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Guide to the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election

On 6 May, Scottish voters will go to the polls for an election like no other against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the sixth Holyrood election since devolution, one which the SNP hope to win a remarkable fourth term in office, but one in which their dominance may be challenged, not necessarily by the main opposition unionist parties, but through the continued fallout from the Salmond inquiry and the emergence of the pro-independence Alba Party led by Alex Salmond.

This election will not only have wide ranging implications for Scottish politics but will also have consequences for the UK’s constitutional future if the SNP win an outright majority, or if there is an increased presence of pro-independence MSPs. Opinion polls have shown that the previous lead for independence has narrowed in recent weeks, with some even indicating that the No side is in front.

It is highly probable that the SNP will be the largest party in Scotland and it would take a truly remarkable reversal of fortunes for this not to happen. As neither Douglas Ross or Anas Sarwar will hold the keys to Bute House, a more realistic objective for the unionist parties would be to prevent an SNP overall majority, or even pro-independence majority of MSPs. After all, it was the SNP’s majority in 2011 that provided the catalyst for the independence referendum three years later.

All of the parties have put forward ambitious policies to the electorate in their manifestos, but there has been some criticism from the Institute for Fiscal Studies for the unrealistic levels of public spending from the main three parties. Amidst the glut of lofty promises, voters may simply decide whom they trust the most to deliver and guide the country towards its recovery.

Whatever happens on 6th May will have implications for businesses and organisations in terms of their public affairs strategies in Scotland but also from the Scottish Government continuing to ‘lead the way’ on the domestic agenda – particularly on public health and the environment – and consequently affecting the policy debate elsewhere in the UK.

ASSC’s Public Affairs consultants, Halogen Communications, have put together a guide to the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election: 2021 Holyrood Election Guide

Party Manifestos: an overview of commitments for our sector.

The ASSC held its first ever hustings ahead of the 2021 Holyrood elections.

The event followed the publication of the ASSC’s first ever election manifesto, Recovering, Reopening, and Revitalising: Building a Scottish Self-Catering Sector for the Future.

At the ASSC Hustings, one of the questions centred on short-term letting: “How can the negative impact of Licensing on the short-term let sector be mitigated or avoided?” Find out what candidates had to say: ASSC Hustings – Short-Term Let Position

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