Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is the third-largest political party in the United Kingdom. It is a left-leaning party which campaigns for an independent Scotland outside the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1934 and is now the party of government in the Scottish Parliament; it also contests seats in the UK's House of Commons, but only votes on issues affecting Scotland. The SNP is also represented in the European Parliament and on Scottish local councils. Its leader has been Nicola Sturgeon since 14th November 2014.
On 16th May 2007, Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted by 49 to 46 for Salmond to replace Labour's Jack McConnell as First Minister of Scotland. The party ran Scotland with issue-by-issue support from the Scottish Green Party's MSPs. The SNP informally renamed the Scottish Executive the 'Scottish Government' in September 2007, changing letter headings, publicity material and signs in and around the Parliament building accordingly. However, this change has no legal standing, and legislation continues to refer to the Scottish Executive.
The SNP won a majority in the Scottish parliamentary elections of 2011.
The SNP advocates full independence from the rest of the UK - i.e. England, Wales and Northern Ireland - but supports Scottish membership of the European Union and other international organisations. Under SNP-led independence, Scotland would remain in the UK's Sterling currency, but the party would campaign for the new state to join the Euro. The party provided for a referendum on Scottish independence, held in September 2014. Following the result in favour of maintaining the Union, Alex Salmond stepped down as SNP leader, while party membership massively increased.
- BBC News: 'Scottish Executive renames itself'. 3rd September 2007.
- Scottish Government: 'Your Scotland, Your Voice: A National Conversation', section 3.34. White paper setting out the case for independence.