Scottish Parliament general election, 1999

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Scottish General election, 1999
Scotland
members ← 6 May 1999
→ 2003
members

All 129 seats to the Scottish Parliament
65 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Donald Dewar.jpg Alex Salmond (crop).JPG
Leader Donald Dewar Alex Salmond
Party Labour SNP
Leader's seat Glasgow Anniesland Banff and Buchan
Seats won 56 35
Constituency votes 908,392 672,757
Constituency % 38.81% 28.74%
List votes 786,818 638,644
List % 33.64% 27.26%

  Third party Fourth party
  DavidMcLetchieMSP20110509.JPG Jim Wallace.jpg
Leader David McLetchie Jim Wallace
Party Conservative Liberal Democrats
Leader's seat Lothians Orkney
Seats won 18 17
Constituency votes 364,225 331,379
Constituency % 15.56% 14.15%
List votes 359,109 225,774
List % 15.35% 12.43% (regional)

Scottish Parliament election 1999 map.svg

Map constituency winners of the election by their party colours.

First Minister-designate

Donald Dewar
Labour

The Scottish Parliament election, 1999 was the first general election of the Scottish Parliament, with voting taking place on 6 May 1999 to elect 129 members. Following the election, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats formed the Scottish Executive, with Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Donald Dewar becoming First Minister.

The Scottish Parliament was created after a referendum on devolution took place on 11 September 1997 in which 74.3% of those who voted approved the idea. The Scotland Act (1998) was then passed by the UK Parliament which established the devolved Scottish parliament and Scottish Executive. The parliament was to be elected using Mixed member proportional representation which is a combination of 73 (First-past-the-post) constituencies using the same boundaries as was used in the 1997 UK General Election with the exception of Orkney and Shetland as they were made separate constituencies and proportional representation with the 73 constituencies being grouped together to make eight regions which would each elect seven additional members to make a total of 129 Members of Scottish Parliament (MSP's). This meant that it would be unlikely for any party to gain a majority of seats in the new parliament and either minority or coalition Scottish Executive's would have to be formed.

The first general election to the Scottish Parliament overall produced few surprises with the Labour Party still enjoying high popularity following their landslide UK general election win two years earlier as widely expected was the largest party winning 56 seats, mostly in their traditional Central Belt heartlands, which was nine seats short of an overall majority and a coalition was then formed with the Liberal Democrats who won 17 seats. The Scottish National Party (SNP) had done well in opinion polls running up to the election, gaining 40% in some approval ratings but this level of support was not maintained, and the SNP were the second largest party with 35 seats, but this was at the time their best performance since October 1974. The Conservative Party, still recovering from their wipeout in 1997 across Scotland, failed to win a single constituency seat but did manage to win 18 seats through the Additional Member System.

The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and the Greens picked up unexpected additional member seats. Robin Harper became the first ever elected Green parliamentarian in the history of the United Kingdom. Dennis Canavan, who had failed to become an approved Labour candidate, won the Falkirk West constituency as an independent candidate.

Following the election the new parliament meet in the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh for the very first time on Wednesday 12 May 1999 although the actual devolution of powers from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament did take place until midnight on Thursday 1 July 1999 almost two months later.

For a full list of MSPs elected, see Members of the Scottish Parliament, 1999-2003. For lists of constituencies and regions, see Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions.

National vote[edit]

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Scotland
e • d Scottish Parliament election, 1999
Parties Additional member system Total seats
Constituency Region
Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Total +/−  %
Labour 908,392 38.81 N/A 53 N/A 786,818 33.64 N/A 3 N/A 56 N/A 43
SNP 672,757 28.74 N/A 7 N/A 638,644 27.26 N/A 28 N/A 35 N/A 27
Conservative 364,225 15.56 N/A 0 N/A 359,109 15.35 N/A 18 N/A 18 N/A 14
Liberal Democrats 331,279 14.15 N/A 12 N/A 225,774 12.43 N/A 5 N/A 17 N/A 13
Scottish Green - - - - - 84,024 3.59 N/A 1 N/A 1 N/A 1
Socialist Labour 5,268 0.22 N/A - - 55,232 2.37 N/A - N/A - N/A -
Scottish Socialist 23,564 1.01 N/A 0 N/A 46,635 1.99 N/A 1 N/A 1 N/A 1
Independent - Dennis Canavan 18,511 0.8 N/A 1 N/A 27,700 1.2 N/A 0 N/A 1 N/A 1
Others 21,662 0.9 N/A 0 N/A 105,221 4.5 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A 0
  • Voter turnout: 59.1%

Constituency and regional summary[edit]

Central Scotland[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Central Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Airdrie and Shotts Karen Whitefield Labour gain
Coatbridge and Chryston Elaine Smith Labour gain
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Cathie Craigie Labour gain
East Kilbride Andy Kerr Labour gain
Falkirk East Cathy Peattie Labour gain
Falkirk West Dennis Canavan Independent gain
Hamilton North and Bellshill Michael McMahon Labour gain
Hamilton South Tom McCabe Labour gain
Kilmarnock and Loudoun Margaret Jamieson Labour gain
Motherwell and Wishaw Jack McConnell Labour gain


Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Central Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 129,822 39.28% N/A
SNP Alex Neil
Andrew Wilson
Michael Matheson
Gil Paterson
Linda Fabiani
5 N/A 91,802 27.78% N/A
Conservative Lyndsay McIntosh 1 N/A 30,243 9.15% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 27,700 8.38% N/A
Liberal Democrats Donald Gorrie 1 N/A 20,505 6.20% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 10,956 3.32% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 5,926 3.32% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 5,739 1.74% N/A
Scottish Unionist 0 N/A 2,888 0.87% N/A
ProLife Alliance 0 N/A 2,567 0.78% N/A
Scottish Families and Pensioners Party 0 N/A 1,373 0.42% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 1,373 0.42% N/A
Independent Progressive 0 N/A 248 0.08% N/A

Glasgow[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Glasgow
Constituency Elected member Result
Glasgow Anniesland Donald Dewar Labour gain
Glasgow Baillieston Margaret Curran Labour gain
Glasgow Cathcart Mike Watson Labour gain
Glasgow Govan Gordon Jackson Labour gain
Glasgow Kelvin Pauline McNeill Labour gain
Glasgow Maryhill Patricia Ferguson Labour gain
Glasgow Pollock Johann Lamont Labour gain
Glasgow Rutherglen Janis Hughes Labour gain
Glasgow Shettleston Frank McAveety Labour gain
Glasgow Springburn Paul Martin Labour gain
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Glasgow
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 112,588 43.9% N/A
SNP Nicola Sturgeon
Dorothy-Grace Elder
Kenneth Gibson
Sandra White
4 N/A 65,360 25.5% N/A
Conservative Bill Aitken 1 N/A 20,239 7.9% N/A
Scottish Socialist Tommy Sheridan 1 N/A 18,581 7.2% N/A
Liberal Democrats Robert Brown 1 N/A 18,473 7.2% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 10,159 4.0% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 4,391 1.7% N/A
ProLife Alliance 0 N/A 2,357 0.9% N/A
Scottish Unionist Party (modern) 0 N/A 2,283 0.9% N/A
Communist 0 N/A 521 0.2% N/A
Humanist 0 N/A 447 0.2% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 419 0.2% N/A
Socialist (GB) 0 N/A 309 0.1% N/A
People's Choice 0 N/A 221 0.1% N/A

Highlands and Islands[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Highlands and Islands
Constituency Elected member Result
Argyll and Bute George Lyon Liberal Democrats gain
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Jamie Stone Liberal Democrats gain
Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber Fergus Ewing SNP gain
Moray Margaret Ewing SNP gain
Orkney Jim Wallace Liberal Democrats gain
Ross, Skye and Inverness West John Farquhar Munro Liberal Democrats gain
Shetland Tavish Scott Liberal Democrats gain
Western Isles Alasdair Morrison Labour gain
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Highlands and Islands
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Winnie Ewing
Duncan Hamilton
2 N/A 55,593 27.73% N/A
Labour Peter Peacock
Maureen Macmillan
Rhoda Grant
3 N/A 51,371 25.47% N/A
Liberal Democrats 0 N/A 43,226 21.43% N/A
Conservative Jamie McGrigor
Mary Scanlon
2 N/A 30,122 14.94% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 7,560 3.75% N/A
I Noble (Independent) 0 N/A 3,522 1.75% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 2,808 1.39% N/A
Highlands and Islands 0 N/A 2,607 1.29% N/A
Scottish Socialist Party 0 N/A 1,770 0.88% N/A
Robbie the Pict (Independent) 0 N/A 1,151 0.57% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 712 0.35% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 536 0.27% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 354 0.18% N/A

Lothians[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Lothians
Constituency Elected member Result
Edinburgh Central Sarah Boyack Labour gain
Edinburgh East and Musselburgh Susan Deacon Labour gain
Edinburgh North and Leith Malcolm Chisholm Labour gain
Edinburgh Pentlands Iain Gray Labour gain
Edinburgh South Angus Mackay Labour gain
Edinburgh West Margaret Smith Liberal Democrats gain
Linlithgow Mary Mulligan Labour gain
Livingston Bristow Muldoon Labour gain
Midlothian Rhona Brankin Labour gain
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Lothians
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 99,098 30.2% N/A
SNP Margo MacDonald
Kenny MacAskill
Fiona Hyslop
3 N/A 85,085 25.7% N/A
Conservative David McLetchie
James Douglas-Hamilton
2 N/A 52,067 15.7% N/A
Liberal Democrats David Steel 1 N/A 47,565 14.4% N/A
Scottish Green Robin Harper 1 N/A 22,848 6.9% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 10,895 3.3% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 5,237 1.6% N/A
Liberal 0 N/A 2,056 0.6% N/A
Witchery Tour Party 0 N/A 1,184 0.4% N/A
ProLife Alliance 0 N/A 898 0.3% N/A
Civil Rights Movement 0 N/A 806 0.2% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 564 0.2% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 557 0.2% N/A
Socialist (GB) 0 N/A 388 0.1% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 256 0.1% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 145 0.04% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 54 0.02% N/A

Mid Scotland and Fife[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Mid Scotland and Fife
Constituency Elected member Result
Dunfermline East Helen Eadie Labour
Dunfermline West Scott Barrie Labour
Fife Central Henry McLeish Labour
Fife North East Iain Smith Liberal Democrats
Kirkaldy Marilyn Livingstone Labour
North Tayside John Swinney SNP
Ochil Richard Simpson Labour
Perth Roseanna Cunningham SNP
Stirling Sylvia Jackson Labour
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: Mid Scotland and Fife
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 101,964 33.3% N/A
SNP George Reid
Bruce Crawford
Tricia Marwick
3 N/A 87,659 28.7% N/A
Conservative Keith Harding
Nick Johnston
Brian Monteith
3 N/A 56,719 18.6% N/A
Liberal Democrats Keith Raffan 1 N/A 38,896 12.7% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 11,821 3.9% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 4,266 1.4% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 3,044 1.0% N/A
ProLife Alliance 0 N/A 735 0.2% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 558 0.2% N/A

North East Scotland[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: North East Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Aberdeen Central Lewis Macdonald Labour gain
Aberdeen North Elaine Thomson Labour gain
Aberdeen South Nicol Stephen Liberal Democrats gain
Angus Andrew Welsh SNP gain
Banff and Buchan Alex Salmond SNP gain
Dundee East John McAllion Labour gain
Dundee West Kate Maclean Labour gain
Gordon Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrats gain
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrats gain
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: North East Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Brian Adam
Richard Lochhead
Shona Robison
Irene McGugan
4 N/A 93,329 32.3% N/A
Labour 0 N/A 72,666 25.5% N/A
Conservative David Davidson
Ben Wallace
Alex Johnstone
3 N/A 52,149 18.3% N/A
Liberal Democrats 0 N/A 49,843 17.5% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 8,067 2.8% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 3,557 1.2% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 3,016 1.1% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 2,303 0.8% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 770 0.3% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 746 0.3% N/A

South of Scotland[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: South of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Ayr Ian Welsh Labour
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Cathy Jamieson Labour
Clydesdale Karen Turnbull Labour
Cunninghame South Irene Oldfather Labour
Dumfries Elaine Murray Labour
East Lothian John Home Robertson Labour
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Alasdair Morgan SNP
Roxburgh and Berwickshire Euan Robson Liberal Democrats
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Ian Jenkins Liberal Democrats
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: South of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 98,836 31.0% N/A
SNP Michael Russell
Adam Ingram
Christine Creech
3 N/A 80,059 25.1% N/A
Conservative Phil Gallie
Alex Fergusson
Murray Tosh
David Mundell
4 N/A 68,904 21.6% N/A
Liberal Democrats 0 N/A 38,157 12.0% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 13,887 4.4% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 9,467 3.0% N/A
Liberal 0 N/A 3,478 1.1% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 3,304 1.0% N/A
UKIP 0 N/A 1,502 0.5% N/A
Natural Law 0 N/A 755 0.2% N/A

West of Scotland[edit]

Scottish Parliament election, 1999: West of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Clydebank and Milngavie Des McNulty Labour
Cunninghame North Allan Wilson Labour
Dumbarton Jackie Baillie Labour
Eastwood Kenneth Macintosh Labour
Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil Labour
Paisley North Wendy Alexander Labour
Paisley South Hugh Henry Labour
Strathkelvin and Bearsden Sam Galbraith Labour
West Renfrewshire Patricia Godman Labour
Scottish Parliament election, 1999: West of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
Labour 0 N/A 119,663 38.5% N/A
SNP Colin Campbell
Kay Ullrich
Lloyd Quinan
Fiona McLeod
4 N/A 80,417 25.9% N/A
Conservative Annabel Goldie
John Young
2 N/A 48,666 15.7% N/A
Liberal Democrats Ross Finnie 1 N/A 34,095 11.0% N/A
Scottish Green 0 N/A 8,174 2.6% N/A
Scottish Socialist 0 N/A 5,944 1.9% N/A
Socialist Labour 0 N/A 4,472 1.4% N/A
ProLife Alliance 0 N/A 3,227 1.0% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 2,761 0.9% N/A
Scottish Unionist 0 N/A 1,840 0.6% N/A
Natural Law Party 0 N/A 589 0.2% N/A
Independent 0 N/A 565 0.2% N/A

Party representation[edit]

  • Labour - 56 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)
  • SNP - 35 MSPs
  • Conservative - 18 MSPs
  • Liberal Democrat - 17 MSPs
  • Scottish Green Party - 1 MSP
  • SSP - 1 MSP
  • Others (Dennis Canavan, Falkirk West) - 1 MSP

Party leaders in 1999[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]