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Scottish Labour ( gd, Pàrtaidh Làbarach na h-Alba, sco, Scots Labour; officially the Scottish Labour Party) is a
social democratic Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individu ...
political party in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
. It is an autonomous section of the UK
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
. From a high of holding 56 of the 129 seats at the first Scottish parliament election in 1999, the Party has declined in each election until it elected just 22 MSPs in the 2021 election. The party currently holds one of 59 Scottish seats in the
UK House of Commons The House of Commons (domestically known as the Commons) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in ...

UK House of Commons
. Throughout the later decades of the twentieth century and into the early 21st, Labour dominated politics in Scotland; winning the largest share of the vote in Scotland at every
UK general election This is a list of United Kingdom general elections (elections for the UK House of Commons) since the first in 1802. The members of the 1801–1802 Parliament had been elected to the former Parliament of Great Britain and Parliament of Ireland ...
from
1964 Events * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day marks t ...
to
2010 2010 was designated as: *International Year of Biodiversity The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) was a year-long celebration of biological diversity and its importance, taking place internationally in 2010. Coinciding with the dat ...
, every
European Parliament election Elections to the European Parliament take place every five years by universal adult suffrage Universal suffrage (also called universal franchise, general suffrage, and common suffrage of the common man) gives the right to vote to all adult ci ...
from
1984 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
to
2004 2004 was designated as the International Year of Rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Re ...
and in the first two elections to the Scottish Parliament in
1999 1999 was designated as the International Year of Older PersonsIn its Proclamation on Aging, the United Nations General Assembly decided to declare 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. The proclamation was launched on 1 October 1 ...
and
2003 2003 was designated the International Year of the Fresh Water Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water containing low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids Total dissolved ...
. After this, Scottish Labour formed a coalition with the
Scottish Liberal Democrats The Scottish Liberal Democrats ( gd, Pàrtaidh Libearal Deamocratach na h-Alba, sco, Scots Leeberal Democrats) is a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberali ...
, forming a majority
Scottish Executive sco, Scots Govrenment , border = , image = Scottish Government Logo.svg , image_size = 275px , date = , country = Scotland , address = St Andrew's HouseCalton HillEdinburgh , leade ...
. More recently, especially since the
2014 Scottish independence referendum A referendum took place on Thursday 18 September 2014 on Scottish independence Scottish independence ( gd, Neo-eisimeileachd na h-Alba; sco, Scots unthirldom) is the political movement A political movement is a collective attempt ...
, the party has suffered significant decline; losing ground predominantly to the
Scottish National Party The Scottish National Party (SNP; sco, Scots National Pairty, gd, Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba ) is a Scottish nationalist Scottish nationalism promotes the idea that the Scottish people form a cohesive nation and Scottish national iden ...
. Scottish Labour experienced one of their worst defeats ever at the
2015 general election This national electoral calendar for 2015 lists the national/Federation, federal direct elections that were held in 2015 in all List of sovereign states, sovereign states and their Dependent territory, dependent territories. By-elections are e ...
. Scottish Labour were left with a sole seat in the House of Commons, Edinburgh South, and lost 40 of its 41 seats to the SNP. This was the first time the party had not dominated in Scotland since the Conservative Party landslide in
1959 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the d ...
. At the
2016 Scottish Parliament election The 2016 Scottish parliament election was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016Fixed-term ...
, the party lost 13 of its 37 seats, becoming the third-largest party after being surpassed by the
Scottish Conservatives The Scottish Conservatives ( gd, Pàrtaidh Tòraidheach na h-Alba, sco, Scots Tory), officially the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party and a branch of the Conservatives that operates in Scotland. It is t ...
. At the 2017 general election, Scottish Labour improved their fortunes and gained six seats from the SNP, bringing its total seat tally to seven and winning a 27% share of the vote. This was the first time since the
1918 general election
1918 general election
, 99 years previously, that Labour had finished in third place at any general election in Scotland. Overall, the 2017 general election marked the first time in twenty years that the Labour Party had made net gains in the UK at any election. The success was short-lived however, and at the 2019 general election, Labour lost all new seats gained two years earlier, and again were left with Edinburgh South as their only Scottish seat in Parliament. Ian Murray has remained as the MP for the constituency since 2010, and is currently one of Scotland's longest-serving MPs. The 2019 general election was Labour's worst result in 84 years, with their lowest share of the vote recorded in Scotland since the December 1910 general election.


Organisation

Scottish Labour is registered with the UK Electoral Commission as an Accounting Unit (AU) of the
UK Labour Party The Labour Party is a Centre-left politics, centre-left List of political parties in the United Kingdom, political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of Social democracy, social democrats, Democratic socialism, d ...
and is therefore not a registered political party under the terms of the
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (c. 41) is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative bo ...
. As with
Welsh Labour Welsh Labour ( cy, Llafur Cymru) is the branch of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as ...
, Scottish Labour has its own general secretary which is the administrative head of the party, responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, and reports to the UK
General Secretary of the Labour Party The General Secretary of the Labour Party is the most senior employee of the British Labour Party, and acts as the non-voting secretary to the National Executive Committee. When there is a vacancy the National Executive Committee selects a provisi ...
. The Scottish Labour headquarters is currently at Bath Street, Glasgow. It was formerly co-located with the offices of Unite the Union at John Smith House, 145 West Regent Street. The party holds an annual conference during February/March each year.


Scottish Executive Committee

Scottish Labour is administered by the Glasgow-based Scottish Executive Committee (SEC), which is responsible to the Labour Party's London-based National Executive Committee (NEC). The Scottish Executive Committee is made up of representatives of party members, elected members and party affiliates, for example, trade unions and socialist societies. Party Officers: *Chair: Cathy Peattie *Vice Chair:
Cara Hilton Cara Laura Hilton (born 1975) is a Scottish Labour politician, who was the Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Dunfermline (Scottish Parliament constituency), Dunfermline from 2013 to 2016. Political career Hilton was the Labour candida ...

Cara Hilton
*Treasurer: Ian Miller


Membership

In 2008, Scottish Labour membership was reported as 17,000, down from a peak of approximately 30,000 in the run-up to the
1997 general election1997 general election may refer to: * 1997 Canadian federal election * 1997 Irish general election * 1997 Singaporean general election * 1997 United Kingdom general election {{Disambiguation ...
. The figures included in the Annual Report presented to the Scottish Party Conference in 2008, also recorded that more than half of all Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) had less than 300 members, with 14 having less than 200 members. In September 2010, the party issued 13,135 ballot papers to party members during the Labour Party (UK) leadership election. These did not necessarily equate to 13,135 individual members – due to the party's electoral structure, members can qualify for multiple votes. The party has declined to reveal its membership figures since 2008, and did not publish the number of votes cast in the leadership elections of 2011 or 2014, only percentages. In November 2014 the party's membership was claimed by an unnamed source reported in the Sunday Herald to be 13,500. Other recent reports in the media have quoted figures of "as low as 8,000" (the ''Evening Times'') and "less than 10,000" (''New Statesman''). In December 2014 the newly elected leader Jim Murphy claimed that the figure was "about 20,000" on the TV programme ''
Scotland Tonight ''Scotland Tonight'' is a Scottish news and current affairs programme, covering the two STV (TV channel), STV franchise areas of Northern and Central Scotland, produced by STV News. The programme is presented by ''STV News at Six'' Central anchor ...
''. In late September 2015, following a membership boost resulting from the 2015 Labour leadership election, a total of 29,899 people were associated with the party; 18,824 members, 7,790 people affiliated through trade unions and other groups, and 3,285 registered supporters. In September 2017, it was reported that the Party had 21,500 members and 9,500 affiliated through trade unions and other groups, making a total of 31,000 people associated with the Party. In January 2018, the total Scottish membership stood at 25,836, however within 12 months it was leaked in January 2019 that this value had fallen by 4,674 to 21,162. In February 2021, the membership figure was down to 16,467.


History

From the formation of the
Labour Representation CommitteeLabour Representation Committee may refer to: * Labour Representation Committee (1900), the original name of the British Labour Party * Labour Representation Committee (2004), a 21st-century pressure group within the British Labour Party * Belfast L ...
in 1900, it had members in Scotland, but unlike in England and Wales, it made no pact with the
Liberal Party The Liberal Party is any of many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, ...
and so initially struggled to make an impact.Peter Barberis et al, ''Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations'', pp.397–398 In 1899, the
Scottish Trades Union Congress The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is the national trade union centre in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third o ...
organised the
Scottish Workers' Representation Committee Scottish Workers' Representation Committee was the parliamentary outfit of the Scottish Trades Union Congress The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is the national trade union centre in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) i ...
, which merged into the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
in 1909, greatly increasing its presence in Scotland. By this time, the party's structure in the nation was complex, with constituency parties, and branches of affiliated parties, but no co-ordination at the national level. To provide this, a Scottish Advisory Council was founded in 1915, its first conference chaired by
Keir Hardie James Keir Hardie (15 August 185626 September 1915) was a Scottish trade unionist A trade union (or a labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve c ...
.David Clark and Helen Corr, "Shaw, Benjamin Howard", ''Dictionary of Labour Biography'', vol.VIII, pp.226–229 This was later renamed as the Scottish Council of the Labour Party, then in 1994 as the "Scottish Labour Party". In the early years, the Scottish Council had little power, and its conference could only consider motions on Scottish matters until 1972. However, this allowed it to devote significant time to the question of
Scottish devolution The decision of the Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved during the M ...
. The Labour Party campaigned for the creation of a devolved
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution in the United Kingdom, devolved, Unicameralism, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyro ...

Scottish Parliament
as part of its wider policy of a
devolved Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), st ...
United Kingdom. In the late 1980s and 1990s it and its representatives participated in the
Scottish Constitutional Convention The Scottish Constitutional Convention (SCC) was an association of Scottish political parties, churches and other civic groups, that developed a framework for a Scottish devolution. It is credited as having paved the way for the establishment of ...
with the
Scottish Liberal Democrats The Scottish Liberal Democrats ( gd, Pàrtaidh Libearal Deamocratach na h-Alba, sco, Scots Leeberal Democrats) is a liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberali ...
,
Scottish Greens The Scottish Greens (also known as the Scottish Green Party; gd, Pàrtaidh Uaine na h-Alba; sco, Scots Green Pairtie) are a green party, green List of political parties in Scotland, political party in Scotland. The party has five Members of th ...
,
trades union A trade union (or a labor union in American English), often simply called a union, is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve many common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, a ...
s and churches, and also campaigned for a "Yes-Yes" vote in the 1997 referendum.


1999–2007 coalition with Liberal Democrats

Donald Dewar Donald Campbell Dewar (21 August 1937 – 11 October 2000) was a Scottish politician who served as inaugural First Minister of Scotland The first minister of Scotland ( sco, heid meinister o Scotland; ...

Donald Dewar
led Labour's campaign for the first elections to the Scottish Parliament on 6 May 1999. Labour won the most votes and seats, with 56 seats out of 129, a clear distance ahead of the second-placed
Scottish National Party The Scottish National Party (SNP; sco, Scots National Pairty, gd, Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba ) is a Scottish nationalist Scottish nationalism promotes the idea that the Scottish people form a cohesive nation and Scottish national iden ...
(SNP). Labour also won 53 of the 73 constituency seats. Labour entered government by forming a coalition with the Scottish Liberal Democrats, with Dewar agreeing to their demand for the abolition of up-front tuition fees for university students as the price for a coalition deal. Dewar became the inaugural
First Minister of Scotland The first minister of Scotland ( sco, heid meinister o Scotland; gd, prìomh mhinistear na h-Alba ) is the leader of the Scottish Government The Scottish Government ( gd, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, ) is the ...
. Dewar died only a year later on 11 October 2000. A new first minister was elected in a ballot by Scottish Labour's MSPs and national executive members, because there was insufficient time to hold a full leadership election.Dewar's successor to seek more power for parliament
''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer ''The Observer'' is a British newspaper published on Sun ...

The Guardian
'', 23 October 2000.
On 27 October,
Henry McLeish Henry Baird McLeish (born 15 June 1948) is a Scottish politician, author and academic who served as First Minister of Scotland The first minister of Scotland ( sco, heid meinister o Scotland; gd, prìo ...

Henry McLeish
was elected to succeed Dewar, defeating rival
Jack McConnell Jack Wilson McConnell, Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale, (born 30 June 1960) is a Scottish politician and a Scottish Labour, Labour life peer in the House of Lords, who served as the 3rd First Minister of Scotland from 2001 to 2007 Scottish ...

Jack McConnell
. Labour's dominance of Scotland's Westminster seats continued in the 2001 general election, with a small loss of votes but no losses of seats. McLeish resigned later that year amid a scandal involving allegations that he sub-let part of his tax-subsidised Westminster constituency office without it having been registered in the register of interests kept in the Parliamentary office. The press called the affair ''
Officegate The Officegate scandal was a controversy surrounding then Scotland, Scottish First Minister of Scotland, First Minister Henry McLeish in 2001. It resulted in his resignation from the post. After McLeish became a Westminster Member of Parliament (U ...
''. Though McLeish could not have personally benefited financially from the oversight, he undertook to repay the £36,000 rental income, and resigned to allow the Scottish Labour Party a clean break to prepare for the 2003 Parliamentary elections. After McLeish's resignation, Jack McConnell quickly emerged as the only candidate, and was elected First Minister by the Parliament on 22 November 2001. The coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats was narrowly re-elected at the 2003 Scottish Parliament election, with Labour losing 7 seats and the Liberal Democrats gaining 1. The SNP also lost seats, though other pro-independence parties made gains. Labour once again won the majority of seats in Scotland at the 2005 general election. The boundaries in Scotland were redrawn to reduce the number of Westminster constituencies in Scotland from 72 to 59. Labour had a notional loss of 5 seats and an actual loss of 15.


2007–2010: Opposition at Holyrood

At the start of the campaign for the
2007 Scottish Parliament election The 2007 Scottish Parliament election was held on Thursday 3 May 2007 to elect members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the third general election A general election is a political voting election where generally all or most members of a gi ...
, Labour were behind the Scottish National Party (SNP) in most of the opinion polls. On 10 April, McConnell unveiled Scottish Labour's election manifesto, which included plans to scrap (?) bills for pensioners and reform
Council Tax Council Tax is a local taxation A comparison of tax rates by countries is difficult and somewhat subjective, as tax law Tax law or revenue law is an area of legal study in which public or sanctioned authorities, such as federal, state ...
. The manifesto also proposed a large increase in
public spending Government spending or expenditure includes all government consumption, investment, and transfer payments. In national income accounting, the acquisition by governments of goods and services for current use, to directly satisfy the individual or ...
on education, which would allow for the school leaving age to be increased to 18 and reduce average class sizes to 19 pupils. Labour lost 4 seats and fell narrowly behind the SNP, who won 47 seats to Labour's 46 seats. Labour still won the most constituencies, but the SNP made inroads. Both parties were well short of a majority in the parliament. SNP leader
Alex Salmond Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond (; born 31 December 1954) is a Scottish politician serving as leader of the Alba Party The Alba Party is a Scottish nationalism, Scottish nationalist and Scottish independence, pro-independence political par ...

Alex Salmond
was elected first minister with support from the
Scottish Greens The Scottish Greens (also known as the Scottish Green Party; gd, Pàrtaidh Uaine na h-Alba; sco, Scots Green Pairtie) are a green party, green List of political parties in Scotland, political party in Scotland. The party has five Members of th ...
, defeating McConnell 49-46 while the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats abstained. Labour did take the most votes in the local elections on the same day but lost seats due to the introduction of
proportional representation#REDIRECT Proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideolog ...

proportional representation
for local council elections. On 15 August 2007, McConnell announced his intention to resign as Scottish Labour leader.
Wendy Alexander Wendy Alexander (born 27 June 1963) is a retired Scottish politician and the former Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlamaid na h-Alba, BPA; sco, Memmer o the Scots Pairliament, MSP) is th ...

Wendy Alexander
emerged as the only candidate to succeed him, and was installed as leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament on 14 September 2007. During a TV interview on 4 May 2008, Wendy Alexander performed a major
U-turn A U-turn in driving Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, truck mining truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, po ...
on previous Scottish Labour policy by seeming to endorse a referendum on
Scottish independence Scottish independence ( gd, Neo-eisimeileachd na h-Alba; sco, Scots unthirldom) is the political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements ar ...
, despite previously refusing to support any referendum on the grounds that she did not support independence. During a further TV interview on 6 May 2008 she reiterated this commitment to a referendum and claimed that she had the full backing of current British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
. The following day, Gordon Brown denied this was Labour policy and that Wendy Alexander had been misrepresented during
Prime Minister's Questions Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs, officially known as Questions to the Prime Minister, while colloquially known as Prime Minister's Question Time) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain ...
in Westminster. Despite this lack of backing, Wendy Alexander once again reiterated her commitment to a referendum during First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament. On 28 June 2008, Wendy Alexander announced her resignation as Leader of Scottish Labour as a result of the pressure on her following the donation scandal.
Cathy Jamieson Catherine Mary Jamieson (born 3 November 1956) is a Scottish former Labour and Co-operative Labour and Co-operative Party (often abbreviated Labour Co-op; cy, Llafur a'r Blaid Gydweithredol) is a description used by candidates in United Kingdo ...

Cathy Jamieson
subsequently became interim party leader. A month after, Labour lost a safe Westminster seat to the SNP in the Glasgow East by-election. The 2008 Labour group leadership election was the first time Labour had elected its Scottish leader with the participation of its members, using a system similar to that used at the time by the UK-wide Labour Party (the system had been adopted in 2007, but no ballot had taken place as Alexander had been unopposed). The contenders were
Iain Gray Iain Cumming Gray (born 7 June 1957) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2008 to 2011. He has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlama ...

Iain Gray
, MSP for
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland For local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the ...

East Lothian
, a former Enterprise Minister in the previous Labour Executive,
Andy KerrAndrew Kerr (1878–1969) was an American football coach. Andrew or Andy Kerr may also refer to: *Andrew Kerr (Australian politician) (1837–1907), New South Wales politician *Andrew Kerr (broadcaster), Scottish television presenter and journalist ...
, MSP for
East Kilbride East Kilbride (; gd, Cille Bhrìghde an Ear ) is the largest town in South Lanarkshire South Lanarkshire ( sco, Sooth Lanrikshire; gd, Siorrachd Lannraig a Deas) is one of 32 Council areas of Scotland, unitary authorities of Scotland. It bo ...
and former Health Secretary in the previous administration, and
Cathy Jamieson Catherine Mary Jamieson (born 3 November 1956) is a Scottish former Labour and Co-operative Labour and Co-operative Party (often abbreviated Labour Co-op; cy, Llafur a'r Blaid Gydweithredol) is a description used by candidates in United Kingdo ...

Cathy Jamieson
MSP, the acting party leader who had been deputy leader under Jack McConnell. On 13 September 2008,
Iain Gray Iain Cumming Gray (born 7 June 1957) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2008 to 2011. He has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlama ...

Iain Gray
was elected leader and promised a "fresh start" for Labour in Scotland. A few months later, Labour won the Glenrothes by-election in Fife. The result was considered a surprise, as there was speculation that the SNP could have won an upset similar to Glasgow East. Labour fell behind the SNP in the
2009 European Parliament election Elections in the European Union, Elections to the European Parliament were held in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) between 4 and 7 June 2009. A total of 736 Member of the European Parliament, Members of the European Parliament (ME ...
. However, it easily won the Glasgow North East by-election later that year.


2010–2012: Re-evaluating position

In the
2010 United Kingdom general election The 2010 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 6 May 2010, with 45,597,461 registered voters entitled to vote to elect members to the House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower hou ...
on 6 May 2010, contrary to polls preceding the election, Labour consolidated their vote in Scotland, losing no seats (despite losing 91 seats across the rest of Britain) and regained Glasgow East from the SNP. This resulted in incumbent Scottish secretary Jim Murphy stating that the result provided an impetus for Scottish Labour to attempt to become "the biggest party in Holyrood" in the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. Labour led the SNP in the polls for the
2011 Scottish Parliament election The 2011 Scottish Parliament election was held on Thursday, 5 May 2011 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; Scots language, Scots: ''Scots Pairlament'') is the Devolution i ...
until the campaign began in March, at which point support for the SNP rallied. The SNP went on to win an unprecedented majority in the Scottish Parliament, a result that had been considered impossible under the proportional voting system. Labour had a net loss of 7 seats to the SNP. It also lost most of their constituency seats, although its share of the constituency vote declined by less than 1%. Labour's defeat was attributed to their campaign being directed mostly against the government in Westminster instead of the SNP. Party leader
Iain Gray Iain Cumming Gray (born 7 June 1957) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2008 to 2011. He has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlama ...

Iain Gray
, who held on to his own seat by only 151 votes, announced that he would be resigning with effect from later in the year. Eight weeks later, Labour easily retained a Westminster seat at the Inverclyde by-election. This suggests that Scottish Labour's disappointing performance in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election would not necessarily translate into support for its political opponents in other elections. Following the 2011 Scottish election,
Ed Miliband Edward Samuel Miliband (born 24 December 1969) is a British politician serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero since 2021. He has been the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Donca ...

Ed Miliband
commissioned the ''
Review of the Labour Party in Scotland The Murphy and Boyack review was a report compiled by Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack on the future structure of the Scottish Labour, Labour Party in Scotland, in response to the landslide victory by the Scottish National Party in the 2011 Scottish Par ...
'' of the future structure and operation of the Labour Party in Scotland, co-chaired by
Jim Murphy James Francis Murphy (born 23 August 1967) is a Scottish former politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2014 to 2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland The Secretary of State for Scotland ( gd, Rùnaire Stàite ...

Jim Murphy
MP and
Sarah Boyack Sarah Herriot Boyack (born 16 May 1961) is a Scottish Labour Scottish Labour ( gd, Pàrtaidh Làbarach na h-Alba; officially the Scottish Labour Party) is a social democratic political party in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, ...

Sarah Boyack
MSP. The review included a recommendation for a new post of Leader of the Scottish Labour Party to be created (previous Scottish Labour leaders had only been the leader of the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament). Others included more autonomy for the Scottish party and the reorganisation of members into branches based on Holyrood constituencies rather than Westminster constituencies. On 17 December 2011,
Johann Lamont Johann MacDougall Lamont (; born 11 July 1957) is a Scottish Labour Co-operative politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2011 to 2014. She was previously a junior Scottish Government, Scottish Executive minister from ...
MSP was elected as leader and
Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) is a Scottish politician who has served as Scottish Labour#Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party since 2021 Scottish Labour leadership election, 2021. He has been a Member of ...

Anas Sarwar
MP was elected as her deputy. In the 2012 Scottish local elections, Labour were outpolled by the SNP. However, it gained votes and council seats and held its majorities on the councils of
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...

Glasgow
and
North Lanarkshire North Lanarkshire ( sco, North Lanrikshire; gd, Siorrachd Lannraig a Tuath) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the northeast of the City of Glasgow and contains many of Glasgow's suburbs and commuter towns and villages. It also ...

North Lanarkshire
and regained control of
Renfrewshire Renfrewshire () ( sco, Renfrewshire; gd, Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of the 32 . Located in the west , it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the of , the others being to the east and to the west. It also shar ...

Renfrewshire
and
West Dunbartonshire West Dunbartonshire ( sco, Wast Dunbairtonshire; gd, Siorrachd Dhùn Breatann an Iar, ) is one of the 32 local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the i ...

West Dunbartonshire
.


2014 independence referendum and aftermath

For the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, Scottish Labour joined with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to form the pro-union Better Together campaign against
Scottish independence Scottish independence ( gd, Neo-eisimeileachd na h-Alba; sco, Scots unthirldom) is the political movement A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements ar ...
. It was led by
Alistair Darling Alistair Maclean Darling, Baron Darling of Roulanish, (born 28 November 1953) is a British Labour Party (UK), Labour Party politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government 2007-2010, Labour Government from 2007 to 20 ...

Alistair Darling
, a former Labour minister. In addition, Scottish Labour ran its own pro-UK campaign United with Labour alongside, with the support of former Prime Minister
Gordon Brown James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head of government is either the h ...

Gordon Brown
.
Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) is a Scottish politician who has served as Scottish Labour#Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party since 2021 Scottish Labour leadership election, 2021. He has been a Member of ...

Anas Sarwar
MP also led an unofficial organisation called the "2014 Truth Team", described by the party as "dedicated to cutting through the noise and delivering ..facts on independence". In July 2012, a member of Scottish Labour started Labour for Independence, a rebel group of Labour supporters who back
Yes Scotland Yes Scotland was the organisation representing the parties, organisations, and individuals campaigning for a ''Yes'' vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. It was launched on 25 May 2012 and dissolved in late 2014 after Scotland voted ...

Yes Scotland
in the campaign for Scottish independence. The group was dismissed by the Scottish Labour leadership as lacking "real support" from within the party. The referendum was held on 18 September 2014 and resulted in a 55.3%–44.7% victory for the No side. However, many of Labour's traditional strongholds favoured the Yes side, notably including
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesga; gd, Glaschu) is the most populous city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia'' ...

Glasgow
. The SNP had a surge in membership and gained a wide lead over Labour in the opinion polls. On 24 October 2014,
Johann Lamont Johann MacDougall Lamont (; born 11 July 1957) is a Scottish Labour Co-operative politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2011 to 2014. She was previously a junior Scottish Government, Scottish Executive minister from ...
announced her resignation as leader. She accused Labour's UK-wide leadership of undermining her attempts to reform the Scottish Labour Party and treating it "like a branch office of London." The party's 2014 leadership election was won by
Jim Murphy James Francis Murphy (born 23 August 1967) is a Scottish former politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2014 to 2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland The Secretary of State for Scotland ( gd, Rùnaire Stàite ...

Jim Murphy
, an MP who had previously served as
Secretary of State for Scotland The secretary of state for Scotland ( gd, Rùnaire Stàite na h-Alba; sco, Secretar o State fir Scotland), also referred to as the Scotland secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Rí ...
and been a prominent campaigner for the pro-Union side in the referendum. In his victory speech, Murphy said that his election marked a "fresh start" for Scottish Labour: "Scotland is changing and so too is Scottish Labour. I'm ambitious for our party because I'm ambitious for our country". He also said that he planned to defeat the SNP in 2016, and that he would use the increased powers being devolved to Holyrood to end poverty and inequality. In her speech after being elected deputy leader,
Kezia Dugdale Kezia Alexandra Ross Dugdale (born 28 August 1981) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light * International Year of Soil __TOC__ Events J ...

Kezia Dugdale
said that the party's "focus has to be on the future – a Scottish Labour party that's fighting fit and fighting for our future".


2015 – June 2017

Labour's poll ratings in Scotland did not reverse, and the party suffered a landslide defeat in the general election in May 2015, losing 40 of their 41 seats to the SNP. Many senior party figures were unseated, including Murphy himself (
East Renfrewshire East Renfrewshire ( sco, Aest Renfrewshire; gd, Siorrachd Rinn Friù an Ear) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. Until 1975, it formed part of the county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other ...
), Shadow Foreign Secretary
Douglas Alexander Douglas Garven Alexander (born 26 October 1967) is a former Labour Party in Scotland politician who served as Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many cou ...
( Paisley and Renfrewshire South) and Shadow Scotland Secretary
Margaret Curran Margaret Patricia Curran (born 24 November 1958) is a Scottish Labour Party politician. She served in the British House of Commons as the Member of Parliament (UK), Member of Parliament (MP) for Glasgow East (UK Parliament constituency), Glasg ...

Margaret Curran
( Glasgow East). Ian Murray ( Edinburgh South) was the only MP re-elected. It was the first time since
1959 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the d ...
that the party hadn't won the most votes in Scotland at a general election. On 16 May 2015,
Jim Murphy James Francis Murphy (born 23 August 1967) is a Scottish former politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2014 to 2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland The Secretary of State for Scotland ( gd, Rùnaire Stàite ...

Jim Murphy
resigned as leader effective 13 June 2015. Under normal circumstances, Deputy Leader
Kezia Dugdale Kezia Alexandra Ross Dugdale (born 28 August 1981) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light * International Year of Soil __TOC__ Events J ...

Kezia Dugdale
would become acting leader, but former Leader
Iain Gray Iain Cumming Gray (born 7 June 1957) is a Scottish politician who served as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party from 2008 to 2011. He has been the Member of the Scottish Parliament Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP; gd, Ball Pàrlama ...

Iain Gray
was appointed Acting Leader whilst a leadership and a deputy leadership election are being simultaneously held on account of Dugdale resigning as Deputy Leader to stand for Leader. Dugdale won the 2015 Scottish Labour Party leadership election, 2015 leadership election on 15 August 2015. On 1 November 2015, Scottish Labour Party delegates backed a vote to scrap the UK's Trident (UK nuclear programme), Trident nuclear missile system. The motion was supported by an overwhelming majority, in which both party members and unions voted 70% in favor of the motion. In the
2016 Scottish Parliament election The 2016 Scottish parliament election was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016Fixed-term ...
, Labour lost a third of its seats, dropping from 37 to 24. Labour got its lowest percentage of the vote in Scotland in 98 years with 23% and fell into 3rd place, a position it last occupied in Scotland in 1910, behind the Scottish Conservative Party, Conservatives. The party also only won 3 constituency seats: holding onto the Dumbarton (Scottish Parliament constituency), Dumbarton and
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland For local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the ...

East Lothian
constituencies and gaining the Edinburgh Southern (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Southern constituency from the SNP, losing eleven of its 2011 constituencies to the SNP and two to the Conservatives. In the 2017 Scottish local elections, 2017 local elections, Labour's share of first preference votes fell from 31.4% to 20.2%, while it lost over 130 seats. This result meant the Party fell to third place in terms of both vote share and number of councillors. Labour also lost control of Glasgow and three other councils where it had a majority. At the beginning of the 2017 general election campaign, Labour's poll ratings fell to a historic low 13%, and were more than 15% behind the Conservatives in Scotland in some polls. However, towards the end of the campaign Labour's polling increased to levels around the 24% the party received in 2015. On election day itself, the party managed to improve on its 2015 result and received 27% of the Scottish vote in a surprisingly good night for the party nationwide, and picked up 6 seats from the SNP in traditionally Labour areas such as Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Coatbridge, Glasgow North East, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Kirkcaldy, and Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Rutherglen, bringing its Scottish number of seats to 7. Despite the positive result for the party, Labour remained in third place in Scotland, behind the Conservatives on 29%, and the SNP on 37%.


August – November 2017: Kezia Dugdale's resignation and a new leadership election

On 29 August 2017, Kezia Dugdale resigned as leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Her deputy, Alex Rowley, took over as acting leader until 15 November, when he was suspended from Scottish Labour's parliamentary party while a probe into his conduct took place. Jackie Baillie took over as acting leader until the conclusion of the leadership election. The 2017 Scottish Labour Party leadership election, election for a new leader of the Scottish Labour party took place between 11 September 2017 (when nominations opened) and 18 November 2017, when the new leader was announced. Nominations for leadership candidates closed on 17 September. Anyone that wished to vote in the leadership election must have either been a member of the Scottish Labour Party, an 'affiliated supporter' (through being signed up as a Scottish Labour Party supporter through an affiliated organisation or union), or a 'registered supporter' (which requires signing up online and paying a one-off fee of £12) by 9 October. Voting opened on 27 October and closed at midday on 17 November. Richard Leonard won the leadership election with 56.7% of the vote and was elected as the leader of the Scottish Labour Party on 18 November.


November 2017 – January 2021: Richard Leonard's leadership

On 12 December 2019, Scottish Labour returned to having only one seat in Westminster ( Edinburgh South). Leonard resigned on 14 January 2021, triggering the 2021 Scottish Labour leadership election.


January 2021 – Anas Sarwar's leadership

On 27 February 2021, former Deputy Leader Anas Sarwar was 2021 Scottish Labour Leadership election, elected as Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, defeating rival Monica Lennon by 57.6% to 42.4% and promised to heal and unite the party. At the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, Scottish Labour lost a further 2 seats including the constituency seat of
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland For local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public administration is the ...

East Lothian
, bringing their number of MSPs to 22, an all time low. They also recorded their worst performance on both the Constituency and List vote in terms of vote share, however it was better than had been predicted by many polls at the start of Sarwar's tenure as leader, some of which had predicted Labour to potentially fall to fourth place behind the
Scottish Greens The Scottish Greens (also known as the Scottish Green Party; gd, Pàrtaidh Uaine na h-Alba; sco, Scots Green Pairtie) are a green party, green List of political parties in Scotland, political party in Scotland. The party has five Members of th ...
.


Elected representatives (current)


House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

Ian Murray - Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), MP for Edinburgh South since
2010 2010 was designated as: *International Year of Biodiversity The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) was a year-long celebration of biological diversity and its importance, taking place internationally in 2010. Coinciding with the dat ...
. Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland 2015-2016 and since 2020


Scottish Parliament


Opposition Shadow Cabinets of the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood spokespeople

*
Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar (born 14 March 1983) is a Scottish politician who has served as Scottish Labour#Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party since 2021 Scottish Labour leadership election, 2021. He has been a Member of ...

Anas Sarwar
- Leader of the Scottish Labour Party *Jackie Baillie - Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care and Covid Recovery *Claire Baker - Shadow Minister for Drugs Policy *Neil Bibby - Shadow Minister for Parliamentary Business and Transport *
Sarah Boyack Sarah Herriot Boyack (born 16 May 1961) is a Scottish Labour Scottish Labour ( gd, Pàrtaidh Làbarach na h-Alba; officially the Scottish Labour Party) is a social democratic political party in Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, ...

Sarah Boyack
- Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the  Constitution, External Affairs and Culture *Foysol Choudhury - Shadow Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development *Katy Clark - Shadow Minister for Community Safety *Pam Duncan-Glancy - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice and Social Security *Rhoda Grant - Shadow Minister for Land Reform and Islands & Chief Whip *Mark Griffin (politician), Mark Griffin - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing and  Local Government *Daniel Johnson (Scottish politician), Daniel Johnson - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy *Monica Lennon - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport *Pauline McNeill - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Justice *Michael Marra (politician), Michael Marra - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills *Carol Mochan - Shadow Minister for Mental Wellbeing, Women's Health and Sport *Paul O'Kane, Paul O’Kane - Shadow Minister for Public Health and  Social Care *Paul Sweeney - Shadow Minister for Employment and Public Finance *Colin Smyth - Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economic Development and Rural Affairs *Mercedes Villalba - Shadow Minister for Environment, Biodiversity *Martin Whitfield - Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, Lifelong Learning and Youth Employment


Members of the 6th Scottish Parliament (2021–)


Appointments


House of Lords


Electoral performance


House of Commons


Scottish Parliament


European Parliament

Note that the voting system changed from the 1999 election onwards.


See also

* Campaign for Socialism


References


Further reading

* Wendy Alexander, Alexander, Wendy (2005), ''
Donald Dewar Donald Campbell Dewar (21 August 1937 – 11 October 2000) was a Scottish politician who served as inaugural First Minister of Scotland The first minister of Scotland ( sco, heid meinister o Scotland; ...

Donald Dewar
, Scotland's First Minister'', Mainstream Publishing, * Gerry Hassan, Hassan, Gerry (2003),''The Scottish Labour Party'', Edinburgh University Press, * Gerry Hassan, Hassan, Gerry; Shaw, Eric (2012), ''The Strange Death of Labour Scotland'', Edinburgh University Press, * Henderson, Ailsa; Johns, Rob; Larner, Jac; and Carman, Chris (2020),
Scottish Labour as a case study in party failure: Evidence from the 2019 UK General Election in Scotland
" ''Scottish Affairs'' * Michael Keating (political scientist), Keating, Michael; Bleiman, David (1979), ''Labour and Scottish Nationalism'', Macmillan, * Michael Keating (political scientist), Keating, Michael (1983), ''Labour and Scottish Nationalism: An Update'', in Hearn, Sheila G. (ed.), ''Cencrastus'' No. 12, Spring 1983, pp. 29 – 31, * Knox, William W. (1984), ''Scottish Labour Leaders 1918 – 1939: A Biographical Dictionary'', Mainstream Publishing, * Rosen, Greg (2001), ''Dictionary of Labour Biography'', Politicos Publishing, * Rosen, Greg (2005), ''Old Labour to New'', Politicos Publishing. * Stuart, Mark (2005), '' John Smith – A Life'', Politicos Publishing,


External links

* {{Authority control Scottish Labour, 1915 establishments in Scotland Organisations based in Glasgow Political parties established in 1915