22 August 2010

Selection Box: Lothian & Mid Scotland & Fife

Moving to the Lothians, Alex Cole-Hamilton has been selected by the LibDems to 'defend' Edinburgh Central (I say this as, on the notional figures, this seat moves into the LibDem column). Cole-Hamilton was first on the Mid Scotland & Fife List last time at the expense of sitting MSP Andrew Arbuckle, who came second, and would have got in had Jim Tolson not been so inconsiderate by winning Dunfermline West. For shame! Elsewhere, Labour have a vacancy to fill in Midlothian North & Musselburgh, with the retirement of Rhona Brankin.

But the List is where the action is: for the SNP, Ian McKee is standing down (and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Shirley-Anne Somerville may cross the Forth to Mid Scotland & Fife) so there's a vacancy there. George Foulkes is standing down so there's a vacancy for Labour. And Robin Harper is standing down so we see the first ever Green vacancy, with Councillor Maggie Chapman being tipped in some quarters to fill it. And of course, we don't yet know if Margo MacDonald will wish to continue.

Across the Forth, again, the Mid Scotland & Fife List is where the action may be, with Christopher Harvie retiring (affording an opportunity for Shirley-Anne Somerville to make that crossing), along with Tory Ted Brocklebank, creating a vacancy on the Tory list, perhaps for Bob Dalrymple, who came fourth on the List last time and was the Tory candidate in Stirling (designated a key seat) in May.