Chapman defeats challenge by Zara Kitson with internal vote
GREEN SOCIALIST Maggie Chapman has triumphed in the Scottish Green Party co-convenorship election.
Chapman, who faced competition from Glasgow activist and MSP candidate Zara Kitson, won a ballot of party members following a month long contest.
The re-election of Chapman secures her joint leadership of the party, which is also led by MSP Patrick Harvie, ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections in May.
Chapman, who is the party’s lead candidate in the North-East region and also rector of Aberdeen University, now faces the challenge of helping steer the party from its post referendum surge in membership towards a higher number of MSPs next May.
Reacting to the result, Chapman said: “Delighted to be re-elected Co-Convener of Scottish Green Party. Time to build on 2 years hard work. Congratulations to Zara Kitson on a good campaign.
“Also congratulations to all the other candidates elected in the Scottish Green Party internal elections. Here’s to a big year.”
The campaign between Chapman and Kitson led a boost for Green arguments in the media, with both candidates providing a series of op-eds on CommonSpace, Bella Caledonia, The National Newspaper and other platforms.
Although Kitson secured the backing of both Green MSPs – Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone – the majority of party members voted for Chapman’s re-election.
Kitson stayed positive, despite the result: “Whether it’s the need for rent controls or a fracking ban, radical land reform or community empowerment green ideas have never been more necessary. Our time is now. I look forward to working with Maggie and our members to see a green MSP elected in every region of Scotland in May.”
Stephen Paton, who was elected at the party’s communications co-ordinator, told CommonSpace: “It was a really positive election for the party. A lot of people got a stronger sense of how the party and selections system worked. It opened up the principle that any role and position can be challenged. That’s the democracy within the Greens – and it applies up to the top positions.
“One of the positive aspects was the amount of coverage we got in the press and it gave us a platform for our ideas in the lead up to 2016.”
Recent polls have placed the Scottish Greens on between five and eight per cent on the list vote for the Holyrood elections.
At the party’s recent conference co-convenor Patrick Harvie argued that a strong performance for the Greens would provide a left-wing constructive force in parliament.
The break down of the vote has not yet been released.
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Picture courtesy of Scottish Green Party