About Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs)
- What issues an MSP can help you with
- Contacting someone else who represents you about your issue
- Why you have 8 MSPs
- How MSPs are elected
- What happens at election time
- How to become an MSP
How MSPs are elected
At Scottish Parliament elections, every voter has two votes: one for their constituency and one for their region.
- 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 one 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.