Scottish Parliamentary Election 2021

The full results from the Argyll and Bute constituency, and for the Argyll and Bute count of the Highlands and Islands regions,  are now available:

Scottish Parliamentary Election - 6th May 2021 - results

Notice of election expenses

An election was held on 6 May 2021 to elect Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to the Scottish Parliament.

There are currently 129 elected members in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, of which 73 are constituency members and 56 are list members representing electoral regions.

Elections to the Scottish Parliament are carried out using the Additional Member Voting system. This voting system combines the traditional First Past the Post system (FPP) and Proportional Representation (PR).

Everyone in Scotland is represented by 8 MSPs:

  • One for their constituency e.g. Argyll and Bute
  • Seven for the larger region in which they live e.g. Highlands and Islands region

There are currently 3 Parliamentary Constituencies in the Highland Council area.

You can currently vote to return a constituency MSP for:

  • Argyll and Bute

and List MSP's for the Highlands and Islands Region.

The Highlands and Islands Region of the Scottish Parliament

The Highlands and Islands Region comprises:

  • Argyll and Bute
  • Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
  • Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch
  • Inverness and Nairn
  • Moray
  • Shetland
  • Orkney
  • Na h-Eileanan an Iar

The Election Timetable can be found here

Pippa Milne is the Constituency Returning Officer for the Argyll and Bute constituency and Donna Manson is the Regional Returning Officer for the Highlands and Islands Region.

Please note:

While the Helensburgh and Lomond area sits within the Argyll and Bute Council area, it should be noted that for the purposes of the Scottish Parliament election this area sits within the West Scotland Region and the Dumbarton Constituency. Further information on the elections for this Region can be found here. 

Statutory Notices

Information for candidates

Information for voters - this page gives guidance and timetables for voting in this election

Election timetable

ActionDays before / after electionDate

Notice of Election: to be published by 4pm on


Monday 15 March 2021 (earliest)

Main Issue of Poll Cards


Tuesday – Wednesday 16/17 March 2021

Delivery of nomination papers: between the hours of 10.00am and 4.00pm on any day after the date of publication of the notice of election


from Tuesday 16 March 2021

Latest time for lodging Nomination Papers not later than 4.00pm on


Wednesday 31 March 2021

Latest time for lodging appointment of Election Agent not later than 4.00pm on


Wednesday 31 March 2021

Latest time for withdrawal of Nomination Paper not later than 4.00pm on


Wednesday 31 March 2021

Publication of Statement as to Persons Nominated/Notice of Poll and list of polling stations


As soon as practicable after 5.00pm on Wednesday 31 March 2021

Deadline for receiving new postal vote and postal proxy applications, and for changes to existing postal or proxy votes, not later than 5.00pm on


Tuesday 6 April 2021

Issue of Postal Votes (1st issue)


Wed-Fri 14-16 April

Replacement lost and spoilt postal ballot papers


From day of issue

Last date for receipt of new applications for the Register


Monday 19 April 2021

Deadline for cancelling existing postal or proxy votes


Tuesday 20 April 2021

Issue of Postal Votes (2nd issue)


Friday 16 April 2021

Issue of Postal Votes (3rd issue)


Monday 26 April 2021

Last day for new applications to vote by proxy (not postal proxy): not later than 5.00pm on


Tuesday 27 April 2021

Last day for the appointment of Polling and Counting Agents


Wednesday 28 April 2021

Last date for clerical amendments to register (supplement) 9.00pm
New emergency proxy applications – 5.00pm


Thursday 6 May 2021

Last day to apply for lost or spoilt replacement postal ballot papers – not later than 10.00pm on


Thursday 6 May 2021




Verification and Count


Friday 7 May 2021 – 9am

Date for delivery of return of declarations for election expenses


Friday 11 June 2021

Information for candidates and agents

We will post information as soon it becomes available for those interested in standing for election in the following constituencies/regions:

  • Argyll and Bute Constituency

Candidates and agents awareness session

The Returning Officer would like to offer an awareness virtual briefing session to prospective candidates and their agents. The awareness session will cover topics such as:

  • The Nomination Procedure
  • The Election timetable
  • The issuing of Poll Cards 
  • Postal Ballot packs
  • Spending limits

Candidate / Agent Briefing

Tuesday 13th April at 10.30am for Candidates and Agents

If you would like to register your interest to attend this session, please telephone the Council’s Election Office on 01546 603264 or e-mail the office at 

The Electoral Commission provide guidance and resources (external link) for candidates and their agents for the Scottish Parliamentary election.

Nomination pack - Scottish Parliamentary Election 6 May 2021

In light of Covid19 our nomination process has been revised

Nomination process for Candidates and Agents

Financial assistance for disabled people running in the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Election

The Access to Elected Office Fund offers financial assistance to disabled people running in the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary election and in any by-elections for Local Authority and Scottish Parliament seats. The fund is delivered by Inclusion Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government.

The count

As per a direction from the Electoral Management board the Returning Officer must ensure that the Count timing (verification and count) of the first ballot boxes are opened no earlier than 9 am and no later than 10 am on Friday, 7 May 2021, to allow verification and counting of constituency and regional ballots in the constituencies.

The venue is Lochgilphead Joint Campus Sports Hall, Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8AA.

The count is not open to the public and access is restricted to election staff, candidates, their agents and the media, accredited observers and Electoral Commission representatives.

The results

The results will appear on the Election Results page after each count is concluded.

Nomination process for candidates

This process has been developed to assist you with the submission of your Constituency nomination papers in a safe and secure manner.

Information for Candidates and Agents

  • Publication of Notice of Election on Monday 15 March 2021
  • Nominations can be lodged between 16 March 2021 until 31 March (before 4pm)
  • For informal checking, please scan all papers of your pack and send to
  • The Election Team will book an online Skype Session to conduct the information checking of papers with you
  • You can deliver your own nomination, or have a 2nd informal check performed if an error was detected

To become nominated you need to submit:

  • The complete set of nomination papers by hand to: The Argyll and Bute Council HQ, Election Office, Lochgilphead PA31 8RT
  • Plus the £500 deposit can be paid by cheque, bankers draft or BACS
  • Note: the deposit if not forfeited will be returned to the payee of the deposit

Please email or contact 01546 603264 (weekdays between 9am and 5pm) to arrange an appointment. Nomination papers must be delivered before 4pm on Wednesday 31 March.

Download a copy of the nomination process for candidates here