SNP falls short of absolute majority, but Greens secure pro-independence control in Scottish Parliament

Pro-independence bloc secures 69 of 129 seats · Conservatives win 31 seats, achieve best result ever

The Scottish National Party (SNP, pro-independence left-of-centre) lost its absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament after yesterday's legislative election. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's party won 63 seats, down from 69 in the 2011 election. But the Green Party rising to 6 seats (2 in 2011)  allows the pro-independence bloc to keep its absolute majority in Parliament.

Thus, the new Scottish Parliament will have 69 pro-independence MSPs, out of a total of 129 seats. 65 are needed for an absolute majority.

Sturgeon said yesterday's result is "historic" as her party won the Scottish election for "the third consecutive" time. Sturgeon underlined the fact that the SNP won all Glasgow seats, which had traditionally been a Labour stronghold.

The Greens are expected to put the SNP under pressure to raise tax rates for the rich as a condition for a deal, Green Party co-convenor Patrick Harvey said some weeks ago.

Two pro-independence parties to the left of the SNP and the Greens (Solidarity and RISE) failed to gain any seats.

Conservatives emerge as largest unionist party

The 60 remaining seats have been secured by unionist parties. Chief among these are the Conservatives with 31 seats, their best ever result in the Scottish Parliament. The Conservative party had traditionally been rejected at the polls by Scottish voters.

As the Conservatives gained ground, Labour experienced the inverse trend, with a mere 24 seats, 13 less than in 2011. This is Labour's worst result ever in the history of Scottish Parliament elections. Until the SNP's rise to power, Labour used to be the main player in Scottish politics.

The Liberal Democrats manage to retain all 5 seats they won in 2011. The figure, however, is far away from the best LibDem record (17 seats in 1999 and again in 2003).