The Scottish National Party has won a fourth term in power in the devolved parliament just short of an outright majority, with its leader Nicola Sturgeon reiterating her demand for a fresh referendum on independence.
The SNP won 64 seats in the 129-seat parliament in Thursday's vote, just shy of the 65 it was seeking for an overall majority to lend strength to its push for a referendum, a demand British PM Boris Johnson has condemned as "reckless."
The Scottish Conservatives retained their second party status with 31 seats while Scottish Labour won 22 seats, followed by the Scottish Greens with 8 seats and the Liberal Democrats with 4. The result saw little change from the last vote in 2016.
The UK voted in local and regional elections on "Super Thursday" .
Johnson's Conservative Party performed strongly in England, outdoing Labour in its traditional heartlands although the main UK opposition party held onto power in the devolved parliament in Wales.
But the focus was on Scotland, where the vote for the devolved parliament in Edinburgh saw the ruling SNP seek the nation's backing for its planned "indyref2", which could reshape the UK.
Sturgeon brushed off the lack of an outright majority, saying that along with the Scottish Greens, Holyrood had an increased pro-independence majority.
"There is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson or indeed for anyone else seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our own future," she said.
"I believe passionately that the interests of people across the UK and in particular the people of Scotland are best served when we work together," Johnson wrote to Sturgeon congratulating on her success..