Newly-elected MSPs are due to be sworn in tomorrow at the Scottish Parliament's official swearing-in ceremony on Thursday.

After an election, every MSP is sworn in by taking an oath or affirmation.

The leaders of Holyrood's five political parties tend to be sworn in first, before the remaining MSPs proceed in alphabetical order.

Once new MSPs are inducted, they will need to take the oath or make a solemn affirmation, pledging allegiance to the Queen.

This happens during the first meeting of the new Parliament, which is set to take place on the morning of Thursday 13 May.  

Nicola Sturgeon will be the first to do so at 9am on Thursday.

The Herald:

This must be done in English, but members are allowed to repeat in their chosen language.

It's expected that new MSPs will deliver their oath in a variety of languages, from Scots to Doric, Orcadian, German, Urdu and Zimbabwean Shona.

Many MSPs might also take the oath in the Scottish manner, with an uplifted hand but not holding the bible.

They can also choose to wear their own national dress, with SNP members John Swinney, Fulton MacGregor and Humza Yousaf wearing kilts in 2016.

For the swearing-in ceremony for the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament in 2016, outgoing Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick oversaw the oaths and affirmations in three 45-minute batches.

MSPs can either choose to take the oath of allegiance, which has members "swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth," ending with "so help me God"; or they can take the affirmation, which has members "solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth," without any religious reference.

The Herald:

The SNP is preparing for a return to government, having won an emphatic victory in the Holyrood elections, despite failing to gain an overall majority.

Nicola Sturgeon’s party took 64 seats in Thursday’s vote – 62 in constituencies and one on the Highlands and Islands and another in the South Scotland regional list – one shy of a majority but well ahead of the Tories on 31 seats.

With the failure to return 65 MSPs, the case for another independence referendum is weakened, but the Scottish Greens provide an overall pro-independence majority of 72 seats.

In a televised victory speech, Ms Sturgeon said another vote was “the will of the country”, adding: “It is a commitment made to the people by a majority of the MSPs have been elected to our national parliament.

“It is the will of the country.

“Given that outcome, there is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson or anyone else seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future.”

What happens next?

Presiding Officer

Once all members are sworn in on Thursday, the first order of business will be to elect a new Presiding Officer to replace Ken Macintosh.

The new Presiding Officer is expected to be elected on the afternoon of Thursday 13 May. 

Deputy Presiding Officers are expected to be elected on the morning of Friday 14 May.  

The Herald: Ken MacintoshKen Macintosh

Presiding Office Ken Macintosh announced in September last year he was to leave Holyrood at this year’s elections, after more than two decades as an MSP.

Mr Macintosh said that “after much reflection” he had decided not to stand again.

He said it had been an “honour” to have been an MSP since the devolved Scottish Parliament had been established – adding that the institution had “grown in confidence and maturity”.

But he said there were also “clearly many challenges which lie ahead”.

He stated: “The privilege of being Presiding Officer in this, my now final term, is something I will never forget and I will continue to do what I can to support the Parliament and the hopes and ambitions it sustains for our democracy.”

Mr Macintosh was voted in as the MSP for Eastwood in 1999, holding the seat in the next three Holyrood elections.

First Minister

Next, MSPs elect one member to be First Minister – usually the leader of the biggest party in the Parliament.

This is likely to happen on Tuesday 18 May, although these dates need to be agreed by the new Parliament.

Government ministers

The First Minister then selects ministers to form the Scottish Government.

The First Minister’s Motion to appoint Scottish Ministers is likely to take place on Thursday 20 May.

SPCB and committees

After this, Members of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) are appointed and new parliamentary committees are established.

A regular programme of parliamentary business will then be decided. 

Recess dates will also be agreed.