other and the project manager.[80] The death of Miralles also gave rise to a substantial period of disharmony.[80] The Brief emphasised the importance of design and quality over cost, HP Pavilion dv7-1003eo CPU Fan

and was not updated despite considerable evolution of the design.[10]Ministers were not informed of grave concerns within the Scottish Office over the cost of the project and officials failed to take the advice of the cost consultants.[80]

The Scottish Office decided to procure the construction work under a "construction management contract", Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

rather than under a Private Finance Initiative, in order to speed construction, but without properly evaluating the financial risks of doing so, and - in a decision that Fraser stated "beggars belief" - without asking Ministers to approve it.[10][80] This was one of the two most flawed decisions which the report singled out,[10] the other was the insistence on a rigid programme.[80] SONY Vaio VGN-CR23/N CPU Fan

Officials decided that rapid delivery of the new building was to be the priority, but that quality should be maintained. It was therefore inevitable that the cost would suffer. The client was obsessed with early completion and failed to understand the impact on cost and the completion date if high-quality work and a complex building were required.[80] HP Pavilion dv6-3043tx CPU Fan

In attempting to achieve early completion, the management contractor produced optimistic programmes, to which the architects were unwise to commit.[80] The main causes of the slippage were delays in designing a challenging project that was to be delivered against a tight timetable using an unusual procurement route.[80] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

The inquiry was widely seen as clearing Donald Dewar for the initial mishandling of the project.[81] This came after speculation suggesting that Dewar was aware that the initial costs of a new Parliament Building, circulated to the public, were too low.[82][83] However in his report, Lord Fraser stated "there was no evidence whatsoever, that he [Dewar] deliberately or knowingly misled MSPs. HP Pavilion dv7-1003eo CPU Fan

He relied on cost figures given to him by senior civil servants."[80] The inquiry also resisted the temptation to "lay all of the blame at the door of a deceased wayward architectural genius [Miralles].....costs rose because the client wanted increases and changes or at least approved of them in one manifestation or other."

In his report, Lord Fraser set out a number of recommendations stemming from the inquiry. Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

Primarily, in terms of design selection and when using an international architect linking with a Scottish based firm, the report advised that a full analysis of the compatibility of different working cultures and practices needs to be made.[80]

Lord Fraser advocated that when "construction management" contracts were used,  HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

civil servants or local government officials should evaluate the risks of such a contract and set out the advantages and disadvantages of embarking upon such a route before their political superiors.[80] Alongside that recommendation, Lord Fraser stated that independent advisors should be retained and have the ability to communicate their advice to ministers, without those views being "filtered" by public officials.[80] SONY Vaio VGN-CR23/N CPU Fan

Similarly, where civil servants are part of large project management contracts, clear guidelines of governance should be set out and be as rigorous as standards applied in the private sector.[80]

Following publication of the report, Jack McConnell stated that the Fraser recommendations would be fully implemented, and that fundamental reform of the civil service was already under way, with trained professionals being recruited to handle such projects.[84] HP Pavilion dv7-1129wm CPU Fan

The First Minister emphasised that he was keen to see an increase in the specialist skills of civil servants, in order for them to be able to administer projects of such magnitude in the future.[84] John Elvidge, the most senior civil servant in Scotland, admitted that best practice had not been followed and apologised for the way the project had been handled.[85] HP Pavilion G72-b15EV CPU Fan

He did not rule out the possibility of taking disciplinary action against civil service staff,[85] although subsequent Scottish Government investigations resulted in no action being taken against individual public officials involved with the project.

Scotland is a country which is part of the United Kingdom (UK). Compaq Presario CQ60-417DX CPU Fan

As the UK is de jure a unitary state, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, located at Westminster, London is sovereign over the whole state. However since the late 1990s, a system of devolution has emerged in the UK, whereby Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have each been granted some measure of self-government whilst remaining within the UK. HP Pavilion dv7-3080eg CPU Fan

Scotland entered into a political union with England in 1707, and since then has had representation in the British parliament. Currently, 59 Members of Parliament (MPs) represent Scottish constituencies at Westminster, and issues such as the constitution, foreign affairs, defence, social security, pensions, issues of medical ethics, and fiscal, economic and monetary policy are decided on at Westminster. HP Pavilion dv9233ca CPU Fan

In 1999, an 129-member Scottish Parliament was established in Edinburgh, which has power to make laws over agriculture, education, environment, health, local government and justice. In the UK government, Scottish affairs are represented by the Secretary of State for Scotland, currently Michael Moore MP, and the Scottish Government is headed by a First Minister, HP Envy 14-1195la CPU Fan

who is the leader of the political party with the most support in the Scottish Parliament, currently Alex Salmond MSP. The head of state in Scotland is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II (since 1952). As the UK is part of the European Union, Scotland also elects 6 Members to sit in the European Parliament. HP Pavilion dv6-2115sf CPU Fan

Scotland can best be described as having a multi-party system. In the Scottish Parliament, the centre-left pro-independenceScottish National Party (SNP) is the party which forms government, currently holding a majority of seats in the parliament (65 out of 129). Opposition parties include the Scottish Labour Party (centre-left, social democratic), HP Pavilion dv7-3067nr CPU Fan

the Scottish Conservative Party (centre-right, conservative), the Scottish Liberal Democrats (centrist, social liberal), and theScottish Green Party (centre-left, environmentalist). Elections are held once every four years, with 73 Members being elected to represent constituencies, and the remaining 56 elected via a system of proportional representation. HP Pavilion dv7-1129wm CPU Fan

At Westminster, Scotland is represented by 12 MPs in the current coalition government (11 Liberal Democrats and 1Conservative), 41 MPs in the Opposition Labour Party, and 6 MPs for the Scottish National Party.A prominent issue in Scotland in current times is the issue of Scottish independence, that is the creation of an independent Scotland outside the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion G72-b15EV CPU Fan

The pro-independence Scottish government plans to ask the people of Scotland, 'Should Scotland be an independent country?', in a referendum on 18th September 2014. The SNP and the Scottish Greens will campaign in favour of independence, whereas the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat parties will campaign to maintain Scotland's role within the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion dv6-2140se CPU Fan

The party with the largest number of seats in the Scottish Parliament is the Scottish National Party which campaigns for Scottish independence. The current First Minister isAlex Salmond of the SNP who leads a majority government as of the 5th May 2011 elections. This follows on from a term as a minority government, from 2007 - 20011. SONY Vaio VGN-SZ6RXN/C CPU Fan

Before the 2007 election, Jack McConnell of the Labour Party was First Minister, whose government was formed on a coalition basis with the Liberal Democrats. Other parties represented in the parliament are the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Scottish Green Party. HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

Under devolution Scotland is represented by 59 MPs in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom elected from territory-based Scottish constituencies, out of a total of 650 MPs in the House of Commons. A Secretary of State for Scotland, who prior to devolution headed the system of government in Scotland, sits in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom and is responsible for the limited number of powers the office retains since devolution, ACER eMachines G520 CPU Fan

as well as relations with other Whitehall Ministers who have power over reserved matters. The Scottish Parliament can refer devolved matters back to Westminster to be considered as part of United Kingdom-wide legislation by passing a Legislative Consent Motion — usually referred to as a Sewel Motion. This has been done on a number of occasions where it has been seen as either more efficient, HP Pavilion dv5-2132dx CPU Fan

or more politically expedient to have the legislation considered by Westminster. The Scotland Office is a department of the United Kingdom government, responsible for reserved Scottish affairs. The current Secretary of State for Scotland is Michael Moore MP, a Liberal Democrat. Until 1999, Scottish peers were entitled to sit in the House of Lords. Compaq Presario CQ60-307ea CPU Fan

The main political debate in Scotland tends to revolve around attitudes to the constitutional question. Under the pressure of growing support for Scottish independence a policy of devolution had been advocated by all three GB-wide parties to some degree during their history (although Labour and the Conservatives have also at times opposed it). HP Pavilion dv6-2010sa CPU Fan

This question dominated the Scottish political scene in the latter half of the 20th century with Labour leader John Smith describing the revival of a Scottish parliament as the "settled will of the Scottish people".[1] Now that devolution has occurred, the main argument about Scotland's constitutional status is over whether the Scottish Parliament should accrue additional powers (for example over fiscal policy), or seek to obtain full independence. Toshiba Satellite A40-702 CPU Fan

Ultimately the long term question is: should the Scottish parliament continue to be a subsidiary assembly created and potentially abolished by the constitutionally dominant and sovereign parliament of the United Kingdom (as in devolution) or should it have an independent existence as of right, with full sovereign powers (either through independence, a federal United Kingdom or a confederalarrangement)? SONY Vaio VGN-AR21B CPU Fan

To clarify these issues, the SNP-led Scottish Executive published Choosing Scotland's Future, a consultation document directed to the electorate under the National Conversation exercise.

The programmes of legislation enacted by the Scottish Parliament have seen the divergence in the provision of public services compared to the rest of the United Kingdom.[2] SONY Vaio VPC-EB3E1E/PI CPU Fan

While the costs of a university education, and care services for the elderly are free at point of use in Scotland, fees are paid in the rest of the UK. Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in public places.

Although a similar measure had been rejected in 1979, the election of the Labour government in 1997 was followed by a referendum on establishing a devolved Scottish Parliament. SONY Vaio VPC-EB3E1E/WI CPU Fan

That September, 74.3% voters agreed with the establishment of the parliament and 63.5% agreed it should be able to adjust income taxesby up to 3%.[4][5]

The Parliament was then created by the Scotland Act 1998 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (Westminster Parliament). This act sets out the subjects still dealt at Westminster, referred to asreserved mattersSONY Vaio VGN-FS660/W CPU Fan

including Defence, International Relations, Fiscal and Economic Policy, Drugs Law and Broadcasting. Anything not mentioned as a specific reserved matter is automatically devolved to Scotland, including health, education, local government, Scots law and all other issues. This is one of the key differences between the successful Scotland Act 1998 and the failed Scotland Act 1978. HP Pavilion G61-631NR CPU Fan

The Parliament is elected with a mixture of the first past the post and proportional representation electoral systems, namely, the additional members system. Thus the Parliament is unlike the Westminster Parliament, which is still elected solely by the first past the post method. The Scottish Parliament is elected every four years and contains 129 members, referred to as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). HP Pavilion dv6560el CPU Fan

Of the 129 MSPs, 73 are elected to represent first past the post constituencies, whilst the remaining 56 are elected by the additional member system.

The proportional representation system has resulted in the election of a number of candidates from parties that would not have been expected to get representation through the first past the post system. HP Pavilion dv6-2128ca CPU Fan

To replace the Scottish Office, a devolved government called the Scottish Executive (latterly to be known as The Scottish Government) was established, with theFirst Minister of Scotland at its head. The secretariat of the Executive is part of the UK Civil Service and the head of the Executive, the Permanent Secretary(presently Sir Peter Housden), is the equivalent of the Permanent Secretary of a Whitehall department. HP Pavilion dv7-3004el CPU Fan

Until the 2005 general election, Scotland elected 72 MPs from 72 single-member constituencies to serve in the House of Commons. As this over-represented Scotland in relation to the other components of the UK, Clause 81 of the Scotland Act 1998 equalised the English and Scottish electoral quota. As a result, the Boundary Commission for Scotland's recommendations were adopted, HP Pavilion dv7-4050ev CPU Fan

reducing Scottish representation in the House of Commons to 59 MPs from the 2005 general election. In order to facilitate this reduction in the number of MPs from Scottish constituencies, the necessary amendment to the Scotland Act 1998, was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom as the Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004. HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

The previous over-representation was widely accepted before to allow for a greater Scottish voice in the Commons, but since the establishment of a Scottish Parliament it has been felt that this is not necessary.

Scottish MPs are elected at the same time as the rest of the UK's MPs.

Scotland was historically represented in the UK government by the Secretary of State for Scotland. HP Pavilion dv5-1172el CPU Fan

This post was established in the 1880s but recently it has been the topic of much speculation. Many believe that since devolution there is no need for such a role to exist. The current Secretary of State is Michael Moore. His department, the Scotland Office, created in 1999, liaises with other Whitehall departments about devolution matters. Toshiba Satellite A105-S4084 CPU Fan

Local government in Scotland is organised into 32 unitary authorities. Each local authority is governed by a council consisting of elected councillors, who are elected every four years by registered voters in each of the council areas.

Scottish councils co-operate through, and are represented collectively by, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). HP Pavilion dv4-1038tx CPU Fan

There are currently 1,222 councillors in total, each paid a part-time salary for the undertaking of their duties. Each authority elects a Convener or Provost to chair meetings of the authority's council and act as a figurehead for the area. The four main cities of Scotland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee have aLord Provost who is also, ex officio, Lord Lieutenant for that city. HP Pavilion dv7-3060sb CPU Fan

There are in total 32 councils, the largest being the City of Glasgow with more than 600,000 inhabitants, the smallest, Orkney, with fewer than 20,000 people. See Subdivisions of Scotland for a list of the council areas.

Community councils represent the interests of local people. Local authorities have a statutory duty to consult community councils on planning, development and other issues directly affecting that local community. HP Pavilion dv7-6055sf CPU Fan

However, the community council has no direct say in the delivery of services. In many areas they do not function at all, but some work very effectively at improving their local area.[6]

Elections for Community Councils are determined by the local authority and the law states that candidates cannot stand on a party-political ticket. SONY VGN-CS108D  CPU Fan

Until 1832 Scottish politics remained very much in the control of landowners in the country, and of small cliques of merchants in the burghs. Agitation against this position through the Friends of the People Society in the 1790s met with Lord Braxfield's explicit repression on behalf of the landed interests.[7] DELL XPS M170 CPU Fan

The Scottish Reform Act 1832 rearranged the constituencies and increased the electorate from under 5,000 to 65,000.[8] The Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868 extended the electorate to 232,000 but with "residential qualifications peculiar to Scotland".[9] However by 1885 around 50% of the male population had the vote, the secret ballot had become established, and the modern political era had started. HP Pavilion G72-b15SV CPU Fan

From 1885 to 1918 the Liberal Party almost totally dominated Scottish politics. Only in the general election of 1955 did theUnionist Party, together with their National Liberal and Liberal Unionist allies, win a majority of votes.

In general, the Unionists achieved their best results in the Glasgow area, due to the Orange vote.

After the coupon election of 1918, 1922 saw the emergence of the Labour Party as a major force. HP G62-120ES CPU Fan

Red Clydeside elected a number of Labour MPs. A communist gained election for Motherwell in 1924, but in essence the 1920s saw a 3-way fight between Labour, the Liberals and the Unionists. The National Party of Scotland first contested a seat in 1929. It merged with the centre-right Scottish Party in 1934 to form the Scottish National Party, but the SNP remained a peripheral force until the watershed Hamilton by-election of 1967. HP Pavilion dv6-3034ss   CPU   Fan

The Communists won West Fife in 1935 and again in 1945 (Willie Gallacher) and several Glasgow Labour MPs joined the Independent Labour Party in the 1930s, often heavily defeating the official Labour candidates.

The National Government won the vast majority of Scottish seats in 1931 and 1935: the Liberal Party, banished to the Highlands and Islands, no longer functioned as a significant force in central Scotland. HP Pavilion dv7-3165ef  CPU Fan

In 1945, the SNP saw its first MP (Robert McIntyre) elected at the Motherwell by-election, but had little success during the following decade. The ILP members rejoined the Labour Party, and Scotland now had in effect a two-party system.

1950: The Liberals won 2 seats - Jo Grimond winning Orkney and Shetland. HP X16-1000 Series CPU Fan

  • 1951: Labour and the Unionists won 35 seats each, the Liberals losing one seat.
  • 1955: The Unionists won a majority of both seats and votes. The SNP managed to finish second in Perth and Kinross.

1959: In contrast to England, Scotland swung to Labour, which scored 4 gains at the expense of the Unionists. This marked the start of a process which in less than 40 years saw the Unionists' Scottish representation at Westminster reduced to zero. IBM ThinkPad Z61m  CPU Fan

  • This was the last occasion when the Unionists won in Scotland: their merger with the Conservative Party of England and Wales in 1965, to become the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, began a long, steady decline in their support.
  • 1964: A substantial swing to Labour occurred, giving them 44 of Scotland's 71 seats. The Liberals won 4 seats, all in the Highlands.

1965: David Steel won the Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles by-election for the Liberals. ACER Aspire One D250 CPU Fan

  • 1966: Labour gained 2 more seats and the Liberals made a net gain of 1. The SNP garnered over 100,000 votes and finished second in 3 seats.

1967: The SNP did well in the Glasgow Pollok by-election, but this had the effect of allowing the Conservative and Unionist candidate to win. However in the subsequent Hamilton by-election Winnie Ewing won a sensational victory. ACER Ferrari 4000 CPU Fan

  • 1968: The SNP made substantial gains in local elections.

1970: The SNP performed poorly in local elections and in the Ayrshire South by-election. The general election saw a small swing to the Conservative & Unionists, but Labour won a majority of seats in Scotland. The SNP made little progress in central Scotland, but took votes from the Liberals in the Highlands and in north east Scotland, and won the Western Isles. HP G42-367TU CPU Fan

  • 1971-1973: The SNP did well in by-elections, Margo MacDonald winning Glasgow Govan.

1974: In the two general elections of 1974 (in February and October) the SNP won 7 and then 11 seats, their share of the vote rising from 11% in 1970 to 22% and then 30%. With the Labour Party winning the latter election by a narrow margin the SNP appeared in a strong position. Toshiba Satellite L350-146 CPU Fan

1974-1979: Devolution dominated this period: the Labour government attempted to steer through devolution legislation, based on the recommendations of theKilbrandon Commission, against strong opposition, not least from its own backbenchers. Finally a referendum, whilst producing a small majority in favour of an elected Scottish Assembly, failed to reach 40% of the total electorate, a target set in the legislation. HP Pavilion dv8335ea CPU Fan

  • In the 1979 general election the SNP fared poorly, falling to 17% of the vote and 2 seats. Labour did well in Scotland, but in the United Kingdom as a whole Margaret Thatcher led the Conservatives to a decisive victory.

1979-1983: The SNP suffered severe splits as the result of the 1979 drop in support. Labour also was riven by internal strife as the Social Democratic Partysplit away. Dell Vostro 3400 CPU Fan

  • Despite this, the 1983 election still saw Labour remain the majority party in Scotland, with a smaller swing to the Conservatives than in England. The SNP's vote declined further, to 11%, although it managed to win 2 seats.

1987: The Labour Party did well in the 1987 election, mainly at the expense of the Conservative & Unionists, who were reduced to their smallest number of Scottish seats since before World War I. The SNP made a small but significant advance. APPLE MG62090V1-Q020-S99 CPU Fan

  • 1988: Jim Sillars won the Glasgow Govan by-election for the SNP.

1992: This election proved a disappointment for Labour and the SNP in Scotland. The SNP went from 14% to 21% of the vote but won only 3 seats. The Conservative and Unionist vote did not collapse, as had been widely predicted, leading to claims that their resolutely anti-devolution stance had paid dividends. APPLE 15" Macbook Pro Unibody CPU Fan

  • 1995: Braveheart is released in the United States, greatly affecting the Scottish political landscape.

1997: In common with England, a Labour landslide occurred in Scotland. The SNP doubled their number of MPs to 6, but the Conservative & Unionists failed to win a single seat. Unlike 1979, Scottish voters delivered a decisive "Yes" vote in the referendum on establishing a Scottish Parliament. Gateway 6020GZ CPU Fan

  • 1999: The Scottish Parliament is established. A coalition of Labour and Liberal Democrats led by Donald Dewar take power.
  • 2007: The SNP become Scotland's largest party in the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary election and form a minority government.

2008: John Mason won the Glasgow East by-election for the SNP. Toshiba Satellite Pro M30-891 CPU Fan

  • 2008: Lindsay Roy won the Glenrothes by-election for Labour with an increased share of the vote and a 6,737 majority over the SNP.

2009: Willie Bain won the Glasgow North East by-election for Labour with 59.4% of the vote and an 8,111 majority over the SNP. Toshiba Satellite Pro M30-782 CPU Fan

  • 2010: United Kingdom general election, 2010: Labour won 41 out of 59 Scottish seats including Glasgow East from the SNP and receiving over 1 million votes across Scotland despite Labour losing 91 seats across Britain as a whole.

2011: The SNP become the first party to win an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. HP Pavilion dv5-1050eo CPU Fan

The current party forming the Scottish Government is the Scottish National Party (SNP), which won a majority of seats in the May 2011 Scottish parliamentary elections. The SNP was formed in 1934 with the aim of achieving Scottish independence. They are broadly centre-left and are in the European social-democraticmould. They are the largest party in the Scottish Parliament. SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

In the course of the twentieth century, the Labour Party gradually rose to prominence as Scotland's main political force. The party was established to represent the interests of workers and trade unionists. From 1999 to 2007, they operated as the senior partners in a coalition Scottish Executive.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats were the junior partners in the 1999 to 2007 coalition Scottish Executive. Dell Studio XPS 1645 CPU Fan

In the 2010 Westminster election they were the second strongest party in terms of seats but third strongest party in terms of votes in Scotland. They have the fourth highest number of both MSPs and councillors.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party has declined in popularity since their establishment in 1965. Their predecessor, the Unionist Party, ACER eMachines 7230 CPU Fan

are the only party ever to have achieved an outright majority of Scottish votes at any general election, in 1951 (they only won a majority if the votes of their National Liberal and Liberal Unionist allies are included). However at the 1997 general election they failed to get a single Scottish MP elected and at the followinggeneral election they returned only one, as they did in 2005 and in 2010. They are a centre-right party. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

The Scottish Green Party have won regional additional member seats in the Scottish Parliament, as a result of the proportional representation electoral system. They won one MSP in 1999, increased their total to seven at the 2003 election but saw this drop back to 2 at the 2007 election. The Greens support Scottish independence. SONY Vaio VGN-A29LP CPU Fan

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) were formed in 1998 to operate as a political party that could unite the majority of the far-left in Scotland. They won one MSP in 1999 and increased their total to six at the 2003 election. The SSP split in 2006 when two MSPs and a large number of activists left to form Solidarity. Both parties lost all their seats at the 2007 election. HP Pavilion dv7t-6100 CTO CPU Fan

Both the SSP and Solidarity support Scottish independence.

The Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party (SSCUP) were formed just in time to contest the 2003 elections to the Scottish Parliament. They were formed to work for the rights of Scotland's senior citizens. HP Pavilion dv7-3163cl CPU Fan

Thanks to the Scottish Parliament's proportional electoral system, they managed to get one MSP elected in 2003, John Swinburne, their party founder and leader. In the 2007 election they lost their only seat. HP Pavilion dv7-4140ed CPU Fan,Compaq Presario CQ60-155ep CPU Fan,HP Mini 110-3000sd CPU Fan

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