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Monday is the Last Chance to Register to Vote

Photo Credit: Element5

The deadline for voter registration in the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary Election on May 6th closes Monday 19th April 2021 for those voting in person. For those having a proxy voter on their behalf, the deadline is 27th April.

Voters aged 16 and over will have two votes – one for an MSP and one for a party.


A total of 129 MSPs are elected to the Scottish Parliament.

There are 72 constituency MSPs who are elected via the first-past-the-post system and the winner is the candidate who receives the most votes. This is the same way candidates are elected in Westminster elections.

Candidates for the Perthshire North constituency are:

  • Peter Barret, Liberal Democrats
  • Murdo Fraser, Conservatives
  • Don Marshall, Scottish Family Party
  • Ryan Smart, Labour
  • John Swinney, Scottish National Party (SNP)

The second vote is the regional ballot whereby you vote for a party and each party is allocated a proportional number of MSPs taking into account the number of constituencies won in that region.

In Scotland, there are eight electoral regions, and each region is represented by seven regional MSPs.

Voters are therefore represented by eight MSPs – one representing their constituency and the rest representing the region.

The eight electoral regions are:

  • Central Scotland
  • Glasgow
  • Highlands & Islands
  • Lothian
  • Mid-Scotland & Fife
  • North East Scotland
  • South Scotland
  • West Scotland

In previous elections, votes started being counted at 10pm when the polls close with the results rolling in overnight as each constituency completes its count.

However, due to ongoing COVID 19 restrictions in this election, votes will not start being counted until the morning after with a final result not expected until the weekend of the 8th/9th May.

There are three ways you can vote.

  • By postal ballot – registration closed on 6th April.
  • By nominating someone to vote for you (a proxy vote) – registration for this closes on Tuesday, April 27th
  • In person at a polling station – registration for this closes Monday, 19th April

You can register to vote online by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote To find locations of your nearest polling station, please visit: https://wheredoivote.co.uk/

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