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Each person in Scotland is represented in the Scottish Parliament by one constituency MSP and seven regional MSPs.
You can use the postcode search on our homepage to find out who your constituency and regional MSPs are. (You can use the Royal Mail postcode finder to check your postcode.) You can access information about each MSP, including contact details, by clicking on his/her name on the results webpage.
You can also find the names of your MSPs and their email addresses in the Your MSPs booklet for your region.
You can also get a list of your MSPs' names by texting your postcode to 07786 209 888.
Everyone in Scotland is represented by eight MSPs: one for their constituency (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, for example) and seven for the larger region in which they live (for example, Central Scotland). This is one of the differences between the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.
For issues that are dealt with by the Scottish Parliament (devolved matters), each constituent can decide which of their eight MSPs they would prefer to contact. For example, a constituent may wish to contact an MSP from a particular party or one whom they have heard of locally.
Constituency and regional MSPs have equal status within the Parliament, and constituents are free to contact any of their eight MSPs. You can find the names of your eight MSPs using the ‘Find Your MSP’ search on the website homepage.
There are 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). MSPs represent their constituents on devolved matters in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. For more information, see Holyrood and Westminster - who does what?
There are 59 MPs (Members of Parliament) representing Scotland in the House of Commons at Westminster in London. Their role is to represent their constituents on reserved matters.
You should contact your MSP(s) if you wish to raise an issue about a devolved matter and your MP if you wish to raise an issue about a reserved matter. If you are unsure whether a matter is devolved or reserved, contact Public Information.
Lists of MSPs that you can download or print out are published as fact sheets on our website.
There are 129 MSPs in total, comprising 73 constituency MSPs and 56 regional MSPs. The current party political breakdown is given in the fact sheet entitled “MSPs by Party”.
The leaders of the five parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament are:
Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP (Scottish National Party)
Johann Lamont MSP (Scottish Labour Party)
Ruth Davidson MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party)
Willie Rennie MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
Patrick Harvie MSP (Scottish Green Party)
A list of party spokespersons that you can download or print out is published as a fact sheet on our website.
At a Scottish Parliament election each voter has two votes.
With one vote, voters choose between candidates standing in their constituency to elect a constituency MSP. The candidate who receives the largest number of votes in the constituency wins the seat. This voting system is called first-past-the-post. There are 73 constituencies for Scottish Parliament elections.
The other vote is for a political party, or for a candidate standing as an individual, within a larger electoral area known as a region. (A region is formed by grouping together between eight and ten constituencies.) There are eight Scottish Parliament regions and each region has seven additional seats in the Parliament. The MSPs chosen to fill these 56 additional seats are known as regional MSPs. Regional MSPs are allocated seats using a formula which takes into account the number of constituency seats that an individual or party has already won in that region, as well as the number of regional votes they received.
Anyone can to stand in a Scottish Parliament election, as long as they are at least 18 and are either:
- a United Kingdom, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizen, or
- an EU citizen resident in the United Kingdom
and are not:
- an undischarged bankrupt
- in a post that is paid by the Crown (such as a civil servant or a police officer)
- a prisoner serving a sentence of over one year in prison
- a person found guilty of certain electoral offences
Information about standing as a candidate in a Scottish Parliament election is available on the Electoral Commission website.
MSPs cease to be Members of the Scottish Parliament once the Parliament is dissolved. During the dissolution period, MSPs and their staff will have only the same access to the building as members of the public. They will be able to use parliamentary facilities such as local offices and equipment in order to deal with on-going constituency casework only. They will not be able to use any parliamentary facilities or resources in connection with canvassing or electioneering.
This is to ensure that all candidates or prospective candidates are treated equally and that candidates who were MSPs or the staff of MSPs before dissolution are not given any advantage over other candidates.
Statements made by MSPs in the Chamber can be found in the Official Report of the relevant meeting of Parliament. Statements made to a committee can be found in the Official Report of the relevant committee meeting.
Statements made by MSPs representing the Parliament (for example, as Presiding Officer) or a committee (for example, as committee convener) may be found in the news releases.
If an MSP has made a statement outside Parliament and has not been speaking on behalf of the Parliament, it will not be covered anywhere on our website. You could try checking the websites of relevant news organisations or the MSP’s personal website, if he or she has one.
Any statement made by a Cabinet Secretary or Minister, other than at a meeting of Parliament, should be obtained through the Scottish Government.
Details of how an MSP voted on an issue in the Chamber is available in the Official Report of that day’s meeting of the Parliament, which also contains the text of what was said during the debate.
Most of the voting takes place at Decision Time and is recorded under that heading in the Official Report.
You can look at the Recent Voting tab under Parliamentary Activities on an individual MSP's section of the site to find out how he/she has voted. This information can be accessed by clicking on the name of the relevant MSP in the List of Current Members. You can also use the Vote Search section of the website for a more extensive record of how an MSP has voted.
For information about the voting record of former MSPs, please contact Public Information with the following details:
- your name
- your address
- your postcode
- your email address
- your telephone number
- which MSP or party you would like the voting records for
- the date period to be covered (please narrow this down as much as possible to minimize file size)
The annual salary for an MSP is currently £57,520.
The annual salary for an MSP who holds a dual mandate is £19,174.
The total annual salaries for officeholders (including their MSP salary) are:
- First Minister: £140,847
- Cabinet Secretary: £100,748
- Minister: £84,598
- Presiding Officer: £100,748
- Deputy Presiding Officer: £84,598
- Lord Advocate: £113,994
- Solicitor General for Scotland: £98,358
Allowances: Details of the Allowances Scheme, the current allowance and expenses rates, and the actual allowances claimed by MSPs can be accessed from the MSPs section of the website.
(On 16 March 2011 the Parliament agreed a pay freeze from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2013.)
MSPs automatically join the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme (SPPS) when they are elected to office. The pension scheme was established by the Scotland Act 1998 (Transitory and Transitional Provisions) (Scottish Parliamentary Pension Scheme) Order 1999, and it and has been in place since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. The Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009 brought changes to the scheme, which came into effect on 1 September 2009.
The SPPS is a defined benefits scheme, which means that it is formula based. The basis of the formula is reckonable service and pensionable pay, and it takes into account the particular scheme the MSP is in. There are currently two options: the 50th and the 40th scheme. If an MSP opted to remain in the 50th scheme, they will pay 6% of their salary towards the pension scheme. If they chose to transfer into the 40th scheme, they will pay 11% of their salary towards the scheme.
There is no minimum time that an MSP has to serve before being entitled to a pension, and the pension is normally payable from the age of 65 for the rest of his/her life.
Winding Up Allowance: MSPs who do not stand for re-election or who are not re-elected can claim a winding up allowance to enable them to deal with any outstanding parliamentary affairs, such as terminating the lease on their offices. Like all allowances, payments are made only when valid claims are submitted. More information about Members' allowances is available in the Members' Expenses Scheme.
Resettlement Grant: MSPs who do not stand for re-election or who are not re-elected receive a resettlement grant. Details of these arrangements can be found in the Guidance for Members who are not standing at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.
Pensions: The pension arrangements for MSPs are set out in the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009.
MSPs who stand as candidates but are not re-elected will be paid up to and including the date of the election. This is provided for by the Scotland Act 1998.
MSPs who decide to stand down at the election will be paid up to and including the date of dissolution.
The behaviour of MSPs in the Chamber is governed by Chapter 7 of the Parliament’s standing orders. MSPs are also required to abide by the Code of Conduct that was initially agreed by the Parliament on 24 February 2000; the latest revision was agreed in January 2011. This sets out what is expected of MSPs in order for them to maintain and strengthen public trust in the Parliament. Complaints that an MSP has breached the Code of Conduct are investigated by the Public Standards Commissioner.
Section 9 of the Code of Conduct sets out the areas that do not fall within the remit of the Public Standards Commissioner and provides guidance on where such 'Excluded Complaints' should be addressed.
If you are looking for a photograph of an individual MSP, you should contact his or her office. Contact details for MSPs are available in the fact sheets on our website.
Requests for photographs of Cabinet Secretaries or Ministers should be addressed to the Scottish Government.
There is no central service within the Scottish Parliament for distributing emails to MSPs. If you wish to email a number of MSPs, you will have to contact them individually. A list of email addresses for all MSPs can be found in the fact sheets on our website.
It is possible to ask our mail room to distribute documents to a number of MSPs. Please place each letter or document in an envelope with the name of the relevant MSP on the outside; you can then post these as a single package. (If you wish to send a document to all MSPs, it is not necessary to put each one in a separate envelope, but please enclose 129 copies.) All such packages should be marked "Documents for distribution" and sent to the address below:
The Mail Room
The Scottish Parliament
If an MSP has a personal website and has informed the Parliament of the web address, details appear on their biography pages on the Scottish Parliament website. To see if an MSP has a personal website listed, click on "Contact Details" next to the name of the MSP in the Current Members section of the website.
Although there are no Members once the Parliament has been dissolved, some constituents may have cases that MSPs have already been working on. MSPs can continue with casework that they began before dissolution, as it is recognised that some cases may be urgent because of the issues involved.
Members cannot, however, accept new constituency casework at this time in their capacity as an MSP. Instead, MSPs who are approached by members of the public seeking help during dissolution may choose to deal with the enquiry in their role as a candidate or prospective candidate. This means they should deal with it through their campaign office or party office, in the same way as all other prospective candidates, and they will not be able to draw on any Scottish Parliament resources to assist them.