Scotland politics

Senior Labour MSPs may struggle

Anas Sarwar
Image caption One of the winners in the list selection is former MP Anas Sarwar

This will be a comeback election for the party's former deputy leader, Anas Sarwar, who lost his Westminster seat last year.

He has all but guaranteed himself a Holyrood seat in May's election by securing top spot in Glasgow, above his old boss, Johann Lamont.

Another former MP, Thomas Docherty, may revive his political career having won third place in mid-Scotland and Fife.

There are some new faces. GMB union official Richard Leonard and councillor Monica Lennon are the first and second placed candidates in central Scotland.

But in most regions, Labour's current Holyrood hierarchy dominates.

The party leader, Kezia Dugdale and her deputy, Alex Rowley, were automatically placed first in Lothian and mid-Scotland and Fife.

Senior MSPs Iain Gray, Jackie Baillie and Jenny Marra are the lead candidates in the south, west and north east - almost certainly ensuring their political survival.

Lower places

Eight other serving MSPs including Michael McMahon, Paul Martin and the former minister Patricia Ferguson are less fortunate.

They are so far down the central and Glasgow lists they stand little chance of being elected unless they win their constituencies.

The former leadership contender, Ken MacIntosh, cannot rely on a list seat if he loses in Eastwood. He is fourth in the west of Scotland.

Those who nominated him for the leadership, in the contest with Kezia Dugdale, have all been dumped down the list rankings.

There was a time when Labour hardly bothered with the regional lists, except in the highlands and islands.

In the early days of devolution, the party won so many constituencies it didn't qualify for many top up seats.

But the rise in support for the SNP has changed that. Now the lists offer a lifeline for some Labour politicians.

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