Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party roughly n% of seats will be won by that party; the essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats; the most used families of PR electoral systems are party list PR, the single transferable vote, mixed member proportional representation. With party list PR, political parties define candidate voters vote for a list; the relative vote for each list determines how many candidates from each list are elected. Lists can be "closed" or "open".
Voting districts can be as large as a province or an entire nation. The single transferable vote uses small multiple-member districts, with voters ranking individual candidates in order of preference. During the count, as candidates are elected or eliminated, surplus or discarded votes that would otherwise be wasted are transferred to other candidates according to the preferences. STV enables voters to elect independent candidates. Mixed member proportional representation called the additional member system, is a two-tier mixed electoral system combining a non-proportional plurality/majoritarian election and a compensatory regional or national party list PR election. Voters have two votes, one for their single-member district and one for the party list, the party list vote determining the balance of the parties in the elected body. According to the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network, some form of proportional representation is used for national lower house elections in 94 countries. Party list PR, being used in 85 countries, is the most used.
MMP is used in seven lower houses. STV, despite long being advocated by political scientists, is used in only two: Ireland, since independence in 1922, Malta, since 1921; as with all electoral systems, both accepted and opposing claims are made about the advantages and disadvantages of PR. The case for proportional representation was made by John Stuart Mill in his 1861 essay Considerations on Representative Government: In a representative body deliberating, the minority must of course be overruled, but does it follow that the minority should have no representatives at all?... Is it necessary that the minority should not be heard? Nothing but habit and old association can reconcile any reasonable being to the needless injustice. In a equal democracy, every or any section would be represented, not disproportionately, but proportionately. A majority of the electors would always have a majority of the representatives, but a minority of the electors would always have a minority of the representatives.
Man for man, they would be as represented as the majority. Unless they are, there is not equal government... There is a part whose fair and equal share of influence in the representation is withheld from them, contrary to all just government, above all, contrary to the principle of democracy, which professes equality as its root and foundation. Many academic political theorists agree with Mill, that in a representative democracy the representatives should represent all segments of society. PR tries to resolve the unfairness of majoritarian and plurality voting systems where the largest parties receive an "unfair" "seat bonus" and smaller parties are disadvantaged and have difficulty winning any representation at all; the established parties in UK elections can win formal control of the parliament with as little as 35% of votes. In certain Canadian elections, majority governments have been formed by parties with the support of under 40% of votes cast. If turnout levels in the electorate are less than 60%, such outcomes allow a party to form a majority government by convincing as few as one quarter of the electorate to vote for it.
In the 2005 UK election, for example, the Labour Party under Tony Blair won a comfortable parliamentary majority with the votes of only 21.6% of the total electorate. Such misrepresentation has been criticized as "no longer a question of'fairness' but of elementary rights of citizens". Note intermediate PR systems with a high electoral threshold, or other features that reduce proportionality, are not much fairer: in the Turkish general election, 2002, using an open list system with a 10% threshold, 46% of votes were wasted. Plurality/majoritarian systems can disproportionately benefit regional parties that can win districts where they have a strong following, while other parties with national support but no strongholds, like the Greens, win few or no seats. An example is the Bloc Québécois in Canada that won 52 seats in the 1993 federal election, all in Quebec, on 13.5% of the national vote, while the Progressive Conservatives collapsed to two seats on 16% spread nationally. In the 2015 UK General Election, the Scottish National Party gained 56 seats, all in Sc
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh and Galloway, East Lothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and, to the south-west and east, the English counties of Cumbria and Northumberland; the administrative centre of the area is Newtown St Boswells. The term Scottish Borders is used to designate the areas of southern Scotland and northern England that bound the Anglo-Scottish border; the Scottish Borders are in the eastern part of the Southern Uplands. The region is hilly and rural, with the River Tweed flowing west to east through it. In the east of the region, the area that borders the River Tweed is flat and is known as'The Merse'; the Tweed and its tributaries drain the entire region with the river flowing into the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed, forming the border with England for the last twenty miles or so of its length. The term Central Borders refers to the area in which the majority of the main towns of Galashiels, Hawick, Earlston, Newtown St. Boswells, St Boswells, Peebles and Tweedbank are located.
Two of Scotland's 40 national scenic areas lie within the region: The Eildon and Leaderfoot National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding Eildon Hill, extends to include the town of Melrose and Leaderfoot Viaduct. The Upper Tweeddale National Scenic Area covers the scenery surrounding the upper part of the River Tweed between Broughton and Peebles. 2011 Galashiels: 14,994 Hawick: 14,294 Peebles: 8,376 Selkirk: 5,784 Kelso: 5,639 Jedburgh: 4,030 Eyemouth: 3,546 Innerleithen: 3,031 Duns: 2,753 Melrose: 2,307 Coldstream: 1,946 Earlston: 1,779 The term Borders has a wider meaning, referring to all of the counties adjoining the English border including Dumfriesshire and Kirkcudbrightshire – as well as Northumberland and Westmorland in England. Roxburghshire and Berwickshire bore the brunt of the conflicts with England, both during declared wars such as the Wars of Scottish Independence, armed raids which took place in the times of the Border Reivers. Thus, across the region are to be seen the ruins of many castles and towns.
The council area was created in 1975, by merging the historic counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire and part of Midlothian, as a two-tier region with the districts of Berwickshire and Lauderdale, Tweeddale within it. In 1996 the region became the districts were wound up; the region was created with the name Borders. Following the election of a shadow area council in 1995 the name was changed to Scottish Borders with effect from 1996. Although there is evidence of some Scottish Gaelic in the origins of place names such as Innerleithen and Longformacus, which contain identifiably Goidelic rather than Brythonic Celtic elements and are an indication of at least a Gaelic-speaking elite in the area, the main languages in the area since the 5th century appear to have been Brythonic and Old English, the latter of which developed into its modern forms of English and Scots. There are two British Parliamentary constituencies in the Borders. Berwickshire and Selkirk covers most of the region and is represented by John Lamont of the Conservatives.
The western Tweeddale area is included in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale constituency and is represented by David Mundell of the Conservatives. At Scottish Parliament level, there are two seats; the eastern constituency is Ettrick and Berwickshire, represented by Conservative Rachael Hamilton. The western constituency is Midlothian South and Lauderdale and is represented by SNP Christine Grahame. Following the 2012 local elections, the council administration was a coalition of Independents, Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats. Prior to the election a coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents ruled; the Conservatives were the biggest party on the council with 10 seats, the Liberal Democrats had six. The SNP had nine seats and the Independents had seven. Two councillors form the Borders Party. Following the 2017 local elections, the council is now a coalition of Independents and Conservatives; the Conservatives became the largest party on the council with 15, an increase of 5.
At the Census held on 27 March 2011, the population of the region was 114,000, an increase of 6.78% from the 106,764 enumerated at the previous Census. The region had until September 2015 no working railway stations. Although the area was well connected to the Victorian railway system, the branch lines that supplied it were closed in the decades following the Second World War. A bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament to extend the Waverley Line, which aimed to re-introduce a commuter service from Edinburgh to Stow and Tweedbank; this section of the route re-opened on 6 September 2015, under the Borders Railway branding. The other railway route running through the region is the East Coast Main Line, with Edinburgh Waverley and Berwick being the nearest stations on that line, all of which are outwith the Borders. Since 2014 there has been discussion of re-opening the station at Reston, within the region and would serve Eyemouth. To the west, Carlisle and Lockerbie are the nearest stations on the West Coast Main Line.
The area is served by buses. Express bus services link the main towns with rail stations at Edinburgh and
South Lanarkshire is one of 32 unitary authorities of Scotland. It contains some of Greater Glasgow's suburbs, it contains many towns and villages. It shares borders with Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian, it includes part of the historic county of Lanarkshire. South Lanarkshire Council has its headquarters in Hamilton, has 16,000 employees, a budget of £1bn; the large and varied geographical territory takes in rural and upland areas, market towns such as Lanark and Carluke, the urban burghs of Rutherglen and East Kilbride, Scotland's first new town. There are 20 council wards in South Lanarkshire, each serving a population ranging from 12,000 to 19,000 and each ward represented on the council by 3 or 4 elected councillors using single transferable vote. South Lanarkshire operates a cabinet style system, with key decisions being taken by the Executive Committee, under the leadership of the Council Leader, approved by the council, led by the provost.
South Lanarkshire shares borders with the unitary authorities of Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, City of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Scottish Borders. The area was formed in 1996 from the areas of Clydesdale and East Kilbride districts, some outer areas of Glasgow District; the Council Headquarters building, on Almada Street, was built as the Lanark County Buildings in 1963, designed by Lanark council architect D G Bannerman. The 16 storey, 165 foot tower is the largest in Hamilton, is a visible landmark across this part of the Clyde Valley; the modernist design was influenced by the United Nations building in New York. Glass curtain walls cover the north and south facades, with the narrow east and west sides being blank white walls. At the front of the building is the circular council chamber, a plaza with water features, it is known by locals as the "County Buildings". Bothwell Castle Calderglen Country Park, East Kilbride Chatelherault Country Park, near Hamilton, including Cadzow Castle Clyde Valley Craignethan Castle David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre Dollan Aqua Centre, East Kilbride Falls of Clyde Hamilton Mausoleum James Hamilton Heritage Park, East Kilbride John Hastie Museum, Strathaven Lanark Loch Little Sparta, near Dunsyre near Lanark Low Parks Museum, Hamilton New Lanark, a World Heritage Site Rutherglen Town Hall and medieval church tower Sites of the Battle of Drumclog and the Battle of Bothwell Bridge Strathaven Castle Wilsontown Ironworks South Lanarkshire College University of the West of Scotland Routes To Work South South Lanarkshire Council homepage South Lanarkshire at Curlie
2016 Scottish Parliament election
The Scottish parliament election, 2016 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2016 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the fifth election held since the devolved parliament was established in 1999, it was the first parliamentary election in Scotland in which 16 and 17 year olds were eligible to vote, under the provisions of the Scottish Elections Act. It was the first time the three largest parties were led by women. Parliament went into dissolution on 24 March 2016, allowing the official period of campaigning to get underway. Five parties had MSPs in the previous parliament: Scottish National Party led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Labour Party led by Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Conservatives led by Ruth Davidson, Scottish Liberal Democrats led by Willie Rennie, Scottish Greens, led by their co-conveners Patrick Harvie and Maggie Chapman. Of those five parties, four changed their leader since the 2011 election. During the campaign, a series of televised debates took place, including party leaders of the elected parties.
BBC Scotland held the first leaders’ debate on 24 March, STV broadcast the next on 29 March, BBC Scotland hosted the final debate on 1 May. The Scottish National Party won the election and a third term in government, but fell two seats short of securing a second consecutive overall majority; the Conservatives saw a significant increase in support and replaced the Labour Party as the second-largest party and main opposition in the Scottish Parliament. This was the first time; the Scottish Greens won six seats on the regional list and overtook the Liberal Democrats, who remained on five seats. Although the SNP had lost their majority, it was still by far the largest single party in the Scottish Parliament, with more than double the seats of the Conservatives. Accordingly, Sturgeon announced, she was voted in for a second term as First Minister on 17 May. Under the Scotland Act 1998, an ordinary election to the Scottish Parliament would have been held on the first Thursday in May four years after the 2011 election, i.e. in May 2015.
In May 2010, the new UK Government stated in its coalition agreement that the next United Kingdom general election would be held in May 2015. This proposal was criticised by the Scottish National Party and Labour, as it had been recommended after the 2007 election that elections with different voting systems should be held on separate days: a recommendation which all of the political parties had accepted. In response to this criticism, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offered the right to vary the date of the Scottish Parliament election by a year either way. All the main political parties stated their support for delaying the election by a year; the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, a statute of the UK Parliament, moved the date of the Scottish Parliament election to 5 May 2016. The date of the poll may be varied by up to one month either way by the monarch, on the proposal of the Presiding Officer. If Parliament itself resolves that it should be dissolved, with at least two-thirds of the Members voting in favour, the Presiding Officer proposes a date for an extraordinary election and the Parliament is dissolved by the monarch by royal proclamation.
It does not require a two-thirds majority to precipitate an extraordinary election, because under the Scotland Act Parliament is dissolved if it fails to nominate one of its members to be First Minister within certain time limits, irrespective of whether at the beginning or in the middle of a parliamentary term. Therefore, if the First Minister resigned, Parliament would have 28 days to elect a successor. If no new First Minister was elected the Presiding Officer would ask for Parliament to be dissolved under s3a; this process could be triggered if the First Minister lost a vote of confidence by a simple majority, as s/he must resign. To date the Parliament has never held a confidence vote on a First Minister. No extraordinary elections have been held to date. Any extraordinary elections would be in addition to ordinary elections, unless held less than six months before the due date of an ordinary election, in which case they supplant it; the subsequent ordinary election reverts to the first Thursday in May, a multiple of four years after 1999.
It was envisaged that the election would still have taken place as scheduled if Scotland had voted in favour of independence in 2014. Changes to the SNP's selection procedures the previous year in order to ensure gender balance of candidates meant that any incumbent constituency MSP who chose to retire would have their replacement selected from an all woman shortlist; the only ways for a new male candidate to receive a constituency nomination would be to stand in a constituency held by an opposition MSP or to run a de-selection campaign against a sitting MSP. For that reason there were far more challenges than normal within the SNP, but only two were successful: The total number of Members of the Scottish Parliament elected to the Parliament is 129; the First Periodical Review of the Scottish Parliament's constituencies and regions by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, was announced on 3 July 2007. The Commission published its provisional proposals for the regional boundaries in 2009; the Scottish Parliament uses an Additional Members System, designed to produce approximate proportional representation for each region.
There are each sub-divided into smaller constituencies. There are a total of 73 constituencies; each constituency elects one MSP by the plurality system of election. Each reg
Hawick is a town in the Scottish Borders council area and historic county of Roxburghshire in the east Southern Uplands of Scotland. It is 10.0 miles south-west of Jedburgh and 8.9 miles south-southeast of Selkirk. It is one of the farthest towns from the sea in Scotland, in the heart of Teviotdale, the biggest town in the former county of Roxburghshire. Hawick's architecture is distinctive in; the town is at the confluence of the Slitrig Water with the River Teviot. Hawick is known for its yearly Common Riding, for its rugby team Hawick Rugby Football Club and for its knitwear industry. At the 2001 census Hawick had a resident population of 14,801. By 2011, this had reduced to 14,294; the west end of the town contains "the Mote", the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey. In the centre of the High Street is the Scots baronial style town hall, built in 1886, the east end has an equestrian statue, known as "the Horse", erected in 1914. Drumlanrig's Tower, now a museum, dates from the mid-16th century.
In 2009 another monument the "Turning of the Bull" was unveiled in Hawick. This monument depicts William Rule turning the wild bull as it was charging King Robert the Bruce, thus saving the king's life and beginning the Scottish Clan of Turnbull. A poem written by John Leyden commemorates this historical event. "His arms robust the hardy hunter flung around his bending horns, upward wrung, with writhing force his neck retorted round, rolled the panting monster to the ground, with enormous strength, his bony skull. Companies: Hawick Cashmere, Hawick Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, Lyle & Scott, Peter Scott, Pringle of Scotland, Scott and Charters, have had and in many cases still have manufacturing plants in Hawick, producing luxury cashmere and merino wool knitwear; the first knitting machine was brought to Hawick in 1771 by John Hardie, building on an existing carpet manufacturing trade. Based on linen, this moved to wool and factories multiplied, driving the growth of the town. Engineering firm Turnbull and Scott had their headquarters in an Elizabethan-style listed building on Commercial Road before moving to Burnfoot.
In recent times, unemployment has been an issue in Hawick, the unemployment claimant rate remained ahead of the overall Scottish Borders between 2014 and 2017. The closure of once significant employers including mills like Peter Scott and Pringle have impacted job availability in the town over the last few decades, the population has declined because of this, at 13,730 in 2016, the lowest level since the 1800s. Despite efforts to improve the economic situation and poverty remain important in the context of the Scottish Borders, with the number of children living in poverty in the town 10% higher than the average for the region in 2017. Developments such as a new central business hub, Aldi supermarket, distillery, all set for opening in 2018/19, are expected to benefit Hawick. Despite this, continued business closures, for example Homebase and the Original Factory Store in 2018, suggest continued economic decline for the town. Hawick lies in the centre of the valley of the Teviot; the A7 Edinburgh to Carlisle road passes through the town, with main roads leading to Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle upon Tyne.
The town lost its rail service in 1969, when as part of the Beeching Axe the'Waverley Route' from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick was closed. It was said to be the farthest large town from a railway station in the United Kingdom, but this changed as a result of the opening of the Borders Railway, which in 2015 reopened part of the former Waverley Route to Tweedbank, near Galashiels. Regular buses serve the railway station at Carlisle, 42 miles away. Reconnecting Hawick to the Borders Railway would require reinstatement of a further 17 miles of the former Waverley Route from Hawick to Tweedbank station via Hassendean, St Boswells, Melrose, refurbishment of the four arch Ale Water viaduct near New Belses. Hawick station was on the north bank of the river Teviot, below Wilton Hill Terrace, with a now demolished viaduct carrying the route south towards Carlisle. Waverley Walk in Hawick is footpath along the former railway route, north-eastward from the former station site near Teviotdale Leisure Centre.
The nearest major airports are at Edinburgh, 57 miles away, Newcastle, 56 miles away. The town hosts the annual Common Riding, which combines the annual riding of the boundaries of the town's common land with the commemoration of a victory of local youths over an English raiding party in 1514. In March 2007, this was described by the Rough Guide publication World Party as one of the best parties in the world. People from Hawick call themselves "Teries", after a traditional song which includes the line "Teribus ye teri odin". Many Hawick residents speak the local dialect of Border Scots, informally known as "Teri Talk", it is similar to the dialects spoken in surrounding towns Jedburgh and Selkirk. The speech of this general area was described in Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland by James Murray, considered the first systematic study of any dialect; the Hawick tongue retains many elements of Old English, together with particular vocabulary and pronunciation. Its distinctiveness arose from the relative isolation of the town.
The town is the home of Hawick Rugby Football Club an
Selkirkshire or the County of Selkirk is a historic county and registration county of Scotland. It borders Peeblesshire to the west, Midlothian to the north, Roxburghshire to the east, Dumfriesshire to the south, it derives its name from the Royal burgh of Selkirk. Between 1890 and 1975, it was one of the thirty-three administrative counties of Scotland, with a county council formed by the Local Government Act 1889. Under the Local Government Act 1973 the use of counties as local government areas was abolished across Scotland, with administration being transferred to the Ettrick and Lauderdale district of the Borders Region. Unlike many historic counties, Selkirkshire does not have its own lieutenancy area, but shares one with Roxburghshire: the Roxburgh and Lauderdale lieutenancy area. In the 1st Century AD Selkirk formed part of the lands of the native people who hunted it rather than settled there. Neither the Romans, Angles, or the Saxons cleared much of the forestry there and for centuries Selkirk was known for its forest coverage.
Indeed, an alternative name for the county was Ettrick Forest. Under the Scottish kings the forest was regarded as Royal. Despite this it was not until the reign of James V that sheriffs were appointed to administer the county on the Crown's behalf. During the military occupation of Scotland by Edward I of England, the forest was granted to the Earl of Gloucester; the first recorded sheriff is Andrew de Synton, appointed by William the Lion. Synton in the parish of Ashkirk, just east of the village centre, was an enclave of Selkirkshire surrounded by Roxburghshire; the Earl of Pembroke assumed the hereditary sheriffdom. Under and after King Robert the Bruce, the Earls of Douglas, Earls of Angus administered the county. In 1501 John Murray, laird of Falahill, was made sheriff of Selkirkshire and on 30 Nov. 1509 he obtained a grant of the hereditary sheriffdom of Selkirkshire. His descendant Sir James Murray was deprived of office in 1681 for being remiss in punishing conventicles, but at the Glorious Revolution was raised to the session bench as Lord Philiphaugh and reinstated as sheriff.
His son John Murray was the hereditary Sheriff of Selkirk from 1708 to 1734, when he was returned unopposed as MP for Selkirkshire, having resigned his hereditary sheriffdom to one of his sons. When in 1747 the heritable jurisdictions were abolished, Murray of Philiphaugh received £4,000 in compensation; the Sheriff-Deputes appointed by the hereditary sheriffs, were now appointed by the crown and acted in place of the hereditary sheriffs One such sheriff of Selkirkshire was Sir Walter Scott, appointed Sheriff-Depute in 1799, an office he held until his death in 1832. Folk ballads written of the county commemorate the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645, the'Dowie Dens' at Yarrow and Tibbie Shiels at St Mary's Loch. Population of the county by Civil Parish, according to the latest census: The population of the towns in the county: Galashiels - 14,994 Selkirk - 5,784Historical population of the county as returned by the census was as follows: 1801: 5,889 1811: 6,637 1821: 6,833 1841: 7,990 1851: 9,809 1861: 10,449 1871: 19,651 1881: 26,346 1891: 28,068 1901: 23,356 1911: 24,601 1921: 22,607 1931: 22,711 1951: 21,729 1961: 21,055 1971: 20,868 2001: 17,757 2011: 18,267 Ettrick Forest known as Selkirk and Traquair Forests, is a former royal forest in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland.
It is a large area of moorland, south of Peebles. Simon Fraser James Hogg List of places in the Scottish Borders List of places in Scotland Craik Forest Wauchope Forest List of forests in the United Kingdom The archeology and historic buildings of the county were documented in 1957 by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments in Scotland. There is a History of Selkirkshire by T. Craig Brown, published in 1886. "Selkirkshire" from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland by Samuel Lewis, 1846 Entries on Selkirkshire from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland by Frances Groome and the Gazetteer of the British Isles by John Bartholomew EttrickForestArchers.co.uk RCAHMS record for Ettrick Forest or Selkirkshire SCRAN: Bowling champions in front of club house at Ettrick Forest Bowling Club, Selkirk The Borders Forest Trust Gazetteer for Scotland.
2007 Scottish Parliament election
The 2007 Scottish Parliament election was held on Thursday 3 May 2007 to elect members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the third general election to the devolved Scottish Parliament since it was created in 1999. Local elections in Scotland fell on the same day; the Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party with 47 seats followed by the incumbent Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats. The Scottish Conservatives won 17 seats, the Scottish Liberal Democrats 16 seats, the Scottish Green Party 2 seats and one Independent was elected; the SNP approached the Lib Dems for a coalition government, but the Lib Dems turned them down. The Greens agreed to provide the numbers to vote in an SNP minority government, with SNP leader Alex Salmond as First Minister; the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party, which won seats in the 2003 election, lost all of their seats. Former MSP Tommy Sheridan's new party, Solidarity failed to win any seats. Campbell Martin and Dr Jean Turner both lost their seats, Dennis Canavan and Brian Monteith retired.
The main issues during the campaign trail were healthcare, council tax reform, the Union, the Iraq War and more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Some parties proposed raise the school leaving age from 16 to 18 and raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 16 to 18. Jack McConnell, as First Minister, entered the election defending a small overall majority of five seats via a coalition of Labour and the Liberal Democrats; the Lab-LD social liberal coalition had been in power, with three different First Ministers, since the first Scottish Parliament election in 1999. Opinion polls suggested its majority could be lost in 2007, due to falling support for the Labour Party and rising support for other parties, in particular the Scottish National Party; the polls suggested that no single party was to acquire an overall majority, nor was there an obvious alternative coalition ready to form a new Executive. A TNS Poll in November 2006 gave Labour an 8% lead over the SNP, second behind Labour in terms of numbers of Members of the Scottish Parliament.
As the election approached the SNP gained support while Labour's support declined. Based on pre-election projections, there could have been some possibility of an SNP–Liberal Democrat coalition, which might have extended to include the Scottish Green Party; the other parties represented in the Parliament before the election were the Scottish Conservative Party, the Scottish Socialist Party and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. Other parties that campaigned for seats in Holyrood included the United Kingdom Independence Party, the British National Party, the Scottish Unionist Party, the Scottish Socialist Labour Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Scottish Christian Party and the Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers Party. Susan Deacon, Edinburgh East and Musselburgh John Home Robertson, East Lothian Janis Hughes, Glasgow Rutherglen Kate Maclean, Dundee West Maureen Macmillan and Islands list Bruce McFee, West of Scotland list George Reid, Ochil Phil Gallie, South of Scotland list James Douglas-Hamilton, Lothians list Donald Gorrie, Central Scotland list Jim Wallace, Orkney Frances Curran, West of Scotland list Dennis Canavan, Falkirk West Brian Monteith, Mid Scotland and Fife list Gordon Jackson, Glasgow Govan Sylvia Jackson, Stirling Margaret Jamieson and Loudoun Maureen Macmillan and Islands Christine May, Fife Central Alasdair Morrison, Western Isles Bristow Muldoon, Livingston Allan Wilson, Cunninghame North Andrew Arbuckle, Mid Scotland and Fife Nora Radcliffe, Gordon Euan Robson and Berwickshire Dave Petrie and Islands Murray Tosh, West of Scotland Shiona Baird, North East Scotland Chris Ballance, South of Scotland Mark Ballard, Lothians Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife Eleanor Scott and Islands Rosemary Byrne, South of Scotland Colin Fox, Lothians Rosie Kane, Glasgow Carolyn Leckie, Central Scotland Tommy Sheridan, Glasgow John Swinburne, Central Scotland Campbell Martin, West of Scotland - Former SNP MSP Jean Turner and Bearsden Turnout in the election was 51.7% in the constituency vote and 52.4% in the regional vote up from 2003 where the turnout was 49.4% in both the constituency and regional vote Notes: Independents contested 17 seats and three regions.
Scottish Greens contested 1 seat, Scottish Socialist Party contested 1 seat, Scottish Christian Party, Scottish Voice etc. contested a small number of seats. A number of local issue parties stood in single constituencies; the Nine Per Cent Growth Party stood candidates on the regional lists, had a candidate for the local council elections of the same year. Standing in the Glasgow Regional List the party finished last of 23 candidates, receiving only 80 votes, a record low; some counts in the Western Isles were delayed because the chartered helicopter sent to pick up the ballot boxes was delayed by bad weather. The boxes were instead transferred by road to be counted in Stornoway; the votes were announced around 12.00 on Friday 4 May. A man smashed ballot boxes with a golf club at a polling station at Carrick Knowe in Corstorphine in Edinburgh. About 100 ballots were damaged; the man was arrested on the scene. The number of'invalid' ballot papers has increased from previous elections, the BBC reported that 142,000 were rejected.
The Herald reported that this included both constituency and regional