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The Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; Scots: Scottish Pairlament) is the devolved national legislature of Scotland in the capital Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood" (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. 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.
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|
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- The Scots for Scottish is in fact Scots.
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- Official website
- Scotland Act 1998
- The Scottish Parliament Project, University of St Andrews
- Holyrood Inquiry homepage
- BBC News explanation of the powers of the Scottish Parliament