SPA to host Political Parties and the Independence Referendum Conference

A free one-day conference, 20th June 2013

hosted by the Scottish Political Archive

C1, Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, Stirling.  FK9 4LA

The  Scottish  Independence  Referendum will  be  a  historic  event  in  the  constitutional  history  of  Scotland, the UK and Europe.  As  the  Yes  and  No  campaigns  gather  steam,  this  conference  will  bring together experts on political parties to examine the strategies of the different political parties  towards  the  independence  referendum  in  2014.    Although  the  campaign  is  broadly  structured  around  two  opposed  campaign  ‘umbrellas’,  namely  ‘Yes  Scotland’  and  ‘Better  Together’,  the  role  of  parties  in  the  run  up  to  the  referendum  is  an  important  one  in  shaping  the  competing  strategies  of  either  side.  How parties  approach  the  referendum  and  how  they  cooperate  within  broader  campaign  structures  are  important  questions  that  will  be  discussed  at  the  conference.  The papers will examine a  range  of  common factors and dimensions amongst the four main political parties:

 The evolution of party attitudes to the autonomy issue

  • Party strategy for the referendum and its aftermath
  • Partisan motives, goals and behaviours during the long referendum campaign
  • The discursive strategies adopted by party actors
  • The multi-level dimensions to party strategy


 9.45am –     Welcome from Kevin Adamson and Peter Lynch, University of Stirling

10am –          ‘Party strategy and the Referendum’ – Matt Qvortrup, Cranfield University.

10.30am –   ‘The Scottish Tories’ – David Torrance, journalist and author.

11am –         Coffee Break

11.15am –   ‘Scottish Labour’ – Eric Shaw, University of Stirling.

11.45am –   ‘The Scottish Liberal Democrats’ – Malcolm Harvey, University of Aberdeen.

12.15pm –   ‘The Scottish National Party’ – Kevin Adamson and Peter Lynch, University of Stirling.

12.45pm –   Concluding discussion

1.00pm – Lunch

2.00pm – Close

 To book a place please email Sarah Bromage at