04 January 2006

The Best of the Rest

Tory Deputy Leader Murdo Fraser has failed in his bid to be selected for Perth, where his Party came close to beating Roseanna Cunningham of the SNP in 2003. However, Brian Monteith's suspension and resignation from the Party has created a vacancy in Stirling, where the Tory maverick had initially been selected as the candidate. As regular readers will be aware, Ian Davidson will not be the candidate in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (and is, I assume, frantically searching another constituency), while positioning has begun in Edinburgh Pentlands, where former Leader David McLetchie is likely to stand down.

LibDem MSP Donald Gorrie is standing down, and his likely replacement at the head of the List in Central Scotland is his assistant, Hugh O'Donnell. Jim Wallace's former special adviser Liam McArthur will be fighting his ex-boss's seat, while the Party is sharpening its knives in Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber. Lobbyist Craig Harrow is the likely candidate, and the LibDems reckon they have a good chance of unseating Fergus Ewing of the SNP following their recent victory in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in the Westminster Election. Further, East Dunbartonshire Council Leader John Morrison has ruled himself out of the running for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. The LibDems' victory in East Dunbartonshire last May makes this seat another mouth-watering prospect for the Party, although the Jean Turner factor could well upset the balance of power here once again.

And finally, the SSP have delayed their selection process for the Glasgow List pending Tommy Sheridan's libel action. However, there are reports of in-fighting, which may jeopardise his #1 ranking, which he enjoyed in 1999 and 2003. This could end up going to the Party's other MSP in the city Rosie Kane, who was #2 on the List in 2003.

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