A NEW inclusive policy of putting disabled and BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) candidates on top of the eight SNP regional lists for the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections produced some unexpected results on the lists which were released by the party yesterday afternoon.

Though party leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s own seat of Glasgow Southside is resoundingly safe – she had a majority of 9593 in 2016 – she was herself in the bizarre situation of being placed only second on the Glasgow list as selected by party members in Glasgow region, with Roza Salih, one of the co-founders of the Glasgow Girls, taking the top spot.

The National Executive Committee had voted by the casting vote of its chair to bring in the policy which saw the eight regions divided so that four had disabled candidates top of the list and the other four had BAME candidates. Top lawyer Jonathan Mitchell QC warned the NEC that the policy was legally dubious and open to challenge in the courts. It remains to be seen if any candidate will challenge the listings.

On each of the lists released yesterday, whichever candidate identifying as disabled or BAME and who got the most votes no matter where they were on the list was moved automatically to the top.

If the opinion polls are reflected in the eventual result of the election in May, it is likely that there will be fewer SNP list MSPs. In the regions where the SNP is expected to sweep the boards in individual constituencies, placing on the list makes little difference as the Additional Member system, or D’Hondt method, allocates the proportional representation element to parties who do not do well in the constituency vote, and list seats for the SNP are not expected in Glasgow, for instance.

The lists are as follows:

Central Scotland: Danish Ashraf, Christina McKelvie, Neil Gray, Michelle Thomson, Anum Qaisar-Javed, Fulton MacGregor, Stephanie Callaghan, Grant Ferguson, Iain Sinclair, Paul Welsh, Josh Wilson, Ali Salamati.

Highlands and Islands: Emma Roddick, Kate Forbes, Maree Todd, Fergus Ewing, Tom Wills, Mike MacKenzie, Robert Leslie, Rhiannon Spear, Jamie Szymkowiak, Qasim Hanif, Ken Gowans, Sarah Fanet.

Mid Scotland and Fife: Eva Comrie, John Swinney, Keith Brown, Annabelle Ewing, Jim Fairlie, David Torrance, Ross Cunningham, Fiona Sarwar, Moraig Henderson, Stefan Hoggan-Radu, Lee Robb, Rosemary Hunter.

South Scotland: Emma Harper, Joan McAlpine, Paul Wheelhouse, Màiri McAllan, Richard Walker, Heather Anderson, Siobhian Brown, Stacy Bradley, Paul McLennan, Ali Salamati, Stephen Thompson, Laura Brennan-Whitefield.

Glasgow: Roza Salih, Nicola Sturgeon, Clare Haughey, Ivan McKee, Bill Kidd, Alex Kerr, Suzanne McLaughlin, Kaukab Stewart, Katy Loudon, Christina Cannon, Abdul Bostani.

Lothian: Graham Campbell, Angus Robertson, Fiona Hyslop, Ben Macpherson, Catriona MacDonald, Sarah Masson, Irshad Ahmed, Greg McCarra, Alison Dickie, Alex Orr, Douglas Thomson, Andrew Ewen.

North East Scotland: Fatima Joji, Christian Allard, Fergus Mutch, William Duff, Julie Bell, Nadia El-Nakla, John Cooke, Lynne Short, Gillian Al-Samarai, Joshua Mennie

West Scotland: Michelle Campbell, Stuart McMillan, Kenneth Gibson, Rona Mackay, Christopher McEleny, Colm Merrick, Lorna Douglas, Annette Ireland, Debra Torrance, Gavin Lundy, Jonathan McColl, Daniel Kennedy.