MORE people have registered to vote in this week’s Scottish Parliament elections than ever before, according to newly released statistics.

The figures from the Electoral Commission in Scotland show that 4,280,785 Scots have registered to vote for Holyrood MSPs. This is almost 200,000 more than registered ahead of the 2016 Scottish parliamentary elections.

Five years ago, 4,098,462 Scots registered to have their say in the Holyrood vote.

The figures raise hopes for record voter turnout. No Scottish parliamentary elections since devolution began have seen a turnout of higher than the 58% achieved in 1999.

In 2016, 55.8% of registered Scots cast their votes in the Holyrood elections.

This year and as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in-person voting will be handled with physical distancing in place, while postal voting is expected to be more popular than ever.

Of the people registered, a total of 1,011,321 (23.62%) have postal votes.

READ MORE: Reader poll: What do you think about the Holyrood elections on May 6?

Scots have been told not to worry if Covid interferes and means they won’t be able to vote on May 6, as a system is in place to nominate emergency proxies.

Staff will also be on hand to manage the number of people allowed inside polling stations at any one time.

This might mean that voters will be asked to queue to enter their station, which will be open from 7am to 10pm.

Anyone in the queue at their polling station at 10pm will be able to vote.

Malcolm Burr, convener of the Electoral Management Board for Scotland, said: “This year voting in person will look a little different to previous elections.

"You can help keep yourself and others safe by following the safety measures that will be in place at the polling place.

"This includes bringing a face covering, unless you are exempt, and sanitising your hands on entering and leaving the polling place.

"If you are asked to queue, this will be so that you and others can follow the physical distancing measures in place so please be patient while you wait for your turn.

"If people are unsure of what to do at the polling place, or need any help, staff will be happy to assist."

Andy O’Neill, head of the Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: "If you become unwell or have to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day itself, you don’t need to miss out on your vote.

"You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day, so someone you trust can vote on your behalf.

"You can do this by contacting your local electoral registration office."