Christian Life 

Scottish electorate rush to nationalist party

In the current elections for the Scottish Parliament mass defections from particularly the Liberal Democrats but also from the Labour party sees Scotland as a nation now clearly under the governance of the Scottish Nationalist Party.

Scottish ParliamentTHE OUTCOME of the 5 May 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections gives the Scottish National Party a very strong mandate for government and raises the prospect of a stronger push for Scottish independence.

A brief historical overview

Scotland has - as other nations - a history of mixed voting. The northern isles of Orkney and Shetland have tradtionally stayed away from the two main parties of Labour and Conservative. Part of the underlying reason being that these communities see themselves being as much Nordic as British. Conversally the counties on the Scotland-England border have traditionally voted for the Conservative party which is strongly unionist in terms of keeping the UK nations together under a London-based parliament.

The central belt which contains the bulk of the Scottish population has seen been traditionally Labour in the West (Glasgow/Strathclyde) whilst tending more towards Conservative in the east (Edinburgh/Lothians).

Changed scene: the 'Separation' question

However the map of Scotland is now substantially bedecked in the colour yellow. The principal loser has been the Liberal-Democratic Party (Lib-Dems) - many of whose previous voters have been very unhappy with the Conservative/Lib-Dem alliance which is now running the Westminster (UK) Parliament.

The pressure will now be on the SNP to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. While the SNP will still be wary about the outcome, the chances of achieving a 'Yes' vote have probably increased dramatically and, even if not, to desist from a referendum would leave the SNP looking as toothless tiger and detract from the credibility which the current results bestow on the nationalist party.

Any move towards a totally-indepedent Scotland would have massive political, ecomomic and constitutional implications. And the fact that new Scottish Parliament which was(re-)installed in 1999 commences the daily proceedings with a multi-faith 'Time for Reflection' does not suggest that the nation – or at least a Scottish Parliament left to its own devices – sets much store by Scotland's predominantly Christian heritage. However ....

Parliamentary Prayer Scotland


A team of intercessors under the leadership of Anne McIntyre maintains a Christian presence within the political process and has done so from the earliest days of the Parliament. The Parliamentary Prayer Scotland team meets to pray every week in Edinburgh and sends out a regular 'Current Issues' update on request  to those who wish to stay in touch with developments in the political scene.

Other faiths

Nicola SturgeonAlex Salmond, the SNP leader wrote the foreword to a book entitled 'The Thistle and the Crescent' – a (rather-contrived) account of the historic relationships between Scotland and Islam.

The author of the book is Bashir Mann, a Muslim grandee and former Glasgow councillor who has now swung his weight behind the SNP  -

Former Labour councillor and leading Glasgow figure endorses the SNP Former Labour Councillor and leading figure in Glasgow Bashir Maan has endorsed Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and the SNP in Scotland's election.

In a statement Bashir Maan said: "I am delighted to support Nicola Sturgeon for re-election."

Bashir Maan (right) with Deputy First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon (now Deputy First Minister) and Professor Salim Al-Hassani during the launch of the exhibition 1001 Inventions in Glasgow Science Centre (24 October 2007).

Christian Parties

In the 2011 elections the Christian Peoples Alliance Party and the Scottish Christian Party both fielded candidates. Dr. Donald Boyd stood for the Scottish Christian Party in 2007, the General Election of 2010 and in 2011 as the leader of the SCP. The Party fielded candidates in all of the eight regions. Neither party gained a seat.

Proportional Representation Referendum

In addition to voting for the Scottish Parliament, voters have also been asked to register their opinion on moves towards a UK-wide system of proportional representation. The referendum will ask people to vote "Yes" or "No" to the following question: "At present, the UK uses the first-past-the-post system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the alternative vote system be used instead?"

Breaking news: The UK has voted overwhelmingly to reject changing the way MPs are elected - dealing a bitter blow to Nick Clegg on top of heavy Lib Dem poll losses. Read on.....

Outcome of 2011 Scottish Parliament elections
Election outcome

Note: In the table below the 'Constituencies scoreboard' relates to individual candidates/seats for defined geographic consitituencies: the 'Regions scoreboard' relates to seats one under the proportional representation element of the voting system and are awarded to parties on a regional basis. The parties then appoint those whom they wish to take these seats in the Parlaiment.

Election results

Christians Together, 06/05/2011

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Paul (Guest) 10/05/2011 15:05
I am of the opinion that IF Scotland ever became independant then the moral landslide would accelerate within its boarders not abate.

George Orr 10/05/2011 15:28
That could well be the case, but as things stand the UK parties have already lined up on the wrong side of the fence. With the SNP the debate still has to happen.

Rosemary Cameron 10/05/2011 21:51
And the SNP may not want to stray too far away from Christian values given that one of their financial backers, in the past anyway, has been Brian Souter!

I hear that John Mason, a Christian, has become an SNP MSP for Glasgow after losing his place as a Westminster MP in the last election.

Two different ways for Christians to exert an influence!
Peter Carr 10/05/2011 22:09
I don't want to appear too negative with regards to the moral slide that we are experiencing in the UK, versus the major political parties and their policies in this respect.

However, just a reminder that average church attendance in the UK is about 10% of the population. In my part of Scotland it is about 2%. So, by all means lobby and do all that can be done, but let us not lose sight of which direction that this country is choosing to go.

John Parker (Guest) 10/05/2011 22:48
I know it's a cliche but is it not the case of people getting the leaders they deserve?

I can't get much away from the logic that politicians want to be re-elected, so they want to be popular, so(as far as circumstances allow)they give the public what the public wants.

I am absolutely of the view that Christians (if they feel that it's God's calling on them) should engage in the political process.
However I am also absolutely of the view that the political process cannot change the heart of a nation or its people at a personal level.
Otherwise God could just have sent a brilliant statesman and spared His son.
George Orr 10/05/2011 23:09
Then again even Nineveh repented, so all things are possible!
Peter Carr 11/05/2011 08:44
"Then again even Nineveh repented, so all things are possible!"

True, but there again it was eventually destroyed!!!!

John Parker (Guest) 11/05/2011 10:31
George, you said - Then again even Nineveh repented, so all things are possible!

Absolutely. Jonah was a 'prophet' not a politician. It was Jonah's preaching a word from the Lord that called them to repentance, not some new legislation or policy statement.

And it the authentic voice of God that our nation needs to hear (whether it comes from a beggar, a preacher or even a politician).
Pawlo 11/05/2011 12:04
John, you said,

'And it the authentic voice of God that our nation needs to hear (whether it comes from a beggar, a preacher or even a politician).'

Isn't the problem more about the fact that people do and have had access to hear the authentic voice of God, but now they choose not to listen?
Isn't it about understanding the times we are living in? Scotland at the time of the Roman empire was Pagan but had never heard the voice of God through the gospel of Christ. Now is very different, it is pagan through choice, not ignorance.

John Parker (Guest) 11/05/2011 15:42
Paul said concerning our nation - "it is pagan through choice, not ignorance".

A very good point. And again the needful is the Holy Spirit to bring convicion. I'm sure that any town can benefit from having a mayor or a MP who is a Christian. But that is not going to fix it.
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