Member of the Scottish Parliament

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag of Scotland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) (Ball Pàrlamaid na h-Alba (BPA) in Gaelic, Memmer o the Scots Pairliament (MSP) in Scots) is the title given to any one of the 129 individuals elected to serve in the Scottish Parliament.

Methods of election[edit]

MSPs are elected in one of two ways:

  1. First past the post constituency MSPs or;
  2. Regional additional-member MSPs

Number of members elected[edit]

73 are elected as constituency MSPs and 56 are elected as additional members, seven from each of eight regional groups of constituencies.[1] This additional member system produces a form of proportional representation for each region.


All MSP positions become simultaneously vacant for elections held on a four-year cycle. If a vacancy arises at another time, due to death or resignation, then it may be filled in one of two ways, depending of whether the vacancy is for a first-past-the-post constituency MSP or for an additional-member MSP.

A constituency vacancy may be filled by a by-election. An additional-member vacancy may be filled by the next available candidate on the relevant party list. In the event there is no next available person on the list the vacancy is not filled, as in the case of Margo MacDonald.


An MSP is known as Name MSP (Name BPA in Gaelic). For instance, Alex Salmond can be entitled either Alex Salmond MSP or Ailig Salmond BPA.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How the Scottish Parliament works". Scottish Parliament. July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2014.