Become a Member of The Scottish Parliament

Elections for the Scottish Parliament will be help on 6th May 2021 

The Scottish Parliament has the law making powers for all devolved areas. This includes: the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation. 

For more information on what the Scottish Government does click here

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish National Party currently have the most MSPs at 61 and run a minority government. The Scottish Conservative Party currently are the second largest party with 31 seats. The Labour Party has 23 seats, the Green Party have 6 and the Liberal democrats have 5. There are two independent MSPs in the Scottish Parliament and 1 Presiding Officer.

Of a total 129 MSPs, 73 are elected to Constituency seats by the first past the post voting system. The remaining 56 MSPs are elected by an additional numbers system and are called “List MSPs”. 7 list MSPs are elected for each of the 8 areas across Scotland.  Each party will draw up a list of candidates for each region and the seats are proportionally allocated to the number of votes received using the d'Hondt method. These two voting systems running along side each other should result in it being more difficult to have a majority government and for the need for cross party support. 

If a list MSP resigns the next person on the party list takes up the seat. If a constituency MSP resigns this triggers a byelection. 

Get Involved

To stand as a MSP you have to be 18 years or older and either be a British citizen or an eligible Commonwealth citizen. You can find out more on The Electoral Commission’s website.

In the Scottish Conservative Party, Constituency MSP candidates are selected by the members in the relevant associations who attended a selection meeting. The process of selection to the regional lists and ranking is as yet to be confirmed.  

To be eligible to put your name forward, you must be an Approved Candidate.  This involves submitting an application form and being assessed for a range of competences by an Assessment Board.  This is the same process for the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament. If you are unsuccessful the first time, you will be given advice on how to improve and you can try again and if you are successful then then this is the start of an exciting journey where Women2win Scotland will be ready to help you through your campaign right up to election day and beyond.

Once approved, you will be invited by the Scottish Conservative Party to apply for seats when they are advertised.  As an Approved Candidate, you will also be asked to sign up certain commitments with regard to behaviour and campaigning.

Now is an excellent time to put your name forward. We need more Conservative MSPs to hold the SNP to account and to become the largest party in Holyrood. We also need more women to join our team in Parliament to ensure our decisions are representative and to offer wide ranging policy ideas to the electorate. You can find out more about becoming a candidate by emailing where we will be happy to support you through your journey from activist to elected representative.