What happened next? 30 key events a year since Scotland’s referendum


CommonSpace charts an extraordinary and unpredictable year in Scottish politics

19 September 2014

Alex Salmond resigns as first minister.

David Cameron welcomes ‘No’ vote, announces a Smith Commission on further devolution and introduces prospect of ‘English votes for English laws’.

After weeks of peaceful gatherings in Glasgow’s George Square, loyalist groups riot leading to 32 arrests.

2 October 2014

Membership of the Scottish National Party, Scottish Green Party and Scottish Socialist Party soars, eventually reaching over 120,000 pro-independence party members.

8 October 2014

Glasgow University becomes the first university in Europe to support divestment from fossil fuels after a student campaign for change.

24 October 2014

Johann Lamont resigns as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, criticising “dinosaurs” who treated Scottish Labour “like a branch office of London”.

14 November 2014

Nicola Sturgeon becomes leader of the SNP.

26 November 2014

Scottish Government publishes programme for government, including promises to act on land reform, access to education and expand childcare. Labour say it does not go far enough to reduce inequality.

27 November 2014

Smith Commission proposals published.

13 December 2014

Jim Murphy is elected as the new leader of the Labour Party in Scotland.

22 January 2015

Draft Scotland Bill is published. The majority of tax and welfare powers to remain at Westminster.

26 January 2015

Plans to build a new women’s super-prison in Inverclyde are scrapped by the Scottish Government after a campaign led by Women for Independence and penal reform groups.

26 February 2015

Wings Over Scotland media monitoring site launches its new fundraiser, eventually securing over PS90,000 from public donations.

3 April 2015

Seven party leaders debate the UK General Election on live TV.

13 April 2015

Labour launch election manifesto promising a more progressive tax system, an end to the bedroom tax and a balanced economic plan.

20 April 2015

SNP launch election manifesto promising more powers for Scotland, an end to austerity and opposition to Trident nuclear weapons – if they held the balance of power in a hung parliament.

7 May 2015

UK elects a Tory majority government with David Cameron as prime minister.

SNP win a landslide across Scotland, including 56 MPs and 50 per cent of the vote.

8 May 2015

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg resign as leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

16 May 2015

After pressure from Labour members and trade unionists, Jim Murphy resigns as leader of Labour in Scotland.

17 May 2015

Naval seaman William McNeilly reveals a series of safety breaches relating to nuclear weapons at the Faslane Naval Base.

27 May 2015

Conservative government is forced to back down over plans to abolish the Human Rights Act.

28 May 2015

Scotland Bill on further powers published

23 June 2015

Scottish Government publishes its Land Reform Bill.

27 August 2015

Chief constable of Police Scotland Stephen House announces he will resign following sustained criticism of an ‘authoritarian’ approach to policing, including stop and search, armed patrols and surveillance of journalists and activists.

29 August 2015

A new socialist coalition called Rise (Respect, Independence, Socialist and Environmentalism) launches, with plans to contest the 2016 Scottish elections.

3 September 2015

Image of Aylan Kurdi, a three year old Kurdish refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean, goes viral. Movement to support refugees spreads across Europe.

12 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn is elected leader of the Labour Party with over 250,000 votes.

13 September 2015

Nicola Sturgeon says a possible second referendum on independence will be included in the SNP manifesto for 2016-21.

18 September 2015

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says David Cameron is on “borrowed time” to stop independence. Unionist leaders say it’s time to move on from the referendum.

Picture courtesy of Theresa Thompson