2016 Scottish Parliament Election Results

After what as a lacklustre campaign, the 5th Holyrood election sprang into life on the night itself as the expectations of a run-of-the-mill election were thrown out the window – with the SNP falling short of another overall majority and the Tories achieving their best results since 1992 and beating the Labour Party into 2nd place.

You can download an Excel file of the full 2016 Scottish Parliament results here:


You can find detailed results of each election at the respective pages: Constituency | Region

Here is the results summary of the election (Turnout: 55.6%):






% Seats Votes % Seats


Scottish National Party


46.50% 59 953,587 41.72% 4


Scottish Conservatives


22.02% 7 524,222 22.93% 24


Scottish Labour


22.56% 3 435,919 19.07% 21


Scottish Green Party


0.58% 0 150,426 6.58% 6


Scottish Liberal Democrats


7.82% 4 119,284 5.22% 1




2.03% 0




0.63% 0


Scottish Christian Party


0.05% 0 11,686 0.51% 0




0.48% 0


Women’s Equality Party


0.26% 0




0.24% 0 4,420 0.19% 0


Unionist Party


0.11% 0


Animal Welfare Party


0.08% 0


Scottish Libertarian Party


0.01% 1,686 0.07% 0


Clydesdale and South Scotland Independent


0.04% 0 1,485 0.06% 0


Scottish National Front


0.03% 0


Communist Party of Britain


0.02% 0




0.16% 0


Stronger Community Party


0.02% 0 0


Source: BBC News

Whether it’s a good result or a bad result for the SNP is all a matter of perspective.  They have lost ground over their 2011 result, losing a few percent in the all-important regional list and four seats in total, and the fact that they’ll no longer be able to govern without any consensus in the Parliament will mean they’ll have less leeway to implement policy.  On the other hand though, after nine years of Government they still won an election at a canter – and will extend their rule at Holyrood to a minimum of 14 years (longer than Labour’s last rule at Westminster and just four short of the Tory’s infamous spell in power before that).  They also consolidated their support in constituencies, sweeping 59 out the 73 on offer in an incredible show of local power.

On the whole, the next five years won’t be as easy for the SNP – but they should be fairly comfortable in pushing policies through for the most part.  Remember they governed in minority between 2007 and 2011 where they needed 18 votes from opposition parties to get anything done, so it’s not as though they haven’t got the ability to do it this time.

The main “winners” of the losers though were the Tories, who scored a massive 31 seats at Holyrood – which is their highest ever by far – and managed to install themselves as the main opposition party to the SNP.  Ruth Davidson’s campaign worked, and their appeal to the Unionist support base was obviously successful – as those unenthused by Labour policies swapped to the Tories to ensure their displeasure at the idea of another referendum was heard.

The Greens managed to make a breakthrough as well, although maybe not as large as they’d hoped based on some opinion polls earlier in the campaign.  6 MSPs is the second-best showing for the Greens in the Scottish Parliament, falling just one short of what they achieved in 2003’s “Rainbow Parliament”.  With the SNP’s need of support for bills, the Greens could make good partners for the new Scottish Government and provide a ready-made pro-independence block of votes that could be won over on important legislation and budgets with some concessions.  Overall, with the position the parties find themselves in, the Greens have done very well out of this election.

The Lib Dems too, although dropping further in the standings to 5th place, have had a reasonably good election.  They held firm in number of seats, and managed to hold their traditional outposts of Orkney and Shetland with relative ease.  The main success stories for them though were their two gains, with party leader Willie Rennie gaining the North-East Fife constituency and Alex Cole-Hamilton picking up Edinburgh Western.  These go a long way to showing that the Lib Dems are slowly beginning to pull back together their local bases of support.  The Lib Dem fightback hasn’t kicked off in earnest yet, but the decline has been halted for now.

So the only real disaster of the elections was Labour’s, as they dropped to their worst election result in Scotland since 1910 and reached what will surely be their rock bottom.  They managed to hold several seats across the country, and even managed their first ever gain of the Scottish Parliament era as Daniel Johnson wrested Edinburgh Southern from the SNP, but their downfall in the list saw their support evaporate, which the proportional representation system punished severely.

Leader Kezia Dugdale has said that she will stay on in her post, and surely the party will indulge her as they avoid the further PR hassle of a 5th leadership election in 9 years.  However, the work she said she needed to do in reforming the party from the ground up is still to be begun, and there are massive changes needed to restore the party to any sort of standing in Scotland – the sort of changes that take a generation rather than just a Parliament.

Therefore while there didn’t seem as though there’d be much change at Holyrood as late as yesterday, there will be a different feel to politics in the capital in the next five years.  The SNP will go back to needing support from other parties, and the main opposition will be the Tories which will be a very different beast to an ailing Labour party.  The Greens will have a stronger position to argue their agenda than ever before too.

With regards to independence, the SNP’s failure to win a majority would likely rule out them putting forward a new bill for a second referendum, but this comes with the proviso that should the circumstances that they’ve already set out as triggers for a vote (a shift in the polls supporting independence and a “material chance in circumstances” such as the UK leaving the EU) they would likely be supported by the Greens in bringing forward a referendum bill.

For my money, a referendum won’t happen in the next five years, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Either way, the next five years will prove exciting, as the SNP’s power is no longer unfettered and the politics game in Scotland is much more competitive than it has been in years.

Now the excitement of the election is over, it’s business as usual – that’s until the EU referendum on the 23rd of June.

One thought on “2016 Scottish Parliament Election Results

  1. Thanks for putting together a spreadsheet of the results. I’ve been looking for one everywhere but couldn’t find it. I appreciate the work involved in collating all the figures.

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