Holyrood 2016: Results, rethinks and reappraisal

Christine Grahame won the final constituency seat for the SNP
Image caption Christine Grahame won the final constituency seat for the SNP

07:50 The final constituency is in - and it goes to the SNP. But still the firm forecast is that they will fall short of an overall majority. Very good result for them, nevertheless, bearing in mind that voting system is designed to constrain majorities of seats on popular minorities.


06:29 - Kezia Dugdale, returned as a Lothian list Labour member, says that steering clear of the constitution in this election cost her party votes.

She says they tried to move on.


05:52 - The Lib Dem peer Jeremy Purvis says Labour may now be in terminal decline in Scotland.

Catherine Stihler, Labour MEP, says she completely and utterly disagrees. She says Labour will hold SNP to account over public services.


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Holyrood 2016: A curious election

The Scottish Parliament Image copyright Getty Images

It has been, all in all, a curious election. Not strange, you understand, but certainly curious. Despite the substantial new powers available to Holyrood, this contest has been faintly tepid.

As a number of colleagues have kindly pointed out, I have covered one or two elections. My first such endeavour was in 1979 when the Conservatives ousted Labour from UK power. (What a memory, eh? Sharp as ever.)

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Holyrood 2016: Talking balls in the Borders

Hawick Balls Image copyright Walter Baxter
Image caption Hawick Balls were made famous by legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren - just don't ask for them in Jedburgh

Ask my family. Mundane life, commonly, leaves me baffled. I could tell you the Liberal majority in 1906 but struggle to identify the price of milk.

But it is not often, in truth, that I suffer from confectionery confusion. I am generally pretty sharp on the subject of sweeties.

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Labour manifesto: Cupcakes and tax pledges

Labour cupcakes
Image caption Labour handed out cupcakes topped some of the key messages from its manifesto

Nuanced it was not. Subtle? Behave yourself. Then again, we are but a week and a day from polling.

This has been a fairly blunt campaign from the outset - a fundamental series of choices on tax and spending. Labour's manifesto launch, then, was of a piece.

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Glasgow Pollok constituency: Voters fighting a stereotype

Media captionWhat issues matter to the voters in Glasgow Pollok?

It looks a little - a little - like the map of Italy. You know, that boot shape - from Milan in the north to Calabria, in the toe.

On balance, I think I will not stretch the parallel too far in that I am talking about the constituency boundaries of Glasgow Pollok, a keenly contested seat in these Holyrood elections.

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Holyrood 2016: What really matters?

Media captionWhat matters to voters in Orkney?

As we enter the final full week of campaigning in the Scottish Parliamentary elections, there has been much talk of the essential element at the core of this contest.

Is it about who becomes first minister? Is it about which party or parties comprise the government? Is it about the variegated political colour of the new chamber? Is it about who comes first? Second? Third?

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What happened to the independence referendum alliances?

Signs Image copyright Reuters
Image caption What happened to the Yes and No teams formed during the 2014 referendum campaign?

Whatever happened to the allegiances formed during the run-up to the independence referendum? Are they at all evident in this Holyrood election campaign?

The answer, simplistically, is no. But the underlying reasons for that blunt answer perhaps help explain trends in contemporary Scottish politics.

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SNP manifesto launch: Whooping, hollering and personal appeals

Nicola Sturgeon at manifesto launch Image copyright Getty Images

They whooped, they yelled, they hollered. There was even, at one point, a solitary but distinct "Yee Ha", issuing from the ranks of the invited audience.

Despite the noises off, this was no country hoedown. (Are there still hoedowns? Were there ever? I plead honest ignorance: please don't write in). Nor yet a rock concert. Nor yet again a revivalist rally.

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Holyrood 2016: Fun on Friday with the Liberal Democrats

Willie volcano
Image caption Willie Rennie launched the Lib Dem manifesto at a soft play centre in Edinburgh

Here's a game for a Friday. Loadsafun to play at home. Which animals do our party leaders most resemble?

Now, I'll leave it to you. There is, incidentally, no prize. (Who said "bit like United's season"? That was cheap and underhand.)

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Holyrood 2016: Scottish Tories prepare for (strong) opposition

Ruth Davidson and Tory candidates Image copyright PA
Image caption Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson with party candidates

It has become habitual, of late, to deride or downplay David Steel's famous exhortation to his party faithful. You remember the one: "Go back to your constituencies - and prepare for government!"

(Incidentally, I deploy the familiar "David". He is, of course, now Lord Steel although, while Presiding Officer at Holyrood, he charitably agreed to be called "just Sir David.")

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