Scottish Parliament facts for kids

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Scottish Parliament
Pàrlamaid na h-Alba
Scots Pairlament
5th Parliament
Scottish Parliament emblem.svg
Type
Type
Unicameral legislature of Scotland
History
Founded 12 May 1999 (1999-05-12)
Preceded by Estates of Parliament (pre-1707)
UK Parliament (pre-devolution)
Leadership
Presiding Officer
Ken Macintosh
Since 12 May 2016
Nicola Sturgeon, SNP
Since 20 November 2014
Opposition groups
Jackson Carlaw, Conservative
Richard Leonard, Labour
Patrick Harvie, Green
Willie Rennie, Liberal Democrat
Structure
Seats 129
Scottish-parliament
Political groups

Government (61)

Opposition (67)

Presiding Officer (1)

  •      PO (1)
Committees
Elections
Additional member system
Last election
5 May 2016
Next election
6 May 2021 or earlier
Meeting place
Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament
Holyrood, Edinburgh

The Scottish Parliament (Scottish Gaelic: Pàrlamaid na h-Alba; Scots: Scottish Pairlament) is the devolved national legislature of Scotland. It is in the capital city, Edinburgh. The Parliament is sometimes called "Holyrood".

The original Parliament of Scotland (or "Estates of Scotland") was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland. It existed from the early 13th century until 1707. This was when the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Because of this, the Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London.

In 1997 there was a referendum where the Scottish people voted for Scotland to have a Parliament again. The current Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998. The first meeting was on 12 May 1999.

The Parliament is a devolved assembly, which means that some powers have been kept by the UK Parliament. The issues which the Scottish Parliament can make laws about are called devolved matters. The issues which the UK Parliament must make laws about are called reserved matters. Some examples of devolved matters are health and social services, education and housing. Examples of reserved matters are foreign policy, immigration and the constitution of the Scottish Parliament.

There are 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who are democratically elected. Members are elected for four-year terms. Most of the MSPs belong to political parties. Independent MSPs do not belong to a political party.

The number of MSPs from each party are:

The number of people in the parties
Scottish-parliament.svg
Party Leader Number of MSPs
Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon 63
Scottish Conservative Party Ruth Davidson 31
Scottish Labour Party Richard Leonard 24
Scottish Green Party Patrick Harvie 6
Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie 5
Not part of a party (Independent) None 2

Images for kids

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