The Politics of Scottish Labour's Heartlands

Jane Saren and James McCormick

in The Scottish Labour Party

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780748617845
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672097 | DOI:
The Politics of Scottish Labour's Heartlands

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This chapter explores the politics of Scottish Labour's heartlands in the context of what might be called ‘the new politics’: the changing patterns of political loyalties and engagement which are common across the western world, in which ideology is a less dominant force and social democratic parties, in particular, seek to construct broad coalitions of support based on redefined approaches to the welfare state, full employment and market regulation. The chapter begins by presenting a contemporary view on what constitutes Scottish Labour's heartlands, based on an analysis of election results in the period from the 1987 UK election to the second Scottish Parliament election in 2003. This is followed by some observations on the Scottish picture relative to the rest of Britain. It then considers the possible impact of specific Scottish Labour commitments on proportional representation for local government and the modernization of public services. Finally, some suggestions are made about the features that might define the kind of party which could thrive in the changing context of ‘new politics’.

Keywords: Scottish Labour Party; political parties; Scottish politics; political loyalties; social democratic parties; proportional representation; Scottish parliament

Chapter.  7189 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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