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Buill Pàrlamaid na h-Alba (BPA)

About Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)



How MSPs are elected

At Scottish Parliament elections, every voter has two votes: one for their constituency and one for their region.

With your:

  • constituency vote – you’re choosing an individual candidate to represent you
  • regional vote – you’re choosing a party or independent candidate to represent you

Constituency votes are counted first. The candidate with the most votes in each constituency wins.

Regional votes are counted next, and regional MSPs are elected using a formula. This means that the number of seats a party gets in total across a region is about the same as the percentage of votes it receives.

This way of electing MSPs is called the additional member system (AMS).

How Scotland gets divided up for elections

Scotland is divided into 73 constituencies, each one represented by 1 MSP. Scotland is also divided into 8 regions (larger areas covering several constituencies). Each region is represented by 7 MSPs.

This results in 129 MSPs in total: 73 constituency MSPs and 56 regional MSPs.