‹ 2011 Flag of Scotland 2020
Scottish Parliament general election, 2016
All 129 seats to the Scottish Parliament

65 Seats were needed for a majority

5 May 2016
First party Second party Third party
JimMurphy NicolaSturgeon RuthDavidson
Leader Jim Murphy Nicola Sturgeon Ruth Davidson
Party Labour SNP Conservative Party
Leader since 30 October 2014 13 November 2014 4 November 2011
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Glasgow Southside Glasgow
Last election 37 Seats 69 Seats 15 Seats
Seats before 38 69 15
Seats won 59 50 8
Seat change Increase 21 Decrease 14 Decrease 7
Fourth party
Leader Willie Rennie
Party Liberal Democrats

Leader since 17 May 2011
Leader's seat Mid Scotland and Fife (defeated)
Last election 5 seats
Seats before 5
Seats won 0
Seat change Decrease 5
First Minister before election
Nicola Sturgeon
Elected First Minister
Anas Sarwar
The 2016 Scottish Parliament general election was held on Thursday 5 May 2016 to elect 129 members to the Scottish Parliament. It was the fifth general election since the devolved parliament was established in 1999.

Following the elections, no party held the 65 seats needed for a majority; in consequence, the Labour and SNP Parties begrudgingly formed a collation government. This alliance was shaky, as SNP party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, had supported secession from the UK, while elected First Minister and Labour Party Leader, Jim Murphy, had not.


In 2014, Scotland had rejected independence from the UK by ten points. Having been a staunch supporter of secession, and facing low approval ratings, First Minister Alex Salmond stepped down as SNP leader, and was replaced by Deputy Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Due to the turmoil, and unpopularity of the SNP, led many to believe the party would fall to becoming a second party.


Because of Sturgeon's very low approval ratings, as well as the results of the referendum vote, the Labour Party gained the largest number of seats. However, The Labour Party failed to gain the 65 seats needed for a majority, and were forced to form a collation government with the SNP Party.

The Liberal Democrats were eliminated from Parliament, and disbanded as a result, meanwhile, the Scottish Conservative Party came dangerously close to elimination themselves, losing over half of their seats.