The Scottish devolution saga, which had involved two referendums, brought about the downfall of a government in 1979 and dominated political debate in Scotland for a generation, entered a new phase on 6 May 1999 when the first elections to the newly-established Parliament were held. The elections attracted attention well beyond Scotland. Partly this was because of their historic significance — they would determine the composition of the first Parliament to sit in Scotland for almost 300 years — but it was also because, as described in Chapter 9, the electoral system which had been adopted involved, for the first time in Britain (along with the elections to the Welsh National Assembly held on the same day), an element of proportional representation. There was considerable interest, therefore, in how voters would react to an unfamiliar system and on how the system would affect the make-up of the Parliament.