The SNP has failed to get a second absolute majority in Holyrood as the resurgent Scottish Conservatives made large gains.
The SNP won 63 out of 129 seats at the Scottish Parliament as the Scottish Conservatives surged 8.1% to gain 31 MSPs, beating Scottish Labour with 24 MSPs.
In a historic move, the Scottish Conservatives have become the second-largest party in the Scottish Parliament, gaining 16 seats as the SNP lost 6 and Scottish Labour lost 13.
The Greens also beat the Liberal Democrats.
It is the third successive victory for the SNP, but with just missing out on a majority by two seats, it is thought the SNP may aim to do a deal with the Greens in order to have majority control at Holyrood.
In a surprising surge, Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson wrested the Edinburgh Central constituency from the SNP.
Congratulations to @Ruth_E_Davidson on this historic result: she is a leader who will stand up to the SNP & give Scotland strong opposition.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) May 6, 2016
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) May 6, 2016
In further good news for the resurgent party, her deputy Jackson Carlaw defeated Labour’s Ken Macintosh — who has held the seat since the parliament’s foundation in 1999 – in Eastwood.
Last time around the SNP won 69 seats out of 129 — a clear majority — showing signs that the SNP’s dominance had peaked.
A terrible night for Scottish Labour saw them lose 13 seats, crashing their total to 24.
The Scottish Greens won six seats, seeing them become the fourth largest party in Holyrood ahead of the Liberal Democrats on five.
The Scottish voting system is designed to prevent one party winning a majority, so the fact that the SNP achieved this in 2011 was a formidable achievement.
Holyrood’s Additional Member System works through electing 73MPSs through a first-past-the-post “winner takes all” system and also a proportional representation system – designed to prevent majorities by representing smaller parties – which elects 56 regional MSPs from eight electoral regions.