As we wait for the results, a look back at the changing shape of the Scottish Parliament since 1999

Each of the five elections since devolution has produced a parliament with a distinctive make-up.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 7:00 am

After the excitement of having the first Scottish Parliament since 1707 - elected on May 6, 1999 - and the novelty of a Labour-Lib Dem coalition, there came the "rainbow" parliament in 2003.

That election saw both the two biggest parties, Labour and the SNP, lose seats while the Tories and Lib Dems held steady and there was a flourishing of the smaller parties – seven Green MSPs, six Scottish Socialists, one Pensioners' Party member and three independents.

The Labour-Lib Dem coalition continued until 2007 when the third Scottish Parliament election finished with the SNP just one seat ahead of Labour. There was talk of possible coalitions but in the end the SNP formed a minority government and, despite predictions, managed to survive the full term.

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The parliament first met at the General Assembly Hall at The Mound Pic Adam Elder/Scottish Parliament

In 2011 Labour failed to regain its previous position of dominance and instead the SNP won an overall majority, even though the voting system was designed to make that almost impossible.

The Nationalists lost their majority in 2016 and returned to minority government, but in contrast to 2007 the Tories – who had struggled for so long to make any impact in Scotland – overtook Labour to become the main opposition party at Holyrood.

The next twist in the tale of the Scottish Parliament will emerge once the final results are declared on Saturday.

1999: First parliament - Lab-Lib Dem coalition

MSPs finally moved to the new parliament building at Holyrood in 2004 Pic: PA

Lab 56 SNP 35 Con 18 Lib Dem 17 Green 1 SSP 1 Ind 1

2003: Rainbow parliament

Lab 50 SNP 27 Con 18 Lib Dem 17 Green 7 SSP 6 Pension 1 Ind 3

2007: SNP minority government

SNP 47 Lab 46 Con 17 Lib Dem 16 Green 2 Ind 1

2011: SNP majority government

SNP 69 Lab 37 Con 15 Lib Dem 5 Green 2 Ind 1

2016: SNP minority, Con opposition

SNP 63 Con 31 Lab 24 LD 5 Green 6

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