Liam McArthur Selected as Orkney LibDem Candidate for 2021

Liam McArthur has been adopted to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections by the Orkney organisation.

Liam McArthur said:

“I’m delighted to have been re-selected to stand in next year’s Scottish Parliamentary Elections.  I’m grateful to members of the local party for giving me their support to contest what will be a critically important election for our islands and the country.

“It has been an enormous privilege to serve the people of Orkney over the last 13 years and to make sure the voice of islanders and our community is heard loud and clear at Holyrood and beyond.

“Whether it’s making the case for greater investment in our lifeline transport links, campaigning to improve broadband and mobile phone coverage, standing up for our key sectors of our economy from fishing and farming to energy and tourism, strengthening legislation to tackle fuel poverty, delivering new powers to ‘island proof’ policy and decisions taken by government.  On these and many other issues, I have always put the needs, views and interests of the people of Orkney first. 

“My instinct has always been to work collaboratively where I can, whether with local groups and individuals or with Ministers and colleagues from across the political spectrum. That can often be the most effective way of getting the best deal for our islands.  However, where government ignores the needs of islanders or treats our community unfairly, I have also been quick to challenge Ministers. 

“At all times though, I have done my best to be an approachable, accessible and accountable representative for the people and communities that I have been immensely proud to serve since 2007.  That will continue to be my priority if elected again in May.

“As we look to rebuild from the devastating impact of Covid, I believe Orkney needs an experienced, hardworking representative who will listen and act with the interests of our islands at heart.  I believe my track record as Orkney’s MSP over the last 13 years makes me the best choice to take on that responsibility and I hope to be able to persuade voters to once again put their trust in me to deliver for them.

So far only the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have selected candidates for the Orkney constituency.

Robert Leslie who will be standing for the SNP this week backed the SNP Common Weal Group’s pledge, which also advocates a National Care Service to deliver high quality social care to everyone that needs it. 

Robert Leslie said:

“ I believe that a Green New Deal would be a major boost for Orkney’s ambitions to make our renewable energy potential work for the benefit of everyone in this community. 

“As SNP candidate for Orkney, I want to build a better future for Scotland that puts all of us first. That’s why I’m backing the SNP Common Weal Group’s pledge for a resilient independent Scotland. 

“Independence is closer than ever. That’s why the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections are crucial. We need to elect SNP MSPs who are committed to delivering independence and building a better future for Scotland that puts all of us first. 

“After the virus we must build a resilient Scotland, one which is able not only to withstand the economic, environmental and social disruptions we will face in the future but which is capable of providing good lives for the people of Scotland every day.

“The SNP Common Weal Group has led the debate on how we can work together to make change happen. 

“If elected as your SNP MSP, I will work to deliver: 

  • A Green New Deal for a just transition to a net-zero economy. 
  • A National Care Service to deliver high quality social care to everyone who needs it. 
  • Land reform that puts communities first and develops our land for the public good. 
  • Public ownership of key utilities and transport services. 
  • Stronger rights for tenants to ensure everyone has a safe, affordable home. 
  • Local wealth building to strengthen local economies and ensure money made and spent in our communities stays in our communities.” 

In recent years Orkney has become a fight between two political parties – the LibDems who have held the seat since the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and the SNP. The 3 other candidates: Conservative, Labour and Independent all lost their deposits in 2016.

In the Scottish Parliament elections voters elect a Constituency MSP and they also vote for a regional MSP. The Constituency vote is first past the post. The Regional vote is elected by a distribution of numbers of votes for a political party in each region. In Orkney’s case this is the Highlands and Islands. The Regional (sometimes known as the List vote) is determined by a form of Proportional Representation.

The names in dark blue were elected according to the Highlands and Islands Regional distribution of votes in 2016: Maree Todd (SNP);Douglas Ross, Edward Mountain & Donald Cameron (Conservative);Rhoda Grant & David Stewart (Labour); and John Finnie (Scottish Green).

At the 2017 General Election Conservative MSP Douglas Ross was elected to sit as an MP in the House of Commons. Ross resigned as an MSP and as a result Jamie Halcro-Johnston moved up his party ‘list’ and was elected to sit as an MSP in the Scottish Parliament.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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