Scottish Parliament vote data project

The project to be undertaken during the proposed secondment will develop and construct an extensive dataset, creating a rich resource that can inform our understanding of how patterns of policy-making develop and evolve overtime in parliaments, both within and across issue domains. The proposed secondment would allow me the time and opportunity to begin the process of creating an extensive dataset containing every vote held in the Scottish Parliament. Whilst this would seem a simple and straightforward task on the surface, given the size and structure of the database as it is maintained by the Scottish Parliament, cleaning and reshaping the vote data to put it in a format that is suitable for quantitative analysis is a significant undertaking that will require cross-discipline collaboration with specialists in data management and structure. Once the basic vote data are cleaned and reshaped, the next phase of the project will seek an external grant to provide funds to expand substantially the dataset to include biographical and political information on MSPs; institutional arrangements and positions; and constituency and regional data. Additionally, the dataset (to be completed with external funding) will integrate other data available through the international Policy Agendas Project, which has collected and coded data on Scottish Parliament key votes. I would anticipate collaborating with computer scientists to generate an algorithm that would be able to recode, reshape and merge the latest Parliament votes with the dataset, making it a dynamic and constantly current resource. The expectation is that the completed Scottish Parliament Vote Data would be ‘housed’ and maintained by Policy Scotland @ University of Glasgow, providing a rich resource for international scholars to come to Glasgow to work with the data in collaboration with Glasgow academics.

Carman Policy Scotland Secondment Application


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