Region Overview

Central Scotland incorporates the historically heavily industrialised stretch of the Central Belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It consists of parts of three Council Areas – Falkirk and North Lanarkshire in full, plus the central portion of South Lanarkshire. The original 1999 version of the Central Region extended even further, incorporating the Kilmarnock and Loudon area of East Ayrshire!

From the centuries-old burghs of Falkirk and Hamilton, to the mining and steelworking capitals of Coatbridge and Motherwell, and the Glasgow-overspill New Towns of Cumbernauld and East Kilbride, this region is defined by Central Belt Scotland’s industrial heritage. That meant the area was overwhelmingly Labour by the latter half of the 20th century. Cumbernauld did briefly have a Conservative MP as part of the East Dunbartonshire constituency in February 1974, before that then became an SNP MP from October that year until 1979. 

After that, the whole area was consistently Labour for parliamentary elections, with no other party really getting a look in. When Labour swept almost every seat in the Central Belt in 1997, that just meant their already weighty majorities in this area were padded further.

At that first election, the only thing that prevented them from winning every constituency in the region was their decision not to select incumbent Labour MP Dennis Canavan as their candidate for Falkirk West. A popular local figure, he won easily as an Independent. The list seats then went five to the SNP, with one apiece for the Lib Dems and Conservatives.

MSPs Elected:
9 Labour (all Constituency)
5 SNP (all Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Independent (Dennis Canavan, Falkirk West Constituency)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)

In 2003’s Rainbow Parliament, the same pattern of constituencies prevailed, but the weakening of the SNP vote and surge for smaller parties saw them lose two seats. In their place came one Scottish Socialist Party MSP and, uniquely, a Scottish Senior Citizen’s Unity Party MSP in the form of John Swinburne.

MSPs Elected:
9 Labour (all Constituency)
3 SNP (all Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Independent (Dennis Canavan, Falkirk West Constituency)
1 SSP (Regional)
1 SSCUP (Regional)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)

Falkirk West remained a non-Labour constituency in 2007, though following Canavan’s retirement it was the SNP who picked it up. They also gained the Kilmarnock and Loudon seat, in the last election it formed part of this region. The collapse of smaller parties saw those two rainbow list seats return to the SNP as well.


8 Labour (all Constituency)
7 SNP (5 Regional, 2 Constituency)
1 Conservative (Regional)
1 Liberal Democrat (Regional)

With the SNP surging to majority government in 2011, they picked up six of the nine constituencies in the redrawn region, leaving Labour with just three. Both parties then picked up three list seats to join the single Conservative, as the cratering Lib Dem vote relieved their MSP of a seat.

MSPs Elected:
9 SNP (6 Constituency, 3 Regional)
6 Labour (3 Constituency, 3 Regional)
1 Conservative (Regional)

2016 would bring further success for the SNP in the Constituency races, winning all of them. In compensation, Labour were left with four list seats, and the sudden growth in Conservative support saw that party win the remaining three. Growth for the Greens wasn’t enough to secure a seat, and despite small gains for the Lib Dems, this was the only region they were pushed into 6th place by UKIP.

MSPs Elected:
9 SNP (all Constituency)
4 Labour (all Regional)
3 Conservative (all Regional)

2021 proved to be very similar to 2016, with the SNP maintaining their hold on all nine constituencies in the region, without facing any real challengers. Although Labour only suffered a small decrease in their vote share, growth for the Conservatives and Greens meant they lost their fourth list seat. That went to the Greens instead, whilst the Conservatives held steady on three seats.


9 SNP (all Constituency)
3 Labour (all Regional)
3 Conservative (all Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

Region Map

Overall Regional Result 2021

Regional List Vote and MSPs Elected


#1: Labour: Richard Leonard
#2: Conservative: Stephen Kerr
#3: Labour: Monica Lennon
#4: Conservative: Graham Simpson
#5: Labour: Mark Griffin
#6: Conservative: Meghan Gallacher
#7: Green: Gillian Mackay

Constituency Vote

Total MSPs Elected


9 SNP (all Constituency)
3 Labour (all Regional)
3 Conservative (all Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

Airdrie and Shotts

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Neil Gray
Majority: 5468 (17.1%)
Turnout: 59.0%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Neil Gray
Labour: Richard Leonard
Conservative: Ross Lambie
Liberal Democrat: John Cole
Independent: Jimmy Dowson

Coatbridge and Chryston

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Fulton MacGregor
Majority: 9437 (26.4%)
Turnout: 63.1%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Fulton MacGregor
Labour: Michael McPake
Conservative: Gordon Macdonald
Liberal Democrat: Mhairi Macdonald
Family Party: Leo Lanahan

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Jamie Hepburn
Majority: 9841 (29.4%)
Turnout: 65.2%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Jamie Hepburn
Labour: Mark Griffin
Conservative: Haroun Malik
Liberal Democrat: Elaine Ford

East Kilbride

2021 Results

Image Version

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Collette Stevenson
Majority: 8672 (21.3%)
Turnout: 66.5%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Collette Stevenson
Labour: Monique McAdams
Conservative: Graham Simpson
Liberal Democrat: Paul McGarry

Falkirk East

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Michelle Thomson
Majority: 7585 (21.3%)
Turnout: 62.9%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Michelle Thomson
Labour: Allyson Black
Conservative: Neil Benny
Liberal Democrat: Paul Rolfe
Independent: Peter Kyrkant

Falkirk West

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Michael Matheson
Majority: 11839 (29.9%)
Turnout: 62.2%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Michael Matheson
Labour: Monette Gordon
Conservative: Stephen Kerr
Liberal Democrat: Austin Reid

Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Christina McKelvie
Majority: 4582 (12.6%)
Turnout: 60.9%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Christina McKelvie
Labour: Monica Lennon
Conservative: Meghan Gallacher
Liberal Democrat: Mark McGeever

Motherwell and Wishaw

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Clare Adamson
Majority: 7813 (22.9%)
Turnout: 58.7%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Clare Adamson
Labour: Martine Nolan
Conservative: Nathan Wilson
Liberal Democrat: Martin Veart
Libertarian: Mark Meechan
Communist: Daniel Lambe
UKIP: Neil Wilson

Uddingston and Bellshill

2021 Results

2021 MSP & Majority


SNP - Stephanie Callaghan
Majority: 5306 (14.7%)
Turnout: 60.9%

2021 Candidates

SNP: Stephanie Callaghan
Labour: Frank McNally
Conservative: Bryan Flannagan
Liberal Democrat: Dawn Allan

List Seat Allocation Process

To allocate list seats using the D’Hondt method, each party’s share of the vote is divided by one more than the number of seats they’ve won so far in the process. This is an important part of how the list seats then more fairly represent the diversity of views amongst voters. List votes cast for a party that has won lots of constituency seats are not “wasted”, they just aren’t needed to give their voters fair representation.

When allocating the first list seat, this starts with the number of constituencies won by each party:

  • The SNP won 9 constituencies, so their vote is divided by 10.
  • No one else won any constituencies, so their votes aren’t divided.

That then gives us this (removing the parties that clearly don’t have enough votes for clarity):

Since Labour have the highest total here, they receive the first regional list seat. We add that to their total, giving them 1 seat overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 2.

This time the Conservatives have the highest total, so they receive the second regional list seat. That gives them 1 seat overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 2.

Labour have the highest total, so they receive the third regional list seat. That gives them 2 seats overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 3.

The Conservatives have the highest total, so they receive the fourth regional list seat. We add that to their total, giving them 2 seats overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 3.

Labour have the highest total, so they receive the fifth regional list seat. That gives them 3 seats overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 4.

The Conservatives have the highest total, so they receive the sixth regional list seat. We add that to their total, giving them 3 seats overall so far, and therefore for the next round of allocation their share is divided by 4.

The Greens have the highest total, so they receive the seventh and final regional list seat. We add that to their total, giving them 1 seat overall. Therefore, the final distribution of seats across the Central Scotland region is:


9 SNP (all Constituency)
3 Labour (all Regional)
3 Conservative (all Regional)
1 Green (Regional)

Regional List Candidates 2021

  1. Danish Ashraf
  2. Christina McKelvie
  3. Neil Gray
  4. Michelle Thomson
  5. Fulton MacGregor
  6. Stephanie Callaghan
  7. Grant Ferguson
  8. Iain Sinclair
  9. Paul Welsh
  10. Josh Wilson
  11. Cameron McManus
  1. Stephen Kerr
  2. Graham Simpson
  3. Meghan Gallacher
  4. Haroun Malik
  5. Neil Benny
  6. Ross Lambie
  7. Nathan Wilson
  8. Gordon Macdonald
  9. Bryan Flannagan
  1. Richard Leonard
  2. Monica Lennon
  3. Mark Griffin
  4. Monique McAdams
  5. Chris Costello
  6. Michael McPake
  7. Allyson Black
  1. Gillian Mackay
  2. Rosemary McGowan
  3. Claire Williams
  4. Tom McLaughlin
  5. Patrick McAleer
  6. Kyle Davidson
  7. James Stuart Duffin
  1. Paul McGarry
  2. Mark McGeever
  3. Dawn Allan
  4. Graham Watson
  5. Ewan McRobert
  6. Karen Utting
  7. Austin Reid
  1. John Mortimer
  2. Lee William
  1. Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh
  2. Lynne Anderson
  3. Jim Walker
  4. Margaret Lynch
  1. Mary Devlin
  2. Jonathan Stanley
  3. Matt Alexander
  4. Sandra Hill
  5. Billy Ross
  6. Sandy Smart
  7. Lachlan Macneil
  1. Dave Frankland
  2. Claire McClaren
  3. John Irvine
  4. Louise Bannigan
  5. Di Meechan
  6. Colin McMillan
  1. Leo Lanahan
  2. John McGrory
  3. Helen McEachen
  4. Christine MacIver
  5. Christopher Anthony Hendry
  1. Mark Meechan
  2. Katrina Jane Angus
  1. Alan Melville
  2. Hugh MacDonald Skinner
  3. Alexander MacGregor
  4. Ann Murray
  1. Neil Wilson
  2. Yvonne MacKay
  3. Steve Unwin
  4. George Cowan
  1. John Robertson
  • Paddy Hogg