The Tories are celebrating as they become the second-largest party at Holyrood
Scottish Labour have suffered a humiliating defeat in Scotland, taking third place in the assembly elections with just 24 seats, down from 37 in 2011.
While the SNP will comfortably form a government with 63 seats—down from 69 in 2011—they have narrowly missed out on the overall majority predicted by pollsters.
Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Conservatives are the election’s big winners. With 31 seats, more than double the number they held in the last parliament, they will now become the main party of opposition.
The Greens are also celebrating as they jump from two seats to six, raising questions about a possible deal with the SNP.
The Lib Dems will be satisfied and relieved to have remained at five seats, and to have taken two seats—Fife North East and Edinburgh Western—from the SNP.
And we can all be pleased that, despite gains in Wales, UKIP has failed to breakthrough in Scotland, winning no seats.
The new Scottish Parliament, via The Telegraph
Although Nicola Sturgeon has hailed an historic result for her party, losing its majority is a setback for the SNP after a decade on the rise.
It suggests that the party will not have a mandate for a second independence referendum during this parliament, and throws doubt on Sturgeon’s repeated claim that Scotland will demand a second referendum in the event of Brexit.
However, the success of the Scottish Greens means that there will still be a pro-independence majority in Holyrood.
For Labour, the cloud has no silver lining. The result, including an SNP clean sweep of Glasgow and a constituency defeat for leader Kezia Dugdale, bolsters fears that the party will never recover in Scotland.
It also raises troubling questions about 2020 — Labour would need a 13-point lead in England to counterbalance the SNP, which currently looks extremely unlikely.
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