City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish Parliamentry Election - 5th May 2011

By edg - Posted on 17 January 2011

Scottish Parliament chamber
Event details
Telephone (info): 
0131 529 4980

This is the fourth general election to the Scottish Parliament, which sits in Edinburgh. Under the 1998 Scotland Act, the Scottish Parliamentry Election is held every four years on the first Thursday in May.

Scottish Parliamentry parties before the election in 2011

The incumbent First Minister is Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

  • Scottish National Party - 47 seats
  • Scottish Labour  - 46 seats
  • Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Seats - 16 seats
  • Scottish Liberal Democrats - 16 seats
  • Scottish Green Party - 2 seats
  • Independent - 1 seat
  • No Party Affiliation - 1 seat

Election System

A total 129 Members are elected to the Scottish Parliament by a combination of First Past the Post and Proportional Representation.

  • One MSP is elected in each of 73 constituencies by a First Past the Post system, the same system used for UK general elections. The candidate with the most votes wins the seat.
  • 7 MSPs are elected in 8 regions using the Additional Members System. The 56 Regional MSPs are elected from Party Lists of prospective candidates, so that the percentage of votes a party receives in the Election is about the same as the percentage of seats they win in the Scottish Parliament.


There are a number of ways to vote - by post, by proxy (you instruct someone else how to cast your vote), or in person at your local polling station between 7am and 10pm on the day. You need to be registered on the electoral register by Friday 15 April.

For more on checking whether you can vote and how to register to vote go to