Labour’s Lewis Macdonald has represented the centre of Aberdeen since the parliament opened in 1999. However, his majorities have been going down with each election as the SNP has chipped away at the Labour vote.
At the last election, Mr Macdonald only secured the seat with a majority of 382 over the SNP – and, according to one authoritative assessment, this has been eroded even more by boundary changes so that the SNP now actually has a notional majority of 349.
Either way, this is a very tight contest. Mr Macdonald has worked very hard to keep this seat, but in Kevin Stewart he is up against the deputy leader of the city council.
If even a small fraction of the pro-SNP swing detected in national polls is translated through into this constituency, then Mr Stewart will be elected on 5 May.
Also standing: Sheila Thomson (Liberal Democrat), Sandy Wallace (Conservative), Mike Phillips (National Front).
Prediction: SNP gain from Labour.
Argyll and Bute
There is one issue dominating the election in this west coast constituency – school closures.
The council proposed a series of school closures a year ago, which caused a massive backlash. Then the SNP group on the council (after taking advice from Mike Russell, the education secretary) decided to start opposing the cuts.
Mr Russell – whose wife is a teacher in the area – is now the SNP candidate. The issue of school closures – which ones will actually close and who is to blame – is still swirling around Mr Russell and the SNP and has the potential to damage the SNP vote.
However, this seat did elect an SNP MSP in 2007 in the popular Jim Mather, and Mr Russell will be hoping that he can take over where the retiring Mr Mather left off.
He does face a strong challenge, though, from Alison Hay of the Liberal Democrats. Privately, senior Lib Dems have been talking up her chances, but she will have to buck the national trend of anti-Lib Dem voting to take this constituency.
Also standing: Jamie McGrigor (Conservative), Mick Rice (Labour), George White (Liberal), George Doyle (Independent).
Prediction: SNP hold.
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
The Liberal Democrats have a very good record of getting elected then working an area so well that they guarantee their re-election for many years to come.
That happened here with Jamie Stone, the Liberal Democrat MSP from 1999 until his decision to retire from politics this year.
Without that personal vote for Mr Stone, the Nationalists believe this seat is vulnerable, and although an assessment of the boundary changes gives Lib Dem Robbie Rowantree a notional majority of 2,500, SNP strategists believe that is vulnerable.
The SNP candidate is the experienced list MSP Rob Gibson, who is well known in the area.
The Liberal Democrats expect their vote to decline, but are hoping enough of their supporters stay with them to keep the SNP at bay.
Also standing: John MacKay (Labour), Edward Mountain (Conservative).
Prediction: SNP gain from Liberal Democrats.
This appears to be one of the most open constituencies of all in Scotland. All four of the main parties now appear to be within 3,500 votes of each other, so – conceivably – it could go to any of them.
Labour’s Sarah Boyack is the sitting MSP, but she holds a notional majority of just 719 over the SNP.
Nationalists have been suggesting that Ms Boyack knows she is vulnerable: why else, they ask, would she put herself on the regional list as well?
But it appeared to Labour before the campaign started that the Liberal Democrats would be their main rival in Edinburgh Central, and that was why Ms Boyack was worried about her position.
With the Lib Dem vote falling away, Labour managers hope they will attract enough wavering Lib Dems to head off Marco Biagi’s SNP challenge.
Also standing: Iain McGill (Conservative), Alex Cole-Hamilton (Liberal Democrat).
Prediction: Labour hold.
This should be one of the most comfortable Liberal Democrat seats in the country. Sitting MSP Mike Pringle enjoys a notional majority of nearly 4,000 – but, ever since the campaign started, Labour strategists have been insisting that their canvass returns show a big swing from the Lib Dems to Labour.
Labour leaders believe it will be enough to send Paul Godzik, their candidate, to Holyrood for the first time, while the Lib Dems think that Mr Pringle has a strong enough personal vote to confound the national anti-Lib Dem voting patterns.
Labour will need to start picking up seats from the Lib Dems in Scotland’s urban areas if they are to match the SNP’s success in doing that in rural Scotland. This would be as good a place as any for them to start.
Also standing: Gavin Brown (Conservative), Jim Eadie (SNP).
Prediction: Labour gain from Liberal Democrats.