List of political parties in Scotland

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This article lists political parties in Scotland.

Parties with representation in the Scottish Parliament and/or the UK House of Commons[edit]

Party Logo Date of
foundation
Leader Ideology Political position Scottish Parliament House of Commons
(Scottish seats)
Local Government Membership
Scottish National Party
1934
Nicola Sturgeon Scottish nationalism
Social democracy
Regionalism
Pro-Europeanism
Centre-left
Big tent
61 / 129
47 / 59
418 / 1,227
125,534 Increase
Scottish Conservatives
1965
Official portrait of Douglas Ross MP crop 2.jpg
Douglas Ross Conservatism
Economic liberalism
British unionism
Centre-right
31 / 129
6 / 59
226 / 1,227
Not published
Scottish Labour
1994
Richard Leonard Social democracy
Democratic socialism
British unionism
Centre-left
23 / 129
1 / 59
241 / 1,227
21,162 Decrease
Scottish Liberal Democrats 1988
Willie Rennie Liberalism
Social liberalism
British federalism
British unionism
Pro-Europeanism
Centre to
centre-left
5 / 129
4 / 59
67 / 1,227
4,085 Decrease
Scottish Greens
1990
Patrick Harvie
and Lorna Slater
Green politics
Scottish independence
Scottish republicanism
Pro-Europeanism
Centre-left to
left-wing
6 / 129
0 / 59
19 / 1,227
6,412 Decrease

Other parties which contested the 2016 Scottish Parliament election[edit]

Party Logo Date of
foundation
Leader Ideology Political position
UK Independence Party
1993 Neil Hamilton Hard Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism
British nationalism
National conservatism
Anti-immigration
British unionism
Economic liberalism
Right-wing to
far-right
Scottish Libertarian Party 2012 Tam Laird Libertarianism
Classical liberalism
Cultural liberalism
Scottish independence
Soft Euroscepticism
Minarchism
Individualism
Syncretic[a]
Solidarity 2006
Tommy Sheridan Socialism
Scottish independence
Euroscepticism
Left-wing to
far-left
RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance
(The Scottish Socialist Party stood as part of RISE in 2016).
2015 Jonathon Shafi Anti-capitalism
Eco-socialism
Scottish republicanism
Scottish independence
Left-wing
Scottish Christian Party 2004 Jeff Green Christian right
Social conservatism
British unionism
Euroscepticism
Right-wing
Women's Equality Party 2015 Mandu Reid Feminism
Egalitarianism
Pro-Europeanism
Centre-left
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 2010 David Nellist Trade unionism
Socialism
Euroscepticism
Left-wing to
far-left
National Front 1967 Tony Martin British fascism
Neo-fascism
British nationalism
White supremacism
Right-wing populism
British unionism
Hard Euroscepticism
Far-right
Communist Party of Britain 1988 Robert Griffiths Communism
Marxism-Leninism
Socialism
Trade unionism
Euroscepticism
Anti-austerity
Far-left

Local government[edit]

Party Logo Date of
foundation
Leader Ideology Political position Local authority Councillors
Orkney Manifesto Group 2013 Rachael King Localism
Social liberalism
Centre to
centre-left
Orkney Islands Council
2 / 21
West Dunbartonshire Community Party 2016 Drew MacEoghainn Socialism Left-wing West Dunbartonshire
1 / 22
The Rubbish Party
2017 Sally Cogley Localism
Environmentalism
East Ayrshire
1 / 32

Other parties[edit]

Party Logo Date of
foundation
Leader Ideology Political position
Brexit Party 2018
Nigel Farage Hard Euroscepticism
Populism
Right-wing nationalism
Big tent
Single-issue
British Unionist Party 2015 John Mortimer British unionism
Scottish unionism
Social conservatism
Social democracy
Syncretic[b]
Independent Green Voice 2003 Alistair McConnachie Green politics
Environmentalism
Scottish Socialist Party
(Stood as part of RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance in 2016).
1998 Does not have a leader position (has spokespeople). Democratic socialism
Anti-capitalism
Scottish independence
Scottish republicanism
Left-wing
Scottish Unionist Party
1986 Daniel Houston Scottish Unionism
British Unionism
Independence for Scotland Party[1] 2020 Colette Walker Scottish Independence

Main political parties[edit]

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is the main political party in Scotland which supports at times Scotland becoming an independent nation or further devolution. They are overall centre-left, and sometimes considered big-tent, advocating social democracy, nuclear disarmament and closer ties to the European Union. They were founded in 1934 and formed a permanent grouping in House of Commons in 1967. Their best election result in the 20th century was at the general election of October 1974 in which they won 11 of Scotland's 72 Westminster seats as well as around 30% of the popular vote, however they lost all but two of these seats in 1979. Support for the party was bolstered under the leadership of Alex Salmond, who in 2011 led the SNP to their best electoral performance to date, in which they became the first party in the devolved Scottish Parliament to win a majority of seats. They form the Scottish government, and are now led by Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. They have 62 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) and 47 Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (MPs).

The Scottish Conservative Party is the Scottish wing of the Great Britain-wide Conservative Party. It was founded in 1965 out of the merger of the Scottish Unionist Party, which had been a dominant political force in Scotland for much of the early 20th century, winning the majority of votes and seats in the 1955 general election. However the party went into decline, being reduced from 21 Scottish seats in 1983, to 10 in 1987. The 1997 general election was a catastrophe for the Scottish Conservatives, who were left with no Scottish seats whatsoever. However the party won 18 seats in the Scottish Parliament in the 1999 election due to proportional representation. Since 2001 the Conservatives have held 1 Scottish seat in the UK parliament. Like the wider UK Conservative Party, the party is a centre-right party, which promotes conservatism and British unionism. They currently have 31 MSPs, led in the Scottish Parliament by Douglas Ross and 6 MPs.

The Scottish Labour Party is the Scottish wing of the Great Britain-wide Labour Party. It was the most successful party in Scottish elections from 1959 to 2007. Like the wider UK Labour Party, they are centre-left and they promote British unionism.[citation needed] They first overtook the Conservatives as Scotland's largest party at the 1959 general election. In 1997, the UK Labour Party under Tony Blair offered Scotland a referendum on devolution which was passed with around 74% of the electorate in favour. From 1999 to 2007, they were in power in the Scottish Parliament through a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. From 2008-2011, the party was led by Iain Gray in the Scottish Parliament, who announced his resignation after the party's defeat at the 2011 Scottish election. Johann Lamont became leader in 2011 and resigned in 2014 after an internal dispute within the party. They currently have 1 MP and 24 MSPs. As of 2019 they are led by Richard Leonard MSP.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are the Scottish wing of the Great Britain-wide Liberal Democrats party. It is a centrist, social liberal and British unionist party. The British Liberal Democrats they are part of were formed out of the old Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party in 1988. Their leader is Willie Rennie. Since the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition at Westminster, support for the Liberal Democrats has fallen sharply, and the party won five seats at the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election. They also lost their Scottish MEP at the 2014 European Elections. They also lost 10 of their 11 House of Commons seats at the 2015 general election, with Deputy Leader Alistair Carmichael the only MP managing to keep his seat. They currently have 5 MSPs and 4 MPs.

The Scottish Green Party sit between the centre-left and the left-wing. The party promotes green politics, Scottish independence, Scottish republicanism, equality and radical democracy. It retains close ties with the Green Party of England and Wales and the Green Party in Northern Ireland, having all originated in the breakup of the UK Green Party. However all three parties are now fully independent. It won a seat in the Scottish Parliament in 1999, which was increased to 7 in 2003, and then reduced to 2 in 2007. The Greens retained both these seats in 2011. The Greens increased their number of MSPs at the 2016 Scottish election from 2 to 6. They currently have no MPs.

Unregistered parties[edit]

The following parties were not registered with the Electoral Commission as of 13 May 2019, and may be defunct:

Left-wing and far-left unregistered parties[edit]

Right-wing and far-right unregistered parties[edit]

Defunct and historical parties[edit]

Miscellaneous defunct and historical parties[edit]

Left-wing and far-left defunct and historical parties[edit]

Centre-left defunct and historical parties[edit]

Centre-right defunct and historical parties[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Most libertarian political parties, including this party, are broadly left-wing on social issues and right-wing on economic issues.
  2. ^ The British Unionist Party is often seen as centre-left economically and right-leaning on social issues.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Williams, Martin (29 July 2020). "New Scottish independence party explains game plan as logos are officially approved". Scotland Herald.

External links[edit]