Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Retiring MSPs

As the battle for positioning on party lists for the next Scottish Parliament election starts to hot up, I thought it worthwhile making a note of the names of current MSPs who would not be on either the constituency or the regional ballot paper - those who have decided that their 4/8/12 years at Holyrood is enough, and that they will retire before the election.

Announced so far:
Jamie Stone (LD, Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross - 2/6/10)
Ian McKee (SNP, Lothians - 29/5/10)
Bill Aitken (Con, Glasgow Region - 19/5/10)
Robin Harper (Green, Lothians - 13/9/08)
John Farquhar Munro (LD, Ross, Skye & Inverness West - 2008)
Chris Harvie (SNP, Mid Scotland & Fife - 2007: one term)

Likely to stand down (given dual-mandates as MSPs/ MPs):

Possibility of standing down (given dual-mandate as MSP/ Lords):
George Foulkes (said he'd serve only one term - but see link)
Jack McConnell (given peerage 29 May 2010)

Other possibles (various reasons):
Ted Brocklebank (Con, Mid Scotland & Fife - age 67)
Nanette Milne (Con, North-East Scotland - age 68)
Mary Scanlon (Con, Highlands & Islands - age 62)
Jamie McGrigor (Con, Highlands & Islands - age 60)
(see Will's excellent post for more on these three)
Malcolm Chisholm (Lab, Edinburgh North & Leith - age 61)
Helen Eadie (Lab, Dunfermline East - age 63)
Alex Fergusson (PO, Galloway & Upper Nithsdale - age 61/ PO)

I want to point out that in no way do I think that once you hit 60 you should retire from politics.  All I'm saying is that if Bill Aitken is retiring at 63, then some of the others named above may also be considering it.


Also, when Nicol Stephen stood down as leader of the Scottish Lib Dems in 2008, he said it was because he wanted to spend more time with his four children.  Is there a chance he might retire as an MSP as well?


So, I make that:
SIX definitely not standing again, four likely (dual-mandates) and 8 others (age/PO/ spending time with family) giving a total of 18 possible new faces at Holyrood.  There may well be more too - with 11 months still to go, I'm really just speculating.

2 comments:

Doug Daniel 2 June 2010 at 12:54  

I think we can be sure Cathy Jamieson is standing down. As you've noted from the link to my blog, she's confirmed as much already, so to go back on her word would be a massive error of judgement, and I don't think she's the type to do that anyway. I may not agree with her politics, but she seems an honest person.

Margaret Curran, on the other hand, has been notably quiet for someone with such a big mouth. As noted in Brian Taylor's blog recently, her constituency is disappearing under the boundary changes, and he thinks this is why she stood for Westminster. Personally, I'll believe she's going when I see it - there's nothing stopping her from being a list candidate, as Labour seem to think this awful woman is an asset.

It'd be a shame if Malcolm Chisholm goes - it's nice that Labour currently have at least one MSP who manages to see beyond the tribalism that permeates throughout his party. He's too good for the Labour Party really.

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