The Powers of the First Minister


The powers that a First Minister has limits the ability of the Parliament to hold them to account. The First Minister (FM) is elected by a vote of MSPs from all parties although in practice the FM is usually the leader of the party that wins the most seats in the election.

The First Minister's powers and roles include:

  • choosing the Scottish Cabinet. The Scottish Cabinet is made up of a number of Ministers that lead the different departments of the Scottish government, eg the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning.
  • chairing Scottish Cabinet meetings and setting the direction of the Scottish government.
  • appointing senior law officers in Scotland.
  • representing Scotland at home and abroad.