In 1989 Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives had been in power for a decade, she had destroyed the unions, castrated national protests following the introduction of the Housing Act. She had nationalised almost every industry she could. On April First 1989 arrogant with power, she sowed the seeds of her downfall and systematically destroyed the Conservative party in Scotland.

Here are 11 Interesting Facts About Glasgow and the Poll Tax Revolution

1. Introduction


It was introduced in Scotland, a full year before it was introduced anywhere else in the UK

2. Fool Proof

It was no joke, but Margaret Thatcher decided to introduce the hated tax on April 1st 1989

3. Refusal


More than one million Scots refused to pay the tax and in 2014, Alex Salmond wrote off the outstanding “Poll Tax” debt, he wiped away more than £450 million pounds worth of uncollected debt. He said “I can announce today it’s the government’s intention to bring forward legislation to ensure that councils can take no further action to recover ancient poll tax debts. After 25 years, it’s about time that the poll tax was finally dead and buried in Scotland.”

4. Fight the Power

More than 50,000 people protested in Glasgow and 200,000 in London simultaneously, orchestrated by amongst others Tommy Sheridan.

5. Week Fast

Tommy Sheridan staged a week long hunger protest in George Square, to highlight, people being forced to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their family.

6. Tin Pail Tommy

Tommy Sheridan 6 months

After defying a court order to stay away from a “Warrant Sale” Tommy Sheridan was sent to jail for six months, and was written into the history books for being the first person incarcerated for their involvement in defying the Poll Tax.

7. Unwarranted Warrant

in 1990, Strathclyde Council issued 250,000 warrants for unpaid Poll Tax. It was said that almost 1 in 3 people in Glasgow alone refused to pay their Poll Tax

8. Jail Bird George

One of Tommy Sheridan’s longest serving friends (they had known each other since school) George McNeilage was the first person in the UK imprisoned for direct refusal to pay the Poll Tax.

9. Defiance Through Unity

pat no poll

The first Anti Poll Tax Union was created in Maryhill, 1987, Two years before the Poll Tax was officially introduced.

10. Electoral Avoidance

Between the years of 1988 and 1989 the electoral register in Scotland dropped 61,000 and 85,000 in England. It was thought that more than one million people dropped off the electoral register or failed to register during the Poll Tax era.

11. Collapse of Conservatives in Scotland

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher and the Conservatives refusal to back down from imposing the Poll Tax, helped to destroy the Conservatives position as any type of political power in Scotland and led to Margaret Thatcher’s fall from power.