The race to Westminster begins in Glenrothes

Glenrothes voters go to the polls on May 7
Glenrothes voters go to the polls on May 7

Eight months on from the referendum on Scottish independence, our nation returns with the rest of the UK to the polling stations for another landmark political event.

The General Election on May 7 is being predicted as one of the most significant for generations.

Many onlookers are harking back to September and how the referendum engaged people in politics at an almost unprecedented high level.

But will that sort of interest be repeated next month?

In the local constituency, a new representative at Westminster is absolutely guaranteed.

Leaving the political front line, after nearly seven years, is Lindsay Roy, the Labour MP in Glenrothes and Central Fife.

A big talking point north of the border since the referendum has been an apparent surge in support for the SNP, amid forecasts it may capture a swathe of Labour-held seats in Scotland and have a crucial role to play nationally if no party has an outright majority when it’s all over.

The Nationalists could also have an important bearing on the local seat – despite it being a traditionally solid Labour stronghold.

The SNP has enjoyed a pair of big swings in its favour at recent Fife Council by-elections - and there is a belief they could take the outgoing ex-PM Gordon Brown’s Labour seat in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

In 2008, Mr Roy was elected to the traditionally rock-solid Labour seat in Glenrothes and Central Fife with an increased majority of over 16,400 over its only realistic challenger, the SNP.

However, Labour’s decision to choose a female-only shortlist of candidates to hopefully succeed Mr Roy caused huge controversy, particularly among party supporters, which may yet prove damaging.

Potential candidates from all parties or on independent tickets have until April 9 to declare their official intention to stand.

The people chasing your vote:

PETER GRANT (SNP) - Councillor who has stood for Westminster before. He has a professional qualification in public sector finance and has been a councillor in Glenrothes since 1992. He served for five years as leader of Fife Council and is still leader of the SNP group.

JANE ANN LISTON (LibDem) - A Fife councillor for 12 years and a graduate of the University of St Andrews, she is also voluntary press officer for Fife Liberal Democrats, secretary of Railfuture Scotland and treasurer of geoHeritage Fife.

ALEX STEWART-CLARK (Conservative) - He has a business in the timber and manufacturing sector and he is involved in number of charities.

MELANIE WARD (Labour) - Anti-poverty campaigner and charity worker. Previously worked for Christian Aid and is former president of the National Union of Students Scotland.