The Paradoxes of Scottish Labour: Devolution, Change and Conservatism
Chapter in Gerry Hassan and Chris Warhurst (ed.), Tomorrow’s Scotland, Lawrence and Wishart 2002
The Scottish Labour Party has been part of the process of initiating a widespread constitutional reform programme at a UK level since 1997; and after decades of campaigning, the Scottish Parliament has been established. This has changed dramatically the role of Scottish Labour, bringing it into coalition government with the Liberal Democrats; however, it also carries with it the potential to evolve into a more competitive and pluralist politics, which in the future may be less Labour-orientated.
In the hundred and fourteen years of Scottish Labour’s existence, its electoral fortunes have fluctuated – as have those of the Labour Party in the UK – but the Scottish Labour Party has gradually strengthened its position as the leading party in Scotland. It has contributed across the spectrum of Scottish public life, producing a range of national leaders who have played significant roles in Scotland and Westminster. The party has been crucial to the politics of the Union, developing a vital role in representing Scottish and British interests, emphasising Scotland’s contribution to the Union and the Union’s contribution to Scotland. The establishment of the Scottish Parliament brings new opportunities and challenges: to its electoral position, its leadership and its ability to advocate both Scottish and British interests.
Surprisingly, the Scottish Labour Party has been relatively ignored by contemporary political analysis (1). Most studies of Scottish Labour have looked at it historically – its origins, the contribution of the ILP, Red Clydeside – or at its relationship with Scottish nationalism. This reflects the orthodoxies of political analysis, which emphasise the primacy of Westminster politics and ignore the territorial dimension of political parties (2). This chapter looks at Scottish Labour in a number of ways: it examines its contribution to Scottish politics; looks at its role as a sub-section of British Labour; views it as a case study of territorial politics; and addresses the paradoxes inherent in Scottish Labour’s championing of devolution.
Scottish Labour has been the dominant party in terms of electoral performance for most of post-war politics. In the period of 1945-70 it averaged 47.3 per cent of the vote and had a stable vote as characterised by the two party politics of that era. Its vote fluctuated between a high of 49.9 per cent (1966) – still Scottish Labour’s best result – and a low of 44.5 per cent (1970) – a difference of 5.4 per cent. In the period of 1974-2001, it has averaged 40.0 per cent – ranging from a high of 45.6 per cent (1987) to a low of 35.1 per cent (1983) – a range of 10.5 per cent. These two eras are characterised by very different political environments: the first period saw a two-party system where the Conservatives in three elections polled more votes than Labour, and overall polled an average of 3.8 per cent less than Labour. The second period saw a more pluralist politics defined by four party competition whereby Labour’s vote declined slightly, but its main competitor switched between the Conservatives and SNP; Labour’s lead widening over the former to 15.0 per cent and an impressive 20.1 per cent over the latter (3).
Table 1.1: Scottish and English Labour voting performance 1945-2001
1945 1950 1951 1955 1959 1964 1966 1970
Scotland 47.6 46.2 47.9 46.7 46.7 48.7 49.9 44.5
England 48.5 46.2 48.8 46.8 43.6 43.5 48.0 43.4
1974(1) 1974(2) 1979 1983 1987 1992 1997 2001
Scotland 36.6 36.3 41.5 35.1 42.4 39.0 45.6 43.2
England 37.6 40.1 36.7 26.9 29.5 34.0 43.5 41.4
Source: Kellas, The Scottish Political System, 4th edn. 1989; Hassan and Lynch, The Almanac of Scottish Politics; House of Commons Research Paper 01/54
Scottish Labour’s support in 1997 (45.6 per cent) was higher than at any election since 1966 and lower than at every election in 1945-70 bar one (1970); its 2001 vote (43.2 per cent) was lower than any of these. However, due to the distortions of the first-past-the-post electoral system, Labour returned a record number of MPs in 1997 (56) and 2001 (55) (4). Scottish Labour’s level of support has in recent years on several occasions been significantly higher than the party’s vote in England overall. This rose to its highest gap in the 1987 election (13.9 per cent), before slowly falling at each subsequent election reaching a mere 1.8 per cent in 2001 – the smallest gap between Labour in Scotland and England since 1974. It is not so much Labour’s strength that has allowed it in recent years to increasingly dominate Scottish politics; it is more a question of Conservative weakness and decline, and a growing gap between their vote in Scotland and in England.
Over the post-war period, Labour in Scotland has secured higher levels of support than in England in ten out of sixteen elections (see Table 1.1.). In only five elections did Labour in England win higher support and in one it was the same (1950). This masks differences between the two eras. During 1945-70, Labour won across England an average 46.1 per cent – only 1.2 per cent less than the Scottish party; but over the period 1974-2001 the English average was 36.2 per cent – 3.8 per cent lower than the Scottish party. The Scottish party seems to have managed better the shift during the post-war period to a multi-party system.
However, the Scottish party’s electoral dominance of Scotland is not as strong as it first seems. The party has never won a majority of the popular vote – something the Scottish Tories did in 1955 and the Liberals managed for most of the nineteenth century. The Welsh Labour Party, in comparison, has won over 50 per cent of the vote in eight out of the sixteen post-war elections (5). Although the party made an electoral break-through in the ‘Red Clydeside’ contest of 1922, it was not until the 1959 election that it achieved a significant lead over the Conservatives in seats, and not till 1964 in votes. Since the decline of the Conservatives, Labour has elected MPs and MSPs across a whole swathe of urban, industrial and post-industrial Scotland, with little electoral competition – the SNP too seems unable to win in Labour areas. Other parts of Scotland – the Highlands and Islands, North East Scotland and Scottish Borders – are more impervious to Labour’s appeal and more open to the SNP and Lib Dems.
Scottish Labour’s heartlands are clustered in the Central Belt, and in particular in the West of Scotland. This latter area shapes the party’s politics: Labour’s dominance and lack of serious opposition produces a more majoritarian and traditional form of labourism. Other areas such as Aberdeen and Edinburgh, where the party has faced more competition and serious challenge, have produced a less traditional politics. One indication of this is that the ‘new left’ currents of the Labour Co-ordinating Committee and Scottish Labour Action have tended to come from outside the West of Scotland – from Edinburgh, Stirling and outside the Central Belt. Glasgow and its surrounding areas have contributed relatively little to this reformist agenda.
Scottish Labour’s dominance does not necessarily come from its levels of electoral support. When we examine Scottish Labour’s levels of representation (see Table 1.2) we can note a discrepancy between Scottish Labour’s popular support and its representation. The Westminster election saw Scottish Labour win over three-quarters of Scotland’s representation while receiving just over four-tenths of the vote. The party also gains a benefit from the local government electoral system, although this was smaller in the 1999 elections than previously. At the two levels at which proportional representation has been introduced Scottish Labour receives levels of representation much closer to its popular support, although in both it gains sizeable bonuses. In the Scottish Parliament this is because Labour is so dominant in the 73 FPTP seats that it is impossible to rectify the imbalance in a 129 seat Parliament.
Table 1.2: Scottish Labour Representation at different levels of government
%Votes Seats %Seats %Lab over-rep
Local Government (1999) 36.6 545 47.5 +10.9
Scottish Parliament (1999) 38.8 56 43.4 + 4.6
UK Parliament (2001) 43.2 55 77.5 +34.3
Euro Parliament (1999) 28.7 3 37.5 + 8.8
Party identity and organisation
The Scottish Labour Party has a distinctive history, going back to Keir Hardie’s Scottish Labour Party of 1888, which wound up the year after the establishment of the ILP in 1893 (6). A separate Scottish Workers Parliamentary Committee was formed months before the LRC (the fore-runner of the modern Labour Party) began in 1900 (7); the Scottish Committee then ceased in 1909, leaving behind no structures for developing a Scottish agenda, and in 1915 the Scottish Advisory Council was set up – a body subordinate to the British party (8). This became known as the Scottish Council of the Labour Party – and is how the party was known until 1994. The 1918 party constitution formalised the Scottish party’s ‘regional’ status, and established a centralised party structure in which trade union interests predominated.
On one level the Scottish Labour Party had been nationalised and incorporated into the British party – a highly centralised, formalised structure which allowed for little differentiation. However, on a more informal level, the Scottish party retained the discretion and freedom to invoke a distinctly Scottish agenda, symbols and language. This implicit understanding between Scottish and British Labour was to sustain itself for most of the twentieth century.
Doctrine and ethos of Scottish Labour
The distinction between formal and informal structures has a wider significance in Labour than in other parties; in the Labour Party beliefs coalesce into a sense of ‘doctrine and ethos’, than in other parties (9). It is perhaps easier to define the meaning of doctrine than of ethos. They could be defined as follows:
Doctrines are what people usually have in mind when they talk of the ideology of the party; they can be coherent statements of a position; they can lead to policies. Labour’s doctrines commonly do, and these policies are then recorded in the Reports of the Labour Party Conferences. They can be accepted, rejected, enacted into law, contemptuously ignored, but they are always explicit. An ethos is not so hard and fast nor so easy to describe. By the ethos of the party I have in mind what an earlier age might have called the spirit of the party; its traditions and habits, its feel. The ethos is not explicit, it is not laid down in the rules … (10)
Scottish Labour’s doctrine and ethos have allowed the party to differentiate itself from British Labour (11). Its doctrine has traditionally been shaped by a left view, with Scottish Labour Annual Conferences often taking positions significantly to the left of the British party. However, these have often been on issues of emotional symbolism, rather than practical policy. The party’s ethos operates on two different levels. First, it has invoked ‘the radical heritage’ of the Scottish Liberal Party of the nineteenth century, including disestablishment, temperance, land reform and home rule (12). Second, while in policy terms the party has acted in a conservative way, particularly in local government, in terms of culture and values the Scottish party has prided itself on its radicalism and maintenance of labour movement traditions. This can be seen in the way Scottish Labour’s electoral success in the 1980s was presented as a validation of the party compared to the deficiencies of English Labour, or the suspicious attitude many had to the creation of New Labour, seeing it as superfluous in Scotland.
Autonomy and policy-making
Historically, Scottish Labour has had differing degrees of autonomy: beginning as the separate Scottish Labour Party, becoming the Scottish Council for most of its history, before changing its name in 1994 to the Scottish Labour Party (the name of Keir Hardie’s party of 1888 and Jim Sillars’ of 1976). From the 1918 Labour Party constitution, the Scottish party was seen as a ‘regional’ party – the equivalent of the English North East – important to Labour in delivering MPs to Westminster, and with some degree of differentiation, but, formally speaking, with little autonomy over policy, finances and party bureaucracy.
Scottish Annual Conference for most of the post-war period was relatively anodyne, dominated by self-important local council dignitaries. Party conference was restricted in the subjects it could debate, concentrating on the economy, housing and education. This eventually changed; in 1968 a resolution was passed abolishing the veto on non-Scottish subjects, and in 1972 the constitutional rule change was passed bringing this into effect (13). In the next two decades Scottish Conference was to be transformed, as some of the most intractable problems on the planet were debated, from poll tax non-payment to Palestine, from the autonomy of the Scottish party to fighting apartheid.
In the 1980s Scottish Conference became a crucial site in the battle for greater autonomy for the party, spearheaded by the Scottish Labour Action pressure group. After Labour’s third election defeat in 1987, SLA advanced debates on party autonomy, ‘the dual mandate’ and poll tax non-payment – debates that Donald Dewar would have been happy avoiding (14). SLA also pioneered creative thinking on a Scottish Parliament, leading Labour debates on electoral reform and gender representation. It thus helped to develop a climate where new ideas could be debated, but it did not succeed in its core aims: calls for party autonomy were always defeated by the leadership, or through remitting back. Thus, Labour came to power in 1997 committed to devolution in government, but with a centralist party structure.
The Scottish party’s policy-making processes have undergone radical change with the advent of the Scottish Policy Forum in 1998, as a result of the ‘Partnership into Power’ consultation. The Forum is made up of 88 delegates and ex-officios from CLPs, trade unions and local authorities, and MPs, MSPs and MEPs, who meet several times a year. According to Lesley Quinn, Scottish Labour Secretary: ‘The SPF produces detailed policy reports that are discussed, debated and voted upon at Scottish Conference. These reports replace the composites that were previously debated’ (15).
The Forum develops policy from a two-year rolling programme with policy commissions; the first were on crime, justice and legal affairs, education, enterprise and lifelong learning, and social inclusion. Quinn emphasises that these changes have not altered where power lies: ‘the Scottish Labour Party annual conference remains the sovereign policy-making body within the Labour Party for the Scottish Parliament manifesto. The SPF submits reports and policy recommendations, but party conference decides which policies go into the manifesto’ (16).
However, Quinn’s comments disguise the extent to which policy-making has changed. The Policy Forum is widely seen by party members as a top-down process, involving greater centralisation and the party leadership managing relations with the party. With the advent of the Scottish Parliament, these processes have become ministerially focused and influenced, with ministers, advisers and parliamentary researchers becoming the key shapers of documents and debates at the Forum.
This has altered the role of conference. Reports from the Policy Forum now dominate conference, and the right of CLPs to submit resolutions outwith this process is restricted: resolutions in an area of a policy commission cannot be separately submitted, but have to be directed to the relevant policy commission. Scottish conference is now restricted to ‘devolved matters, matters of shared responsibility, our work in the European Parliament and local government’ (17), plus internal issues. Conference has become even more stage managed, with opportunities for genuine debate carefully controlled, and focused on ministerial debates. A study of the 2001 conference showed that 40 per cent of conference speakers were ‘guests’, rather than ‘delegates’: ministers, MPs and MSPs. It may turn out to be the case that the 1998 Scottish conference, which criticised the Labour government’s welfare reforms as ‘morally bankrupt’, was the last example of old-fashioned Labour policy-making.
The Scottish party has traditionally been characterised by a relatively smaller party membership than the British party. And while the advent of New Labour produced a 59 per cent increase in UK party membership – from 264,000 in 1994 to 420,000 in 1997, Scottish party membership rose from 19,321 in 1993 to 30,371 in 1997 – a rise of 57 per cent (18). But since the election of a GB Labour government, Labour’s membership figures overall have started to slide and then terminally decline; GB membership fell from 420,000 to 259,000 – possibly falling as low as 229,000 (falls of 38 per cent and 45 per cent respectively) (19). Scottish party membership, on the other hand, after showing a similar rise has not experienced a similar fall, tapering off to 21,175 – a fall of 30 per cent (20). Scottish constituency parties have traditionally been smaller than their GB counterparts, in part reflecting the smaller electorates in each constituency. But in the last four years the average British CLP has fallen from 655 to 357 members, whereas Scottish CLPs have experienced a more measured decline from 422 to 294 (21).
We can only speculate at why British and Scottish membership has differentiated in the last few years. Both experienced a similar influx of new members around the electoral honeymoon of New Labour between 1994-97, but one would have to be sceptical about whether new recruits were joining for the same reasons north and south of the border. Across Britain, most of New Labour’s new members contained a high percentage of Blairite recruits, who were fairly apolitical – attracted by the new shine of New Labour – and were inactive as local members (22). Scottish members would have been joining in the context of wider cultural and national factors about New Labour and the constitutional question. In addition to the loss of the new members South of the border, British party membership now stands at a post-war low, indicative of the shallowness of New Labour’s social base (23); whereas Scottish membership has remained at a higher level pointing to different factors at work between Labour and its members. However, on another level – qualitatively – Scottish Labour membership seems as disengaged as the party at a GB level, in terms of activist levels, election campaigns and turnout in Scottish Labour Executive elections.
Scottish Labour is the leading party at every level of Scottish government. In the immediate post-war era, there was a tradition of Scottish constituencies often choosing non-Scots as Labour MPs: John Strachey, Emrys Hughes and Willie Hamilton, for example. However, from the 1950s and 1960s this began to cease, with consequences for the national prominence of Labour MPs. This became the era of the dour ex-councillor loyalist who went to Westminster and disappeared. This was reflected in the dire record of Scots MPs being elected to the Shadow Cabinet. Of the 29 MPs elected to the Shadow Cabinet between 1951-64 only one, Tom Fraser, was a Scottish MP (he represented Hamilton and served as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland) (24).
The most glaring evidence of the low profile of Scottish MPs can be seen in the record of Glasgow Labour MPs. From the 1950s, the city became more and more Labour-orientated, going from eight Labour and seven Tory MPs to a mere two Tory seats in 1964. Labour MPs were drawn from a very select and narrow elite: male, manual workers, ex-councillors with a track record of a decade or more on the local council. Even by 2001, six of Labour’s ten Glasgow MPs were ex-councillors and only one, Ann McKechin, was a woman. In the post-war period, only two Labour MPs from this group, Bruce Millan and Donald Dewar, were elected to the Shadow Cabinet and served in Labour Cabinets: both were Secretary of State for Scotland (25), and both were middle-class ‘outsiders’ to the city’s Labour traditions.
This has changed in some respects with the Scottish Parliament. Only one of Glasgow’s ten Labour MSPs elected in 1999 had previously been a councillor; Bill Butler, previously of Glasgow City Council was elected for Glasgow Anniesland in a 2000 by-election. Five of Glasgow’s MSPs were women – a revolution compared to previous levels. However, some things remained unchanged in the first two years, with Glasgow Labour MSPs holding very few ministerial posts. Under Donald Dewar, only he and Frank McAveety, as Glasgow MSPs held ministerial posts, while after Dewar’s death, in Henry McLeish’s Executive Margaret Curran, a junior minister, was the only Glasgow MSP holding a post. Jack McConnell has presided over a swing towards Glasgow and the West, with Patricia Ferguson and Mike Watson, both Glasgow MSPs, appointed Executive ministers, while Curran has retained her junior post.
. Scottish Labour overall has changed much more profoundly than Glasgow and West of Scotland Labour. From the 1970s on Scottish Labour began to select more middle-class, professional candidates, and this was reflected in Shadow Cabinet elections between 1979-97. Of the 46 MPs elected to the Shadow Cabinet in Labour’s years in opposition, 8 represented Scottish seats – Gordon Brown, John Smith, Donald Dewar and Robin Cook among them (26). Thus, in the first Labour Government in eighteen years, six Scots Labour MPs sat in the Cabinet (27). This signalled the highpoint of the Scottish party’s influence on the British party – from a degree of dependency to influence at the centre of decisions; though many commentators have speculated that, with a host of Labour MPs now representing South of England seats, and the pressures of devolution, this will fall (28).
Labour and devolution
Scottish home rule was part of Scottish Labour Party policy from its formation: it was one of Keir Hardie’s five points in Mid-Lanark in 1888. Despite this, home rule has always played an uneasy part in Labour’s programme; it was a legacy of Gladstonian liberalism, and out of place within the Fabian centralism which influenced Labour as it became a party of government. The problems of the economy and society were to be solved by the strong central state, the powers and expertise of Whitehall mandarins and a politics of regional planning and redistribution. This labourist Unionism grew in strength in the immediate post-war period. Labour’s 1951 British Handbook, in a section entitled ‘Scottish Devolution’, claimed that, ‘Scotland has a substantial measure of devolution in the present structure of government’. After outlining the Secretary of State’s responsibilities, it continued:
Scottish Local Government is a complete and separate structure. The Scottish Legal System is separate and distinct from that of England and Wales. Government Departments have senior and responsible Scottish representatives. Nationalised industries, such as coalmining, civil aviation and railways, have each a Scottish advisory or administrative council. (29)
Scottish Labour abandoned devolution in 1957-58, and only came back to it reluctantly in 1974 because of the electoral threat posed by the SNP (30). Labour developed more distinctive devolution policies in the 1980s and 1990s, partly through the Scottish Constitutional Convention, but it was not until Labour came to power in 1997, and the publishing of the White Paper Scotland’s Parliament, that Scotland’s over-representation at Westminster was tackled (31). Many commentaries emphasise the difference between Labour in the 1970s and 1990s, but there are similarities. In the 1970s, devolution emerged as a reactive policy in response to the threat of the SNP; whereas in the 1990s devolution was in part driven by Labour’s desire to protect its dominance of Scotland. Thus, devolution was shaped in both periods by a conservative impulse to maintain the institutional and political hegemony of Scottish Labour. An important factor that has allowed Scottish Labour to adapt its position on this has been that whatever Labour’s actual policy on devolution, it has always remained a central element of the party’s ethos. The myths of Scottish Labour have presented its commitment to home rule as an unbroken tradition from Keir Hardie to John Smith, and this has allowed the party to downgrade it, or even oppose it, knowing that it is a part of its culture – similar to Lords reform, fox hunting or land reform.
Labour and multi-layered governance
The establishment of the Scottish Parliament has resulted in four layers of elected government: local government, Holyrood, Westminster and the European Union. Examining the terrain of national representatives, Scotland now elects 209 MPs, MSPs and MEPs – 113 of whom are currently Labour; and each Scottish voter now has a choice of seventeen national representatives: one MP, one FPTP MSP, seven list MSPs and eight MEPs (Scotland being one constituency for the Euro elections).
This environment can be viewed as a ‘layered cake’, where each level of government has a range of responsibilities, or as a nexus of interconnecting relationships known as ‘multi-level governance’. Devolution resulted in Scottish Labour finally devising processes to elect a leader, which revealed some of the tensions between Holyrood and Westminster. Donald Dewar was elected Labour’s first leader in September 1998, with a 99.8 per cent vote, and Henry McLeish became its second, narrowly defeating Jack McConnell in October 2000 by 44 votes to 36 (32). Jack McConnell was its third – elected Scottish Labour leader with no contested election with 97.3 per cent of a mini-electoral college (33). Dewar, McLeish and McConnell were elected leaders of Scottish Labour: of Holyrood, Westminster and all levels of the party. However, in the 2001 UK election, McLeish and Helen Liddell, Secretary of State for Scotland, toured the country speaking to party audiences. If McLeish had been billed as Scottish leader, he would have appeared senior to Liddell, so a new post was invented to give the appearance of equality. McLeish became Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament, a post for which there was no election.
a) Labour Group of MSPs
The Labour Group elected in May 1999 was strikingly different in one respect from Westminster Scottish Labour – gender balance – with 28 men and 28 women, the result of twinning constituencies.34There were continuities – the high number of ex-councillors: 23 out of 56 had local government backgrounds (41 per cent) compared to 30 out of 56 at Westminster. Fifteen former council leaders were elected – ten on the Labour benches, while another ex-Labour leader, Dennis Canavan, was elected as an independent. Labour MSPs were the youngest of all the party groups – averaging 43 years old, as compared to SNP MSPs at 45 and Conservative and Lib Dems at 49: Labour MPs at Westminster were on average six years older at 49 years (35). One reason for this was the large number of thirty-something Labour MSPs, who made up over one-third of the Labour Group, compared to only 5 per cent of MPs. A whole host of high profile thirty-somethings entered the Scottish Executive, challenging previously deeply-ingrained Scottish Labour notions about serving your time. Another change in the recruitment patterns could be observed in the shift towards more middle-class professions, away from working-class backgrounds – only 2 Labour MSPs as opposed to 14 Westminster MPs came from manual working class backgrounds (36).
Despite the rhetoric of ‘new politics’ Holyrood developed a top-down set of processes, aided by the Scottish Executive having several experienced parliamentarians, while the Labour Group contained a number of political novices. The early days of the Parliament saw the Labour leadership under Donald Dewar negotiate a coalition agreement with the Lib Dems: this was fully debated and voted on in the Lib Dem Group, which split 13-3 in favour of the deal; Labour on the other hand had a general debate about coalition, but none on the specific deal and no vote: John McAllion, a long-standing supporter of PR, opposed entering a coalition (37).
The politics of the Labour Group have since developed into a model that in some ways is less consultative than Westminster. Scottish Executive Ministers decide and determine policy, often with little discussion with Labour MSPs. There are still no formal mechanisms for Executive-MSP consultation despite the small numbers involved. Suggestions by Labour MSPs of setting up a 1922 backbench committee have been resisted by ministers. Despite this, an informal culture of being able to access and influence ministers has arisen, which has worked as a group of senior and influential backbench MSPs has emerged.
Divisions and tensions within the Labour Group were illustrated by the election process to choose a successor to Donald Dewar in October 2000 as Scottish Labour leader. After the Scottish party was nearly forced into having no contest at all, the Scottish Labour Group and Scottish Labour Executive combined in a mini-electoral college to narrowly elect Henry McLeish against Jack McConnell. This revealed that the Scottish party wished to retain some degree of influence over its affairs. It also indicated the complex political characteristics of the Labour Group at Holyrood. There are no simple left-right divisions, and the Campaign for Socialism declined to put up a candidate, knowing they would win a derisory vote, but there were other clear divisions: McLeish stood for a Labour establishment continuity agenda, while McConnell embraced a pro-autonomy, modernising agenda.
The election of Jack McConnell with no open contest in November 2001 revealed even more significant faultlines. First, Wendy Alexander put herself forward as the candidate of the ‘Brownites’ with the open support and patronage of Gordon Brown only to withdraw before her campaign became public. This was because UK party chairman Charles Clarke, intervened to ensure that the election would be held by OMOV. This reduced the chances of Gordon Brown and his allies delivering trade union votes for their favoured candidate. No other ‘Brownite’ candidates put themselves forward. Nor did John McAllion or Malcolm Chisholm, respectively from the Campaign for Socialism and the soft left, both unable to get the seven MSP nominations (38).
The party thus missed a historic opportunity to begin the process of democratising itself and holding a wider debate about the role and direction of the Labour-led Scottish Executive. McConnell’s 33 Labour nominations out of Labour’s 55 MSPs told an interesting picture of his support (39): 7 out of Glasgow’s 10 MSPs nominated him, the three who did not (Curran, Lamont and McNeill were all pro-feminist left MSPs), whereas only one of Edinburgh’s five MSPs supported him. There were a sizeable majority of backbenchers for McConnell, and a mere 3 out of 33 nominations from existing ministers, all junior (Brankin, Gray, Peacock). Painting McConnell’s ‘Night of the Long Knives’ as the revenge of a faction had some truth – with the eight new ministers all McConnell supporters, and the seven ministers sacked all with one exception, not allies.
b) Scottish Executive
The first Scottish Executive comprised nine Labour Ministers and two Lib Dem Ministers, the same balance reflected at a junior ministerial level. It contained a mixture of experienced politicians with a Westminster, or in some cases local government, background and a group with no experience of elected politics. This led to tensions, particularly in relation to the debate over abolishing Section 28/Clause 2a. ‘The Big Mac’ Group, comprising Henry McLeish, a Westminster MP since 1987, Jack McConnell, ex-leader of Stirling Council, and Tom McCabe, ex-leader of South Lanarkshire Council, urged compromise with the ‘Keep the Clausers’, against Wendy Alexander and Susan Deacon, neither of whom had held elected office. This was not an Old versus New Labour divide, but about different kinds of politics and working within the West of Scotland Labour culture.
The number of thirty-something ministers in the Scottish Executive from Labour reflected the promise the party had in the 1980s – Alexander, Boyack, Deacon, McConnell and, after McLeish became First Minister, Baillie and Mackay. The impact of so many high profile Labour women ministers was significant in a party that had for so long been a male bastion. The average age of the Labour part of the Executive reflected the generational sea-change in the party; it fell from an average of 42 years for Labour ministers (excluding the First Minister and Lord Advocate) in Dewar’s Cabinet, to 40 under Henry McLeish. McConnell’s dramatic reshuffle, whereby a host of thirtysomethings were sacked and Malcolm Chisholm and Mike Watson (both 52 years) promoted raised the average Labour age to 44. It remains to be seen whether the ‘disappeared’ thirtysomethings such as Baillie, Deacon and Mackay have seen their political careers abruptly ended, or if they can at some point come back.
The Scottish Executive’s coalition arrangements were often fraught, with Labour ministers, special advisers and MSPs often acting as a Labour administration, rather than the Labour-Lib Dem Partnership coalition: witness Henry McLeish’s off the cuff remarks about ‘a coalition of one party’. It was a learning curve for both Labour and Lib Dems, despite a decade of previous co-operation in the Convention; it was different for Labour, who had previously been used to governing on its own, and some saw it as ‘having to give up some power’, whereas the Lib Dems were gaining influence. On a number of issues, such as tuition fees and care for the elderly, Labour ministers had to be reminded this was a coalition of two parties. There were signs of tension between the two parties when, for example, the Executive lost a vote on a fishing tie-up scheme, due to Lib Dem defections and Labour absences. However, considering the culture shock involved in setting up a Scottish Executive, and Labour moving from a one-party culture to sharing power with another, the working of the coalition should be viewed as a qualified success.
c) Labour MPs
Westminster pre-devolution was the pinnacle of the Scottish Labour establishment, and the main avenue for career advancement and leadership. In post-war times, Scottish Labour has historically elected more and more MPs to Westminster, electing a high-point of 50 in 1987 and 56 in 1997. The recruitment patterns of Scottish Labour have changed as well to reflect this broader appeal
The Scottish party has, at various times when Labour has been thrown back into its heartlands, formed the backbone of the party. In 1987 Labour’s 50 MPs represented 26 per cent of the PLP – a post-war high, whereas the 56 of 1997 represented half that percentage – 13 per cent – in a PLP exactly twice the size (419 versus 209).
Devolution has raised all kinds of issues, such as how Labour MPs and MSPs work together to deal with constituency enquiries. Tensions and conflicts have arisen about the political direction of Labour in Holyrood and Westminster, most obviously manifest in Westminster MPs’ concern about the quality of Holyrood Labour MSPs. This articulated itself in the Clause 28 debate, when Labour MPs such as Michael Connarty were uneasy that the electorate would vote in Westminster elections on the record of Labour MSPs at Holyrood (40).
Westminster’s role in Scottish politics will change significantly with the 2005 Boundary Commission, which will reduce the number of Scottish seats to 59 – proportionately the same as the rest of the UK. This change, written into the Scotland Act 1998, will cause difficulties for Labour, the dominant party in Scotland, with several sitting Central Belt MPs having to compete for a smaller number of Labour seats (41).
d) Local government
Local government has been a key mechanism by which Labour has exercised influence over large parts of Scottish life. As with Westminster, Labour has been more and more successful in the post-war period, expanding its local council base, and securing new councils such as Edinburgh and Stirling which once had strong Tory traditions. During the 1979-97 period of Tory rule, Labour local councils provided an important part of the party’s sense of resistance. Lothian Region attempted one of the rare instances of a hard left strategy of non-compliance with the Tory Government, in 1981-82 (42); while Strathclyde Region – then the largest authority in Western Europe – bypassed Westminster and engaged with the European Union, holding a referendum against water privatisation in 1993 (43). It was not surprising that in 1996 the Tory Government abolished the regional tier of Scottish local government.
Labour’s dominance in terms of councillors is not reflected in the popular vote, with the party being a beneficiary of the FPTP electoral system. For example, in 1999 only three authorities were elected with over 50 per cent Labour vote: North Lanarkshire (55.23 per cent), South Lanarkshire (50.02 per cent), West Dunbartonshire (52.17 per cent). Twelve other authorities elected Labour majorities with less than half the popular vote – the most distortive being Glasgow, where on 49.6 per cent the party won 74 out of 79 seats. There are also several parts of Scotland where Labour’s appeal does not extend. Leaving Orkney and Shetland aside, where Labour did not stand, there are two councils where the party polled under 10 per cent: Aberdeenshire (5.03 per cent) and Borders (5.35 per cent); a further six councils see Labour with under 20 per cent: Angus (19.30 per cent), Argyll and Bute (10.33 per cent), Dumfries and Galloway (17.49 per cent), Highland (15.40 per cent), Perthshire and Kinross (16.08 per cent) and Western Isles (13.94 per cent) (44). Labour areas of weakness are, without exception, rural councils, but some return Labour representatives at Holyrood and Westminster: Dumfries and Western Isles, for example.
The influence and profile of local government has suffered since devolution, as has the quality of Labour councillors and leaders, with a number of council leaders becoming Labour MSPs. Labour local council leaders have become more faceless, bureaucratic party politicians – Charlie Gordon in Glasgow and Donald Anderson in Edinburgh are examples. Glasgow, in particular, has faced a number of related political problems in funding and providing services in one of the most deprived areas in Western Europe. Sadly, the council’s reaction under Gordon was a kind of last gasp labourism, which involved leaving COSLA. Change is coming in the form of the Kerley Committee proposals for PR in local government (45), but they will not begin to touch the multi-dimensional political and socio-economic problems in Labour’s West of Scotland heartlands, of which Glasgow is merely the most pronounced.
e) The European Union
The European Union has slowly grown over the last twenty years, playing a larger role in Scottish and UK politics. During the Tory years in Scotland, a whole host of institutional players, ranging from the Scottish Office to COSLA and the STUC, developed a European agenda and influence. European membership came increasingly to be seen in Scotland in the late 1980s and 1990s as a way of bypassing Westminster, and securing additional monies via EU structural funds and the CAP. At the same time, the establishment of Scotland Europa aimed to increase influence at the heart the EU, while the European Committee of the Regions was viewed as one mechanism through which social democratic Scotland could make itself heard and emphasise the minority status of the Tories.
Many of these European positives are now more open to question, with EU monies in jeopardy after the Central and Eastern European nations join. Devolution poses new questions about Scotland’s influence in the EU, and who most effectively speaks for Scotland – the Scottish Executive or UK government, in relation to the role of ministers in the Council of Ministers.
Most of these issues appear academic while Labour is in office at Holyrood and Westminster, but will become more acute if the SNP run a devolved administration. Scottish Labour has also become less popular in Euro elections. In 1994 it was Scotland’s leading party in Europe, winning six of the eight Euro seats on 42.5 per cent of the vote; however in 1999, with a new PR system, Labour saw its MEPs halved to three and its vote tumble to 28.7 per cent – the worst national performance by Labour in post-war times – a signal of the willingness of Labour’s core vote to stay at home when not motivated, and perhaps, a sign of future trouble.
Scottish New Labour: a new party or a contradiction?
The creation of New Labour challenged many assumptions in Scottish Labour. John McAllion articulated this: ‘Old Labour was never unelectable in Scotland. Even at the high tide of Thatcherism in 1983, Michael Foot’s Labour won a majority of seats in Scotland’ (46). A belief in traditional social democracy and its electoral appeal has remained in Scotland. New Labour thus caused some difficulties with Labour’s voters, as System Three focus groups pre-1997 made clear; they showed that uncommitted voters perceived Labour and the Tories as too similar, with Blair too middle-class and moving right, while a sense of loss was still felt for John Smith: ‘Tony Blair is perceived to be English, and his identity or image is associated with that of a southerner’ (47).
The Scottish Parliament elections raised a number of issues about New Labour in Scotland. First, the pre-candidate selection process saw the party institute a central system of approval to get on a panel. This caused controversy when Dennis Canavan and two other left-wing MPs were prevented from getting on the panel, prompting allegations of Blairite ‘control freakery’ (48). Not surprisingly, widespread unease was evident in the party, even in those successful in the process; 27 per cent of candidates thought the panel process was undemocratic, as did 24 per cent of panel non-candidates; while three quarters of both felt the list candidate selection was undemocratic; and whereas only 22 per cent of candidates thought the leadership had too much influence on constituency selection, this rose to 74 per cent on list selection (49).
Second, the 1999 election saw a centralist attempt to brand the party as ‘Scottish New Labour’, with corporate colours and key phrases: all recognised elements in Mandelsonian marketing. However, at the level of local candidates another election campaign was fought, which avoided the agenda, symbols and priorities of New Labour. A survey of 52 of Labour’s 73 constituency candidates found that 17 per cent (n=9) used the phrase ‘New Labour’ and 10 per cent (n=5) ‘Scottish New Labour’ in their election materials, while 86 per cent (n=45) used the more traditional ‘Labour’ and 58 per cent (n=30) ‘Scottish Labour’ (50). Thus, most local Labour candidates avoided the language and codes of New Labour when the party was trying to enforce a standard modernising message; whether this was a deliberate attempt to resist Blairite modernisation or merely local parties retaining a historic degree of discretion against the centre can only be guessed at, but it still reveals significant centre-regional tensions in Labour’s appeal.
Scottish Labour is a unique and distinctive party in Scottish politics and within the British Labour Party. It is differentiated by a number of factors: historical, cultural and political, and while, formally, its autonomy has often been restricted, informally it has developed its own Scottish identity. It is not surprising that Scottish Labour sees itself as the best advocate and champion of Scottish interests north and south of the border, and has called itself ‘the national party of Scotland’. However, Scottish Labour also sees itself as a unionist party, and a defender of a Union which is flexible and responsive to Scotland. Managing these sometimes opposing tendencies has often been a difficult task. It has also been a party shaped by the politics and culture of labourism, of working-class politics, trade unionism and a defensive, insular approach; this still shapes the Scottish party to this day, albeit less than it used to.
This is a party of many paradoxes. First, it has long prided itself on its radical traditions and romantic view of itself, from its earliest leader Keir Hardie, but it has increasingly become a conservative party, and the political establishment. Second, during the 18 years of opposition it became more and more Scotland’s leading party, controlling every level of Scottish government with the exception of the Scottish Office. It became, in effect, a quasi-establishment party, whereby the lines were blurred between the state and civil society. In this it reflected what happens in one-party dominant systems the world over, where the dominant party’s values and priorities become those of the state and civil service, and the party becomes bureaucratised and atrophied: a transmission belt more for career politicians than ideologues. This has happened to the PRI in Mexico, LDP in Japan, DC in Italy and SAP in Sweden.
The third paradox is that Scottish devolution has been advanced by many in Scottish Labour in order to maintain its leading role, but the processes thereby unleashed contain within them the potential of sweeping away and dismantling this one-party dominant model of politics. Scottish Labour politicians seem to be unaware that all one-party dominant systems end at some point, as they are the creation of certain historic, social and economic events. All the dominant-party models listed above came to an end at some point. It is clear that the old Scottish Labour model, founded on the primacy of one party and labourist culture, has been severely weakened and is under threat from different directions.
Scottish Labour will have to confront these paradoxes as the Scottish political system evolves over the next decade from an asymmetrical party system to a more pluralist, multi-party politics. This will witness the dilution of an institutionally focused labourist culture and the development of a more open, democratic politics. Labour’s dominance as a quasi-establishment party where its values and ethos have shaped state and civil society will be weakened, allowing independence between these terrains of Scottish public life and party. Over the next decade it is highly likely in the Scottish Parliament that the anti-Labour majority will coalesce at some point around the SNP and form an administration. This could take many forms, with the SNP on its own challenging Labour’s hegemony and trying to run a single party, probably minority administration, or in formal or informal alliance with the Lib Dems, or by trying to strike a deal with an expanded Scottish Socialist-Scottish Green group. New alliances and understandings will emerge, but the arrival of an SNP administration would transform Scottish politics, giving the Nationalists a serious opportunity to build a strategy for independence and prove its credibility as a governing party. Scottish Labour would find this a unique opportunity and challenge – being in opposition in a way it has not been for a long time.
New relationships are developing across the United Kingdom as a result of devolution. One of the central pillars of the British constitution has been the British Labour Party, and devolution will pose new questions about the priorities between Scottish Labour as the national party of Scotland and a centralising force in the United Kingdom. Gordon Brown wrote about these difficulties describing Scottish Labour in the 1920s:
No theorist attempted in sufficient depth to reconcile the conflicting aspirations for home rule and a British socialist advance. In particular, no-one was able to show how capturing power in Britain and legislating for minimum levels of welfare, for example, could be combined with a policy of devolution for Scotland. (51)
The Scottish Labour Party has had a relatively comfortable period during UK Labour’s first term . Devolution has been achieved, the Conservatives have been in disarray since the fall of Thatcher, and economic prosperity has provided falling unemployment and increasing public expenditure. Scottish Labour has been able to govern without any real governing strategy or sense of statecraft, beyond redistributing the largesse of Gordon Brown’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Individual reforming ministershave established reputations, but have had little time to think strategically beyond their remits.
The future pattern of Scottish and UK politics is unlikely to be so benign. For all Gordon Brown’s rhetoric of ending ‘boom and bust’, a slowdown in the global economy is widely predicted in the next few years, whilst New Labour’s dominance in the UK is unlikely to continue at the levels of popularity of the first term. These factors will affect Scottish Labour; but more crucial will be the changing nature of the Scottish political environment, with a more competitive, possibly fragmented, politics. This could involve the development of a political climate where it becomes more difficult for any party to assemble a governing coalition, particularly if it involved more than two parties, and where the anti-Labour majority in votes and seats at Holyrood may eventually coalesce into a Scottish administration.
How Scottish Labour reacts to the coming to power of a non-Labour administration will be a defining point for the party. Some will want to see it as an affront to their very narrow idea of democracy, but it will provide both a challenge and opportunity to pluralists and radicals in the party. The Scottish party has not lost an election since 1959, whereas the UK party lost four elections from 1979 onward, producing very different internal psychologies. The former has seen a majoritarian, labourist culture validated in places in the party, while the latter has developed a more outward-looking strategy based on the pursuit of ‘Middle England’. This is not to argue one is better than the other; there are strengths and weaknesses in both. But the coming decade will see whether Scottish Labour can develop a politics that takes the best from its past, while embarking on a road of renewal and redefinition which does not replicate the failings of the UK New Labour project.
Many thanks to the following people for comments on an earlier draft of this paper: Alice Brown, Gordon Guthrie, Stephen Low, Jim McCormick, Tom Nairn and Lindsay Paterson; thanks also for the time and advice of numerous Labour officials, advisers and elected representatives.
1. G. Hassan, ‘Blair and the Making of New Scotland’, in M. Perryman (ed), The Blair Agenda, London: Lawrence and Wishart 1996, pp170-97; G. Hassan, ‘Caledonian Dreaming: The Challenge to Scottish Labour’, in A. Coddington and M. Perryman (eds), The Moderniser’s Dilemma: Radical Politics in the Age of Blair, London: Lawrence and Wishart 1998, pp111-42; G. Hassan, ‘A Case Study of Scottish Labour: Devolution and the Politics of Multi-Level Governance’, Political Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2, forth. 2002.
2. On Scottish Labour see: I. Donnachie, C. Harvie and I. S. Wood (eds), Forward!: Labour Politics in Scotland 1888-1988, Edinburgh: Polygon 1989. On the Welsh Labour Party see the highly recommended: D. Tanner, C. Williams and D. Hopkins (eds), The Labour Party in Wales 1900-2000, Cardiff: University of Wales Press 2000. This combines both historical and contemporary political analysis within one volume.
3. Scottish voting averages for 1945-70 were: Labour 47.3 per cent, Conservatives 43.5 per cent, Liberals 5.0 per cent, SNP 2.8 per cent, Others 1.3 per cent. For the period 1974-2001 they were: Labour 40.0 per cent, Conservatives 25.0 per cent, SNP 19.9 per cent, Lib Dems 13.9 per cent, Others 1.2 per cent.4.. Labour returned 56 MPs in 1997 and retained all these in 2001, although, technically, the election of Michael Martin as Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Glasgow Springburn meant that only 55 Labour MPs were actually returned.
5. The Welsh Labour Party has won over 50 per cent of the vote in eight out of sixteen elections since 1945, but its popularity has declined: from 1945-70, it won over half the vote in seven out of eight contexts, whereas from 1974 onwards it has done so only once – 1997.
6. Donnachie et al, op. cit.; .A. McKinlay and R. J. Morris (eds), The ILP on Clydeside 1893-1922: From Foundation to Disintegration, Manchester: Manchester University Press 1991.
7. K. Aitken, The Bairns O’ Adam: The Story of the STUC, Edinburgh: Polygon 1997, p34.
8. M. Keating and D. Bleiman, Labour and Scottish Nationalism, London: Macmillan 1979, p56.
9. H. Drucker, Doctrine and Ethos in the Labour Party, London: Allen and Unwin 1979.
10. H. Drucker, ‘The Influence of the Trade Unions in the Ethos of the Labour Party’, in B. Pimlott and C. Cook (eds), Trade Unions in British Politics: The First 250 Years, London: Longman 2nd edn. 1991, p244.
11. Hassan, ‘Caledonian Dreaming’, op. cit., pp113-14.
12. Keating and Bleiman, op. cit., pp27-29.13. F. Wood, ‘Scottish Labour in Government and Opposition 1964-1979’, in
Donnachie et al, op. cit., pp109-10.
14 . J. Mitchell, ‘The Evolution of Devolution: Labour’s Home Rule Strategy in Opposition’, Government and Opposition, Autumn 1998, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp479-496.
15 . L. Quinn, ‘It’s conference Jim, but not as we know it’, Scottish Labour Party Conference Guide, Glasgow: Scottish Labour Party 2000, p4.
16. Ibid, p4.
17. Ibid, p5.
18. Scottish Labour Party, Annual Report, Glasgow: Scottish Labour Party 1993;
Scottish Labour Party, Annual Report, Glasgow: Scottish Labour Party 1997;
Labour Party, Annual Conference Report, London: Labour Party 1994;
Labour Party, Annual Conference Report, London: Labour Party 1997.
19. Tribune, 29.6.01.
20. The Observer, 16.12.01.
21. Scottish Labour membership as a proportion of Labour voters between 1997 and 2001 fell marginally from 2.4 per cent to. 2.1 per cent. British membership fell significantly over the same period from 3.1 per cent in 1997 to 2.1 per cent in 2001.
22. P. Whiteley and P. Seyd, ‘New Labour – New Grass Roots party?’, paper to Political Studies Association, April 1998.
23. I. Crewe, ‘Elections and Public Opinion’, in A. Seldon (ed), The Blair Effect: The Blair Government 1997-2001, London: Little Brown 2001, pp67-94.
24. D. Butler and G. Butler, Twentieth Century Political Facts 1900-2000, London: Macmillan 2000, p153.
25. M. Keating, ‘The Role of the Scottish MP in the Scottish Political System in the UK Political System and in the Relationship Between the Two’, unpublished Ph.D., Council for National Academic Awards 1975.
26. Butler and Butler, op. cit., pp154-55.
27. PMS Parliamentary Companion: United Kingdom and European Union, July 1997, London: PMS Publications 1997, p1.
28. In Blair’s post-election reshuffle after the election of 7.6.01, the number of Scots MPs in the cabinet still stood at five: Gordon Brown, Robin Cook, John Reid, Helen Liddell and Alastair Darling.
29. Labour Party Handbook: Facts and Figures for Socialists, London: Labour Party 1951, p340.
30. B. McLean, Labour and Scottish Home Rule Part One and Two, Broxburn: Scottish Labour Action n.d. 1990.
31. Scottish Office, Scotland’s Parliament, Edinburgh: HMSO 1997 Cmnd. 3658, para. 4.5.
32. Sunday Herald, 22.10.00; The Scotsman, 23.10.00.
33. Sunday Herald, 18.11.01.
34. A. Brown, ‘Taking Their Place in the New House: Women and the Scottish Parliament’, Scottish Affairs, Summer 1999, No. 28, pp44-50. The Labour Group had 6 MPs all of whom had ‘dual mandates’: excluding these, the 50 new MSPs split 28 women, 22 men: an indication of the gender revolution that Labour had undertaken.
35. G. Hassan and C. Warhurst, ‘A New Politics?’, in G. Hassan and C. Warhurst (eds), The New Scottish Politics: The First Year of the Scottish Parliament and Beyond, Edinburgh: The Stationery Office 2000, p4.
36. M. Cavanagh, N. McGarvey and M. Shephard, ‘New Scottish Parliament, New Scottish Parliamentarians?’, paper to the Political Studies Association, April 2000.
37. M. Watson, Year Zero: An Inside View of the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh: Polygon 2001, pp3-10.
38. Sunday Herald, 18.11.01; G. Hassan, ‘Social Democracy in a Cold Climate: The Strange Case of Scottish Devolution’, Renewal: The Journal of Labour Politics, Vol. 10, No. 1, forth. 2002.
39. The Herald, 14.11.01. This contains a list of Jack McConnell’s 33 Labour MSP nominations from which this analysis is taken.
40. T. Brown, ‘Responsibility without Power’, New Statesman, 12.6.00.
41. The Scotsman, 6.2.02. The last Boundary Commission changes saw the kind of problems on a smaller scale Labour will have to encounter – with the Glasgow area seeing a reduction from 11 to 10 seats, and an acrimonious and public contest between Mike Watson and Mohammed Sarwar for the Glasgow Govan seat.
42. P. Crompton, ‘The Lothian Affair: A Battle of Principles?’, in D. McCrone (ed), The Scottish Government Yearbook 1983, Edinburgh: Unit for the Study of Government in Scotland 1983, pp33-48.
43. The water privatisation saw, on a 72 per cent turnout, 97 per cent of voters opposing the government’s plans: this was a highly innovative and unusual action by a Labour council and its success took everyone – Labour and Tory – by surprise.
44. G. Hassan and P. Lynch, The Almanac of Scottish Politics, London: Politico’s Publishing 2001; D. Denver and H. Bochel, ‘The Forgotten Elections: The Scottish Council Elections of 1999’, Scottish Affairs, Winter 2000, No. 30, p122.
45. Kerley Committee, Report of the Renewing Local Democracy Working Group, Edinburgh: Scottish Executive 2000.
46. J. McAllion, ‘Blair’s modernisers want a party of the people. But up here, the people want a party of the left’, The Observer, 22.3.98.
47. ‘The Views of Scottish Floating Voters’, System Three unpublished paper, October 1996, p8.
48. G. Hassan and P. Lynch, ‘The Changing Politics of Scottish Labour: Culture and Values, Political Strategy and Devolution 1979-1999’, paper to the Political Studies Association Annual Conference 1999.
49. J. Bradbury, J. Mitchell, L. Bennie and D. Denver, ‘Candidate Selection, Devolution and Modernisation: The Selection of Labour Party Candidates for the 1999 Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly Elections’, in P. Cowley, D. Denver, A. Russell and L. Harrison (eds), British Elections and Parties Review, Vol. 10, London: Frank Cass 2000, pp151-72.
50. M. Shephard, ‘Is it Really Devolution?: Scottish Devolution and Blair’s Clones’, paper to the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, September 1999.
51. G. Brown, ‘The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918-1929: The Politics of Five Elections’, unpublished Ph.D., Edinburgh University 1981.