2019 Scottish Greens co-leadership election
The first Scottish Greens co-leadership election occurred during the summer of 2019, following a newly adopted constitution by the party. One article of the constitution stated that the positions of co-conveners would be abolished in favour of the newly established positions of co-leaders. It also said that at least one of the co-leaders had to be a woman. Both of the former co-conveners, Maggie Chapman and Patrick Harvie, contested the election, but when the results were announced at the Out of Blue Drill Hall in Edinburgh on the 1st of August 2019, only Patrick Harvie was elected, alongside Lorna Slater. All Scottish Green Party members were eligible to vote.
Changes to the party's constitution created several new positions which were available for election.
The eco-socialist Green Future Group faction did not nominate a candidate for the co-leader position but contested for the other positions. All seven nominations from the faction were successful in their contests.
Lorna Slater was the first person to announce their candidacy, via Twitter. Her work experience comes from renewable energy engineering, and she had been second on the party's list for the 2019 European Parliament election. During that election, she had been known to be a strong debater and a good speaker when it came to the media. When announcing her candidacy, she stated that the party was ready for a "fresh new start." Upon winning, she said that she wanted to get more women and non-binary people elected, and to gain more seats than ever before at the 2021 Scottish Parliament election.
Green activist Graham Kerr from North Lanarkshire was the second person to put their name forward. He had been a candidate in the 2017 Scottish Green Party co-convener election, and said that he decided to run again because of the encouragement that he had got. During his campaign, he was a critic of austerity.
Guy Ingerson announced that he would be running on 22 June. He had a background in the oil industry, but he said that at the peak of the 2015 oil crash, he decided that the world needed to change their economic future. During his campaign, he criticised the SNP on a number of different issues, such as LGBTQ+ rights, housing, transport and the environment. He stated that the Scottish Greens offered a “progressive and pragmatic” alternative, and that he wanted the Scottish Greens’ success to be similar to that of other Green parties around Europe.
The former co-convener Maggie Chapman was a front runner in the election, with her campaign based on her former profile in being head of the party. Upon losing, she said that she was “disappointed” not to have got the job, but was happy for Slater and Harvie.
Patrick Harvie was one of the last to enter the race. He said that it was important that the leadership remained with an MSP, so that “[the] whole party [would be] ready for the next big test in [the] 2021 [Scottish Parliament election].”
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Because Lorna Slater did not have a seat in the Scottish Parliament, the leaders in Scottish Parliament remained Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone. She has since become a regional MSP for the Lothian region.
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- "Scottish Greens elect Harvie and Slater as leaders". BBC News. 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
- Jarvis, Chris (2019-06-30). "Who will be the next leader of the Scottish Greens? - UK Green news round up week 26 | Chris Jarvis". Bright Green. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
- "Chapman ousted in Scottish Greens election as members vote to change co-leaders". The National. Retrieved 2020-05-26.