New Selection Contests Highlight Tensions within SNP

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The Scottish National Party (SNP) is currently holding selection contests for their candidates in the next general election. While many SNP MPs have already been reselected, others have chosen to step down, leading to some highly contested seats. These challenges have brought to light tensions within the party, especially after former SNP minister Fergus Ewing was suspended from the Holyrood group.

The SNP has opened constituency party ballots to all registered local members, allowing them to participate in the selection process. The results of these contests will be announced on October 12th. In seats where MPs have chosen not to run for re-election, voting will begin on the same day, with the outcome announced on October 26th.

Boundary changes in certain Scottish constituencies have created more competition for selection, while strong SNP majorities in other areas make them attractive to potential candidates. For example, Dundee East, which will become the Arbroath and Broughty Ferry constituency due to boundary changes, is predicted to have a high number of interested candidates. The seat is currently held by outgoing SNP MP Stewart Hosie.

A total of eight SNP MPs, including the deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black and former group leader Ian Blackford, have announced that they will not be running for re-election. This creates opportunities for new faces within the party.

It’s important to note that SNP MPs are not automatically reselected to stand for election. They must either be nominated by their local campaigns committee or receive support from 50 local branch members. This ensures that the selection process is fair and democratic.

As the selection contests continue, it will be interesting to see who emerges as the SNP candidates for the next general election. These contests not only highlight the democratic nature of the party but also reveal the diverse range of individuals who are seeking to represent the SNP in Parliament.