The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.


Gaelic Service

A service to develop the Parliament’s links with the Gaelic-speaking community.

Garden Lobby

The main thoroughfare which joins all the buildings in the Parliament complex together.

general election

An election in which a poll is held for all 129 seats in the Parliament.

general principles of a bill

The overall policy and purpose of a bill, rather than its detailed provisions.

General Questions, General Question Time

See Question Time.


The executive body that administers the running of the country.

Government Initiated Questions

Parliamentary questions initiated by the Scottish Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Great Britain (GB)

That part of the United Kingdom comprising Scotland, England and Wales.


A group can be formed of members who represent parties with fewer than 5 seats in the Parliament, or of independent members (who do not represent a political party). The group must have at least 5 members, and is entitled to nominate a representative as a member of the Parliamentary Bureau (rule 5.2.2).

group representative

See group. See party representative.


A list setting out the how amendments to a bill are to be grouped for debate.

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