Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Bill


About the Bill

The Bill as introduced allows arrangements to be put in place for the Scottish general election in response to Covid-19. The election is planned for 6 May 2021. It will:

  • change the deadline for postal vote applications to give more time to process an expected high level of requests to vote by post
  • make “dissolution” (the time before the election when MSPs no longer hold office) last 1 day, allowing the Parliament to make decisions if the election needs to be postponed
  • give the Scottish Ministers power to hold an all-postal election and to hold polling over multiple days, if appropriate
  • allow flexible timing for the first meeting of the new Parliament and the election of a new Presiding Officer
  • give a reserve power to the current Presiding Officer to postpone the 2021 election by up to 6 months in certain circumstances

Stage 1

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has been designated the lead Committee for this Bill. 

Stage 2

At its meeting on 17 December 2020 the Committee considered the Bill at Stage 2

Read the meeting papers and official report 


The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee launched its call for views on the Bill on 17 November 2020.

The closing date for responses was Sunday 22 November. The submissions received are available on Citizen Space at the link below. 


Information provided to the Committee by the Scottish Government on the uptake of postal voting for the Scottish Parliament Election

Work by other Committees

The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee published its report on the Bill on 25 November 2020.  


The Committee published its Stage 1 report on 26 November 2020.  


The Stage 1 Debate on the Bill was held on 10 December 2020

Read the Official Report  

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