The Scottish National Party (SNP) is a political party whose aim is Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Its current leader, and first minister of the Scottish Parliament, is Alec Salmond. It has 47 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament following the 2007 election, and therefore leads the Scottish Parliament on a minority basis. They also have 5 MPs in the Westminster parliament.

The party was founded in 1934, and its first MP, Winnie Ewing, was elected to the Hamilton seat in 1967. It was successful in gaining a referendum on devolution in 1979, but voting requirements prevented their success. In 1997 it successfully campaigned with Labour and the Liberal Democrats for a Scottish Parliament, and 35 MSPs were elected to the parliament’s first sitting in 1999. It is now the second largest party in the parliament, after Labour. Its former leader, the charismatic Alex Salmond, resigned in September, 2000, after 10 years leading the party. The party's annual conference is held in Inverness.

Events in the history of the SNP and devolution
1934:The SNP is founded
1967:SNP win Hamilton by-election
1973:Victory at Govan by-election
1974:General election, SNP gains 11 seats
1976:First Devolution Bill is introduced
1977:Devolution bill fails
1978:Scotland and Wales Act passes, subject to referendum
1979:Inconclusive referendum on devolution. Decline of support for SNP. Establishment of Campaign for a Scottish Assembly
1988:Founding of Scottish Constitutional Convention
1992-7:Vigil outside Royal High School, Edinburgh, by pro-devolution supporters
1997:Referendum on devolution brings large 'yes' vote
1999:Opening of Scottish parliament

The Oxford Companion to Scottish History, Oxford University Press

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