Scottish Parliament election, 2011

Scottish Parliament election, 2011

The 2011 Scottish Parliament election will be held on Thursday 5 May 2011 to elect members to the Scottish Parliament. It will be the fourth general election.

Local council elections are due to take place on the same day, but are likely to be moved, perhaps to 2012, following the publication of the Gould Report.


Under the Scotland Act 1998, ordinary general elections to the Scottish Parliament are held on the first Thursday in May every four years (1999, 2003, 2007 and so on).cite web |url= |title=Scotland Act 1998 - Section 2 Ordinary General Elections |publisher=Office of Public Sector Information |accessdate=2007-05-08] 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.

If the Parliament itself resolves that it should be dissolved (with at least two-thirds of the Members voting in favour), or if the Parliament fails to nominate one of its members to be First Minister within certain time limits, the Presiding Officer proposes a date for an extraordinary general election and the Parliament is dissolved by the monarch by royal proclamation.

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 (i.e., 5 May 2011, 7 May 2015, etc).cite web |url= |title=Scotland Act 1998 - Section 3 Extraordinary General Elections |publisher=Office of Public Sector Information |accessdate=2007-05-08]

Election system

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, to be conducted by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission aims to publish its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries by the summer of 2009. It is due to submit its final report to the Secretary of State for Scotland by 30 June 2010. [ [ Review of Constituencies at the Scottish Parliament] , Boundary Commission for Scotland, 3 July 2007]

There are 73 constituencies, each electing one (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) system of election; and 8 additional member regions, each electing 7 additional member MSPs. The D'Hondt method is used to calculate which additional member MSPs the regions elect. Each constituency is a sub-division of a region; the additional members system is designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region.

The Scottish Parliament constituencies have not been coterminous with Scottish Westminster constituencies since the 2005 UK 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).

Top target seats of the main parties

Below are listed all the constituencies which required a swing of less than 5% from the 2007 result to change hands.

NP targets

Liberal Democrat targets


ee also

*Arbuthnott Commission

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