Steerpike Steerpike

A brief guide to Scotland’s 25 political parties

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Voters in Scotland have a lively choice of parties in today’s elections to the Holyrood parliament. In all, there are 25 vying for either or both of each elector’s two votes (proportional representation, innit). As a public service and to mitigate confusion, Mr Steerpike offers this explanatory note on the Scottish political landscape.

First, there’s the SNP, which is asking electors for both their votes to create a mandate for a second independence referendum. Voters who don’t support a second independence referendum and don’t want to give the SNP a mandate for one should still give the party both their votes. Because… reasons.

Then there’s the Scottish Conservatives, who are opposed to a second independence referendum and if they suspect you’re not, they’ll come round and tell your nan. The party’s other policies include not supporting a second independence referendum, calling a second independence referendum names and saying ‘second independence referendum’ while looking jolly cross.

Have you seen the video of him shaking his booty? He totally won TikTok. Just not the election.

Scottish Labour doesn’t want to return to the old arguments of the past, mostly because that might involve taking a stand and the last time Scottish Labour took a stand it ended up with one MP. No more stands. In fact, party leader Anas Sarwar prefers to dance. Have you seen the video of him shaking his booty? He totally won TikTok. Just not the election.

The Liberal Democrats have nothing do with either the Liberal Party (a breakaway faction that opposed the 1988 merger with the SDP) or the SDP (not the breakaway faction that opposed the merger with the Liberal Party but a breakaway faction from that breakaway faction). Both the Liberal Democrats and the Liberals are distinct from the Scottish Libertarian Party.

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Steerpike
Written by
Steerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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