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Understanding Post-Devolution Elections in Scotland and Wales in Comparative Perspective
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 19:20 authored by Charlie Jeffery, Dan HoughDan Hough
In this article, we explore the electoral dynamics of multi-level political systems for the case of the United Kingdom (Scotland and Wales) through a comparison with multi-level voting behaviour in Germany, Spain and Canada. The analysis suggests that sub-state elections can be 'second order' in relation to state-wide elections, but that this 'second orderness' is reduced when more powers are decentralized to the sub-state level (and, thus, more is at stake in sub-state elections), and if sub-state identities and parties are stronger. Consequently, elections in Scotland and Wales are unlikely to be or become only 'second order' to Westminster elections, and British state-wide parties will continue to face challenges and pressures to adapt their organizations and programmes to the devolution of the British state.
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