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.



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