SCOTTISH Green co-convener Maggie Chapman has failed in her bid to be one of the party’s first co-leaders.

The former Edinburgh councillor has been one of the party’s chiefs for the last five and a half years, holding the post jointly alongside MSP Patrick Harvie.

Following a change in the constitutions those posts were abolished, replaced by two new co-leader positions.

The resulting contest saw Harvie elected as one co-leader – his 11th year at the top of the party – with the other position going to engineer and activist Lorna Slater.

Just 801 members cast a vote, around12.5% of the party’s membership – and, The National understands, 95 of those ballots were returned blank.

Harvie and Slater have been elected for a two-year term, which will take them beyond the next Holyrood election in 2021.

Harvie said he was “absolutely delighted to be elected”.

The Glasgow MSP added: “Green voices have never been more important as we face up to the climate emergency. The science is clear – we have just over a decade to transform our economy for the better and avert an existential crisis, but the other parties are happy to carry on with business as usual.”

Slater said the 2021 election would be the party’s “most important”.

She said: “I look forward to contributing my expertise in marine renewable energy and manufacturing in Scotland to our proposal for a Scottish Green new deal, ensuring that we take advantage of all the social and economic opportunities that come along with tackling the climate emergency.”

Chapman told The National she was “disappointed” to have lost the election.

“I believe I have the values and ideals that Scotland’s politics needs to tackle the crises we face.

“Party politics cannot do this alone: we need to reach out to social movements and build a participatory politics that gives power back to people.

“But today is not about me, and I congratulate Lorna and Patrick on their election as the party’s co-leaders.”

She said it was “an immense privilege and honour to be the party’s co-convener for the last five and a half years”.

“I am proud of what I achieved in that time. Our party membership has increased significantly and many more people understand what Green politics is all about.

“I led two strong European campaigns – recording our two highest ever results in Scotland – with the positive case for immigration and the urgent need to transform our economy at their heart. I have built links with social movements and groups beyond party politics.

“And I have transformed the role of leadership for women in the party. All of these things have allowed us to change Scottish politics, and when our world and our politics are so precarious, we certainly need to be doing things differently.”

Chapman would, she said, continue to fight for what she believed in.

It’s been a tricky few months for the Scottish Greens.

While other environmental parties across the continent flourished at the European elections, returning huge numbers of MEPs, the Scots barely made a blip, increasing their vote by only 0.1%.

In the immediate aftermath of the vote, one senior party source laid much of the blame at Chapman’s door.

“Our candidate couldn’t even galvanise our own activists to get out and campaign,” they told The National. “We contrived to lose votes in Edinburgh ffs! We were endorsed by one of the biggest Sunday papers [Sunday Mail] and didn’t get any votes beyond our base.”

That was angrily rejected by Chapman’s supporters, who accused critics of trying to undermine her leadership.

Meanwhile, the newly formed Green Futures Group within the party said all of their candidates for other positions had been elected.