Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party (SNP) is a left-of-centre social-democratic political party active in Scotland. It is the largest party in Scotland currently campaigning for Scottish independence. The current leader of the party is Alex Salmond.
The Scottish National Party was formed in 1934 as a result of a merger between the National Party of Scotland (NPS) and the Scottish Party (SP). The former was more left wing and the latter was more right wing. The SNP had several divisions within, almost from its establishment. The party won the Motherwell by-election in April 1945, only to lose the seat at the general election a month later. The party won the Hamilton by-election in November 1967, the Glasgow Govan by-election in November 1973 and in the first general election of 1974 was able to contest all but one of the Scottish seats, winning 21 per cent of the vote and nine seats. However, the fiasco of devolution and poor electoral results in 1979 pushed the party into a period of inward-looking discord. Even in 1997 they only won five seats. Proportional representation in the Scottish Parliament, however, ensured that the SNP became the major opposition party in Scotland and won the election in 2007.
In the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections of 2007, the SNP accepted a donation of £500,000 from the Christian business man Brian Souter. While some supporters hoped this would see the SNP adopting policies to preserve Scotland's Christian and Protestant heritage, instead the SNP were embroiled in a "cash for policies" row after they then dropped a key transport pledge that would have hurt Souter's commercial interests.