Scottish Parliament Election 2016 Results

All 129 seats for the Scottish Parliament have now been declared. The SNP look set to be governing Scotland for the third time in a row although they are 2 seats short of a majority. The major story is that the Conservatives have doubled their representation and have overtaken Labour.

I will list the full results with a constituency and regional seat break down.

Scottish Parliament Election 2016 Results

SNP: 63 (-6), 59 constituency, 4 regional
Conservative: 31 (+16), 7 constituency, 24 regional
Labour: 24 (-13), 3 constituency, 21 regional
Green: 6 (+4), 0 constituency, 6 regional
Liberal Democrat: 5 (-), 4 constituency, 1 regional
Independent: 0 (-1).


The SNP increased their share of the constituency vote by 1.1 percentage points to 46.5%, but their regional share was down 2.3 percentage points to 41.7%. All of the constituency seats that they gained were from Labour. Every seat in Glasgow went to the SNP. Edinburgh was a particularly weak spot as they lost Edinburgh Central to the Conservatives, Edinburgh Southern to Labour and Edinburgh Western to the Liberal Democrats, although they did gain Edinburgh Northern and Leith from Labour.

Since they are short of a majority they will need the support of other MSPs to pass legislation. The Green Party are in a good position to do just that. Adding the SNP and the Green Party seats gives 69 seats, well past the 65 seats needed for a majority.


The Conservative performance is perhaps the most interesting. Their constituency vote is up 8.1 percentage points giving them a total of 22.0% and their regional vote is up 10.6 percentage points giving them 22.9%. The last time the Conservative vote share in Scotland was that high was in 1992. The Conservatives are now the largest opposition party in Holyrood.

After gaining Dumfriesshire from Labour the Conservatives now hold all three seats bordering England. They hold Ayr with a majority of 750. Eastwood, whose UK parliament equivalent was once a very safe Conservative seat, has been gained from Labour. It is now a three way marginal with the SNP in second place. Aberdeenshire West saw the Conservatives add 17.0 percentage points to their vote share and defeat the SNP. Surprisingly Edinburgh Central went Conservative too. In 2011 the Conservatives were in fourth place but they managed to come first this time, although their share of the vote was only 30.4%. Their Scottish leader, Ruth Davidson, stood there so that probably had something to do with it.

The Conservatives also had good performances in several constituencies in the north east of Scotland. For instance, in Moray they increased their vote share by 18.0 percentage points. In Perthshire North they increased their vote share by 12.5 percentage points. In Angus South they increased their vote share by 15.3 percentage points. However, the SNP retained all three of those seats.


Labour's performance in terms of seats was dire. However, they did get 22.6% (-9.2) of the constituency vote compared to the Conservatives getting 22.0%. Labour also got 19.1% (-7.2) of the regional vote compared to the Conservatives getting 22.9%. However, they ended up with 24 seats compared to the 31 Conservative seats. Quite simply the electoral system worked against them.

They gained Edinburgh Southern from the SNP. Not surprising. Unionists know that Edinburgh South was the only Labour seat in Election 2015 so there was a lot of tactical voting to stop the SNP. Labour also held Dumbarton and East Lothian.

Liberal Democrat

Not bad, but not good either. They retained 5 seats, but are not showing any signs of recovery. Their constituency vote was 7.8% (-0.1) and their regional vote was 5.2% (no change). They held the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands with 67.4% in both seats. They also gained Fife North East and Edinburgh Western.

Green Party

The Green Party have moved forward, but not spectacularly so. They are the second largest party wanting Scottish independence which makes them a good candidate for a coalition (or a confidence and supply arrangement) with the SNP. They certainly have the numbers to do so.
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