7th April 1934

The Scottish National Party is founded

The SNP came about through a merger between the Scottish Party, formed in 1932, and the older National Party of Scotland, which had been founded in 1928.

One of its earliest mentions in print appears in the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser on 7 April in a report on a meeting of the Airdrie branch of the National Party of Scotland, which concluded, “it is felt that the fusion [of the two parties] will soon justify itself, as while the National Party contains many men famous in the world of letters the Scottish Party has quite a large business element, and the result should be even greater progress in the future.”

Electoral successes

The SNP won its first seat at Westminster in a 1945 by-election, but held it for only three months, losing to Labour at the next general election.

The party’s electoral performance became more consistent through the 1970s when contesting both Westminster and local seats. Success in the 1980s was less obvious, but the party’s performance improved greatly through the 1990s and into the 2000s.

Alex Salmond was elected leader in 1990 and he became a key figure in the campaign for an independent Scottish Parliament, which became a reality following the national Labour election victory in 1997 that ousted the Conservatives and sent Tony Blair to Downing Street.

Largest party in Scotland

In 2007, the SNP became the largest party in the Scottish Parliament and Alex Salmond was appointed First Minister. In 2011, it built on this success to secure an overall majority, at which point it no longer needed the support of other parties to pursue its own agenda. That agenda included a referendum on Scottish independence, which took place in 2014. The ‘no’ camp prevailed.

Salmond stepped down as First Minister in the wake of the referendum result, to be succeeded by his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon. But the disappointing referendum result was not a sign of things to come. In the General Election of 2015, the SNP won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats, massively increasing its representation in Westminster.



Other events that occured in April

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