At stake in this election:
- 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II
- Head of Government: Vacant.**
- Assembly: Scotland (part of the United Kingdom) has a unicameral Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) with 129 seats.
** The office of First Minister was created with this election. Donald DEWAR became the initial First Minister on May 7.
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is the hereditary N/A.
- The Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch.
- In the Scottish Parliament (Pàrlamaid na h-Alba), 73 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 4-year terms and 56 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
*** Seats in the proportional tier are allocated using the d'Hondt method.
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Scottish Labour Party
- Leader: Donald DEWAR
- Seats won in this election: 56
- Party: Scottish National Party (SNP)
- Leader: Alexander SALMOND
- Seats won in this election: 35
- Party: Scottish Conservative Party (CON)
- Leader: David MCLETHCIE
- Seats won in this election: 18
- Party: Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Leader: James WALLACE
- Seats won in this election: 17
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 58,970,119 (July 1998 Population of the U.K. est.)
- Registered Voters: 4,000,000 ( approx.)