Party romps home ahead of all competition - but fall short of overall majority
THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY has triumphed in the Scottish Parliamentary elections.
In the party's fifth straight election victory, the SNP won 63 of the country's 129 total seats.
That landslide - sweeping large swathes of lowland and highland Scotland constituencies - placed the party perilously close to an overall majority.
The Scottish Green Party substantially increased its representation from two to six, meaning that a majority of the parliament favours Scottish independence.
Unionist votes switched from the Labour Party, which saw a further deterioration of its vote, to the Tories who celebrated their best result since the beginning of devolution in 1999.
However, the night belonged to re-elected First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who said her party had made history after winning a third successive Holyrood election.
The SNP finished with 63 seats, ahead of the Tories on 31 seats, Labour on 24, the Scottish Greens on six, and the Liberal Democrats on four.
65 seats are required to command a majority in the Scottish Parliament. SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie and Green co-convener Maggie Chapman have already been asked if their parties will work together following the election.
Tories celebrated as the party made the biggest gains of any party, winning seven constituencies and a host of list seats.
The Liberal Democrats gained a single seat, but had unpredicted victories in Fife and Edinburgh East - on top of Orkney and Shetland.
The newly elected 129 MSPs will be sworn in at ceremonies in Edinburgh next week.
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Picture courtesy of Alison Thewliss