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Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Shaking Hands on the Doorstep of Bute House

Differences in Party Systems

Last week, we discussed the fact that the type of devolution offered to Scotland and Wales in 1999 was different. Since then, the Welsh devolution settlement has moved further in the direction of the Scottish model. Our focus this week has been on how the party systems differ.

Both countries are similar in the sense that the main UK statewide parties (those that field candidates across the UK) have a presence in both Scotland and Wales. Scottish and Welsh electors can vote for the Conservatives, Labour, UKIP and the Liberal Democrats. Both countries also have a nationalist party (Plaid Cymru in Wales and the SNP in Scotland).

However, while Labour is the dominant party in Wales, the SNP is the dominant party in Scotland. Plaid Cymru has been less electorally successful than the SNP. The Welsh Labour Party has managed to retain its first-place position in contrast to the Scottish Labour Party.

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This article is from the free online course:

Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections

The University of Edinburgh