SCOTS MP Stewart McDonald was yesterday the frontrunner for the most hair-raising prize in politics after receiving a late nomination for Parliamentary Beard of the Year.

Organised by the Beard Liberation Front, the annual award recognises “hirsute MPs whose beard has made the most political impact in 2015”.

McDonald did not feature on the original shortlist issued in October, but was yesterday named as a last-minute entrant which finally gave Scotland a runner in the contest.

Keith Flett of the Beard Liberation Front said he had contacted the SNP over potential candidates, but failed to receive a reply in time for the initial announcement.

However, he said the inclusion of the 29-year-old would help “broaden the field” after many potential nominees in the LibDems fell in the General Election.

Yesterday votes for McDonald rose steadily in the online poll, putting him neck and neck with style rival Stephen Crabb, the Tory MP for Preseli, by mid afternoon.

By tea time the one-time holiday rep had overtaken contest favourite Jeremy Corbyn, leading the pack with more than 40 per cent of the vote and shaving the Labour leader’s chances of victory to the bone.

The tension is enough to make your hair curl.

Yesterday Flett said: “Corbyn has won the most times because he is known for occasionally speaking about beards in the House of Commons.

“McDonald seems to have some supporters and it spreads the field a bit. The LibDems have been more or less wiped out – they provided a ready source of candidates back in the day.”

Labour’s Jim McMahon was also added to the list yesterday following his Oldham by-election win. Other contenders include LibDem Lord Tony Greaves, Tory MPs David Burrowes and Rob Wilson, Labour peer Lord Toby Harris and Labour MPs Dave Anderson, Paul Flynn, Andrew Gwynne, Kelvin Hopkins, John Spellar and John Trickett.

The winner will be announced on December 11.

Flett said the names chosen reflect a broad spectrum of facial fashion, from McMahon’s “designer beard” to Corbyn’s trademark “Santa” style.

Reacting to his nomination yesterday, McDonald said it was “an important development”.

Votes can be cast at