The composition of the Scottish Parliament as a result of the 2011 election was as follows:
█ Scottish National Party (69)
█ Scottish Labour Party (37)
█ Scottish Conservative Party (15)
█ Scottish Liberal Democrats (5)
█ Scottish Green Party (2)
█ Independent (1)
The election produced a majority SNP government, making this the first time in the Scottish Parliament where a party has commanded a parliamentary majority. The Nationalists took 16 seats from Labour, with many of their key figures not returned to parliament, although Labour leader Iain Gray retained East Lothian by 151 votes. The SNP took a further eight seats from the Liberal Democrats and one seat from the Conservatives. The SNP overall majority means that there is sufficient support in the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on Scottish independence.
Labour's defeat has been attributed to several factors: the party focused too heavily on criticising the Conservative-led coalition at Westminster, and assumed that former Lib Dem voters would automatically switch their vote to Labour, when in fact they appear to have haemorrhaged support to the SNP. Jackie Baillie compared the result to Labour's performance in the 1983 UK general election. Iain Gray announced his intention to resign as leader of the Labour group of MSPs in the autumn. The election saw a rout of the Liberal Democrats, with no victories in mainland constituencies and 25 lost deposits (candidates gaining less than five per cent of the vote). Leader Tavish Scott said their performance was due to the Liberal Democrat presence in the Cameron Government, which was an unpopular move in Scotland. Scott resigned as leader two days after the election. For the Conservatives, the main disappointment was the loss of Edinburgh Pentlands, the seat of former party leader David McLetchie, to the SNP. McLetchie was elected on the Lothian regional list and the Conservatives only made a net loss of five seats, with leader Annabel Goldie claiming that their support had held firm. Nevertheless, she too announced she would step down as leader of the party in the autumn. David Cameron congratulated the SNP on their victory but vowed to campaign for the Union in any independence referendum.
George Galloway, under an anti-cuts banner, failed to receive enough votes to be elected to the Glasgow regional list. The Scottish Greens won two seats, including their leader Patrick Harvie. Margo MacDonald again won election as an independent on the Lothian regional list.
Read more about this topic: Scottish Parliament
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