Scottish Parliament general election, 2011

The Scottish Parliament elections in 2011 were the fourth elections to the Scottish Parliament and took place on May 5, 2011. For the first time a party an absolute majority of parliamentary seats.

The new Parliament was opened on 1 July by Elizabeth II.

Starting position

From the 2007 General Election was the Scottish National Party ( SNP) with 47 seats in front of the Labour Party (46 seats) just emerged as the strongest force. The Conservatives received 17 seats, the Liberal Democrats 16 and the Scottish Greens two seats. As a consequence of the election, the SNP formed a minority government supported by the Greens under Alex Salmond, who was elected on 16 May 2007 to the First Minister.

Political positions of the main parties

The SNP promised in the event of an election victory despite strained public budget situation not to increase council tax ( municipal tax ). One of its main promise was to conduct a referendum on possible independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom. Energy policy, they proclaimed the goal that by 2020 all electrical energy in Scotland should come from renewable energy sources. They spoke out against tuition fees for Scottish students at the universities. With regard to public safety, the SNP argued against a reduction of the existing police service strength.

The Labour Party campaigned for the introduction of a minimum wage of £ 7.15 per hour. She wanted to put the focus of their policies on the elimination of youth unemployment and create 250,000 new jobs by 2020. To deter public perpetrators of violence they advocated the introduction of a mandatory six - month sentence for individuals who are illegally armed with a knife, a. The Council tax should also at least not in the next 2 years will be increased. Scottish students should be exempt from tuition fees. The discontinued in 2009 plan of a rail link between the main station and the airport Glasgow should be reactivated again.

The Conservatives called for a freeze on council tax until 2013. They went for a reintroduction of the prescription charge of £ 5 a. The expected revenue of £ 37 million should be invested in the National Health Service to improve care. The Conservative Party advocated the introduction of moderate tuition fees. Convicted offenders should receive short prison sentences instead of social work. In addition, the party did not support a further expansion of nuclear energy, but at new locations.

The Liberal Democrats also rejected tuition fees for Scottish students. The public water supply Scottish Water should be privatized and investment with the estimated 1.5 billion pounds of revenue should be made, which should lead to the creation of 100,000 new jobs. The Council tax should be reformed.

The Green Party of Scotland wanted to promote environmental projects. The Council tax should be replaced by a land- value tax ( tax on land ). Scottish students should be exempt from tuition fees. The justice system in Scotland should be reformed. Another planned crossing of the Forth should not be realized.

Result

With the SNP succeeded for the first time a Scottish party to win an absolute majority of seats. Due to the electoral victory of the party the incumbent government to continue its work under Alex Salmond. This announced to perform in accordance with its election promises in the current election period, a referendum on Scottish independence. The weak election results for the Liberal Democrats in one of their previous strongholds, which was also at the same time held elections in England and Wales, was seen as a disappointment that the party since the beginning of the coalition with the Conservatives had to endorse a strict austerity measures and many of their campaign promises could not keep.

* The Scottish Green Party presented no constituency candidates.

A complete list of all MPs in this term can be found at List of Members of the Scottish Parliament (4th Term).

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