Scotland politics

Henry McLeish wants Holyrood's current voting system scrapped

Henry McLeish Image copyright SNS
Image caption Henry McLeish is calling for first past the post voting system used to elect most MSPs to be replaced

A former first minister is calling for first past the post voting system used to elect most MSPs to be replaced with proportional representation (PR).

Henry McLeish, who was first minister between 2000 and 2001, told Good Morning Scotland he believes PR would force parties to work together.

The interview coincides with the 20th anniversary of the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament on 12 May 1999.

It was the parliament's first meeting in 292 years.

He said said the first past the post element of the election should be scrapped and replaced, adding: "You could have a PR system that could retain the constituencies, but possibly have two members but elected on a different basis what that would do in my view is give you a parliament that would never have an overall majority.

"That would be one box that I would gratefully tick.

"Secondly, it would mean that people would have to speak to each other."

He also said it was still to early to say whether the parliament had been a success.

Mr McLeish, who led a Labour-Lib Dem executive in the parliament's first session, said that Holyrood has barely come of age.

He added: "It's in its infancy... In the stock of things, Westminster has been on that site in some form for nearly 1,000 years - we're just on the foothills of building a new Scotland, a new parliament, so in that sense I think there is a great opportunity to reflect seriously and then look forward."

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