This article examines the political pressures affecting local government reorgan isation in Scotland. It highlights conflicts over reform between local and central government, within political parties and within the local government environment itself. It concludes that such tensions are inevitable in any reform process. The Government entered the reform process in 1991 believing that there was a consensus on single-tier. In fact, whereas there was agreement in principle, consensus on the specific outcomes did not exist. This was because any reform of structure will inevitably create winners and losers. The central argument of the paper is that the reorganisation exercise of the 1990 was not unique. Conflict was also inherent during the last reforms in the 1970.