|Scottish Parliament |
Pàrlamaid na h-Alba
|Speaker||Ken Macintosh |
since 12 May 2016
|Prime Minister||Nicola Sturgeon, SNP |
since 20 November 2014
|Opposition Party Leaders||Ruth Davidson, Conservative|
Kezia Dugdale, Labour
Patrick Harvie, Green
Willie Rennie, Liberal Democrats
|Established||12 May 1948|
|Political groups||Government (63)|
|Last election||5 May 2016|
|Next election||6 May 2021 or earlier|
|Parliament Building, Holyrood, Edinburgh|
The Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba), is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyrood. According to the Scottish Constitution adopted in 1950, the Parliament constitutes the legislative branch of the Scottish Government. The country's executive authority is also derived from Parliament, as the Prime Minister and their Cabinet must be sitting MPs.
The Parliament is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Deputies, elected for five-year terms under the additional member system: 73 Deputies represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality ("first past the post") system, while a further 56 are returned from eight additional member regions, each electing seven Deputies. The most recent general election to the Parliament was held on 5 May 2016, with the Scottish National Party winning a plurality.
Historically, the 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 and France under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and France. As a consequence, both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England and France ceased to exist, and the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which sat at Westminster in London, was formed.
Following the partition of Britannia by the Allies after World War III, Scotland fell under the occupation of Germany. The German military government in 1948 organised a referendum on reunification with England, which was heavily rejected. Thereafter, the Scottish National Assembly was charged with the creation of a new Scottish Constitution. After the Constitution was adopted on 10 January 1950 and the occupation ended, the Republic of Scotland officially came into being. The Constitution made the Parliament the legislative authority in the country.