At stake in this election:
- The Independence of Scotland (part of the United Kingdom) from the United Kingdom (UK)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
- Head of Scottish Government: First Minister Alexander Elliot Anderson SALMOND (since May 2007)
- Assembly: Scotland (part of the United Kingdom) has a unicameral Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) with 129 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The First Minister is appointed by the monarch.
- In the Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba), 73 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 56 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** Seats in the proportional tier are allocated using the d'Hondt method.
Main Provisions in the Referendum:
- Should Scotland be an Independent Country?[i]
- No: 2,001,926 (55.30%)
- Yes: 1,617,989 (44.7%)
- A simple majority vote in favor of independence is needed for the referendum to pass
The referendum vote will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014.[ii] The Scottish National Party (SNP) won a majority with 69 of the 129 seats in the parliamentary elections on 5 May 2011.[iii] The SNP promised to hold a referendum on Scottish independence if they won a majority. On 15 October 2012, the Edinburgh Agreement was signed by First Minister Alex SALMOND and Prime Minister David CAMERON.[iv] The Agreement ensured that the Scottish parliament would be able to hold the referendum. On 12 March 2013, the Scottish parliament extended the vote to 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum.[v] On 21 March 2013 the independence bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament and it passed on November 14, 2013.[vi] While the Scottish government is for independence, the British government is strongly opposed.[vii] It should be noted that as of 15 August 2014, 51 percent of the people in Scotland do not believe that it should be an independent country, while 38 percent believe it should be, and 11 percent stating they do not know.[viii] If the measure passes, there will be political, economic, social, and cultural implications.
Population and Voter Registration: