Scottish Parliament general election, 2016

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Scottish Parliament general election, 2016
Scotland
2011 ←
members
5 May 2016 → 2020

All 129 seats to the Scottish Parliament
65 Seats are needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  NicolaSturgeonMSP20110510.JPG RuthDavidsonMSP20120529.jpg
Leader Nicola Sturgeon TBA Ruth Davidson
Party SNP Labour Conservative
Leader since 14 November 2014 TBA 4 November 2011
Leader's seat Glasgow Southside TBA Glasgow
(List)
Last election 69 seats, 44.0% 37 seats, 26.3% 15 seats, 12.4%
Current seats 64 38 15
Seats Needed Increase1 Increase27 Increase50

  Fourth party Fifth party
  WillieRennieMSP20110510.JPG Scottish Green conveners.jpg
Leader Willie Rennie Patrick Harvie and
Maggie Chapman
Party Liberal Democrats Scottish Green
Leader since 17 May 2011
Leader's seat Mid Scotland and Fife
(List)
Glasgow
(List)
Last election 5 seats, 5.2% 2 seats, 4.4%
Current seats 5 2
Seats Needed Increase60 Increase63

First Minister before election

Nicola Sturgeon
SNP

Elected First Minister

TBC

The 2016 Scottish Parliament general election is due to be held on Thursday 5 May 2016[1] to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It would be the fifth general election since the devolved parliament was established in 1999.

Date[edit]

Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary general election to the Scottish Parliament would normally be held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2011 election, i.e. in May 2015.[2] In May 2010, the new UK Government stated in the coalition agreement that the next United Kingdom general election would also be held in May 2015.[3] This proposal was criticised by the Scottish National Party and Labour, as it had been recommended after the 2007 election that elections with different voting systems should be held on separate days; a recommendation which all of the political parties had then accepted.[4] In response to this criticism, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offered the right to vary the date of the Scottish Parliament election by a year either way.[5] All the main political parties then stated their support for delaying the election by a year.[6][7] The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a statute of the Westminster Parliament, has moved the date of the Scottish Parliament general election to 5 May 2016.[1]

The date of the poll may be varied by up to one month either way by the monarch, on the proposal of the Presiding Officer.[2]

If Parliament itself resolves that it should be dissolved, with at least two-thirds of the Members (i.e. 86 Members) voting in favour, the Presiding Officer proposes a date for an extraordinary general election and the Parliament is dissolved by the monarch by royal proclamation.

It does not necessarily require a two-thirds majority to precipitate an extraordinary general election, because under the Scotland Act Parliament is also dissolved if it fails to nominate one of its members to be First Minister within certain time limits, irrespective of whether at the beginning or in the middle of a parliamentary term. Therefore, if the First Minister resigned, Parliament would then have 28 days to elect a successor (s46(2)b and s46(3)a). If no new First Minister is elected then the Presiding Officer would ask for Parliament to be dissolved under s3(1)a. This process could also be triggered if the First Minister lost a vote of confidence by a simple majority (i.e. more than 50%), as s/he must then resign (Scotland Act 1998 s45(2)). To date the Parliament has never held a confidence vote on a First Minister.

No extraordinary general elections have been held to date. Any extraordinary general elections would be in addition to ordinary general elections, unless held less than six months before the due date of an ordinary general election, in which case they supplant it. The subsequent ordinary general election reverts to the first Thursday in May, a multiple of four years after 1999.[8]

It was envisaged that the general election would still have taken place as scheduled if Scotland had voted in favour of independence in 2014.[9]

2011 results[edit]

The table below shows the figures for seats won by each party at the 2011 election. In the days after the 2011 election, which resulted in an SNP overall majority, Iain Gray, Annabel Goldie and Tavish Scott resigned as leaders of the Scottish Labour Party, Scottish Conservative Party and Scottish Liberal Democrats respectively.[10]

Party Constituency seats Regional seats Total seats
SNP 53 16 69
Labour 15 22 37
Conservative 3 12 15
Liberal Democrat 2 3 5
Scottish Green 0 2 2
Independent 0 1 1
Totals 73 56 129

Retiring MSPs[edit]

Constituency/Region Departing MSP Party
Edinburgh Central Marco Biagi Scottish National Party
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Rob Gibson Scottish National Party
Strathkelvin and Bearsden Fiona McLeod Scottish National Party
Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch Dave Thompson Scottish National Party
Edinburgh Northern and Leith Malcolm Chisholm Scottish Labour Party

Election system, seats, and regions[edit]

The total number of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) elected to the Parliament is 129.

The First Periodical Review of the Scottish Parliament's constituencies and regions by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission published its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries in 2009.

The Scottish Parliament uses an Additional Members System, designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region. There are 8 regions, each sub-divided into smaller constituencies. There are a total of 73 constituencies. Each constituency elects one MSP by the plurality (first past the post) system of election. Each region elects 7 additional MSPs using an additional member system. A modified D'Hondt method, using the constituency results, is used to elect these additional MSPs.[11][12]

The Scottish Parliament constituencies have not been coterminous with Scottish Westminster constituencies since the 2005 general election, when the 72 former Westminster constituencies were replaced with a new set of 59, generally larger, constituencies (see Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004). The boundaries used for the Scottish Parliament elections were then revised for the 2011 election. The Boundary Commission also recommended changes to the electoral regions used to elect "list" members of the Scottish Parliament,[13] which were also implemented in 2011.

Opinion Polling[edit]

Constituency Vote (FPTP)[edit]

2015[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
16 May Jim Murphy resigns as leader of Scottish Labour
7 May UK General Election 2015. In Scotland, SNP win 56 seats, Lib Dem/Cons/ Lab 1 seat each. Conservative Party Win Nationally.
29 Apr-1 May YouGov/The Times 1,162 49% 25% 15% 7% 4% 24%
22-27 Apr Survation/Daily Record 1,015 54% 24% 13% 5% 4% 30%
16-20 Apr YouGov/The Times 1,111 51% 25% 14% 6% 4% 26%
8-9 Apr YouGov/The Times 1,056 49% 24% 16% 5% 5% 25%
13-19 Mar ICM/Guardian 1,002 46% 26% 13% 5% 9% 20%
12-17 Mar Survation/Daily Record 1,027 50% 26% 13% 5% 6% 24%
10-12 Mar YouGov/The Times 1,049 46% 27% 14% 4% 5% 19%
12-17 Feb Survation/Daily Record 1,011 48% 28% 13% 5% 7% 20%
29 Jan - 2 Feb YouGov/The Times 1,001 51% 26% 12% 4% 7% 25%
14 Jan - 2 Feb TNS BMRB 1,006 47% 31% 13% 4% 5% 16%
12-19 Jan Ipsos MORI/STV 1,001 53% 24% 11% 5% 7% 29%

2014[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
16-18 Dec ICM/Guardian 1,004 44% 26% 12% 6% 11% 18%
15-18 Dec Survation/Daily Record 1,000 51% 25% 15% 5% 5% 26%
13 Dec Jim Murphy becomes leader of Scottish Labour
9-11 Dec YouGov/The Sun 1,081 50% 28% 14% 3% 5% 22%
27 Nov Release of Smith Commission Report
20 Nov Nicola Sturgeon becomes First Minister of Scotland
16 Nov Nicola Sturgeon becomes leader of the SNP
6-13 Nov Survation/Daily Record 1,001 50% 23% 14% 7% 6% 27%
27 - 30 Oct YouGov/Times 1,078 46% 28% 12% 5% 9% 18%
22 - 29 Oct Ipsos MORI 1,026 57% 23% 8% 6% 5% 34%
24 Oct Johann Lamont resigns as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, triggering a leadership election
12 Sep - 1 Oct Panelbase/Scottish National Party 1,049 42% 27% 15% 5% 10% 15%
19 Sep Survation/Daily Mail 871 49% 31% 13% 3% 1% 18%
19 Sep First Minister Alex Salmond announces his resignation, triggering a leadership election
18 Sep Scottish independence referendum
15 Sep - 17 Sep YouGov/The Sun 3,237 40% 32% 15% 4% 9% 8%
12 Sep - 16 Sep Survation/Daily Mail 1,000 42% 31% 15% 6% 6% 11%
9 Sep - 11 Sep YouGov/The Times/The Sun 1,268 39% 35% 15% 4% 8% 4%
5 Sep - 9 Sep Survation/Daily Record 1,000 43% 33% 14% 4% 5% 10%
2 - 5 Sep YouGov/Sunday Times 1,084 40% 33% 16% 4% 8% 7%
28 Aug - 1 Sep YouGov/The Times/The Sun 1,063 39% 34% 15% 5% 7% 5%
12 - 15 Aug YouGov/The Times 1,085 37% 37% 15% 4% 7% Tied
4 - 7 Aug YouGov/The Sun 1,142 36% 37% 16% 4% 7% 1%
28 Jul - 3 Aug Ipsos MORI/STV 1,006 36% 34% 16% 6% 8% 2%
4 - 8 Jul Survation/Daily Record 1,013 44% 31% 13% 5% 7% 13%
25 - 29 Jun YouGov/The Times 1,206 35% 37% 15% 6% 8% 2%
12 - 16 Jun YouGov/The Sun 1,039 35% 37% 14% 5% 9% 2%
8 - 10 Jun Survation/Daily Record 1,004 46% 28% 13% 6% 6% 18%
16 May - 1 Jun Ipsos MORI/STV 1,003 39% 30% 14% 5% 12% 9%
22 May European Parliament election, 2014
9–12 May Survation/Daily Record 1,003 44% 32% 15% 5% 4% 12%
11 - 15 Apr Survation/Sunday Post 1,002 46% 32% 13% 6% 4% 14%
4 - 7 Apr Survation/Daily Record 1,001 45% 32% 14% 6% 4% 13%
20 - 24 Mar YouGov/The Times 1,002 38% 35% 13% 7% 7% 3%
6 - 7 Mar Survation/Daily Record/Better Nation 1,002 45% 34% 13% 5% 4% 11%
24 - 28 Feb YouGov 1,257 39% 37% 14% 5% 5% 2%
17 - 18 Feb Survation/Daily Mail 1,005 44% 31% 13% 6% 6% 13%
29 Jan - 6 Feb Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,012 43% 32% 14% 6% 6% 11%
29-31 Jan Survation/Mail on Sunday 1,010 38% 36% 12% 9% 5% 2%
21-27 Jan YouGov 1,192 34% 38% 15% 5% 7% 4%
23 Jan Cowdenbeath by-election, 2014

2013[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
13-20 Dec Panelbase/Scottish National Party 1,012 40% 32% 15% 5% 8% 8%
29 Nov - 5 Dec Ipsos MORI/STV News 1,006 36% 34% 15% 7% 7% 2%
24 October Dunfermline by-election, 2013
9-15 Sep Ipsos MORI 1,000 41% 37% 13% 7% 2% 4%
30 Aug - 5 Sep Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,002 45% 32% 12% 5% 6% 13%
17-24 Jul Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,001 48% 30% 13% 4% 5% 18%
20 June Aberdeen Donside by-election, 2013
29 Apr - 5 May Ipsos MORI/The Times 1,001 39% 36% 16% 8% 1% 2%
4-9 Feb Ipsos MORI/The Times 1,003 43% 35% 13% 7% 2% 8%

2012[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
8-15 Oct Ipsos MORI/The Times 1,003 40% 35% 13% 8% 4% 5%
7-13 Jun Ipsos MORI 1,003 45% 32% 12% 6% 5% 13%
3 May Scottish local elections, 2012
27 - 29 Jan Ipsos MORI 1,005 49% 23% 13% 10% 5% 26%
26 Jan - 1 Feb Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,008 43% 25% 12% 4% 3% 18%

2011[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
5 May General Election Result 1,989,222 45.4% 31.7% 13.9% 7.9% 1.1% 13.7%

Regional Vote (AMS)[edit]

Graphical summary[edit]

3-point average trend line of poll results from 1 January 2014 to 17 February 2015, with each line corresponding to a political party.
  SNP
  Labour
  Greens
  UKIP

The chart shows the relative state of the parties from the start of 2014, when regular polling began, to the date the next election is held.

2015[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Green Lib Dem UKIP SSP Others Lead
7 May United Kingdom general election, 2015
29 Apr-1 May YouGov/The Times 1,162 43% 24% 16% 7% 6% 2% 3% 0% 19%
22-27 Apr Survation/Daily Record 1,015 44% 21% 11% 10% 6% 5% N/A 1% 23%
16 - 20 Apr YouGov/The Times 1,111 42% 25% 15% 7% 6% 2% 2% 0% 17%
8 - 9 Apr YouGov/The Times 1,056 42% 24% 16% 6% 5% 2% 3% 1% 18%
13 - 19 Mar Survation/Daily Record 1,002 42% 26% 14% 5% 6% 6% N/A 1% 16%
12 - 17 Mar Survation/Daily Record 1,027 39% 23% 15% 11% 5% 6% N/A 2% 16%
10 - 12 Mar YouGov/The Times 1,001 43% 25% 15% 8% 5% 2% 2% 0% 18%
12-17 Feb Survation/Daily Record 1,011 39% 22% 12% 13% 7% 7% N/A 1% 20%
29 Jan - 2 Feb YouGov/The Times 1,001 44% 24% 12% 8% 4% 3% 3% 1% 20%
14 Jan - 2 Feb TNS BMRB 1,006 44% 26% 13% 9% 6% 0% 1% 1% 18%
12-19 Jan Ipsos MORI/STV 1,001 48% 22% 11% 10% 5% 2% 1% 1% 26%

2014[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Green Lib Dem UKIP SSP Others Lead
15-18 Dec Survation/Daily Record 1,000 40% 24% 14% 9% 6% 7% 1% 1% 16%
13 Dec Jim Murphy becomes leader of Scottish Labour
9-11 Dec YouGov/The Sun 1,081 42% 26% 14% 7% 3% 4% 3% 2% 16%
27 Nov Release of Smith Commission Report
20 Nov Nicola Sturgeon becomes First Minister of Scotland
16 Nov Nicola Sturgeon becomes leader of the SNP
6-13 Nov Survation/Daily Record 1,001 41% 20% 13% 10% 6% 8% 1% 1% 21%
27 - 30 Oct YouGov/Times 1,078 38% 26% 12% 10% 4% 6% 3% 1% 12%
22 - 29 Oct Ipsos MORI 1,026 50% 23% 8% 10% 6% 1% 1% 1% 27%
24 Oct Johann Lamont resigns as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, triggering a leadership election
12 Sep - 1 Oct Panelbase/Scottish National Party 1,049 37% 27% 15% 9% 5% 4% 1% 10%
19 Sep First Minister Alex Salmond announces his resignation, triggering a leadership election
18 Sep Scottish independence referendum, 2014
15 Sep - 17 Sep YouGov/The Sun 3,237 35% 30% 15% 9% 3% 5% 3% 1% 5%
12 Sep - 16 Sep Survation/Daily Mail 1,000 37% 26% 13% 9% 7% 7% 0% 1% 11%
9 Sep - 11 Sep YouGov/The Times/The Sun 1,268 34% 33% 14% 8% 4% 4% 3% 1% 1%
5 Sep - 9 Sep Survation/Daily Record 1,000 38% 27% 15% 9% 5% 6% 0% 1% 11%
2 Sep - 5 Sep YouGov/The Sunday Times 1,084 34% 31% 15% 8% 4% 4% 3% 1% 3%
28 Aug - 1 Sep YouGov/The Times/The Sun 1,063 33% 33% 14% 7% 4% 4% 3% 1% Tied
12–15 August YouGov/The Times 1,085 32% 34% 14% 6% 4% 5% 4% 2% 2%
4–7 August YouGov/The Sun 1,142 31% 35% 15% 8% 5% 4% 3% 1% 4%
4–8 July Survation/Daily Record 1,013 37% 26% 13% 8% 7% 8% 0% 1% 11%
25–29 June YouGov/The Times 1,206 29% 35% 14% 8% 5% 6% 2% 1% 6%
12–16 June YouGov/The Sun 1,039 31% 33% 15% 8% 5% 5% 2% 1% 2%
8–10 June Survation/Daily Record 1,004 39% 26% 10% 10% 6% 7% 0% 1% 13%
22 June European Parliament election, 2014
9–12 May Survation/Daily Record 1,003 39% 26% 11% 9% 6% 6% 1% 1% 13%
11 - 15 Apr Survation/Sunday Post 1,001 38% 28% 11% 8% 7% 6% 1% 1% 10%
4 - 7 Apr Survation/Daily Record 1,002 41% 25% 12% 7% 9% 4% 2% 16%
20 - 24 Mar YouGov/The Times 1,072 33% 33% 13% 7% 7% 3% 4% 1% Tied
6 - 7 Mar Survation/Daily Record/Better Nation 1,002 40% 28% 11% 8% 7% 5% 1% 0% 12%
24 - 28 Feb YouGov 1,257 33% 35% 14% 5% 4% 6% 3% 1% 2%
17 - 18 Feb Survation/Daily Mail 1,005 41% 29% 13% 3% 8% 3% 1% 2% 12%
26 Jan - 6 Feb Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,012 44% 27% 13% 6% 5% 3% 1% 17%
21-27 Jan YouGov 1,192 34% 33% 14% 7% 6% 0% 3% 3% 1%
23 January Cowdenbeath by-election, 2014

2013[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Green Lib Dem Others Lead
13 - 20 Dec Panelbase/Scottish National Party 1,012 40% 31% 14% 5% 5% 5% 9%
24 October Dunfermline by-election, 2013
30 Aug - 5 Sep Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,002 46% 28% 12% 6% 4% 4% 18%
17 - 24 Jul Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,001 48% 25% 13% 6% 4% 4% 23%
20 June Aberdeen Donside by-election, 2013

2012[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Green Lib Dem Others Lead
9 - 19 Oct Panelbase/Sunday Times 972 40% 27% 11% 5% 4% 3% 13%
03 May Scottish local elections, 2012
26 Jan - 1 Feb Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,008 41% 25% 11% 4% 3% 1% 16%

2011[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Green Others Lead
5 May General Election Result 1,991,051 44% 26.3% 12.4% 5.2% 4.4% 7.7% 17.7%

Top target seats of the main parties[edit]

Below are listed all the constituencies which required a swing of less than 5% from the 2011 result to change hands.

SNP targets[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2011 Swing to gain SNP's place 2011 Result
1 East Lothian Labour 0.24 2nd
2 Greenock & Inverclyde Labour 0.91 2nd
3 Edinburgh Northern & Leith Labour 0.97 2nd
4 Motherwell & Wishaw Labour 1.21 2nd
5 Uddingston & Bellshill Labour 1.43 2nd
6 Galloway & West Dumfries Conservative 1.44 2nd
7 Ayr Conservative 1.67 2nd
8 Glasgow Pollok Labour 1.36 2nd
9 Cowdenbeath Labour 2.43 2nd
10 Dumbarton Labour 2.87 2nd
11 Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn Labour 3.15 2nd
12 Rutherglen Labour 3.28 2nd
13 Renfrewshire South Labour 4.81 2nd

Labour targets[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2011 Swing to gain Labour's place 2011 Result
1 Glasgow Anniesland SNP 0.02 2nd
2 Kirkcaldy SNP 0.33 2nd
3 Edinburgh Central SNP 0.41 2nd
4 Paisley SNP 0.49 2nd
5 Edinburgh Southern SNP 1.03 2nd
6 Aberdeen Central SNP 1.23 2nd
7 Clydebank & Milngavie SNP 1.26 2nd
8 Glasgow Shettleston SNP 1.39 2nd
9 Glasgow Kelvin SNP 1.80 2nd
10 Strathkelvin & Bearsden SNP 2.67 2nd
11 Renfrewshire North & West SNP 2.85 2nd
12 Glasgow Cathcart SNP 3.04 2nd
13 East Kilbride SNP 3.26 2nd
14 Edinburgh Eastern SNP 3.64 2nd
15 Airdrie and Shotts SNP 4.19 2nd
16 Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse SNP 4.37 2nd
17 Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley SNP 4.50 2nd

Conservative targets[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2011 Swing to gain Con place 2011 Result
1 Edinburgh Pentlands SNP 2.93 2nd
2 Eastwood Labour 3.16 2nd
3 Dumfriesshire Labour 4.97 2nd

Liberal Democrat targets[edit]

Rank Constituency Winning party 2011 Swing to gain LD's place 2011 Result
1 Edinburgh Southern SNP 2.45 3rd
2 Edinburgh Western SNP 4.02 2nd
3 North East Fife SNP 4.37 2nd

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 section 4
  2. ^ a b "Scotland Act 1998 - Section 2 Ordinary General Elections". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  3. ^ Travis, Alan (13 May 2010). "Fixed five-year parliamentary term will tie both leaders' hands". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Coalition asked to respect Scottish elections". Scottish National Party. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "UK government offers Holyrood five-year terms". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Salmond back Scotland 2015 election delay". BBC News. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  7. ^ McNab, Scott (19 February 2011). "Holyrood set for a five-year term to avoid clash with general election". The Scotsman. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Scotland Act 1998 - Section 3 Extraordinary General Elections". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  9. ^ http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/01/1006/6
  10. ^ "Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie announces resignation". BBC News. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Electoral system: How it works, 02 April 2003". BBC News Online. 2003-04-02. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  12. ^ D'Hondt system, BBC News Online, 28 September 2009. Accessed 4 May 2011
  13. ^ "Revised Recommendations" (PDF). Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 26 April 2011.