Dozen SNP MSPs 'effectively deselected'
A DOZEN Nationalist MSPs could lose their seats at Holyrood, after the SNP's regional list rankings for next year's elections showed some sitting members had been "effectively deselected".
Prominent MSPs such as Bill Kidd and Anne McLaughlin are among those at risk on the Glasgow list, after being ranked at numbers seven and eight respectively. Only three SNP members were returned from the region in 2007.
Other high-profile casualties could include party loyalist Christina McKelvie, who has been put in sixth place on the list in Central Scotland, where the SNP won six seats last time.
The sitting Central Scotland MSP John Wilson has been placed at number eight, damaging his chances of a return to parliament after next May's poll.
A Scottish Parliament insider told The Scotsman at least 12 SNP MSPs could be at risk of losing their seats after the rankings were published following a ballot of party members.
Others facing a fight to return to Holyrood include Stuart McMillan, who is at number six on the West of Scotland list, where the party won four seats in 2007.
Bill Wilson, another West of Scotland MSP, also faces defeat after moving from that region to the Lothians, where he has been placed at number eight on the list. The SNP took only three seats in the Lothians at the last election.
SNP business convener Bruce Crawford, who is number two on the Mid Scotland and Fife list, said of the party's list candidates: "This is a team that both reflects Scottish society and has Scotland at its heart."
However, Labour's elections and campaigns co-ordinator, John Park said: "The release of this list is not only deeply embarrassing for the SNP, but it is a humiliation for Alex Salmond that his own party members have effectively deselected so many of his sitting team."
The SNP list include a former MP and MSP and could result in two ethnic minority candidates being elected on an SNP platform.
Annabelle Ewing, who was SNP MP for Perth between 2001 and 2005, has been placed at number four on the Mid Scotland and Fife list, which is topped by finance secretary John Swinney.
Fiona McLeod, a Glasgow MSP in the first Scottish Parliament between 1999 and 2003, is number five on the West of Scotland list. Humza Yousaf, a former parliamentary assistant to the late Glasgow MSP Bashir Ahmad, has been voted into number two on the Glasgow list, behind health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
Party activist Sid Khan has also secured a potentially winnable place on the Glasgow list, at number five.
Other newcomers in the list include East Renfrewshire Council leader Derek MacKay, who is number three on the West of Scotland list.
There is a number five spot on the South of Scotland list for Dr Aileen McLeod, a former specialist on Europe in the Scottish Parliament's research department.
Most of the SNP's big hitters secured top rankings in their areas, including First Minister Alex Salmond, who heads the North East list.
Education secretary Michael Russell was elected as number two on the Highlands and Islands list, a region where the electorate returned two SNP members to Holyrood at the last election.
Mr Russell has also been selected as the SNP's constituency candidate for the Argyll and Bute constituency, which was taken by the party's Jim Mather from the Lib Dems by a margin of only 815 votes at the last set of Holyrood elections.
Justice secretary Kenny Mac- Askill has been elected at number one for the Lothians, while culture minister Fiona Hyslop has been ranked at number two on the same SNP list.
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