A second Scottish independence referendum: should the diaspora get a vote?

Murray Stewart Leith, Duncan Sim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The 2014 Scottish independence referendum settled little in terms of Scotland's constitutional future. The after-effects of what was the largest exercise in democracy in Scottish history certainly increased Scotland's devolved authority but, following withdrawal from the EU and with continuing differences and disagreements between the Westminster and Scottish governments, there have been increasing demands for a second referendum. One aspect of these conversations has been about the voting rights of Scots living outside Scotland, whose relationship with the nation would certainly be impacted by any successful vote for Scottish independence. And yet, they have had no voice in that decision and despite calls for their inclusion in any future vote, such inclusion remains unlikely. This article examines the reasons why such inclusion would be challenging and then considers what the Scottish diaspora think about Scottish independence and voting rights, by considering qualitative responses to a survey of members of the Scottish diaspora.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13235
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalPolitical Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date14 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023


  • Scotland
  • diaspora
  • independence
  • referendum
  • franchise


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