Political parties are considered as the most relevant elite actors in the politics of Scottish self-government. This chapter analyses factors that are related to the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, the three main actors of the Scottish party system and the protagonists in the politics of self-government. It shows that the pro-self-government parties had a hostile attitude towards the European Union, did not perceive the European dimension as significantly affecting their positions and largely failed to use it in their strategies. On the other hand, their Conservative opponents adopted a policy of supporting devolution in principle—but opposing the Scotland Act 1978 in practice—and centred their strategy on the risk that devolution would lead to secession and the contradictions within the Yes camp between Labour and the SNP.
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