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How are Scottish regional seats allocated?

1 reply

darleneoconnor · 06/05/2011 12:19

The system seems to have changed since last time.

Do the constituancy votes count at all?

OP posts:
FannyNil · 06/05/2011 14:28

Darlene, in Scotland they elect two types of MSP - constituency MSPs and list MSPs. The Parliament in Edinburgh has a total of 129 MSPs

Each voter is given 2 ballot papers and has one vote on each paper...

The first paper is for a local constituency Member. A Member is elected for each of the 73 constituencies in Scotland by the 'first past the post' system, the system by which MPs are elected to the House of Commons - i.e. the candidate with the greatest number of votes wins the seat.

Constituencies are also grouped into regions

The second vote is to elect a regional or list Member (of which there are 56). Regional Members are elected by a form of proportional representation known as the 'Additional Member System?, and voters vote for a political party (or, if there are any, for an independent candidate). Parties supply a list of candidates for the Additional Member seats in rank order.

So, for e.g. on the second paper Mr McKenzie could vote for the SNP or the Labour Party or the Lib Dems or the Greens. Or, he could vote for Ms Singleton the independent candidate. Voting for a party in this instance means voting for a ranked list of people. How many people are elected from that ranked party list depends on how many votes are polled by that party from the second paper.

Once regional members are elected they represent a group of constituencies.

Hope that helps at least a bit. Once I have looked at the results again, will come up with a concrete example. Lothians for e.g. will not declare until later as the tally of votes at the end was incorrect and the regional count is being held again.

'Tis complicated further because candidates can effectively hedge their bets as it were i.e. they can stand for both list and constituency. If they don't get in on the latter, they may then be high on their party list and get in as a regional MSP. An individual MSP cannot, however, sit as both a constituency + regional member at the same time.

Are you still awake??

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