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Irish situation is delicate enough without talk of referendums anywhere near Stormont. Joel Riley

Scottish ballot is not stoking nationalism in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s oldest joke is that a man is asked, “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” to which he replies, “Actually I’m Jewish”. His questioner responds: “Yes but are you a Protestant or a Catholic…
One of Scotland’s most popular politicians. Andrew Milligan/PA

Margo MacDonald, independent Scot, 1943-2014

The Scottish Parliament prides itself in the number of visitors it receives. They might hope for a sighting of the first minister, but Margo MacDonald was the member the public was keenest to actually…
The poll tax was a key milestone on the road to the Scottish referendum. Stephen Fyfe

Scotland Decides ’14: what does Alex Salmond owe the Poll Tax?

This week saw the 25th anniversary of one of the key events in recent Scottish political history. On 1 April 1989, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government introduced a new tax in Scotland to replace…
The Veneto region, with its picturesque capital Venice, has voted in a referendum for independence from Italy. Matthew Gast/Flickr

Context is critical to European independence referendums

Just as Venice risks disappearing beneath its waters, it is making a remarkable political reappearance. The Venetian Republic existed for more than 1000 years until it came to an end at the hands of Napoleon…
The final countdown. Scottish Government

Scotland Decides ’14: The Conversation expert panel

Britain’s most significant political event of 2014 takes place on September 18, when the people of Scotland will vote on whether it should become an independent country. It is a referendum with massive…
Now, where to put my cross? Cx1uk

Scotland’s referendum: can we trust the polls?

Opinion polls can have a profound influence on the atmosphere of a campaign. If they suggest that one side is well ahead, the media loses interest. The politicians get less space and perhaps airtime, while…

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