The Scottish National Party: Championing Scotland's Interests

The Scottish National Party: Championing Scotland’s Interests


The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been a prominent political force in Scotland for many decades. Founded in 1934, it advocates for Scottish independence and has played a significant role in the political landscape of the United Kingdom. With a strong focus on nationalism and social democracy, the SNP seeks to shape Scotland’s future both within the UK and as a potentially independent nation.

Historical Background

The SNP emerged from a merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party. Initially, it had modest influence but gained significant momentum in the latter half of the 20th century. The party’s primary goal has been to secure the independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom, a cause that has seen varying degrees of support over the years.

Rise to Prominence

The SNP’s rise to prominence can be attributed to its consistent advocacy for Scottish interests and devolution. The party played a crucial role in the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, following a successful referendum in 1997. This was a major milestone in Scotland’s political history and a significant achievement for the SNP.

In Government

The SNP achieved a historic victory in the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, forming a minority government and ending decades of Labour Party dominance in Scotland. This success was further solidified in 2011 when the SNP won a majority, a remarkable feat in a proportional representation system.

The Independence Referendum

A landmark moment in the SNP’s history was the 2014 independence referendum. Although the “No” vote prevailed, the referendum significantly raised the profile of the SNP and the issue of Scottish independence. The campaign energized a substantial portion of the Scottish electorate, leading to a surge in party membership.

Policies and Governance

Under the leadership of figures like Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP has pursued policies aimed at social welfare, education, health care, and renewable energy. The party also strongly opposes Brexit, citing concerns about Scotland’s economic and political interests.

Current Challenges and Future Outlook

The SNP continues to navigate complex political waters, especially in the post-Brexit era. The party faces the challenge of balancing its push for independence with governing Scotland effectively within the UK framework. The question of another independence referendum remains a key part of its agenda.


The Scottish National Party stands as a pivotal player in Scotland’s political sphere. Whether advocating for independence or managing day-to-day governance, the SNP’s influence on the direction of Scottish and UK politics is undeniable. As Scotland faces new challenges and opportunities, the role of the SNP will be crucial in shaping the nation’s future.

SNP Stats and Facts

  1. Foundation and Growth: The SNP was founded in 1934, emerging from a merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party. Over the decades, it has grown significantly in membership and influence.
  2. Electoral Success: The SNP achieved a historic victory in the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections, forming a minority government. This was followed by an even more significant win in 2011, where they secured a majority in the Scottish Parliament, a notable achievement in a proportional representation system.
  3. Membership Surge: Following the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the SNP saw a dramatic increase in membership. From around 25,000 members before the referendum, the party’s membership soared to over 100,000 by the end of 2014, making it the third-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom at the time.
  4. Scottish Independence Referendum: In the 2014 referendum, 44.7% voted for independence, with a voter turnout of 84.6%, one of the highest in the UK’s voting history. Though the independence bid was unsuccessful, the referendum significantly raised the political profile of the SNP.
  5. Representation in UK Parliament: The SNP has seen significant success in UK general elections, especially since 2015. In the 2015 general election, the SNP won 56 out of 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons, a remarkable achievement and a testament to its dominance in Scottish politics.
  6. Leadership: Key figures in the SNP’s history include Alex Salmond, who served as the party leader from 1990 to 2000 and then from 2004 to 2014, and Nicola Sturgeon, who took over the leadership in 2014. Under their leadership, the SNP has positioned itself as a leading advocate for Scottish independence and a significant player in UK politics.
  7. Policy Focus: The SNP has focused on policies such as advocating for Scottish independence, opposing Brexit, promoting social welfare and healthcare improvements, and pushing for renewable energy initiatives in Scotland.