Scotland Goes To The Polls - Politics With A Tartan Twist

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On May 5th Scots will be voting twice, for the party they want to govern at Holyrood and, alongside the rest of the country on whether they want the voting system to shift to an Alternative Vote.

What's happening in Scotland has taken on a greater significance due the political climate Firstly some claim that the vote on AV will be unfairly skewed by the Scottish vote - as Scots are also voting in the Scottish Parliamentary elections the turnout will be greater than the rest of the UK. Secondly, if the outcome of the Scottish election leads to a coalition, for example Labour and the Liberal Democrats, this would have interesting implications for the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government in Westminster.

A number of different tartans are available for each of the political parties. For Iain gray the Gray tartan comes in Gray Hunting tartan or the Gray Hunting Ancient. Mr Gray could also look draw inspiration from his days at Edinburgh University and wear the Universities tartan, alternatively he could reflect his links to Mozambique, where he worked when he was with Oxfam. One of the 'tartans for Africa' which sought to develop links between Africa and Scotland. The Mozambique tartan incorporates the colours of the two countries flags .

Iain Gray was part of the political leaders who met the Pope, while not opting for a kilt on this occasion he wore a tartan tie in the St Ninian's Day Tartan. The 452 threads in this tartan represent the number of Catholic parishes - it is the first ever tartan created to celebrate a papal visit. Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien gifted a tartan tie to all of the 129 members of the Scottish parliament. The tartan colours included white and blue to represent Scotland's national flag, white and red lines for the colours of Cardinal Newman's crest and yellow to reflect the colours of the Vatican.

The Rt Hon Alex Fergusson MSP says; he expressed his delight that the Scottish Parliament was given ties in the St Ninian's Day to recognise the importance of the Pope's visit. It is clear that a lot of thought has gone into producing this unique tartan and it is sure to guarantee a colourful, Scottish welcome for the papal visit."

For the other parties the SNP's Alex Salmond and the Conservative Annabel Goldie who do not a tartan for their surname there are a number of different options. Goldie who has been the leader of the Scottish conservative party since 2005, and the first woman to lead the Scottish Conservative Party could opt for the Golden tartan. She could also wear her university tartan - The Strathclyde University tartan which draws inspiration from the Anderson Tartan, in honour of the University's founder, Professor John Anderson. the green and red are taken from the Glasgow City tartan. The colours of the University crest are red, blue and gold.

Whether Goldie was wearing tartan or not was the subject of a gaffe by Prince Philip when he met greeted politicians during the pope's visit. On seeing that the men were wearing tartan ties Prince Philip asked Goldie if she had a pair of knickers in the same tartan. Ms Goldie laughed off the remark responding: "I couldn't possibly comment - and even if I did, I couldn't possibly exhibit them."

Salmond could wear the University of St Andrews tartan, as he graduated from St Andrews with a Joint Honours MA in economics and history, or as an avid supporter of Hearts he could opt for a 'Heart of Midlothian Football club tartan.

Tavish Scott is an MSP for Shetland as well as the Scottish liberal Democrat Leader. As you would expect there is a huge choice of 'Scott' tartans including Scott Green, Scott Red, Scott Hunting, Scott Dress and many more.


Anna Murray is Head of Marketing at The Scotland Kilt Company - a family run business based in Edinburgh. To discuss your requirements for a kilt or kilt package please get in touch email Or call 0131 225 3555

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