The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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5 Parliamentary election constituencies

For elections to the Scottish Parliament, Scotland is divided into constituencies and regions. There are 59 constituencies and eight Regions. Information on constituencies, regions and MSP details can all be found on the Scottish Parliament website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

For UK Parliament elections the UK is divided into constituencies. Constituency boundaries are regularly reviewed. As of July 2017 there are 650 parliamentary constituencies: 533 constituencies are in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales, and 18 in Northern Ireland.

The size (both geographical and in terms of population) of UK Parliament constituencies differs between different parts of the UK. The geographically largest constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber is situated in Scotland. The smallest, Islington North, is in London. More details can be found on the UK Parliament website.

Activity 1 Elections to the Scottish and UK Parliaments

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Using your knowledge complete the following table.

QuestionScottish ParliamentUK Parliament
How many chambers?
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How many elected members?
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How many members represent Scotland?
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Whose work does it scrutinise?
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How are members selected?
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What matters do they cover?
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What age must you be to be eligible to vote?
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Comment

QuestionScottish ParliamentUK Parliament
How many chambers?OneTwo (House of Commons and House of Lords)
How many elected members?129 MSPs650 MPs

The House of Lords has approximately 825 members

How many members represent Scotland?129 MSPs59 MPs and all members of the House of Lords
Whose work does it scrutinise?The Scottish GovernmentThe UK Government
How are members selected?73 MSPs on the first-past-the-post system and 59 on proportional representationMPs elected using the first-past-the-post system

Members of the House of Lords are not elected by the general public

What matters do they cover?Devolved mattersReserved matters
What age must you be to be eligible to vote?1618

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