Holyrood 2016: clearing the campaign fog

The campaign for the Scottish Parliament election of 2016 has lacked the energy and enthusiasm of #indyref1 or the general election of 2015. The winner has been known from the start – and long before. Most commentators have focussed on who comes second and becomes the official opposition in Holyrood.

But we’re also told that Scottish politics and, indeed, the nation as a whole has changed irrevocably in the past few years. So, what’s going to happen politically, economically and socially in the next five years? And why is the promised change so meagre? Why do the policy proposals feel pretty conservative – lacking any radical edge at all?

For the first of our new Sceptical Scot podcast series we went to Stirling University to ask three leading analysts of politics, economics and social policy, all of them active at the Centre on Constitutional Change, for their views. We wanted to know what they think the next five years will bring. Their answers are a cold douche for those expecting an end to austerity, substantial redistribution of wealth, even significantly better outcomes in education, health and welfare.

Maybe, after all, the sceptical pundits are right: Scotland is a conservative society and polity. But perhaps they’re wrong. Let us know what you think before and after you vote on May 5.


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