Countdown to Glenrothes MSP vote...

Jenny with John Swinney
Jenny with John Swinney

The Scottish Parliament may not officially finish for another two weeks, but for those wanting to become the region’s next MSP the election has already started.

The retirement of Tricia Marwick, the long-standing MSP for Central Fife area, has meant that all is up for grabs as far as the candidates are concerned.

And as the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament since May 2011, Mrs Marwick’s departure leaves a huge void to be filled.

The SNP’s candidate is former teacher and current constituency office case worker, Jenny Gilruth, who is hoping to keep the seat in the party’s hands.

Her campaign received a boost with the visit to the campaign office by Deputy First Minister John Swinney this week.

Jenny said: “I am absolutely delighted the Deputy First Minister took the time to officially open my campaign rooms and offer his support. I am absolutely committed to continuing to work hard with my campaign team over the next nine weeks and to meeting as many voters on the doorsteps as possible between now and May 5.”

Mr Swinney said: “We’ve got a bold idea as a party about how to make Scotland a better country. That starts by making sure we hold the constituency and making sure we get a bumper vote on the regional list. I look forward to Jenny joining me as part of that winning majority in May.”

The candidate looking to win the seat for Labour is the current Depute Provost of Fife and Glenrothes councillor since 2007, Kay Morrison.

As a former teacher, Kay unsurprisingly has the issue of education close to her heart, but added that improving the future prosperity of the region, town centre regeneration and improving safety on the A92 are also key objectives and issues that she’ll be engaging voters with on the doorsteps.

“The region has a long and rich history of being a vibrant industy base and I want to be in a position to help make that happen again,” she said.

“There is a poverty of opportunity which I will work hard to break and I’ll be looking forward to discussing these and other issues with constituents as the campaign progresses.”

The Conservative Party increased their vote count in last year’s Westminster election and say they are here to offer a positive and viable alternative with their candidate Alex Stewart-Clark, who stood in 2015.

“I want to us to rebuild that sense of community spirit that has sadly been eroded in recent times mainly I feel because of the Scottish government’s agenda of centralisation,” he explained.“We need to embrace localism and invest in our town centres and communities, giving people back a sense of local empowerment and an involvement in the decisions that ultimately shape their lives ans well being.”

The election takes place on Thursday, May 5.