We now have a full slate of Scottish regions accounted for through our Region Watch series.  You can see each of the individual posts by clicking on the links below:

Highlands & Islands
North East Scotland
Mid-Scotland & Fife
West Scotland
Central Scotland
South Scotland

The astute among you will probably have taken note of our predictions in each region and know the overall scores on the doors.  To pull it all together, the regional results have been collated in the image below:

Which makes the total seats:

Also, information I had noted throughout on the split of candidates between men and women, and between new and returning MSPs.  With our analysis, I make it that we’re currently projecting 46 female MSPs (35%) which is a marginal increase on the previous session.  We’d also see 34 new faces in Holyrood (26%) which, given we had 20 MSPs standing down, shouldn’t be a big shock – but it will be interesting to see how having a quarter of all MSPs feeling their way into the job will play out.

Anyway – back to the baseline numbers.  From the figures we’ve projected (and please treat this as you would any opinion poll, subject to the usual caveats, questioning of methodology, scepticism of the outcomes etc) we’d have Labour up 4 seats, the SNP down 1, the Conservatives up 1, the Lib Dems down 5, the Greens up 1 and Margo returning, so no change on the Independent figure.  Which, on the face of it is minimal change from 2007 – Labour winning back their position as Scotland’s largest party and a marked decline in the Lib Dem vote having an impact on their outcome in seats.  Note also that the Lib Dem representation in West and South is limited to 1 list seat, and they are wiped out in both Central and Glasgow on these figures – the first time in the devolution period that one of the “big four” would fail to return at least 1 MSP in each of the 8 electoral regions.

For outcomes, we’d likely be looking at minority government, since there would only be potential for two winning coalitions: Lab-SNP (96) and Lab-Con (68).  SNP-Con, totalling 64, might be workable given we need a Presiding Officer from somewhere, but it would be precarious.  And unless either the Conservatives (more likely, though I wouldn’t say odds on) or the Lib Dems voted for Alex Salmond in the First Ministerial vote, that minority government would be Labour run… though how long it would last is anybody’s guess.  Mine is that Labour wouldn’t get the same kind of dispensation from their opposition as the SNP got to run the last government since at Westminster they are overtly hostile to the two governing parties there. (Jeff addition:- One point to make here is that Labour seats exceed SNP + Greens together which could prove crucial as the post-election wrangling gets underway, though if I’d given that 7th Glasgow seat to the SNP, an SNP/Green coalition would be ahead by 1 seat, assuming (amongst other things) that Lib Dems and Tories would abstain).

In the coming weeks, we’ll try to sharpen up our analysis, look for the (massive!) holes in our local knowledge, perhaps change around a few seats and see how close we get to the final outcome.  In the meantime, knock yourselves out with working out who will form the next government!