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June 28, 2018

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Benjamin Franks

Does it need its own parliament when it dominates the UK parliament quite so spectacularly? I can think of many occasions when the voters of Scotland or Wales have elected an overall majority party quite different to the England, but have still been ruled by a party of a different ideological persuasion. I can't think of many occasions in the 300+ years of the Union where the English have voted for a party that would have had an overall majority but the votes of Scotland and Wales meant a different Party had single party dominance. There are occasions when the English-preferred Party would have been the sole party of government rather than in coalition (2010, 2017) but it was still in government. My guess, is that should it be a sustained occurrence (unlikely given parliamentary arithmetic) that an English majority party is in opposition, then there will be popular agitation to have a heavily devolved English parliament with considerably more powers than that allowed currently to Scotland or Wales.

Dr Paul Stott

We actually hear very little in terms of demand for an English parliament - the one party really pushing it, the English Democrats, has never been close to a parliamentary seat. That suggests it may well need the type of scenario sketched above.

On the historical points you make, I think 1955 was the last time there were more Tory MPs in Scotland than Labour. The Thatcher years are seen as being particularly disastrous, but it could also be argued it was Blair-Brown which killed them off until the Tory successes in 2017:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Scotland#1955#

I did have an SNP activist explain the party's rise to me in terms of the old working class Protestant vote, which had often been suspicious of Labour, switching from Conservative to SNP over the course of a generation. Perhaps, in time, those people may switch back?

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