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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alistair Clark
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Small parties in Scotland have played a number of roles in the post-devolution party system. In some areas they have been trail-blazers for broader developments, while in others they have met some success but had little longer impact. Understanding this is crucial for a broader understanding of party competition and the Scottish party system. The first part of the chapter addresses thorny theoretical issues around what counts as a ‘small’ party, and the relation between smallness and relevance. The second part discusses key small parties that have had some level of success in Scotland. These include the Greens, Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), UKIP, Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, and the ‘Others’ who have also been successfully elected in Scotland, including the Liberal Democrats, given their changing fortunes over time. The final section considers reasons for the rise of smaller parties, while examining the broader effect on the Scottish party system and putting Scotland into comparative perspective in relation to the role of small parties.
Author(s): Clark A
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics
Print publication date: 20/08/2020
Acceptance date: 11/04/2019
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place Published: Oxford, UK
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item