What is the state of the parties for Session 5?

The 2016 election resulted in the SNP being the largest party with 63 seats (-6 on 2011); the Conservatives in second with 31 (+16 on 2011); Labour on 24 (-13 on 2011); the Greens on 6 (+4 on 2011) and the Liberal Democrats on 5 (no change on 2011).

Change on 2011 in constituency share of vote by Political Party

ShareChangeCon

In terms of the share of the constituency vote and the number of seats gained:

  • the SNP improved on its 2011 position by 1.1 percentage points with a gain of 6 seats;
  • the Conservative party increased its share by 8.1 percentage points gaining 4 seats;
  • Labour fell by 9.2 percentage points losing 12 seats;
  • the Liberal Democrats’ share of the constituency vote fell marginally by 0.1 percentage points, but their number of constituency seats increased by 2.

Change on 2011 in regional share of vote by political party

ShareChangeReg

In terms of the share of the regional vote and the number of seats gained:

  • the SNP’s share of the vote fell by 2.3 percentage points which combined with its increase in constituency seats resulted in 12 fewer regional seats;
  • the Conservatives’ share of the vote increased by 10.6 percentage points with an overall gain of 12 seats;
  • Labour’s share of the regional vote fell by 7.2 percentage points losing 1 seat;
  • the Green Party increased its share of the regional vote by 2.2 percentage points gaining 4 seats;
  • the Liberal Democrats’ share remained the same as in 2011 (5.2%), but translated to a fall in the number of regional seats of 2 due to the increased number of constituency seats won.

Compared with the 2011 result, the SNP lost 6 MSPs, the Conservatives gained 16, Labour lost 13, the Greens gained 4 and the Liberal Democrats remained the same on 5 seats.

Change by Political Party in total number of seats

Change in Seats

Total Votes and Seats by Party, 2016

Party Constituency Votes Constituency Seats Regional Votes Regional Seats Total Votes Total Seats
SNP 1,059,897 59 953,587 4 2,013,484 63
Conservatives 501,844 7 524,222 24 1,026,066 31
Labour 514,261 3 435,919 21 950,180 24
Greens 13,172 0 150,426 6 163,598 6
Liberal Democrats 178,238 4 119,284 1 297,522 5
Others 11,741 0 102,314 0 114,055 0
TOTAL 2,279,153

 

73 2,285,752

 

56 4,564,905

 

129

 

The table above shows the number of constituency and regional votes cast for each party and the resulting number of seats won. Figures 12 and 13 detail the share of the constituency and regional vote for the political parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament  for each Scottish Parliamentary election held to date.

Share of Constituency vote by Political Party, 1999-2016

 ShareofVoteCons

Share of Regional vote by Political Party, 1999-2016

 ShareofVoteRegion

The following table shows the change in the vote for each of the parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament between each election. 

Change in Political Party share of the vote by percentage point

99-03 difference 03-07 difference 07-11 difference 11-16 difference
Const Region Const Region Const Region Const Region
SNP -4.9 -6.4 9.1 10.2 12.5 13.0 1.1 −2.3
Cons 1.1 0.1 0.0 -1.6 -2.7 -1.5 8.1 10.6
Labour -4.1 -4.3 -2.5 -0.2 -0.5 -2.8 −9.2 −7.2
Green 0.0 3.3 0.1 -2.9 -0.1 0.3 0.6 2.2
LibDems 1.1 -0.6 0.8 -0.5 -8.2 -6.1 −0.1 0.0

 

Table 2 shows that the SNP has increased its share of the constituency vote in each election since 2003, however, its regional vote is down in 2016 compared with 2011. The Labour Party’s share of the constituency and regional vote has fallen in each election since devolution. In 2016, Labour were 0.6 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives in the constituency vote but took only 3 seats compared with the Conservatives on 7. The 3.5 percentage point difference between the Labour constituency and regional labour vote and the 3.8 percentage point difference between the Labour and Conservative regional vote was the key reason for Labour falling into third place. The Conservative Party had by far the largest gains in both constituency and regional vote, which translated into 16 additional seats compared with the 2011 result.

The Liberal Democrats broadly matched their share of both the Constituency and Regional vote in 2011. However, victory in 4 constituency seats (+2 on 2011) was offset by 2 fewer regional seats. Combined, this resulted in the Liberal Democrats staying on 5 seats in total. The Green Party gained 4 seats due to an increase of 2.2 percentage points in its Regional vote.