The Scottish National Party is today (6 May 2016) celebrating an ‘historic’ victory in the Scottish parliamentary elections.
However, despite being the clear winners on the night, it has failed to maintain its overall majority in the Parliament.
With all the votes counted:
- SNP have 63 seats
- Conservatives; 31
- Labour; 24
- Green; 6
- Lib Dems 5
This means that the SNP has lost 6 seats, Labour has lost 13 while the Conservative Party has gained 16 seats to become the official opposition.
The SNP will now have to decide whether to govern as a minority administration or enter coalition with a smaller party. Whichever route they choose it is clear that they have failed to win over a large enough chunk of the vote to claim an absolute mandate.
Although unlikely to impact the Scottish Government’s ability to proceed, it must lead us to question the popularity of SNP policy during the last parliament and legitimacy of enacting some of the legislation passed immediately prior to the Election.
The Private Housing (Tenancies ) (Scotland) Act, passed just before the campaign, is set to completely replace the private rented tenancies operated in Scotland, removing the ‘no-fault’ possession procedure and introduce powers to limit rents. Given the party which introduced the measures to Parliament and shepherded its progress lost a not insignificant number of seats in parliament to a party which opposes such interventions a rethink may be a wise move.
Of course this is just one issue amongst many and may not have swung too many votes, but we can say with some certainty that landlords did not intend to reward the last Scottish Government with another chance.
As the illustration above shows a Scottish Parliament elected by landlords, or at least those landlords who take part in NLA polling would have looked quite different – and very mixed, with no dominant party – but the Conservatives in the driving seat with 56 seats to the SNPs 43.