On a turnout in the constituencies 48.1%, and on the regional lists of 46.3%, the Scottish Parliamentary elections on 1 May 2003 produced the following results (total seats first, constituency seats in brackets, indication of rise or fall in total number of seats last):


LABOUR                     50 (46) [= -6]

SNP                            27 (9)   [= -8]

LIBDEM                      17 (13)

TORY                          18 (3)

GREEN                         7          [= +6]

SSP                              6          [= +5]

INDEPENDENTS*         4 (2)    [= +3]


* The independents include Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party (1 list MSP in Central), Denis Canavan in Falkirk West, Margo MacDonald (Lothian list) and Dr Jean Turner in Strathkelvin and Bearsden, a retired GP, who was standing as part of a four-week campaign to stop the closure of Stobhill Hospital in the north of Glasgow.

Apart from the protest implicit in the turnout falling below 50%, the electorate’s difficulties with all four of the major parties is apparent in the success of the smaller parties and the independents.  Although Labour and the Liberal Democrats have succeeded in negotiating a coalition deal and will take charge of the Scottish Executive, their overall majority in the Parliament is just 5.