Political Institutions: Scotland

Scottish Parliament | Scottish Government | Scotland Office

Scottish Parliament


The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national legislature of Scotland. It comprises 129 Members known as MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) who are elected for four-year terms under the mixed member proportional representation system. There are 73 individual geographical constituencies, each represented by an MSP and 8 additional regions which elect 7 MSPs each.

The Scotland Act 1998 established the current Parliament and set out its powers as a devolved legislature. Additional powers were devolved in the Scotland Act 2012.

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government was established in 1999 following the first elections to the Scottish Parliament. The current administration was formed after elections in May 2011 and comprises the First Minister and an eight-member cabinet.

Scotland Office

The Scotland Office manages day-to-day devolution issues between Westminster and Holyrood.