Wheelhouse misses out

Borderers headed to the polling stations last Thursday to decide who would represent them in Holyrood for the next five years.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 9:36 am
Paul Wheelhouse of the SNP missed out on a list seat this time.

And, as far as constituency MSPs are concerned, it proved to be more of the same, with Rachael Hamilton retaining the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency for the Scottish Conservatives, and Christine Grahame keeping hold of the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale seat for the SNP (see pages 8 and 9).

However, it was all change in the South of Scotland list, with one high-profile victim.

The SNP’s Paul Wheelhouse (pictured), who served the last term as minister for business, fair work and skills, finds himself out of a job, as he was only third on the party’s list here, and due to the SNP’s good showing elsewhere in the region, they only had one place, which went to Emma Harper.

The Conservatives returned three MSPs in the south, namely Craig Hoy, Brian Whittle and Sharon Dowey. Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam, who was beaten by Ms Grahame, just missed out on the list.

And Labour took the other three seats, with Colin Smyth, Carol Mochan, Martin Whitfield heading to Holyrood. Claudia Beamish, who was a list Labour MSP in the previous term, was next on the list, but also misses out.

Another MSP out of a job is Michelle Ballantyne, who was sent to Holyrood on the Tories’ list last time round, and left the party after a failed leadership bid, and joined Nigel Farage’s