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

(page   1   2   3)
Peter Carr (Guest) 06/05/2011 17:29
As SNP now seem to hold the higher ground in relation to the possibility of independance, where do SCP stand, and given their poor result; where now for them?

Fergus Ewing SNP 16,870 51.5 +10.6
David Stewart Labour 7,125 21.8 +0.9
Mary Elizabeth Scanlon Conservative 3,797 11.6 +1.1
Christine Anne Jardine Liberal Democrat 3,763 11.5 -15.9
Donald MacLeod Boyd Scottish Christian Party 646 2 +2
Ross Scott Durance UK Independence Party 530 1.6 +1.6
Turnout 32,731 52.4
Majority 9,745 29.8

Swing 4.8% from Labour to SNP
Jim Fraser (Guest) 06/05/2011 19:53
I wojld say that thee question is more 'where now for Scotland'?
Peter Carr (Guest) 06/05/2011 22:36
Hi Jim,

I would say the way of democracy is where we continue to go, with a democratically elected govt. Don't get me wrong, I am not a nationalist, but SNP won fair and square. However, we are still a long way from independance!!
John Parker (Guest) 06/05/2011 23:33
People are fickle. If they are not happy with what 'is' then they go for something different (however good or bad the 'different' might be). And whoever in the event is elected plays to the electorate and the public mood swings.

Because the average length of any government is 4 - 5 years, there is no incentive for political leaders to engage on long-term planning, so we are locked into short-termism by governments which are not inclined towards unpopular choices.

And anyhow, most political leaders are (a) self-interested (b) captive to bankers and big business. (Is that not what Davos is all about?)

The present result shows a mood for independence. But here's the rub. The SNP's prime policy is 'independence'. If that is ever achieved, then the variety of Labour/Conservative/Liberal views which exist subliminally within the SNP will erupt once independence is achieved.

What Christians need to do is recognise what 'is' (at any moment in time) and work out their faith (as led by God) in any one situation.

So let's not get too excited about all of this. Rather just accept the change and get on with witnessing to (the same) fallen world.
Peter Carr 07/05/2011 10:34
Now that the dust is starting to settle on a new political landscape in our post Christian land, maybe in light of the most recent results, the SCP would throw some light on how the church (individually and collectively) should respond to the results listed below.

I would hope that those who seek our support, can also explain another Scottish election without success for SCP. Hopefully, having had (like Scottish Labour) a root and branch review. Thank you in anticipation.

Scottish Christian Party 1,193
Donald MacLeod Boyd Scottish Christian Party 646
(Source BBC)

George Orr 07/05/2011 12:22
Here's my musings on a potential prophetic overview as it relates to Scotland, Israel and the end times.

Of all the nations in the EU I believe that Scotland (and possibly Ireland) is the only one that has not historically abused the Jews through pogroms, ghetto's etc. The Christians in Scotland have historically sought to bless the Jews and were among the vanguard of trying to give them a homeland in Israel.

Scotland was never part of the Roman Empire. The revived Roman Empire (incorporating the EU) will be the end times government that will turn on Israel.

A vote for independence from the UK, and it's anti-Israel stances, would be a good first step. An even better subsequent step would be if it led to independence from the EU and it's aggressively anti-Israel position. Then perhaps Scotland could be a beacon of hope among the nations again.

Regarding the Church we are already a beacon of hope and can be even more so when we act like it as well!
John Parker (Guest) 07/05/2011 15:28
George, I think that you are right regarding Scotland has no track record of persecuting the Jews - and in that sense it may indeed be good to be distinct from Westminster foreign policies (as these unfold).

However, the SNP strapline (of some years ago) was "Independence in Europe". I regard that as an impossibility as Europe wants to bring all nations under the single EU banner.
The EU machine is only encouraging independence (at the moment) so as to break up existing nation/states. Once that process has been accomplished we will, I believe, see the true nature of the beast. And as you rightly state, the EU is no friend of Israel.
Paul (Guest) 07/05/2011 18:53
George, I'm not sure what you mean by this.

'Regarding the Church we are already a beacon of hope and can be even more so when we act like it as well!'

Can you expand on that?
(page   1   2   3)

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>

Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > Scottish electorate rush to nationalist party