THE by-election in the Dunfermline seat vacated by disgraced former MSP Bill Walker is to be held on Thursday 24 October, it has been announced.
Holyrood Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick has written to Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond today, who will be returning officer for the vote, to confirm the date. She is now asking for the council to put arrangements for the by-election in place.
The main parties are in the process of selecting their candidates for the seat after Walker announced his decision to quit at the weekend, in the aftermath of his conviction for a string of attacks on his ex-wives.
Walker won the seat for he SNP in 2011 with a narrow majority of 630 over labour. It had been held by the Liberal Democrats between 2007 and 2011.
He will learn what his sentence is to be later this month after being found guilty of a total of 23 charges. The 71-year-old carried out the attacks against his three ex-wives and a stepdaughter between 1967 and 1995.
Holyrood last night voted to change its rules so that jailed MSPs are docked 90 per cent of their salary while inside.