This is a region where there will be a lot of new faces on May 6th. With four constituency MSPs standing down and three list MSPs not standing for re-election even if the breakdown of the vote stays the same change is still guaranteed.
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS
There are also some big names standing in Lothian including the leaders of both the Scottish Conservative & the Scottish Labour parties (Ruth Davidson & Kezia Dugdale); two government ministers (Fiona Hyslop & Angela Constance); and relatively well known faces such as Sarah Boyack (Labour), Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman (Greens) and Colin Fox (former Scottish Socialist Party now RISE).
CURRENT CONSTITUENCY MSPs
Almond Valley, Angela Constance SNP
Edinburgh Central SNP (current MSP is standing down)
Edinburgh Eastern SNP (current MSP is standing down)
Edinburgh Northern & Leith LAB (current MSP is standing down)
Edinburgh Pentlands, Gordon MacDonald, SNP
Edinburgh Southern, Jim Eadie SNP
Edinburgh Western SNP (current MSP is standing down)
Linlithgow, Fiona Hyslop SNP
Midlothian North & Musselburgh, Colin Beattie SNP
CONSTITUENCIES TO WATCH
Given that the SNP are likely to dominate the constituency vote it's unlikely that there will be any surprises in the 5 Lothian seats they hold currently. The constituencies to watch on election night are the four where the current MSP is standing down.
Of these the most interesting result will undoubtedly be in Edinburgh Central. The SNP's Marco Biagi narrowly took it from Labour's Sarah Boyack in 2011 and given that Marco is not standing for re-election this is a seat that Sarah would normally be expecting to try and win back. This isn't a normal year though; to win it Labour would need to buck the national trend and to make things even more interesting Alison Johnstone has been chosen to contest the seat for the Greens, possibly splitting the pro-independence vote and Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, is standing down from her list seat in Glasgow and standing in Edinburgh Central instead.
CURRENT REGIONAL LIST SEAT ALLOCATION
Independent 1 (was Margo MacDonald who died in 2014)
REGIONAL LIST WATCH
On the Regional List the absence of independent Margo McDonald, who died in 2014, means that her 18,000 votes will be up for grabs so it will be interesting to see where they go.
If the SNP dominate the constituency seats as they are predicted to they are very unlikely to win any of the Regional seats. What will be interesting is whether the Greens can take any of Margo's votes to keep or even add to their 1 seat and whether the Conservatives can take a seat from Labour and increase their share to 3.
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