Election Defeat for Whitton; Success for McAlpine

As the SNP sensationally secure a second term in the Scottish Parliament, former journalist and broadcaster, David Whitton, who was being tipped as a possible new leader of Scottish Labour, suffered a shock defeat in the Strathkelvin and Bearsden seat.

With Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray, facing resignation after his party's dismal showing – despite him retaining his own seat in East Lothian (albeit by just 151 votes) – Whitton had been quoted by bookmaker, Ladbrokes, at 5/4 on favourite to succeed him in the post.

However, heading for Holyrood is freelance journalist, Joan McAlpine, thanks to finishing in second place for the SNP in the South of Scotland 'list'.

McAlpine writes a weekly column for The Scotsman, and was formerly editor of the Ecosse section of the Sunday Times Scotland.

And taking his place in the new Holyrood Parliament, for the Angus South constituency, will be the SNP’s Graeme Dey – the former sports editor of regional morning daily, The Courier. Dey captured 58.5 per cent of the vote in retaining the seat for the SNP.

Another new journalistic face in the Scottish Parliament will be former BBC broadcaster, Ruth Davidson, who has been elected from the 'list' in Glasgow by virtue of being the top candidate for the Scottish Conservatives although she lost out in her bid for a constituency seat in the city.

Meanwhile, Glasgow-based journalist, Christine Jardine, bidding to win the Inverness and Nairn seat for the Lib Dems, lost out to the sitting MSP, Fergus Ewing, who increased his majority.

Elsewhere, taking up a seat for Scottish Labour at Holyrood will be Dundonian law graduate, Jenny Marra.

Marra, who was head of press of Dundee University for five years and has worked as a staff member for Labour MEPs in Brussels, has won her place in the Scottish Parliament through the 'list' system in North East Scotland – finishing third.

And former BBC Scotland news producer, Ken Macintosh, retained his Glasgow Eastwood seat, beating Tory, Jackson Carlaw, into second place – although there was an 8.7 per cent swing from Labour to Tory. 

But the huge success of his party meant there is no place at Holyrood for Edinburgh journalist, George Kerevan.

Kerevan was fifth on the 'list' of the SNP candidates for Lothians. However, the SNP did so well in the constuency seats in the Lothians that the intricacies of the electoral voting system militated against him.

Kerevan, who was associate editor of The Scotsman from 2000-2009, and still pens a regular column for the newspaper, unsuccessfully fought the General Election, in the Edinburgh East seat last year.

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