This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The rules around electing MSPs to the Scottish Parliament will be modernised and made simpler and more efficient thanks to changes introduced in Westminster.
The Scottish Parliament (Elections Etc.) Order 2010 was laid in Parliament on Monday 25 October.
The Order provides for the conduct of elections for membership of the Scottish Parliament and updates the existing provisions on the conduct of those elections.
It makes a number of changes to the way MSPs are elected, including:
registered party names will appear first on the regional ballot paper followed by the party description, with the option to use the preface “Scottish”
a return to manual counting of the ballot papers, following the use of electronic counting in 2007
the re-introduction of separate ballot papers for the constituency and regional votes
a longer period (extended by an additional seven working days) between the close of nominations and the election, which will improve the way postal votes are handled
The Secretary of State Michael Moore said: “I welcome today’s Order and the positive changes it will make to the way the Scottish Parliament elections are run. There is no doubt public confidence needs to be repaired after the problems that were experienced in 2007. This Order is now with the Electoral Commission, electoral administrators, political parties and the Scottish Government which will allow them to begin planning the Holyrood elections in detail. The Scotland Office will work closely across these groups to ensure the 5 May elections run smoothly.”