While there may have been little change in individual constituencies, the number of MSPs standing down means that there was always going to be a new look Holyrood.
Ruth McElroy, director of organisation Change the Chat said: "It's been great to see an increase in the number of women elected to Holyrood.
"We applaud most of the parties for taking the first essential step of seeking to rectify the huge deficit in numbers.”
Here are just some of the new MSPs taking up their seats:
Ms Stewart will become the first woman of colour to serve as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament after winning the Glasgow Kelvin seat.
Ms Stewart held the seat for the SNP with 14,535 votes, succeeding Sandra White. Ms Stewart said it had been “a wee bit of a failure of all political parties” that it had taken so long for a woman of colour to be elected as an MSP.
Siobhian Brown took the Ayr seat from the Conservatives for the SNP by just 170 votes, becoming a first-time MSP in the Scottish Parliament for 2021.
Ms Brown won 18,881 votes, compared to Conservative John Scott’s 18,711. Mr Scott had held the seat for 20 years.
Ms Brown was formerly a councillor for South Ayrshire Council.
Former SNP MP for Moray, Angus Robertson won Edinburgh Central from the Scottish Conservatives, with 16,276 votes.
The result meant the Tories were pushed into second, on 11,544 votes, with Labour coming third on 6,839 votes.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Robertson said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“Edinburgh Central is where I’ve grown up so the opportunity to represent all of its communities in the next Scottish Parliament is something which is very close to my heart.”
Edinburgh Central was the seat of the Conservatives’ former leader, Ruth Davidson who didn’t stand this time round.
Mr Robertson is former Deputy Leader of the SNP and served as leader of the SNP in the House of Commons from 2007 to 2017.
The SNP also held its Banffshire and Buchan Coast seat with new MSP Karen Adam taking over from Stewart Stevenson who represented the area for 20 years.
Ms Adam is a first time MSP who was formerly a councillor for the Mid-Formartine ward of Aberdeenshire after being elected in 2017.
The SNP took the seat of East Lothian from Scottish Labour, in a huge coup for the party.
Paul McLennan became the new MSP with 17,968 votes – giving him a majority of more than 1,000 over his Labour rival, Martin Whitfield who stood after incumbent Iain Gray retired.
Mr McLennan has served as a local councillor in East Lothian Council since 2007 for the Dunbar ward.
Neil Gray won the Airdrie & Shotts seat for the SNP, taking over from Alex Neil who held the seat for the SNP from 2011 to 2021.
Mr Gray is a former MP for the same region having been elected in 2015.
He was the SNP Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions until he resigned in order to run for the Scottish Parliament.
New MSP for Aberdeen Donside is Jackie Dunbar who secured the first SNP victory of the day.
Like many other new MSPs, Ms Dunbar is a councillor, serving on Aberdeen City Council, and will keep that job until the next local election.
She said concerns that accusations against her predecessor Mark McDonald could have impacted the party’s majority were “not something that crossed my mind”.
Mr McDonald won the seat for the SNP five years ago but quit the party in 2018 and was briefly suspended by Parliament after being accused of inappropriate behaviour by three women.
Jenni Minto increased the SNP majority in Argyll & Bute after her predecessor Mike Russell decided to stand down.
She describes herself in her Twitter profile as: “Community activist, islander, independence campaigner & accountant.”
Former West Dunbartonshire councillor Marie McNair was elected as the new MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie.
She was a councillor for the ward Clydebank Waterfront in West Dumbartonshire Council.
Michelle Thomson won Falkirk East for the SNP.
She was formerly MP for Edinburgh West from May 2015 until May 2017.
Natalie Don was elected for the SNP in Renfrewshire North and West.
Ms Don is a former local councillor in the area.
Evelyn Tweed was a former councillor for Stirling Council for the Trossachs & Teith Ward, and has just been elected as SNP MSP for the same region.
Audrey Nicoll has just been elected as MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine.
She was a former SNP councillor in Torry and Ferryhill, elected in 2019.
She has also been a local SNP party activist since 2015.
Jim Fairlie has just been elected as MSP in Perthshire South & Kinross-shire for the SNP.
Former chairman of the party, he has had two previous unsuccessful attempts at getting elected as a member of parliament.
Stephanie Callaghan has been elected as MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill for the SNP.
Ms Callaghan is a former councillor representing the Hamilton North & East ward.
She is replacing Richard Lyle in her constituency.
Mairi McAllan has been elected as MSP in Clydesdale also for SNP.
She has taken the seat that was previously held by Aileen Campbell.
She is the daughter of an SNP councillor.
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