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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds So, the results of these elections suggest several stories of the evening. Let’s start with the Scottish National Party, who were the favourites going into this election in the opinion polls. There’s no doubt that the SNP have had an excellent election. They are the largest party in the Scottish Parliament and they’ve managed to achieve that after two terms in government. So, we might expect that governments that have been in power for a while start to show degenerative tendencies and fail to renew themselves in office, but that hasn’t been the case with the SNP, and they are now firmly in a minority administration in the Scottish Parliament.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds There might be some members of the SNP who are disappointed they weren’t able to get another majority, and that might be reasonable disappointment for them but I think, despite that, overall, we can say that the elections have been a good night for the Scottish National Party, who are in government again. It’s also been a very good night for the Scottish Conservatives. They started out with 18 seats from 2011, and have gone up to 31 seats. And that includes some notable victories for the Conservatives, including for leader Ruth Davidson in Edinburgh Central, and also Jackson Carlaw in the Eastwood seat, which many Conservatives would consider a naturally Conservative area.

Skip to 1 minute and 27 seconds The Conservatives are now the second largest party in the Scottish Parliament, and it seems that Ruth Davidson’s campaign to be the official opposition has paid off. Of course, the Conservative Party in Scotland was able to benefit from Labour’s weakness, and that’s another big story of the evening. The Labour Party really had a dreadful election, and this comes on top of a difficult election for them in 2011 in the Scottish Parliament, and also last year’s elections to the UK Parliament.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 seconds The Labour Party fought a campaign based on raising taxes for everyone in order to fund public services, and they’ll now have to reflect on what the Labour Party in Scotland does when it’s faced with not only not being in government, but also not being the second largest party in the Scottish Parliament. For the Greens, it was also a good night. They increased their total number of MSPs from two to six. They’ll also be pleased that they came ahead of the Liberal Democrats, who were on five seats. But the five seats the Liberal Democrats won, I think they’ll be quite pleased with that total, and that of course includes Willie Rennie winning his constituency seat.

Skip to 2 minutes and 38 seconds So overall, we could say the real losers of the night were the Scottish Labour Party, who are going to have to do some hard thinking about where they go next. Big winners, the SNP and the Conservatives. But also I think the Greens will be happy with their performance, and the Lib Dems coming only one seat behind them, in what could have been a very difficult election for them, will also be pleased.

Results Summary

Alan Convery analyses the Scottish election results and assesses the performance of the five main parties. Who are the winners and the losers of this election?

*Note that Alan mistakenly states that the Conservatives won 18 seats in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election. In fact, they won 15 seats. Apologies! This is the danger of doing a video when you have been up all night!

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This video is from the free online course:

Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections

The University of Edinburgh