Scottish Parliament general election, 2016

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Scottish Parliament general election, 2016
Scotland
2011 ←
members
5 May 2016
→ 2021

All 129 seats to the Scottish Parliament
65 Seats are needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Alex Salmond (crop).JPG JohannLamontMSPgreenjacket.jpg
Leader Alex Salmond Johann Lamont
Party SNP Labour
Leader since 3 September 2004 17 December 2011
Leader's seat Aberdeenshire East Glasgow Pollok
Last election 69 seats, 44.0% 37 seats, 26.3%
Current seats 65 38
Seats Needed Increase27

  Third party Fourth party
  RuthDavidsonMSP20120529.jpg WillieRennieMSP20110510.JPG
Leader Ruth Davidson Willie Rennie
Party Conservative Liberal Democrats
Leader since 4 November 2011 17 May 2011
Leader's seat Glasgow
(List)
Mid Scotland and Fife
(List)
Last election 15 seats, 12.4% 5 seats, 5.2%
Current seats 15 5
Seats Needed Increase50 Increase60

First Minister before election

Alex Salmond
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.

It is envisaged that the general election will still take place as scheduled if Scotland votes in favour of independence in 2014.[2]

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.[3] However, 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] All the main political parties then stated their support for delaying the election by a year.[7][8] 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.[3]

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.[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

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 member MSPs using an additional member system. A modified D'Hondt method, using the constituency results, is used to calculate which additional member MSPs the regions elect.[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]

2014[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Others Lead
12 - 15 August YouGov/The Times 1,085 37% 37% 15% 4% 7% Tied
4 - 7 August YouGov/The Sun 1,142 36% 37% 16% 4% 7% 1%
28 July - 3 August Ipsos MORI/STV 1,006 36% 34% 16% 6% 8% 2%
25 - 29 June YouGov/The Times 1,206 35% 37% 15% 6% 8% 2%
12 - 16 June YouGov/The Sun 1,039 35% 37% 14% 5% 9% 2%
8 - 10 June 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%
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 January Labour wins the 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 Labour wins the 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 The SNP wins the 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%
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]

2014[edit]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Sample size SNP Lab Cons Lib Dem Green UKIP Others Lead
12 - 15 August YouGov/The Times 1,085 32% 34% 14% 4% 6% 5% 5% 2%
4 - 7 August YouGov/The Sun 1,142 31% 35% 15% 5% 8% 4% 4% 4%
25 - 29 June YouGov/The Times 1,206 29% 35% 14% 5% 8% 3% 6% 6%
12 - 16 June YouGov/The Sun 1,039 31% 33% 15% 5% 8% 4% 3% 2%
8 - 10 June Survation/Daily Record 1,004 39% 26% 10% 6% 10% 7% 1% 13%
9 - 12 May Survation/Daily Record 1,003 39% 26% 11% 6% 9% - 8% 13%
11 - 15 Apr Survation/Sunday Post 1,001 38% 28% 11% 7% 8% - 8% 10%
4 - 7 Apr Survation/Daily Record 1,002 41% 25% 12% 9% 7% - 6% 16%
20 - 24 Mar YouGov/The Times 1,072 33% 33% 13% 7% 7% - 7% Tied
6 - 7 Mar Survation/Daily Record/Better Nation 1,002 40% 28% 11% 7% 8% - 6% 12%
24 - 28 Feb YouGov 1,257 33% 35% 14% - 5% 13% 2%
17 - 18 Feb Survation/Daily Mail 1,005 41% 29% 13% 8% 3% - 6% 12%
26 Jan - 6 Feb Panelbase/Sunday Times 1,012 44% 27% 13% 5% 6% - 4% 17%
21-27 Jan YouGov 1,192 34% 33% 14% 6% 7% - 6% 1%
23 January Labour wins the Cowdenbeath by-election, 2014

2013[edit]

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

2012[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 section 4
  2. ^ http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/01/1006/6
  3. ^ a b "Scotland Act 1998 - Section 2 Ordinary General Elections". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  4. ^ Travis, Alan (13 May 2010). "Fixed five-year parliamentary term will tie both leaders' hands". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Coalition asked to respect Scottish elections". Scottish National Party. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "UK government offers Holyrood five-year terms". BBC News. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Salmond back Scotland 2015 election delay". BBC News. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  8. ^ McNab, Scott (19 February 2011). "Holyrood set for a five-year term to avoid clash with general election". The Scotsman. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Scotland Act 1998 - Section 3 Extraordinary General Elections". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  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". Boundary Commission for Scotland. Retrieved 26 April 2011.