The SNP has moved from the fringes of Scottish politics to being a strikingly successful electoral force, keeping the constitutional status of Scotland at the top of the political agenda. In the twenty-first century, the SNP has been a long-term party of government but one of opposition in the UK, balancing the different facets of its identity as a political party seeking governmental office and as an important actor in a wider movement for Scottish independence. The SNP’s ability to adapt to devolution has been key to its success, and has involved transformation of the party on a scale few political organizations experience. Yet success brings new challenges and dilemmas, related to the straddling of governance and campaigning for Scottish independence. Enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament increase the stakes for SNP governments—public policy problems cannot easily be blamed on state-wide governments—and being situated within a movement for change creates opportunities to build support for independence but the SNP’s vision of an independent Scotland is contested by others.
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||20|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Aug 2020|