Scottish devolution referendum, 1997

Scottish devolution referendum, 1997
Do you agree that there should be a Scottish Parliament as proposed by the Government?
LocationScotland
Date11 September 1997
Results
Votes%
Yes1,775,04574.29%
No614,40025.71%
Valid votes2,389,445100.00%
Invalid or blank votes11,9860.50%
Total votes2,389,445100.00%
Registered voters/turnout3,973,67360.13%
Results by Council areas
Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 Question 1 results.svg
  Yes     No
Saturation of colour reflects the strength of the Yes vote in each Council area.
Scottish devolution referendum, 1997
Do you agree that a Scottish Parliament should have tax-raising powers as proposed by the Government?
LocationScotland
Date11 September 1997
Results
Votes%
Yes1,512,88963.48%
No870,26336.52%
Valid votes2,383,15299.21%
Invalid or blank votes19,0130.79%
Total votes2,402,165100.00%
Registered voters/turnout3,973,67360.45%
Results by Council areas
Scottish devolution referendum, 1997 Question 2 results.svg
  Yes     No
Saturation of colour reflects the strength of the Yes vote in each Council area.
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (Scotland).svg
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The Scottish devolution referendum of 1997 was a pre-legislative referendum held in Scotland on 11 September 1997 over whether there was support for the creation of a Scottish Parliament with devolved powers, and whether the Parliament should have tax-varying powers. The result was 'Yes–Yes': a majority voted in favour of both proposals, and the Parliament was established following an election in 1999. Turnout for the referendum was 60.4%.

The referendum was a Labour manifesto commitment and was held in their first term after the 1997 UK general election under the provisions of the Referendums (Scotland & Wales) Act 1997. It was the second referendum held in Scotland over the question of devolution, the first being in 1979, and is to date the only major referendum to be held in any part of the United Kingdom where voters were asked two questions in the same plebiscite.

Background

Logo used by the Yes Campaign.

A referendum was held in 1979 under a Labour government which stipulated that a Scottish Assembly would come into being if the referendum had been supported by 50% of votes cast plus a controversial rule whereby at least 40% of the electorate had to vote in favour. Although 51.6% voted in favour, this was only 32.9% of the electorate so the Assembly was not brought into being. Shortly afterwards, the predominantly anti-devolution-led Conservative Party won the United Kingdom general election, 1979.

Logo used by the No Campaign.
National and regional referendums held within the United Kingdom and its constituent countries
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Northern Ireland Border Poll 1973
UK EC Membership Referendum 1975
Scottish Devolution Referendum 1979
Welsh Devolution Referendum 1979
Scottish Devolution Referendum 1997
Welsh Devolution Referendum 1997
Greater London Authority Referendum 1998
NI Good Friday Agreement Referendum 1998
NE England Devolution Referendum 2004
Welsh Devolution Referendum 2011
UK AV Referendum 2011
Scottish Independence Referendum 2014
UK EU Membership Referendum 2016

The Campaign for a Scottish Assembly was formed afterwards to continue the campaign. They brought together a committee of "prominent Scots" who drafted the document "A Claim of Right for Scotland". The "Claim" was published in 1988 and signed by most Scottish politicians, local councils, trade unions and churches.

It was agreed to form a Scottish Constitutional Convention made up of all existing MPs and councillors. This was done despite the opposition of the national government of the time of John Major. Because the Labour Party had a clear majority within the convention the Scottish National Party withdrew.[1]

The Labour Party included the establishment of a Scottish Parliament in its manifesto for the United Kingdom general election, 1997, which they won with a landslide majority of 179.