Ariane is No. 1 for the Scottish Greens

We might be in the middle of a pandemic but political parties in Scotland are gearing up for the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

Ariane Burgess from Moray has been selected as number 1 on the Scottish Green Party’s list for the Highlands and Islands region.

Ariane Burgess pictured with OIC Councillor Steve Sankey

The Scottish Greens currently have 6 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament and are hoping to improve on that performance in 2021.

John Finnie, has been the Scottish Green MSP elected on the Highlands and Islands Regional list. He is retiring from the parliament , bowing out with notable successes including introducing the legislation which enabled children in Scotland to have the same protection against violence as adults. Scotland’s Smacking Ban Comes Into Force

There are no plans for the Scottish Greens to stand in the Orkney constituency although they are the only main political party to have an elected councillor in the islands, Steve Sankey.

Commenting on being a candidate Ariane Burgess acknowledged the support of Steve Sankey and the Orkney Greens.

She said:

“I’m delighted to be working closely with Steve and the Orkney Greens to ensure that our national priorities remain of great importance and continuing relevance to Orkney.

“Local action to ensure that we meet our Climate Emergency targets, and the re-building of our island economies under a Green New Deal are both top priorities that will feature highly in our election campaign.

“I’ve visited Orkney several times, and under normal circumstances I would be here in person to say ‘hello’. Sadly that’s not possible right now, but I want the people of Orkney to know that I want to see Orkney treated with fairness and proper consideration as plans for a Green Recovery are put in place.

“I hope to visit in the new year to discuss our election priorities, and I’d be grateful for your support next May.”

The Scottish Parliament elections are scheduled to take place on Thursday 6th of May 2021.

Voters have a vote for a constituency MSP, which is a first past the post X, and they have another vote where they vote for Regional MSPs. In the regional vote electors vote for a political party. The political parties have lists which they have made up of ranked candidates. In the Regional vote, Orkney’s votes are tallied together with those from all the other Constituencies which make up the Highlands and Islands. MSPs are elected according to the % of votes cast for each party having been weighted against the Constituency vote (it is a version of Proportional Representation).

The MSPs elected in the 2016 Highlands and Islands Region were:

  • John Finnie, Scottish Greens (retiring in 2021)
  • Maree Todd, Scottish National Party (SNP)
  • David Stewart, Labour (retiring in 2021)
  • Rhoda Grant, Labour
  • Douglas Ross, Conservative (replaced by Jamie Halcro Johnston on being elected as a MP)
  • Edward Mountain, Conservative
  • Donald Cameron, Conservative

The Regional List vote is a very important one and can determine which party will make up the Scottish Government. In 2007 the SNP was able to form a minority Scottish Government due to its success in both the Constituency and Regional vote.

So the election of constituency and regional MSPs are equally important.

Commenting on the 2021 election , Steve Sankey, who is 4th on the Scottish Greens Highlands & Islands Regional list said:

“I am delighted to be working alongside Ariane in sharing the Greens message here in Orkney and across the Highlands and Islands.

“We have a real chance of building on the Party’s voice in the region and improving the lives of the people here in Orkney.

“We’re working hard on our election priorities with Ariane at present, and renewable transport and connections feature prominently. For example, we’re busy thinking laterally about how we invest in renewable technology to replace our ageing ferry fleet.

“Green jobs will be critically important to the economy of Orkney ahead, such as the provision of offshore wind turbines in the seas around our islands and we’ll be pressing that case resolutely in the Parliamentary years ahead.

“The support of Orcadians through the ballot box would help us to elect Green MSPs and to press the Green case for actions on the Climate Emergency.”

So far only the SNP have selected a candidate to contest the Orkney constituency seat, Robert Leslie. Orkney SNP Selects Robert Leslie to Fight Scottish Parliament Election

A reminder of how the political make up of the Scottish Parliament has changed since it was reconvened in 1999:

Total seats by political party since 1999 – SPICe Election 2016

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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