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Scottish Parliament

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The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood

The Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; Scots: Scottish Pairlament[1][2][3][4]) is the devolved national legislature of Scotland in the capital Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood"[5] (cf. "Westminster"), is a democratically elected body of 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). Members are elected for four-year terms. A general election to the Parliament was held on 3 May 2007.

The original Parliament of Scotland (or "Estates of Scotland") was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland, and existed from the early 13th century until the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.[6] As a consequence, the Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London.[6]

Following a referendum in 1997 in which the Scottish people gave their consent, the current Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998.

The current composition of the Scottish parliament is as follows:

Party Leader Number of Seats
  Scottish National Party Alex Salmond 47
  Scottish Labour Party Iain Gray 46
  Scottish Conservative Party Annabel Goldie 16
  Scottish Liberal Democrats Tavish Scott 16
  Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie 2



  • Balfour, A & McCrone, G (2005): "Creating a Scottish Parliament", StudioLR, ISBN 0-9550016-0-9
  • Burrows, N (1999): "Unfinished Business - The Scotland Act 1998", Modern Law Review, Vol. 62, No. 2 (March 1999), pp. 241–260
  • Centre for Scottish Public Policy (1999): "A Guide to the Scottish Parliament: The Shape of Things to Come", The Stationery Office Books", ISBN 0-11-497231-1
  • Dardanelli, P (2005): "Between Two Unions: Europeanisation and Scottish Devolution", Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-7080-5
  • Kingdom, J (1999): "Government and Politics in Britain, An Introduction", Polity, ISBN 0-7456-1720-4
  • MacLean, B (2005): "Getting It Together: Scottish Parliament", Luath Press Ltd, ISBN 1-905222-02-5
  • McFadden, J & Lazarowicz, M (2003): "The Scottish Parliament: An Introduction", LexisNexis UK, ISBN 0-406-96957-4
  • Murkens, E; Jones, P & Keating, M (2002): "Scottish Independence: A Practical Guide", Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0748616993
  • Taylor, Brian (1999): "The Scottish Parliament", Polygon, Edinburgh, ISBN 1-902930-12-6
  • Taylor, Brian (2002): "The Scottish Parliament: The Road to Devolution", Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 0-7486-1759-0
  • Young, John R. (1996): "The Scottish Parliament, 1639–1661: A Political and Constitutional," Edinburgh: John Donald Publishers ISBN 0-85976-412-5

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Coordinates: 55°57′07″N 3°10′30″W / 55.95194°N 3.17513°W / 55.95194; -3.17513