ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: August 31, 2022
A History of the Scottish Liberals and Liberal Democrats
By (author) David Torrance
The Scottish Liberal Party was the dominant party of Victorian Scotland. While its electoral fortunes declined with the rise of the Labour and (Scottish) Unionist parties during the 1920s, it remained a significant ‘third’ force in an increasingly crowded ‘Scottish political system’, particularly during the latter half of the 20th century. This was especially true following its 1988 merger with the Social Democratic Party to form the Scottish Liberal Democrats, when it helped shape the modern devolution settlement via the Scottish Constitutional Convention. This book examines both parties via a chronological presentation of their histories. Each chapter includes themes such as organisation, relations between the Scottish and UK parties, the deployment of ‘nationalist’ arguments and rhetoric, and strategic approaches (after 1922) to recover electorally and pursue certain constitutional aims including devolution for Scotland. It also presents a detailed examination of the party’s record in devolved and Westminster government after 1999.
David Torrance, Devolution and Constitution Specialist, House of Commons Library.