Barnett and Devolution Today
The Conservative victory in 1979 sent devolution to sleep for ten years. In Wales, the crushing defeat of devolution in the 1979 referendum had apparently revealed it to be the pet project of only the Welshspeaking 20 per cent of Welsh people, with little or nor support among the remaining 80 per cent. In Scotland, the expected howls of outrage that devolution had been approved, but not implemented because of the 40 per cent rule, did not occur. This was superficially puzzling. The entire Scottish political class had been preoccupied with devolution for five years; and the 40 per cent rule was plainly a wrecking amendment – it has never been applied to General Elections, where the only party since 1945 to get more than 40 per cent of the electorate to vote for it was Labour when it lost the 1951 General Election.
KeywordsCheap Talk Cent Rule Fiscal Crisis English Region Constitutional Convention
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