Election lessons for more than the politicians

16th May 2003 at 01:00
The Scottish Parliament elections this month have changed the face of Scottish politics, with the major parties losing out to the minor ones and independents.

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has published a briefing paper with analysis of the results from several perspectives and other material that will interest particularly modern studies students.

The contributions from leading commentators on elections and politics include one suggesting that a more colourful, single-issue orientated Parliament beckons.

The paper outlines how the additional member system works in Scotland, comparing the results of the 1999 and 2003 elections. It shows how this system is changing the make-up of the Parliament in terms of party representation, with smaller parties and independent candidates taking a stronger role than is possible with the first past the post election system used for Westminster.

Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, suggests the transformation that is occurring may not just be a result of the election system. "Voters were clearly defecting from the traditional big parties irrespective of the electoral system," he writes. He also suggests that voters' perception of the importance of the Parliament may be a factor.

Peter Lynch, of Stirling University, discusses in more depth what implications the election results might have for the political parties in Scotland.

Nicola McEwan, of Edinburgh University, considers the role of the second vote in greater depth and how it has influenced the outcome of the 2003 election.

Chris Eynon, of the research organisation NFO System Three, discusses the strengths and weaknesses of polling data and lessons that can be learned from the polls.

The briefing paper also considers the role of the media in the election and how the campaign fared from the media perspective.

Election data, graphs and maps of Scottish parliamentary constituencies are included, along with a possible layout of the chamber with the new members.

SPICe will soon also be publishing a spreadsheet containing all the election results data and further statistical analysis.

Stephen Curtis

Stephen Curtis is social affairs research team leader at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre

www.scottish.parliament.ukresearchsb-number.htm The file may take some time to download because of its size

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now