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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Study of the Scottish National Party


Little is known about SNP members or the role they play within the party organisation.  Devolution has presented the party with a number of opportunities.  Since devolution, the party has also experienced organisational changes, including the introduction of a national membership register and recently there has been an increase in members.  The SNP has traditionally been seen as an example of a party that emerged from a social movement, relying on members for financial support, campaigning activities, and contributions to internal decision-making.  However, such accounts of the SNP have not considered the role of members empirically nor in the context of devolution in which the party now has many more elected representatives and related staff.



The study will have two parts: a survey of the party’s membership and structured interviews with key figures.


  1. To understand the social and demographic make-up of the SNP;
  2. To examine the motivations underpinning membership;
  3. To examine political attitudes;
  4. To assess the structure of the party;
  5. To explore the ideological and policy inputs of members.

application/pdf Who are the SNP?

Creator: James Mitchell Date: 04 November 2008 Presentation/lecture