Proportional Power

John Curtice

in Has Devolution Delivered?

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748622467
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672028 | DOI:
Proportional Power

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The advent of devolution in Scotland in 1999 brought with it not only a new institution, the Scottish Parliament, but also a new electoral system. When, in the early 1990s, Labour and the Liberal Democrats negotiated the details of devolution inside the forum of the Scottish Constitutional Convention, they agreed that Scottish Parliament elections should be conducted using an Additional Member System. One key aim of the new system, which was similar to that used in postwar Germany, was to reduce the very substantial advantage that Labour currently derived from single-member plurality. This chapter considers the degree to which Scottish voters appear in both the 1999 and 2003 elections to have been confused about the new electoral system or even to have disliked it. It also examines whether there is any evidence that voters used the system to vote sincerely to a greater degree than they did under single-member plurality, or to vote in a more sophisticated manner.

Keywords: devolution; Scotland; Scottish Parliament; elections; Additional Member System; single-member plurality; voters

Chapter.  6880 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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