ALYN Smith will top the SNP’s list of EU election candidates when they are unveiled.

Ahead of this weekend’s Spring Conference, the SNP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) brought together a gender-balanced pool of three men and three women which delegates have voted on.

In one of his latest columns for The National, Smith wrote that he had submitted his papers and hoped to be a candidate in next month’s EU elections. Now he appears to have won the delegate vote, which closed at 10am yesterday morning.

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Unless the UK agrees to leave the EU beforehand, the election will be held on May 23, with Scotland treated like a single consistency with six MEPs to elect.

Candidates are elected based on the proportion of votes each of their respective parties receives.

Smith has held office in the European Parliament since 2004 and in 2016, shortly after the Brexit vote, was given a standing ovation for a powerful speech in which he implored the EU not to give up on Scotland even though Britain had.

The Glasgow-born politician became Scotland’s youngest MEP when first elected and won re-election twice – in 2009 and in 2014.

Delegates’ second choice is Christian Allard, a French-born Scottish former MSP who has been a councillor in Aberdeen since 2017.

Born in Dijon, Allard was an MSP for North East Scotland from 2013 to 2016.

Former SNP minister Aileen Macleod came in third. She was an MSP for South Scotland from 2011 to 2016 and was Environment Minister from 2014 to 2016.

Former MP Margaret Ferrier came in fourth, with Tweeddale west councillor Heather Anderson in fifth and NEC member and Glasgow SNP convener Alex Kerr in sixth.

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens co-convenor Maggie Chapman has been selected as their party’s top candidate for the forthcoming election.

Party members have spent the last two weeks selecting the slate of candidates.

Chapman said: “Scottish Greens have been fighting to keep Scotland where it belongs – at the heart of the EU – in recent years and I’ll offer the people of Scotland the chance to choose our positive message of hope, and elect Scotland’s first Green MEP.

“The climate crisis is the biggest threat facing humanity and will be my top priority if elected to represent Scotland in the European Parliament. I hope to join the many other fantastic European Greens in this fight.

“The Green MSPs are leading the change at Holyrood, putting the climate emergency at the top of the parliament’s agenda, and I look forward to working with them, and with Green colleagues across Europe to deliver a Green New Deal which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Scotland and millions across the continent.”

Scottish Greens’ other co-convenor Patrick Harvie added: “Maggie has a proven track record as an effective campaigner and I’m delighted she’s been elected to top our list of talented candidates.

“I look forward to supporting her over the coming weeks as we work to elect Scotland’s first Green MEP.”