Scotland ‘can’t afford to be independent’ says Scottish voter
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A total of 129 MSPs will be elected in Scotland, responsible for laws on devolved issues including education, health, taxes, welfare and transport. This vote is held every five years, and parties are vying to take an overall majority – more than half the vote – to rule Holyrood.
What constituency are you in?
Your constituency matters as it determines who is running for MSP in your area.
In Scottish elections, voters have two votes: one for a constituency MSP, and another for a regional ballot (often called the list vote).
You can find out what constituency you are in by entering your postcode or checking the map HERE.
How does the voting work?
There are 73 Constituency MSPs, each elected on a first-past-the-post system similar to the UK general election.
The winner is the candidate who receives the most votes in each constituency.
In the regional ballot, people vote for a party rather than a candidate.
The parties are then allocated a number of MSPs depending on how many votes they receive once the number of constituencies already won in that region is taken into account.
The idea is to make the overall result more proportional.
There are eight electoral regions, each with seven regional MSPs:
- Central Scotland
- Highlands and Islands
- Mid-Scotland and Fife
- North east Scotland
- South Scotland
- West Scotland
Basically, this means people in Scotland are each represented by eight MSPs.
One MSP represents their constituency and the other seven represent their region.
The Scottish government is formed from the party that hold the most seats in the parliament.
If no one party wins an overall majority, a coalition of parties will be formed.
What happened last time?
The Scottish National Party (SNP), led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, lost its overall majority in the 2016 election but continued in power after forming a minority government.
The Scottish Conservatives – led by Ruth Davidson – finished second after overtaking Scottish Labour for the first time, while the Scottish Greens were fourth – ahead of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The SNP has won every Scottish Parliament election since 2007 and will try to take back a majority this year.
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