# How Regional Lists Work - Scottish Parliamentary Elections

There's been a lot of talk about the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in 2016, particularly the Regional Vote. This uses the **D'Hondt** method of calculation. It's complicated, so I've had a wee look and this is how you work it out:

In total, the Scottish Parliament has **129** MSPs. That's made up of **73** constituency MSPs and **56** regional "list" MSPs.

The constituency seats are allocated through the "first past the post" method, just like in the UK General Election.

The eight regions each have seven MSPs (8x7=56) that are picked from "lists" made by each party. The seats are allocated through a method closer to proportional representation.

Take the North East Scotland region - it's made up of ten constituencies. Now say in our *hypothetical, imaginary, fictional election*, the constituency results are as follows:

- SNP 8 seats
- Lab 1 seat
- Con 1 seat

And in the Regional List vote (your second vote), imagine the results are as follows (in votes cast):

- SNP 140,000
- Lab 50,000
- Con 40,000
- LD 11,000
- Grn 8,000

What happens then is we take the amount of **constituency seats** won by each party and **add 1**. That's the **First Divisor**. Therefore, the party "first divisors" are as follows:

- SNP
**9**(8+1) - Lab
**2**(1+1) - Con
**2**(1+1) - LD
**1**(0+1) - Grn
**1**(0+1)

Next we divide the total votes for each party by its First Divisor and the result tells us who wins the first regional seat:

- SNP
**15,556**(140,000/**9**) - Lab
**25,000**(50,000/**2**) - Con
**20,000**(40,000/**2**) - LD
**11,000**(10,000/**1**) - Grn
**8,000**(8,000/**1**)

Lab have the highest number, therefore gain a regional seat, given to a politician on their list. That brings their total of MSPs to **2**.

Now we go on to the **Second Divisor**, which, like before is calculated from the **new** amount of seats each party has **+1**

- SNP
**9**(8+1) - Lab
**3**(**2**+1) - Con
**2**(1+1) - LD
**1**(0+1) - Grn
**1**(0+1)

We do the total votes division again:

- SNP
**15,556**(140,000/**9**) - Lab
**16,667**(50,000/**3**) - Con
**20,000**(40,000/**2**) - LD
**11,000**(10,000/**1**) - Grn
**8,000**(8,000/**1**)

This time Con gains a regional seat, bringing their total MSPs to **2**

See how it's working? The **Third Divisor** is now:

- SNP
**9**(8+1) - Lab
**3**(2+1) - Con
**3**(**2**+1) - LD
**1**(0+1) - Grn
**1**(0+1)

Which means:

- SNP
**15,556**(140,000/**9**) - Lab
**16,667**(50,000/**3**) - Con
**13,333**(40,000/**3**) - LD
**11,000**(10,000/**1**) - Grn
**8,000**(8,000/**1**)

So Lab gain again this time. We carry on like this until all seven regional seats have been allocated.

The results in our *hypothetical* case end up:

- 1st divisor - Lab +1
- 2nd divisor - Con +1
- 3rd divisor - Lab +1
- 4th divisor - SNP +1
- 5th divisor - SNP +1
- 6th divisor - Con +1
- 7th divisor - SNP +1

Then the final result:

- SNP
**11 MSPs**(8 constituency + 3 regional) - Lab
**3 MSPs**(1 constituency + 2 regional) - Con
**3 MSPs**(1 constituency + 2 regional) - LD
**0** - Grn
**0**

**That's** how you do it!

I think.