The act did not substantially change the method in which the Scottish counties elected members of Parliament. As a general rule the counties each continued to elect one member. However, before the Act six small counties elected an MP only in alternate Parliaments. This arrangement was ended, but a different solution was adopted for each pair of counties. Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire became a single constituency. Buteshire and Caithness-shire were given a separate MP in every Parliament. Cromartyshire and Nairnshire were each united with a different neighbouring county, to form Ross and Cromarty, and Elginshire and Nairnshire.
Edinburgh and Glasgow now had two MPs; Aberdeen, Dundee, Greenock, Paisley and Perth one each. The remaining burghs combined in districts to elect 18 MPs, much as before; but now individual votes were added up among burghs across the constituency — in the past the MP had been elected at a meeting of representatives from each burgh. Boundary changes meant that a burgh for parliamentary elections might not have the same boundaries as the burgh for other purposes.
The effect of the Reform Act was considerable. Before 1832 the Scottish Parliamentary electorate had been about 5,000 adult males. Following the passing of the Act, the number of Scottish MPs increased from 45 to 53 and the franchise increased by an even greater proportion, growing from under 5,000 of the 2,300,000 population to 65,000 voters (now covering householders of £10 value in the burghs and property owners of £10 or tenants of £50 rental in the country seats).