Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Wednesday, 1 June 2011 14:26 UK
Minority government

A party that has won more seats than its rivals, but not enough for an overall majority, can form a minority government.

For example, a party would need to win 65 seats for an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP won an overall majority in 2011, but in the 2007 election it won 47 seats, and subsequently formed a minority government. The party depended on the support of other parties to get its bills onto the statute book, since legislation must be approved by a majority of MSPs to become law.

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