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[1] to the devolved Scottish Parliament since it was created in 1999. Local elections in Scotland fell on the same day.

2007 Scottish Parliament election

3 May 2007

All 129 seats to the Scottish Parliament
65 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout52.4% 3.0%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Alex Salmond Jack McConnell Annabel Goldie
Party SNP Labour Conservative
Leader's seat Gordon Motherwell and Wishaw West of Scotland
Last election 27 seats 50 seats 18 seats
Seats won 47 46 17
Seat change 20 4 1
Constituency vote 664,227 648,374 334,743
% and swing 32.9% 10.1% 32.2% 2.4% 16.6%
Regional vote 633,401 595,415 284,005
% and swing 31.0% 9.9% 29.2% 0.1% 13.9% 1.6%

  Fourth party Fifth party
Leader Nicol Stephen Robin Harper
and Shiona Baird
Party Liberal Democrats Scottish Green
Leader's seat Aberdeen South Lothians /
N. East Scotland (Lost)
Last election 17 seats 7 seats
Seats won 16 2
Seat change 1 5
Constituency vote 326,232 2,971
% and swing 16.2% 0.9% 0.2% 0.2%
Regional vote 230,671 82,584
% and swing 11.3% 0.5% 4.0% 2.8%

The left side shows constituency winners of the election by their party colours. The right side shows regional winners of the election for the additional members by their party colours .

First Minister before election

Jack McConnell

First Minister-designate

Alex Salmond

The Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, closely 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 (Margo MacDonald) was also elected. The SNP initially approached the Lib Dems for a coalition government, but the Lib Dems turned them down.[2] Ultimately, the Greens agreed to provide the numbers to vote in an SNP minority government, with SNP leader Alex Salmond as First Minister.[3]

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, also failed to win any seats. Campbell Martin and Dr Jean Turner both lost their seats, and Dennis Canavan and Brian Monteith retired.


This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Scotland portal

The main issues during the campaign trail were healthcare, education, council tax reform, pensions, the Union, Trident (the submarines are based in Scotland), 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 (SNP). The polls suggested that no single party was likely 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 which was second behind Labour in terms of numbers of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). 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.[4][5][6][7] The other parties represented in the Parliament before the election were the Scottish Conservative Party, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), Solidarity and the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. (Solidarity is a new party, having broken away from the SSP in 2006.)

Other parties that campaigned for seats in Holyrood included the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the British National Party (BNP), the Scottish Unionist Party, the Scottish Socialist Labour Party, the Christian Peoples Alliance, the Scottish Christian Party and the Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers Party.

Retiring MSPs


Scottish National Party


Liberal Democrats

Scottish Socialist Party


Defeated MSPs


Lib Dem


Scottish Green Party

Scottish Socialist Party

Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party


Opinion polls

Election results

 Scottish Parliament election, 2007
Party Constituencies Regional additional members Total seats
Votes % ± Seats ± Votes % ± Seats ± Total ± %
SNP 664,227 32.9 +9.1 21 +12 633,401 31.0 +10.2 26 +8 47 +20 37.0
Labour 648,374 32.2 −2.5 37 −9 595,415 29.2 −0.1 9 +5 46 −4 36.2
Conservative 334,743 16.6 0 4 +1 284,005 13.9 −1.6 13 −2 17 −1 13.4
Liberal Democrats 326,232 16.2 +0.9 11 −2 230,671 11.3 −0.5 5 +1 16 −1 12.6
Scottish Green 2,971 0.2 +0.2 0 82,584 4.0 -2.8 2 −5 2 −5 1.6
Independent 25,047 1.2 −1.2 0 −2 21,320 1.0 −0.7 1 0 1 −2 0.8
Scottish Senior Citizens 1,702 0.1 +0 0 38,743 1.9 +0.4 0 −1 0 −1 0
Solidarity 31,066 1.5 +1.5 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Christian 4,586 0.2 +0.2 0 0 26,575 1.3 +1.3 0 0 0 0 0
BNP 24,616 1.2 +1.1 0 0 0 0 0
Christian Peoples Alliance 14,745 0.7 +0.7 0 0 0 0 0
Socialist Labour 14,244 0.7 −0.4 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Socialist 525 0.0 −6.2 0 12,731 0.6 −6.1 0 −6 0 −6 0
UKIP 8,197 0.4 −0.2 0 0 0 0 0
Publican Party 5,905 0.3 +0.3 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Unionist 4,401 0.2 −0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Voice 2,827 0.1 +0.1 0 0 5,955 0.3 +0.3 0 0 0 0 0
Action to Save St John's Hospital 2,814 0.1 +0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Save Our NHS Group 2,682 0.1 +0.1 0 0 0 0 0
Free Scotland 575 0.0 +0.0 0 0 664 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Had Enough Party 498 0.0 +0.0 0 0 670 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Enterprise 409 0.0 +0.0 0 0 616 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Adam Lyal's Witchery Tour Party 867 0.0 −0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Scottish Jacobite Party 309 0.0 +0.0 0 0 446 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
SACL 615 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Peace 577 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Communist 251 0.0 +0.0 0 0 260 0.0 −0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Independent Green Voice 496 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Anti-Trident Party 187 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Socialist Equality 139 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Equal Parenting Alliance 124 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Nine Per Cent Growth Party 80 0.0 +0.0 0 0 0 0 0
 Total2,016,97851.8+2.573 2,042,109 56129 
Popular Vote
Liberal Democrats
Parliament seats
Liberal Democrats

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[16]

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 also stood in single constituencies. The Nine Per Cent Growth Party stood candidates on the regional lists, and had a candidate for the local council elections of the same year.[17] Standing in the Glasgow Regional List[18] the party finished last of 23 candidates, receiving only 80 votes (0.04%), a record low.

Constituency and regional summary

Central Scotland

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Central Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Airdrie and Shotts Karen Whitefield Labour hold
Coatbridge and Chryston Elaine Smith Labour hold
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Cathie Craigie Labour hold
East Kilbride Andy Kerr Labour hold
Falkirk East Cathy Peattie Labour hold
Falkirk West Michael Matheson SNP gain from Independent
Hamilton North and Bellshill Michael McMahon Labour hold
Hamilton South Tom McCabe Labour hold
Kilmarnock and Loudoun Willie Coffey SNP gain from Labour
Motherwell and Wishaw Jack McConnell Labour hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Central Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Alex Neil
Linda Fabiani
Jamie Hepburn
Christina McKelvie
John Wilson
5 +2 89,210 31.4% +8.8%
Conservative Margaret Mitchell 1 ±0 24,253 8.5% −0.6%
Liberal Democrats Hugh O'Donnell 1 ±0 14,648 5.2% −0.7%


Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Glasgow
Constituency Elected member Result
Glasgow Anniesland Bill Butler Labour hold
Glasgow Baillieston Margaret Curran Labour hold
Glasgow Cathcart Charles Gordon Labour hold
Glasgow Govan Nicola Sturgeon SNP gain from Labour
Glasgow Kelvin Pauline McNeill Labour hold
Glasgow Maryhill Patricia Ferguson Labour hold
Glasgow Pollok Johann Lamont Labour hold
Glasgow Rutherglen James Kelly Labour hold
Glasgow Shettleston Frank McAveety Labour hold
Glasgow Springburn Paul Martin Labour hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Glasgow
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Bashir Ahmad
Sandra White
Bob Doris
Bill Kidd
4 +2 55,832 27% +9.9%
Liberal Democrats Robert Brown 1 ±0 14,767 7.2% −0.1%
Conservative Bill Aitken 1 ±0 13,751 6.7% −0.8%
Scottish Green Patrick Harvie 1 ±0 10,759 5.2% −1.9%

Highlands and Islands

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Highlands and Islands
Constituency Elected member Result
Argyll and Bute Jim Mather SNP gain from Liberal Democrats
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Jamie Stone Liberal Democrats hold
Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber Fergus Ewing SNP hold
Moray Richard Lochhead SNP hold
Orkney Liam McArthur Liberal Democrats hold
Ross, Skye and Inverness West John Farquhar Munro Liberal Democrats hold
Shetland Tavish Scott Liberal Democrats hold
Western Isles Alasdair Allan SNP gain from Labour
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Highlands and Islands
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Rob Gibson
David Thompson
2 ±0 63,979 34.4% +11.0
Labour Peter Peacock
Rhoda Grant
David Stewart
3 +1 32,952 17.7% −4.6
Conservative Mary Scanlon
Jamie McGrigor
2 ±0 23,334 12.6% −3.4


Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Lothians
Constituency Elected member Result
Edinburgh Central Sarah Boyack Labour hold
Edinburgh East and Musselburgh Kenny MacAskill SNP gain from Labour
Edinburgh North and Leith Malcolm Chisholm Labour hold
Edinburgh Pentlands David McLetchie Conservative hold
Edinburgh South Mike Pringle Liberal Democrats hold
Edinburgh West Margaret Smith Liberal Democrats hold
Linlithgow Mary Mulligan Labour hold
Livingston Angela Constance SNP gain from Labour
Midlothian Rhona Brankin Labour hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Lothians
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Fiona Hyslop
Ian McKee
Stefan Tymkewycz
3 +1 76,019 26.5% +10.2
Labour George Foulkes 1 +1 75,495 26.3% +0.8
Conservative Gavin Brown 1 ±0 37,548 13.1% −2.0
Scottish Green Robin Harper 1 −1 20,147 7.0% −5.0
Independent Margo MacDonald 1 ±0 19,256 6.7% −3.5

Mid Scotland and Fife

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Mid Scotland and Fife
Constituency Elected member Result
Dunfermline East Helen Eadie Labour hold
Dunfermline West Jim Tolson Liberal Democrats gain from Labour
Fife Central Tricia Marwick SNP gain from Labour
Fife North East Iain Smith Liberal Democrats hold
Kirkcaldy Marilyn Livingstone Labour hold
North Tayside John Swinney SNP hold
Ochil Keith Brown SNP hold
Perth Roseanna Cunningham SNP hold
Stirling Bruce Crawford SNP gain from Labour
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: Mid Scotland and Fife
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Chris Harvie 1 −1 90,090 33.0% +10%
Labour John Park
Claire Brennan-Baker
Richard Simpson
3 +3 71,922 26.3% +1.0%
Conservative Murdo Fraser
Elizabeth Smith
Ted Brocklebank
3 ±0 44,341 16.2% −1.3%

North East Scotland

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: North East Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Aberdeen Central Lewis Macdonald Labour hold
Aberdeen North Brian Adam SNP hold
Aberdeen South Nicol Stephen Liberal Democrats hold
Angus Andrew Welsh SNP hold
Banff and Buchan Stewart Stevenson SNP hold
Dundee East Shona Robison SNP hold
Dundee West Joe Fitzpatrick SNP gain from Labour
Gordon Alex Salmond SNP gain from Liberal Democrats
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Mike Rumbles Liberal Democrats hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: North East Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Maureen Watt
Nigel Don
2 +1 105,265 40.5% +13.2%
Labour Richard Baker
Marlyn Glen
2 ±0 52,125 20.0% −0.1%
Conservative Alex Johnstone
Nanette Milne
2 −1 37,666 14.5% -2.9%
Liberal Democrats Alison McInnes 1 +1 40,934 15.7% −3.1%

South of Scotland

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: South of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Ayr John Scott Conservative hold
Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley Cathy Jamieson Labour hold
Clydesdale Karen Gillon Labour hold
Cunninghame South Irene Oldfather Labour hold
Dumfries Elaine Murray Labour hold
East Lothian Iain Gray Labour hold
Galloway and Upper Nithsdale Alex Fergusson Conservative hold
Roxburgh and Berwickshire John Lamont Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats
Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrats hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: South of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Christine Grahame
Michael Russell
Adam Ingram
Alasdair Morgan
Aileen Campbell
5 +2 77,053 27.8% +9.4%
Conservative Derek Brownlee 1 −1 62,475 22.6% −1.7%
Liberal Democrats Jim Hume 1 +1 28,040 10.1% −0.1%

West of Scotland

Scottish Parliament election, 2007: West of Scotland
Constituency Elected member Result
Clydebank and Milngavie Des McNulty Labour hold
Cunninghame North Kenneth Gibson SNP gain from Labour
Dumbarton Jackie Baillie Labour hold
Eastwood Kenneth Macintosh Labour hold
Greenock and Inverclyde Duncan McNeil Labour hold
Paisley North Wendy Alexander Labour hold
Paisley South Hugh Henry Labour hold
Strathkelvin and Bearsden David Whitton Labour gain from Independent
West Renfrewshire Patricia Godman Labour hold
Scottish Parliament election, 2007: West of Scotland
Party Elected candidates Seats +/− Votes % +/−%
SNP Stewart Maxwell
Gil Paterson
Bill Wilson
Stuart McMillan
4 +1 75,953 28.3% +8.7%
Conservative Annabel Goldie
Jackson Carlaw
2 ±0 40,637 15.2% −0.5%
Liberal Democrats Ross Finnie 1 ±0 22,515 8.4% −3.9%


Delayed counts

Some counts in the Western Isles (Barra & the Uists) were delayed because the chartered helicopter sent to pick up the ballot boxes was delayed by bad weather. The boxes were instead transferred by sea and 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, some having to be taped back together. The man was arrested on the scene.[19]

High number of rejected votes

The number of 'invalid' ballot papers (residual votes) in this election was significantly higher than usual, with a total of 146,099 ballot papers (regional: 60,455 or 2.88%; constituency: 85,644 or 4.075%) being rejected.[20] With some constituencies such as Glasgow Shettleston having rejection rates as high as 12.1% [21]. For comparison, the rejected ballot paper rate in 2003 was 0.65% for regional ballot papers and 0.66% for constituency ballot papers. In total there were 16 constituencies where the number of rejected ballots exceeded the winning candidate's majority. [22] This lead to calls for an independent enquiry into the implementation of the new voting system. The BBC Scotland Chief Political Editor, Brian Taylor, described the situation as "a disgrace" during their Election Night coverage.[23]

There are several reasons for the usually high levels of rejected ballots in the election. One primary reason is that both the regional and constituency ballots were placed on a single sheet of paper. A large-type instruction at the top indicated "you have two votes." Being told that they had two votes, far too many voters used both votes on parties in the regional list. [24] Although a rough template of the ballot was provided to voters by VoteScotland prior to the election, many ballots in reality had subtle yet consequential differences. Taking the ballot from Glasgow Shettleston for example, although its layout is similar to the sample ballot it has many more parties on the regional ballot, giving the illusion that the list continues onto the next side (constituency ballot). Furthermore, instructions provided to voters using these sheets were abbreviated. While the brief written instructions remained, they were presented in a much smaller font size. The column headings moved above the bold lines defining the columns and the visual prompt of the split arrow leading to the two columns is completely missing. [25] This misleading ballot was made more complicated by two additional features of the balloting: several small parties like the Green Party ran one or fewer candidates in the constituency seats and parties were able to choose to put the name of their leader instead of the name of the party in the label for the list seats. (For example, the SNP was listed as "Alex Salmond for First Minister", rather than the party name) Such poor ballot design decisions contributed to a similarly higher rate of spoiled ballots in the 2000 United States presidential election in areas of Florida such as Miami-Dade and Duval counties.

Another reason presented was that local elections took place on the same day with a different voting system and different design. Whereas the parliamentary election asked voters to mark a cross, the local council elections asked voters to number/ rank their candidates, as the council elections were under the single transferable vote system. Undercutting this theory, however, was the fact that the invalid rate in the local elections was far lower than the parliamentary elections (although still greater than in previous local elections) despite single transferable vote being a new system for most voters.

A third proposed reason was that this was the first election where electronic counting of papers had taken place. Many blamed e-counting for the increase in rejected papers, in part because the new machine counting system abandoned many counts during the early hours of Friday morning before all results had been counted. Furthermore, the primary reason for the regional and constituency ballots being placed on the same sheet of paper is due to restrictions on the size of paper the machines could accurately scan. The main company concerned was DRS Ltd.[26] Nevertheless, nearly all invalid ballots would have been spoiled no matter how they were counted. However, the last minute redesign of ballot papers that was blamed for the high number of rejections in two electoral regions was done to make electronic voting easier.[27]

On 5 May 2007, the BBC reported that Labour were considering legal action against some results (particularly Cunninghame North, where the SNP beat Labour by just 48 votes) due to the high number of rejected votes.[28] A further challenge was expected from Mike Dailly from the Govan Law Centre, a member of the Labour Party, purportedly on behalf of voters in the Glasgow region. He said that the result should be challenged because there were over 10,000 rejected ballots which could have caused a different result if they had counted. Tommy Sheridan of Solidarity was only 2,215 votes short of beating the Greens for the last place as an MSP.[28]

There were no election petitions raised to challenge the results.

Election system

There are 73 constituencies, each electing one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the plurality (first past the post) system of election, which are grouped into eight regions. These regions each elect seven additional member MSPs so as to produce an overall proportional result. The D'Hondt method is used to calculate which additional member MSPs the regions elect. Each constituency is a sub-division of a region; the additional members system is designed to produce proportional representation for each region, and the total number of MSPs elected to the parliament is 129.

The election was the first using constituencies (see Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions) that are not identical to constituencies of the House of Commons (Parliament of the United Kingdom). Scottish Westminster constituencies were replaced with a new set of generally larger constituencies, fewer in number, in 2005.

The Arbuthnott Commission reported in January 2006, concerning the multiplicity of voting systems and electoral divisions in Scotland. Council elections on the same day used Single Transferable Vote for the first time, but there was no change to the Holyrood election system, except regarding use of vote-counting machines, before the 2007 election. Scanners supplied by DRS Data Services Limited of Milton Keynes, in partnership with Electoral Reform Services, the trading arm of the Electoral Reform Society, were used to electronically count the paper ballots in both the Scottish Parliament general election and the Scottish council elections, which took place on the same day.[29][30]

Top target seats of the main parties

Below are listed all the constituencies which required a swing of less than 5% from the 2003 result to change hands.

Many of the seats that changed hands are not listed here. For example, the Scottish National Party gained several seats (Stirling, Edinburgh East & Musselburgh, Gordon, Livingston and Argyll & Bute) with very large swings, yet did not gain any of their top three targets.

Labour targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain Labour's place 2003 Result
1 Dundee East SNP 0.17 2nd SNP hold
2 Edinburgh South Liberal Democrats 0.26 2nd LD hold
3 Ochil SNP 0.49 2nd SNP hold
4 Strathkelvin and Bearsden Independent 0.62 2nd Lab gain
5 Aberdeen North SNP 0.92 2nd SNP hold
6 Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber SNP 1.51 2nd SNP hold
7 Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 2.70 3rd LD hold
8 Ayr Conservative 2.99 2nd Con hold
9 Edinburgh Pentlands Conservative 3.16 2nd Con hold
10 Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Liberal Democrats 4.96 2nd LD hold

SNP targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain SNP's place 2003 Result
1 Galloway & Upper Nithsdale Conservative 0.17 2nd Con hold
2 Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 1.01 2nd LD hold
3 Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Labour 1.07 2nd Lab hold
4 Kilmarnock & Loudoun Labour 1.92 2nd SNP gain
5 Dundee West Labour 2.13 2nd SNP gain
6 Western Isles Labour 2.91 2nd SNP gain
7 Glasgow Govan Labour 2.92 2nd SNP gain
8 Aberdeen Central Labour 2.96 2nd Lab hold
9 Linlithgow Labour 3.56 2nd Lab hold
10 West Renfrewshire Labour 4.41 2nd Lab hold
11 Paisley South Labour 4.91 2nd Lab hold

Conservative targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain Con place 2003 Result
1 Perth SNP 1.15 2nd SNP hold
2 Dumfries Labour 1.71 2nd Lab hold
3 Tweeddale, Ettrick & Lauderdale Liberal Democrats 2.83 4th LD hold
4 Eastwood Labour 4.76 2nd Lab hold
5 Stirling Labour 4.86 2nd SNP gain
6 West Renfrewshire Labour 4.96 3rd Lab hold

Liberal Democrat targets

Rank Constituency Winning party 2003 Swing to gain LD's place 2003 Result
1 Edinburgh Central Labour 4.75 2nd Lab hold
2 Aberdeen Central Labour 4.99 3rd Lab hold

Party leaders

Major parties

At time of dissolution of the Scottish Parliament at midnight on Monday 2 April 2007, there were five party 'groups' represented on the Parliament's Bureau: Labour (50), SNP (25), Conservative (17), LibDem (17), and the Greens (7). There was also one 'mixed' administrative grouping of 5 independent MSPs and 1 Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party MSP.

2007 Scottish Parliament Election – Party Leaders
Scottish National Party Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats
Alex Salmond
Leader of the Scottish National Party
Jack McConnell
Leader of the
Scottish Labour Party
Annabel Goldie
Leader of the Scottish
Conservative and Unionist Party
Nicol Stephen
Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Age 52 Age 46 Age 57 Age 47
Parliament Scottish Parliament – 2 years (1999–2001)
& UK Parliament – 19 years (1987–6 May 2010)
Parliament 7 years Parliament 7 years Parliament Scottish Parliament – 7 years
& UK Parliament – 5 months (1991–1992)
Leader since 1990–2000
& 2004
Leader since 2001 Leader since 2005 Leader since 2005
Profession Economist Profession Teacher Profession Solicitor Profession Solicitor

Of the major party leaders in the Scottish Parliament, only one, Jack McConnell, of the Scottish Labour Party fought the 2003 Scottish Parliamentary election as leader. Nicol Stephen succeeded Jim Wallace as Deputy First Minister and Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats in June 2005, after the latter announced that he would not be contesting the 2007 election.[31] Alex Salmond was elected leader of the Scottish National Party in 2004, with his deputy Nicola Sturgeon.[32] Salmond previously led the SNP between 1990 and 2000, but stood down and was replaced by his preferred successor John Swinney, who headed the party between 2000 and 2004. After Swinney's resignation in 2004, Salmond announced that he would, once again contest the leadership and won the ballot of members in June 2004. Annabel Goldie was elected leader of the Scottish Conservatives in November 2005[33] after the resignation of the incumbent David McLetchie on 31 October 2005 after a row surrounding taxi expenses.[34]

Minor parties

Robin Harper and Shiona Baird were elected as Scottish Green Party Co-convenors in 2004, but as the sole Green MSP Robin Harper was effectively party spokesperson from 1999.[35]

Colin Fox was elected as the Scottish Socialist Party Convenor in 2005. In 2006 Tommy Sheridan left the party to form Solidarity.

Party Manifestos

See also


  1. "Scotland Act 1998 – Part I – Section 2 – General elections". opsi.gov.uk.
  2. "Lib Dems rule out SNP coalition". BBC News. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 23 September 2007.
  3. "SNP and Greens sign working deal". BBC News. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007.
  4. "Somewhere over the Rainbow Coalition... Scotsman 12 May 2005". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 11 May 2005. Archived from the original on 22 February 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  5. Macleod, Murdo (5 March 2006). "Panic within Labour as membership falls Scotsman 5 March 2006". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  6. Macdonell, Hamish (7 March 2006). "Lib Dems open door to coalition with SNP Scotsman 7 March 2006". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  7. Macdonell, Hamish (24 March 2006). "Is this the end of Lab–Lib Dem pact? Scotsman 24 March 2006". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  8. "Former minister to leave Holyrood". BBC News. 14 August 2006.
  9. Knox, John (10 November 2006). "Kriss casts shadow over Holyrood". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  10. "Scotsman.com News - Politics". Election.scotsman.com. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  11. "Maclean to quit Scots Parliament". BBC News. 21 June 2006.
  12. "Retiring MSPs". Alba.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  13. Knox, John (30 March 2007). "Another chapter ends at Holyrood". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  14. "Canavan will not fight election". BBC News. 23 January 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  15. Archived 25 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  16. "Election 2007: SPICe briefing 07/21" (PDF). Scottish Parliament. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  17. Glasgow Council candidates Archived 6 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Glasgow Region elections
  19. "Polling clerk tells of 'bedlam'". BBC News. 3 May 2007.
  20. "Scottish elections 2007 The independent review of the Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections 3 May 2007" (PDF). Electoral Commission. October 2007.
  21. "The unfortunate natural experiment in ballot design:The Scottish Parliamentary elections of 2007". Elsevier. February 2008.
  22. "The unfortunate natural experiment in ballot design:The Scottish Parliamentary elections of 2007". Elsevier. February 2008.
  23. "Elections marred by vote problems". BBC News. 3 May 2007.
  24. Barnes, Eddie (6 May 2007). "The Scotsman". Edinburgh: News.scotsman.com. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  25. "The unfortunate natural experiment in ballot design:The Scottish Parliamentary elections of 2007". Elsevier. February 2008.
  26. "Electronic automated data capture services and document scanning specialists". DRS. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  27. "Clue over voter ballot confusion". BBC News. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  28. "Holyrood vote may face challenges". BBC News. 6 May 2007.
  29. "Electronic counting to take over from tellers at elections", The Scotsman, 19 April 2006
  30. "Green light for DRS & ERS to deliver e-Count for 2007 Scottish Elections", press release, DRS Data Services Limited
  31. "Lib Dems choose Stephen as leader". BBC News. BBC. 23 June 2005. Retrieved 11 October 2006.
  32. Swanson, Ian (3 September 2004). "Salmond is SNP leader again with Sturgeon as No 2". Edinburgh Evening News. Scotsman. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  33. MacDonell, Hamish (3 November 2005). "Tories have their 'coronation' as Goldie becomes leader unopposed". Scotsman. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  34. MacDonell, Hamish (1 November 2005). "McLetchie finally quits over taxi row". The Scotsman. Scotsman. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  35. "Scottish green party elects new party co-conveners". Scottish Green Party. 30 October 2004. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007.
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