“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.” – Sydney J. Harris
Scotland is now in full campaign mode for the Local Authority Elections so for the next few weeks we can all expect to be bombarded with messages and campaign promises. However, it can often be quite difficult to find those promises after the day they are made – things move too fast in the world of politics and “old news” drops almost faster than new headlines can. In all truth, political party websites can also be hard to navigate and it can take quite a bit of time to find just one manifesto from one party – never mind enough to properly decide who should get your vote.
In this post I shall repeat the service I provided during the Scottish Parliamentary Elections last year by collecting as many of the party manifestos into one place as I can. If, however, you’d like some more basic information than that – such as how to vote in this election and how your vote is counted and translated into elected politicians, then see my other Local Election post here.
I would note however that while I’m trying to provide as many national party manifestos as I can, the nature of the local elections makes things more complex than the Parliamentary elections. Many parties will be publishing distinct manifestos for certain local authorities (you might see one from, say, Glasgow SNP or Edinburgh Labour). These local manifestos may compliment any national manifesto, may highlight areas of particular concern to that local area or may even conflict with national strategy.
You may also find that individual councillors have issues of interest to their own ward (perhaps the provision of amenities or infrastructure to your community in particular) and these issues – though important or even vital to your community – may not factor into national or even local authority manifestos.
Finally, even more so than the Parliamentary Elections, Local Elections tend to see more participation from candidates who are independent of any party. These independents will certainly have their views and priorities but, by definition, they can’t stand in more than one council ward so are unlikely to produce a national level manifesto.
Therefore I must urge readers to dig much deeper than the national manifestos here. Find out who is standing in your area and what issues they are standing on in addition to or even despite any national messaging.
Lastly, I intend to make an earnest effort to include as many manifestos as possible in this list but it is very likely that I won’t see them all. If you find one that is missing then please contact me and I’ll add it. All I require is that a) It is a manifesto produced by a registered party, b) the manifesto covers the whole of Scotland – not merely one or several Local Authorities, and c) the party in question is standing at least one candidate for election (i.e. even if the manifesto is national, the party need not be standing candidates in every LA or ward).
Unlike last time where there were only a few parties in Parliament and many more “insurgents” who did not yet have formal representation, Local Authorities tend to be a bit more diverse and party allegiance changes can result in representation even amongst newer parties who haven’t yet tested themselves in election. I can’t, with confidence, split the manifestos between those parties who had councillors in the 2017-2022 session and those who didn’t. Therefore the list below shall be arranged alphabetically without favour or endorsement of any of them. The presence or absence of any particular party should not be considered an endorsement or rejection of them.
Check back frequently for more additions as they are published and found.
Errata and Additions:-
18/04/22 – George Galloway’s All For Unity party appears to have ceased operations and their website is dead – removed from list.
21/04/22 – Added links to the homepages of all included parties. Added Alba Party, ISP, Lib Dem and UKIP manifestos. Added entry for Volt UK. Added entry for Sovereignty (formerly the Restore Scotland Party).
22/04/22 – Added SNP manifesto.
25/04/22 – Added Communist manifesto. Removed entries for parties whose manifesto I have been unable to locate.