Labour and Tories release Scottish Parliament list seat candidates #SP16


Parties face challenge to hold onto existing seats through second vote system

THE CONSERVATIVE AND LABOUR parties have released a list of candidates ahead of next May’s Scottish Parliamentary elections.

The list seat candidates – who are selected in eight regions of Scotland – provide the best opportunity for both parties to maintain their current parliamentary representation.

Labour, which on current polling would fail to win a single constituency election, has narrowed down its candidates to 106 choices – with many existing MSPs in competition to top the party’s regional selections.

The Tories, who won 12 of the party’s 15 MSPs through the regional vote in 2011, have released three of the total eight selection results.

The Labour leadership duo of Kezia Dugdale and Alex Rowley are already confirmed as top candidates in their respective regions, making it highly likely they will be returned as MSPs even if they lose constituency elections.

Labour MSPs seeking regional nominations include Jackie Baillie, Iain Gray, Jenny Marra Cara Hilton, Neil Findlay, Sarah Boyack and Johann Lamont.

However, existing MSPs face competition from campaigners – including many on the left of the party – and recently rejected MPs including Anas Sarwar.

The regions of Central, Glasgow and Mid-Scotland and Fife will provide the most challenging contests, as a total of 16 MSP are seeking high level nominations in just three regions.

The final vote on the order of Labour candidates, which will be gender balanced, is expected to be declared in early February.

Tory selections have identified the scale of gender inequality within the party.

Out of 28 candidates declared in three regional lists, just five (18 per cent) were women. In the West of Scotland no Conservative candidates are women, but two of the ten candidates are called Maurice.

Existing MSPs Ruth Davidson ( Lothian ), Jackson Carlaw ( West of Scotland ) and Margaret Mitchell ( Central ) topped each membership poll.

Just 15 per cent of Tory constituency candidates are women.

The Scottish National Party confirmed its regional candidates in October, while the Scottish Greens confirmed regional candidates in April.

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Picture courtesy of Wojtek Gurak