By James G. Kellas (auth.)
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Extra info for Nationalist Politics in Europe: The Constitutional and Electoral Dimensions
2). 5 per cent of the Scottish vote (proportional representation would have given the SNP 15 seats). In the 1995 European Parliamentary Elections the SNP rose to 33 per cent and won two seats out the eight Scottish seats. That is the highest total for the SNP in any general (not by-)election. 1 per cent. 9 9 18 The British Isles 43 in 1999, conducted under a two-ballot ‘Additional Member System’ of proportional representation. 3 per cent at the second ballot. This was clearly an improvement on the British election figures, even if it was somewhat disappointing for the Nationalists, who had been running at a higher level in opinion polls.
In the British Isles there is ‘official’ or state nationalism, and unofficial nationalism comprising social and ethnic nationalisms. The official nationalism is supportive of the British and Irish states, while the latter seek to supplant these with new nation-states or national polities. However, the picture is complicated since official Irish nationalism has until recently sought to change the British and Irish states by incorporating Northern Ireland (part of the British state) into the Republic of Ireland.
In particular, regime changes or even changes of government affect how people see themselves in terms of national identity and nationalism, especially if they experience discrimination on grounds of their nationality or feel threatened that such discrimination will take place when regimes or governments change. Having said all that, however, it is important to note that there is no one-to-one connection between claiming a national identity and claiming a national state or even devolution. Indeed, all the examples of national identity in Britain show a rather weak link between the two.